DEAR Newcastle council – following a recent letter from a disappointed out of town visitor who found the information office shut (Short Takes, 1/1), plus having driven behind a few caravans looking for a place to park, here is a suggestion for the former railway station.
Move the poky information counter from the Maritime Museum to a roomy new space at the station.
Like many such places in much smaller towns, there could be displays of local products, a wider range of pamphlets on offer, maybe even a booking centre for activities like the Famous Tram or harbour cruises to name a few.
Everyone wins: the museum has more space, visitors can access information everyday (and not just the days and restricted hours of museum opening times) and there is a greater opportunity to showcase local products and services.
And the aforementioned caravans? Surely somewhere in the filled-in expanse that used to be train lines could be found space to put some parking places for visitors in vans or RVs. There’s certainly nowhere for them to park in our beautiful city now.
Jan Caine, Maryland
TO John Maxwell Hollingsworth (Short Takes, 4/1) – Australia could also emulate the peaceful republic of Switzerland with one of the highest standards of living in the world.
No 1975 there, where our unelected head of state who represents a foreign unelected head of state, not Australians, dismissed a democratically elected government to prevent it from solving a political impasse by calling a democratic half senate election.
Were I a monarchists I wouldn’t be bragging about those events either. Until then, a republican to an Australian was an American politician, if they had even heard of the word.
Colin Fordham, Lambton
DON’T FORGET TONY
DARRYL Tuckwell (Letters, 4/1) reckons the buck stops with Malcolm Turnbull.
That's true, but blame also needs to be apportioned to Tony Abbott, who instructed his Minister for Communications (Turnbull) to destroy the NBN.
You probably can't call what Turnbull's done absolute destruction, but the result certainly isn't good from a national perspective.
It's on par with the idea, fortunately kyboshed at that time, that our original telephone roll-out should have been done using iron wire (not even steel) on cost grounds; only this time the misers have had their way.
I suppose some industry people will be happy – when we get around to fixing NBN, it'll cost twice what we'll spend this time, and they'll make millions.
I do hope Ms Henderson has more luck with her NBN connection than we had. It took from February 22, 2017 to July 8, 2017 to restore service at our place, after multiple, interminable phone calls and technician visits.
A frustrating, Kafka-esque experience.
Barnard (Barney) Ward, Edgeworth
HUTS AN OPTION
THE Newcastle council’s lack of change rooms at Nobby’s Beach could be solved by the introduction of bathing huts to the beach.
These brightly coloured huts are a drawcard for tourists to English beaches and could be sponsored by private enterprise.
They are used in Brighton Beach in Victoria, so why not try something new for Newcastle that has worked elsewhere.
Paula Fisher, New Lambton
ISN’T it time to look at the total picture? Speeding is so often to blame for the high number of road accidents.
Is it any wonder, as there are more cars on the road than ever? So isn’t it time to look at other countries road rules?
For example, on two lane roads, make cars stick to the inside lane unless overtaking regardless of speed limit.
It’s been proven that overtaking on the inside lane is dangerous.That’s why it’s illegal in most other countries.
How often do you see most cars in right lane, travelling below speed limit?
How often do you see police statistics for drivers on expressways booked for driving in fast lane and not overtaking?
Most of us like to drive fast, especially young drivers. Some people are all for spending $2 billion on a sport stadium but providing a safe circuit for drivers to speed to their hearts content is not even looked at.
I am talking about a facility like Wakefield Park past Goulburn.
There drivers can learn to drive fast safely and not have to cope with two-way traffic, nor police speed cameras.
Newcastle, I suggest, has a huge need and would be very successful with a similar facility.
So many hoons on our roads that could take their frustrations out on the track in a safe environment and not risk killing or maiming others.
Herman Oosterman, Toronto
IN-FORM Newcastle jockey Aaron Bullock, who was replaced by Hugh Bowman for the Magic Millions ride on Jonker, showed his capabilities on Thursday with three rides for three wins at Taree.
Bullock, who rode two rides for two wins on Jonker to place him into the Magic Millions as favourite, deserved to keep the ride.
It only goes to show there is no loyalty when it comes to big money races.
Peter Lofty Lockwood, Singleton
Waiting for answers
IT’S necessary for some members of the public to watch councils.
Because the public has a basic statutory right to know what the elected representatives are saying and the decisions they are making when they are assembled as a council.
The last Newcastle council let the people down when it resolved in a closed meeting of council to build a motor racing circuit through Newcastle’s Foreshore public parkland and the residential streets of Newcastle East.
Even at this date, 18 months after the resolution, council has still not released full details of the July 16, 2016 Major Event Report Resolution. The public has a right to know what their elected councillors are doing on their behalf.