Newcastle Herald letters to the editor Friday December 8 2017

SURE SIGN: Contributor Alan Gollogly submitted this photo of the signage he says drivers have failed to heed, driving the wrong way up towards Church Street.

SURE SIGN: Contributor Alan Gollogly submitted this photo of the signage he says drivers have failed to heed, driving the wrong way up towards Church Street.

BEFORE and after the Supercars, irresponsible and frustrated drivers heading west have been turning left from opposite the David Jones carpark from busy King Street into Perkins Street.

Most of these speedsters then turn right at the No Entry sign and up the down-only hill into a narrow one-way lane that joins Church Street. Head-on accidents are so close to occurring every time.

Young children and elderly people minding their own business on an afternoon walk have narrowly escaped being hit by these imbeciles, and when told "this is one way, mate" the language that sprays out of their foul mouths is unprintable.

Oh, plus the customary raised middle finger by way of greeting. 

I copped the full brunt yesterday from a BMW driver, but I assure you I more than held my own in the verbal.

Please, council or police, can you assist before someone is hurt?

Alan Gollogly, The Hill

OF COAL AND FOAM

THE thoughts of my family go out to all those in the Williamtown area seeking both answers and justice as a result of the toxic fall out from Williamtown RAAF base, which wasn’t of their creation.

A member of my family and his community found themselves in a similar situation nearly 30 years ago, though their problem was centred around coal mining.

They found themselves, like the Williamtown community today, up against the full might and power of intransigent bureaucracies. In my family members’ case the bureaucracy had political masters of both persuasions heading the charge. Yes, Labor and Liberal. Their battle for justice was never finalised, with a number of the litigants passing away. The case fell into the too hard basket and the winner was the New South Wales government.

From my family’s point of view, those affected today have one small factor in their favour, the media. My family had neither electronic or tabloid at the time.

But even with the power of media backing the litigants’ cause, don’t underestimate the arrogance and manipulative powers of both the state and federal governments.  It will be breathtaking.

And remember, although today Labor is leading the charge for justice don’t hold your breath if there is a change of government tomorrow.

David Barrow, Merewether

KEEPING TRACK OF CLEAN-UP

IN the wash-up from the V8 Supercars, several things have become very clear.

On the plus side fans had a great time at the inaugural event. With less than 60,000 people using the Wickham interchange for the entire weekend, fans were moved through efficiently despite plans to transport fans from Stockton by ferry proving woefully inadequate.

With less than expected numbers at the Cold Chisel concert, for which free tickets were given away at the event, fans also enjoyed themselves. I’m not sure where Supercars got their 192,000 attendance figure from. I would argue the bigger picture is not so rosy.  

Local businesses, after suffering up to 65 per cent downturn in trade in the seven months leading up to the event, were further disadvantaged over the three day race period.  Not only were they not allowed to provide catering within the race precinct because the V8 Supercars imported their own providers, outside the race precinct many businesses reported very quiet trading.

My understanding is that several were virtually forced to close with no form of compensation.

Now, ten days after the event, locals and visitors alike still can’t access Foreshore Park, nor easily use Horseshoe beach. The barriers, fences and grandstands are still scattered all over public areas, not to mention the smelly rows of portaloos or piles of broken zip ties, abandoned ear plugs and cigarette butts. The parks we can access have suffered badly with excessive human and vehicular traffic, and the improved roads we were promised?  Even with the repairs made on them, they are in poor shape.

The financial cost alone of this race to the community, local businesses and the NSW taxpayer is enormous and it’s not over. For at least three months of every year for the next four years, Newcastle council and Destination NSW will subsidise private for-profit organisation V8 Supercars to arrive in Newcastle, set up barricades and wire fences, trash our parks and cost our local businesses. In the words of one local businessman, “they come in here like the circus, take the money and leave.”

Keran Davis, Newcastle 

BOOLAROO NEEDS HELP TOO

THANK goodness Greens senator Lee Rhiannon and the minor parties in the Senate have demanded action for the people trapped in Williamtown’s red zone. Which government member is acting on behalf of the residents of Boolaroo for removal of their lead contaminated soil with a view to getting a resolution?

It reminds me of the fight in years gone by to get justice for asbestos and tobacco-related workers. I believe unions were responsible then. As always, the press have been diligent in keeping the public informed. If money alone is the problem, then why not cancel one new fighter plane to pay for the reparations needed to give back people’s lives before it is too late.

June Porter, Warners Bay

IGNORANCE BRINGS NO BLISS

ALLAN Earl (Letters 7/12) rightly hopes that current legislative progress on same-sex marriage will put an end to vilification and suicides of same-sex attracted people. The religious will maintain their Bible-based prejudices until their last breath.

Worse, we hear this week that alt-right groups expressed anger that gays will now be allowed to marry, some threatening violence at weddings.

Poor old Abraham Lincoln was shot in the back of the head by a moron who feared he would give black Americans the vote. How ignorant of simple science do you have to be to not know that skin colour is simply an adaptation to climate? 

These clods have done no self-improvement except muscle-building and tattoos. Zero improvement to brain functioning, knowledge, understanding and wisdom. 

The clueless will always be among us preaching hate and division. Personally I find the several categories of the stupid to be as dangerous as loaded guns.

Les Hutchinson, Maitland