Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Thursday January 25, 2018

KEEP ON TRUCKING: David Heslop argues heavy vehicles are outnumbered on our roads, meaning they should operate at speeds that let them "turn and brake like a car".
KEEP ON TRUCKING: David Heslop argues heavy vehicles are outnumbered on our roads, meaning they should operate at speeds that let them "turn and brake like a car".

MICHAEL Byrne is to be commended for the timeliness and subject of his article (“Time for revolution in our trucking industry”, Opinion 19/1). 

While Michael is a senior figure in the trucking industry, I am merely a passenger vehicle driver who is forced to share our roads with the trucking industry.

The Bureau of Statistics’ Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, 12 months ended 30 June 2016 finds that the total number of registered vehicles was made up of 13,712,810 passenger vehicles (75.4%), 3,550,097 freight vehicles (19.5%) and a remaining 5.1% (928,768) comprised of buses, motor cycles and non-freight carrying trucks.

Passenger vehicles are clearly the majority of road users. 

I support Michael’s initial call for the “. . . need to get the right rules operating across all of Australia.” However, Michael’s final call relies on a statistic from the National Truck Accident Research Centre - a trucking industry body. 

I believe he has the argument back the front. Surely, the minority (19.5%) of road users should treat cars with caution and respect.  A 60-tonne vehicle should be forced to travel at speeds that will enable it to turn and brake like a car. As Michael concludes: “. . . stop thinking about how much money you can make.  Instead, start thinking about people and how we need to take immediate action to stop people dying.”

David Heslop, Cessnock   

UNIQUELY INSENSITIVE

YOUR columnist Jeff Corbett is of course entitled to his opinion that the date of Australia Day should not be changed (“The division is outdated”, Herald, 20/1), although I cannot think of another nation that is insensitive enough to hold celebrations on the day its original inhabitants were dispossessed of their country and way of life.

However, as a former journalist myself, what I find really disappointing is his attempt to deride anyone with a contrary view to his by making unsubstantiated generalisations about their motives.

I for one am most certainly not “desperate for another rallying cause”. Neither have I ever sought “to be divided from the majority” or to have separate Aboriginal and white Australia days.

Mike Wilson, Corlette

LOCKING OUT LIVE MUSIC

I THINK it's disappointing councillor Carol Duncan voted for the rezoning of the rail corridor. Cr Duncan is talking about supporting live music, and I believe a good way to support it is for her to have a reversal of the rezoning of the rail corridor for future direct transport to Newcastle Station. 

The live music scene should be supported by a public transport network. What is a city without bright lights and live music, the heartbeat of the bass drum, crash of the cymbals, the hum of the bass, twang of guitar, howling of the sax, high-pitch solo of the trumpet all underpinned by the piano? 

Live music is the pulse of human expression and freedom regardless of genre. The girls come to dance, dressed to the nines, stilettos with perfume mingling through the heat of the night where the boys follow looking hip.

I believe Newcastle people have a unique way of life. Live music and surf are key, and the people should not be displaced to allow Newcastle to become barren and controlled by the wowsers. 

I think the lockout laws should be scrapped. We are not children, we don't have to be in bed by 9pm.

Live music venues and nightclubs should be open at the owners’ discretion. We should have free movement between venues with responsible serving of liquor and all poker machines closing down at midnight. 

A city should be abuzz, open all hours.

Maureen O'Sullivan Davidson  

STAND UP ON LAKE HEIGHTS 

TORONTO residents are becoming concerned about increasing traffic flow, near misses and accidents along Victory Parade, particularly near the intersection with Brighton Avenue and Wharf Street. 

This busy intersection, which adjoins a children’s playground, is set to become worse with a development application under consideration for 37 residential units and 3 shops located right on the waterfront at the current Lifestyle Marine site on Brighton Avenue.

An amended application has been lodged and is to be considered by Lake Macquarie Council in the next couple of months. If approved in its current form, I believe the development will also set a precedent for similar four-storey developments to be built anywhere on the foreshore of Lake Macquarie. The proposed development exceeds the building height limit by 14% and the number of storeys set down in council’s own Local Environment Plan. 

I believe the proposal should be of concern to all residents of Lake Macquarie. To ensure the preservation of our beautiful foreshore without developments of this nature, it is essential that council and councillors know of the concerns of local residents. You can contact your councillor and or make a submission to council on this development by 30 January 2018.

Maryanne Cartwright, Toronto

WHAT A FERRY GOOD IDEA

“NEW ferry stops should look to capture passengers from Newcastle Airport and the rapidly expanding suburbs north of the Hunter River.” (“Hexham fast ferry call, but will it float”, Topics 23/1) I think Nuatali is onto something here with her Newcastle ferry expansion of services ideas.

The Williamtown drain system is about to be cleared of vegetation by the Office of Environment and Heritage as part of the PFAS contamination clean-up. This would make it possible for ferries to come into Fullerton Cove, enter the ring drain adjacent to Stanley Park and proceed up to the airport via the large drains.

Passengers could then use the Newcastle Airport car parks.It’s a tremendous idea, go for it Nuatali! 

Stephen Kuehn, Williamtown 

SHOPPING FOR AN UPDATE

CAN anyone cast any light on when construction will recommence on the Coles supermarket development in the middle of  Mayfield? 

There are plenty of rumours going around, including blaming the RMS for lack of road realignment to buried fuel tanks leaching petrol into the ground, but no concrete reason or a timetable to get on with job.

If anybody does know what the state of affairs is, I would really like to know.

Peter David, Mayfield

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