I AM sure Allen Small (Letters, 4/12) bleeds red and blue like I do, but I fail to see his point. Newcastle has lots of homegrown talent and, out of necessity, probably more than any other club. All clubs have imports and we need them as well, but where are you trying to draw the line? Have we got one too many, two too many or three too many? What’s your limit?
Nathan Brown is no fool. Our new players aren’t just imports. They are “mentors” to the upcoming local talent playing beside them, and Nathan knows it’s in the club’s best interest to retain these locals for our future. The coach and the board have openly said they would not pursue anyone that did not “want “ to play for the Knights, and this was also the case with Mitchell Pearce.
I think Nathan Brown is the best thing that has ever happened to the Knights and I hope he is here for another 10 years. There is a real buzz around town at the moment and I just can’t wait for season 2018 to kick off.
Even the bookies are running scared!
Eddie Niszczot, Thornton
ALL ABOARD GOOD SERVICE
LAST week I, along with two other friends, went to Sydney to see a play.
All went well until we reached the train for our return trip and realised on arrival that there were only three carriages. We were hoping that the other three would be put on the train before it left.
No, the train, which was the 5.15pm to Newcastle, was filling up before we left the station. When we got to Strathfield it filled up more, so much that some people couldn't get on board.
The driver from the start apologised and explained that the other carriages had to have repairs, which were not completed in time to be added to the train. Further along, the driver made the announcement that a goods train had broken down ahead of us and we would possibly have to get out and get buses around the problem. Once again, the driver was apologising.
We continued to travel very slowly and stopped at a little station where some of us got out to stretch our legs. Then we were called to come back on board when the crew on the goods train had fixed the problem. By that time we had a backlog of trains all crawling along.
Things slowly got better and we continued and eventually gained speed and got back to Broadmeadow. The driver had apologised countless times, but had kept us informed of everything as it happened. When we were getting off, the driver thanked us for travelling. We were amused at that.
The driver is to be congratulated for his efforts on our behalf, to get us back safely and keep us informed the whole way. A group of us got out and ran down to the driver’s cabin and thanked him and gave him a bit cheer. That made him happy. Hang onto him, Sydney Trains – you need as many of him as you can get.
Carole Egan, Eleebana
OUR HEALTH TRUMPS SPORT
I HAVE been involved with the push for the new Maitland and district hospital as a private concerned member of the the public for a few years.
I do not know Mitchell Griffin (Letters, 4/17) but I would like to take issue with some of his comment regarding the new Maitland and district hospital.
The member for Maitland has fought for the hospital to be rebuilt on the Metford site since I have been involved. The only people who want the site to be moved were councillors for the Cessnock and Kurri Kurri area who suggested a site in Weston, an area poorly served by transport.
One of the reasons for the Metford site was the location of the railway line. That said, do not wait for a dedicated station to be built. The minister has only recently had anything to say or do with decisions of the hospital. Most decisions to date have been made by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard. I believe a lot of the hold-up was the previous minister, Jillian Skinner.
If this Liberal government can spend $2 billion plus on new stadiums in Sydney, they can find $550 million to build a new hospital in Maitland for the Hunter Region. I believe it needs to be a fully-funded public hospital, which now the main fight. As it stands Maitland is the only slated new NSW hospital that is to be run a private hospital.
Ray Dean, East Seaham
UNI’S RAIL ROLE OFF TRACK
I THINK when the University of Newcastle moved into Hunter Street they compromised the people of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley and lost their class. They sat back as thousands marched, held rallies and a Supreme Court challenge to save the rail, and then as the people voted the Labor candidate for Newcastle into office to save the heavy rail into the East End.
I believe it’s shameful that the heads and the government have set such a low note on education. In my view they are now handing out degrees on: elitism, how to play the people for fools, how to be a snake in the grass and how to turn a Labor seat into a Liberal one.
I think the university and the government have preferences for foreign students, supporting developers, foreign workers, foreign ownership and the privatisation of the Newcastle peninsula. This, in my view, has resulted in the lock out of the working class from their beaches, foreshore and entertainment, the very class that built Newcastle and the university.
I think the heads should resign immediately, the university should get away from the former rail corridor and build more student accommodation on their Shortland Campus.
The University of Newcastle should work side by side with the community to retain the rail corridor into Newcastle station for future public transport needs and to push home the importance of public transport to help tackle the growing problem of climate change.
Maureen O’Sullivan Davidson, Swansea
IT’S BAD, BUT NOT THE SAME
I AM sorry Dave McTaggart (Short Takes, 5/17) but the Don Burke situation doesn’t even come close to the sex abuse perpetrated by Catholic clergy and the cover-ups by some leaders and laity.
It is now up to the Church to rebuild trust, not for the public to give them the benefit of the doubt. The Church had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the Royal Commission.
Many, like you, may feel hard done by - that’s tough mate, but being an apologist for the church’s vile behaviour will not help your cause