THE fact that the Newcastle City Council has come up with a park and ride plan highlights the need for good public transport in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. Something the people can use.
Good transport needs to be developed with good sense by people who know what they are doing. In Newcastle, the previous Labor government ruined the bus timetable and the Liberal government ruined the train timetable.
Then the Liberals went one better by closing the railway; mind you the Labor government was threatening to do the same. All of this drove people away from public transport.
Keolis Downer really have their work cut out for them when it comes to getting people back onto public transport. It will be good if they can effectively co-ordinate the buses trains and ferries, but one major problem is that the closure of the railway has made using the trains to get into the city an unattractive option because people have to change at Wickham.
Forcing people to change does not attract people to public transport, if anything it turns people away. I wonder how many commuters or shoppers would be attracted to the prospect of having to catch a bus to a station to get onto a train and then having to change from a train to a bus or tram.
When I think of the train that used to provide a direct service right into the city and when I think of how fast it was, I find it easy to see why so many people abandoned public transport. As I said; Keolis Downer really have their work cut out for them.
Peter Sansom, Kahibah
IN response to Mark Ryan (Letters, 3/11): I've been to Battery Point in Hobart and you cannot compare that to the East End as they are completely different. Battery Point has tons of cafes, little shops and tourist attractions – all the East End has is the fort, two cafes and a fantastic bar/restaurant.
Also future generations won't shake their heads at the upgrade of roads, lights, footpaths and services as this is called progress.
One final note to all of the East Enders, if the bombing of your area from the Japanese didn't destroy your homes when a shell landed and exploded out the front (surprisingly exactly where the race track is), I highly doubt that one weekend a year is going to be detrimental to your area.
Shannon Kemp, Shortland
Raving about replicas
I HAVE just viewed the current exhibition at the Newcastle Museum: Dinosaur rEvolution, and it is truly outstanding and not to be missed.
The life-like replicas of long extinct animals are extremely convincing, particularly via the animatronics giving them movement, and the accompanying somewhat scary sound effects enhance the experience.
Added to this are the richly illustrated display panels supplying the viewer with intriguing information about the times when these animals lived.
Being impressed by what I saw, I went (via the web) to the organisation that created this travelling display: Gwandalan Studios (based in Tasmania), and found a wealth of detail which I expect other readers may find equally fascinating. Congratulations to the museum and its wonderful staff for arranging for us to have the privilege of viewing this excellent exhibition.
Kevin McDonald, East Seaham
Why an issue now
THERE is the need for someone to answer a puzzling question about dual citizenship that nobody appears to want to raise, let alone answer. So far we have seen eight members of this current Parliament have their right to sit legally challenged, and rightly so with possibly many more to come.
However, I believe it is not so long ago that there were 35 members with dual citizenship in one parliament in the 1980s and another 57 in the next parliament who were allowed to remain as members, unchallenged.
One of those was the prime minister of the day the Hon RJL Hawke who, I believe, was in breach of section 44(i) of the constitution which states in part, “Any person who is entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power, shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives”. This was because he had been made an honorary citizen of Israel.
I am not a legal person so I quote: “Professor Tony Blackshield supported the view that the words ‘entitled to the rights and privileges’ raise particular problems. The Hon RJL Hawke was threatened with a challenge under subsection 44(i) because he had been made an honorary citizen of Israel.
“Professor Blackshield commented that in fact there is an argument that the conferral of honorary citizenship had entitled the Hon RJL Hawke to the rights and privileges of a citizen of the state of Israel and that he was in fact disqualified. Significantly, no legal challenge was issued.”
Therefore I ask the question: Why have the current eight members been legally challenged for their right to sit in the Parliament but not the 57 members mentioned above back in the 1980s who were allowed to serve their full term plus more?
John Yates, Belmont
Bikers behaving badly
EVER wonder why so many motorcyclists get killed on our roads? Well, if people had seen what I have seen in the last couple of months then you would understand why.
I am not saying this is the case in all the fatalities but the idiotic acts l have would seen have certainly contributed to some accidents. Recently up at Hexham there was a rider doing 80km/h standing up on the footrests of his bike. One slip or hit a bump and this clown would have been under a car.
Another at Windale coming toward traffic and standing the bike up on its back wheel. Three clowns on motorcycles up at North Broke doing at least 110km/h in a 90km/h zone on a single lane road passing cars over double white lines. These are just a few examples l have seen in the last few weeks.
Let me say this: Most motorcycle riders do the right thing. But there is an idiot element who couldn't care less what they do on the roads, or the consequences. I feel sorry for the police officers, the ambulance officers, doctors and nurses who have to pick up the mess because of their stupidity.
Melville Brauer, Gateshead
Letter of the week
The Herald pen goes to Darren McDougall for his letter about the Karuah River.