Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Wednesday, January 10, 2018

SENSATIONAL: Novocastrians live beside some of the best beaches around, but one contributor questions why buses don't go there. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
SENSATIONAL: Novocastrians live beside some of the best beaches around, but one contributor questions why buses don't go there. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

HOW many times have I heard that Newcastle has some of the best beaches in Australia yet we still have no bus service for them?

Can you imagine no bus service to Bondi, Bronte and Coogee etc? We now have a bus service, Route 21, which goes past Nobbys beach, but no bus stop.

You either have to walk from the Hunter Street Newcastle Transport Hub or double back from a bus stop in Parnell Place. The closest bus stop to Newcastle beach and Newcastle Baths is either Parnell Place or Church Street. Bar Beach and Dixon Park Beach fare no better. It is too far to walk in hot weather. I think very little imagination or foresight is shown by Newcastle Transport or the council. This is a service that should have been available years ago.

I bet that a bus service stopping at these beaches would be profitable. We will soon have a cruise liner terminal and no way to show visitors our beautiful beaches, walk over the Anzac memorial bridge or get off a bus and walk up to Nobbys lighthouse. Newcastle council has done a wonderful job in beautifying the foreshore and beaches but has lost sight in how to show it off.

Jim Overton, Garden Suburbs

Paying for crimes of few

I ENCOURAGE Tony Brown to carefully consider the comparison he made between the current review of Newcastle hotel licensing conditions and speed restrictions in school zones and RBT (Letters, 5/1).

But since he brought it up, let’s take a look. The road safety initiatives mentioned by Mr Brown ensure motorists who break the rules are punished. And great initiatives they are, because they do just that. They penalise offenders. They don’t impact other motorists who are driving safely.

That’s why, even though we sadly lost 392 people on NSW roads during 2017, those of us who did not break any rules are still allowed to drive. At any time, to any place.

But that’s not the case with the current licensing restrictions imposed upon Newcastle. We are all penalised for the sins of the minority. Some of us broke the law, but we all must pay. So I believe one of two things have happened: Either Mr Brown penned a letter that makes no sense, or he believes laws like speeding and drink-driving that directly punish wrongful drivers are the same as, or comparable to, licensing conditions that impact everyone regardless of whether they did anything wrong.

Surely it can’t be the latter?

That would mean if people were caught drink-driving, then we would all have to be punished. Would we all have our licences revoked? Imagine the flow on effects. Those locally associated with the motor vehicle industry would suffer immensely.

But credit where it is due to Mr Brown. There is some merit to that theory.

If everyone was punished, their licences revoked, and they started staying at home because it was just too complicated to head out, there would be a significant decrease in road-related incidents, but only because there would be a lot less people … oh wait.

Rolly de With, The Junction

Review rezoning

I THINK the treatment in the business papers of submissions and the Reachtel push poll have led councillors to squander an opportunity to have both reasonable development and a vital transport corridor.

Despite a resolution inviting submissions on whether people wanted light rail on the corridor under buildings and the lord mayor saying she was with what the community wanted, I believe the business papers summarily dismissed all submissions. Council ignored our advice that a 10-metre strip of corridor land is available for two light rail tracks which for two thirds of the corridor would not need to go under buildings.

To claim this dismissal was because of decisions on truncation and construction of light rail in Hunter Street being beyond the authority of council was outrageous. Council's authority is over zoning. Those government decisions do not prevent council from rezoning to preserve the rail corridor.

Document 71 predicted extreme traffic congestion from Hunter Street trams and recommended light rail in the corridor. Population increase and significant development indicates corridor preservation would be prudent. Far from enabling feedback on the resolution concerning zoning for light rail under buildings, I think the Reachtel poll stymied feedback by not mentioning rail under buildings. All this has lost a vital rail corridor and councillors should review their decision and zone to preserve 10 metres of the corridor for light rail under buildings where necessary.

Alan Squire, convenor, Hunter Transport for Business Development

Gift of unconditional love

I READ, with interest, Jeff Corbett’s opinion (‘It’s a dog’s life, all right’, Herald, 6/1). Reading between the lines, it appears as though Jeff unfortunately has not enjoyed the unconditional love given by our canine friends. He has, in earlier opinions, mentioned that he is a grey nomad so probably enjoys the caravan lifestyle. Yes, there are irresponsible dog owners; however, I have found most to be respectful and obliging.

As one caravan park manager once told me “I have never had a problem with a dog, only people”. Says it all. I enjoy reading Jeff’s comments, however, in this instance; he possibly would have minimal supporters.

Michael Stevenson, Warners Bay

What basin bias

SO disappointing to see an academic join in on the rather childish idea that the NSW government has a bias toward funding for the Sydney basin Philip O'Neill, (‘Outsiders not getting best deal’, Herald, 8/1). Mr O'Neill misses a few salient points, such as: 

1. The number of people in NSW living outside the Sydney basin is closer to 2.1 million than 2.6 million.

2. The 7.8 million population of NSW is spread over 800,642 square kilometres; a fact that tends to magnify works conducted in the major area of population.

3. The Sydney basin provides around 80 per cent of NSW income.

4. Regarding infrastructure funding, the only people who could genuinely complain of being short changed are those living in the Sydney basin who receive less that 80 per cent of infrastructure funding.

5. The reason for there being fewer manufacturing workers outside of Sydney is that Sydney is where the majority of the industry customers are. Macquarie Street can hardly be held responsible for a downturn in mining jobs. An academic should know better that to 'cherry pick' facts.

Mike Sargent, Raymond Terrace


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