NEWCASTLE is testimony to what happens when there is change without a coordinated and a researched plan. We closed our rail line before we had finalised plans for a connecting tram and then had throngs attending a spectacular car race without transport connections.
We built new courts and a law school without any parking nor transport.
Now our council has decided to remove the Queen’s Wharf tower, which was opened by our longest reigning monarch, with no plan. We are told it is to be removed because of its embarrassing shape and the cost of its maintenance. What is to replace it, and do the people want it removed? What is the plan? I say that it is unique to Newcastle. I think the shape is interesting and perhaps even controversial. That is why we should not hurry to tear it down. Let's look after our ageing attractions and be mature enough to deal with any controversy. More importantly, let's not act in haste and repent in leisure.
Craig Doyle, Newcastle
SUPPORT IS THE BEST GIFT
MY name is irrelevant, but the abuse I have suffered as a child is. For me, it happened every Christmas Day and whenever the family friend frequented our home.
I was too young to understand exactly what was happening. I only knew that I wasn't comfortable with the situation, and no matter what I said I wasn't being heard. When I tried to speak up or get away, the perpetrator threatened me.
As I grew older it stopped, but the memories are clearer as I begin to understand how it has affected my life.
I grew up believing that abuse was the norm, getting into an abusive and controlling marriage and leaving after 15 years, recently leaving my job after five years because of the stress I had suffered working with a manger who thought it was funny to play a video demeaning women.
I believe abuse is all about the culture we create by not speaking out, no matter how trivial we think it is, and staying silent protects the perpetrator. In my case, I think that I was worn down by the lack of support and awareness of what to do and how to gain control of what was happening to me.
Education needs to begin with our children. Listen to your children and be there for them.
In the lead-up to Christmas, I try to stay busy and keep the demons that haunt me at bay. I create positive experiences with my family and friends, starting with the tradition of decorating the tree with my grandchildren. It’s not about the tree being perfect, it’s about the creating a positive experience around Christmas that I never had.
Society plays an enormous role in not only supporting those who have been abused, but also hearing their story. I am only one of many, who have and are still, suffering as a result of abuse. It never goes away.
If we are to change the culture surrounding abuse then it will become unacceptable.
Name supplied, Cardiff South
A LITTLE BIT RICH ON ARMS
LAST Monday night’s Foreign Correspondent on the ABC makes Julie Bishop’s condemnation in conjunction with America of North Korea’s missile testing nothing short of hypocritical.
Despite lecturing another country on what they can and can’t do, America has been shown to have killed more people and destroyed more land than any other developed country in the world with its chemical and the manufacture and sale of weapons of mass destruction.
It refuses to be accountable, or to compensate for the devastation and ongoing suffering from their might-is-right approach or weapons tests, especially those in the Marshal Islands. The advice that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones comes to mind.
Allan Earl, Thornton
ABUSE CROSSES GENDER LINE
WHY does Frank Ward (Letters, 29/11) assume all domestic violence offenders are "him, he, his"?
I have seen photographs of a "him" that has been abused, and have also read witness statements to back this up. I also believe that some of the police who are called to domestic violence incidents make the same assumptions as Frank and should rather attend with an open mind.
We just voted ‘yes’ to give equality to everyone on marriage, so the same should apply as per equality on domestic violence offenders whether it is him or her.
June Fletcher, West Wallsend
YOU GOT SOMETHING I WANT
I AM a Cold Chisel fan who made the trek to see them in Newcastle. There also happened to be some car racing either side of the gig as well!
I am no motor racing fan but I must take my hat off to the organisers and greater Novocastrian people for how smoothly the event went from when I arrived early on Saturday afternoon until I staggered away after the concert to my relatives' place in Kurri Kurri. Nearly 70,000 attended the race day and 20,000 stayed for the concert, and what a concert!
Many of Cold Chisel’s classic songs intermingled with their more recent tracks from their newest albums such as Perfect Crime and No Plans. I was particularly impressed with how the food vendors kept grub flowing right throughout the concert and how staff and marshals were ever so helpful throughout the day.
The public transport and shuttle buses ran smoothly. Above all of that, the friendliness of total strangers made me more than welcome in this event. Well done everyone.
Kevin Bennett, Rockingham WA
THINK OF THOSE WAITING
I have been reading for many months now about people protesting about illegal refugees on Manus Island and the concerns they raise about bringing these people to Australia. I would like to draw their attention to the thousands of people living in refugee camps under much worse conditions. Those people are pushed back down the line when illegal refugees jump the line.
The big point I wish to bring forward is, what about supporting the people doing the right thing and not those disregarding the rules? As to the protesters in Australia, put your efforts behind those waiting in refugee camps.
At the moment the government seems to have the illegal boats under control, but can you imagine if they gave in and brought these people to Australia? Once again, it’s punishing those doing the right thing.