Newcastle Herald letters to the editor - Thursday, December 28, 2017

FIVE STARS: David Uphill argues the position of the Roundhouse could equally make it an attractive spot for high-quality accommodation. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
FIVE STARS: David Uphill argues the position of the Roundhouse could equally make it an attractive spot for high-quality accommodation. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

I READ in the Herald that a possible use of the Roundhouse could be student digs (“Round house”, 26/12). 

While student accommodation is certainly one use, the building’s unique design and location close to Civic Park and Civic Theatre, the proximity of the Hunter Mall and the foreshore within walking distance lends itself to a unique type of use. 

Would it not be better utilised as a unique five-star accommodation venue with rooftop dining and underground parking? This would bring much needed dollars into the Newcastle CBD.

Admittedly ensuites would need to be retrofitted, but this building deserves the serious consideration of a range of options, not the first one that comes to mind.

Such an evaluation should consider the economic impact of its future use. Allow the future of the Round House to be the subject of input by the Hunter Chamber of Commerce. 

David Uphill, Shortland

DAMNING WITH GREAT PRAISE

WHILE not a resident of Newcastle and perhaps not entitled to comment, I am nonetheless disappointed at deputy mayor Declan Clausen’s letter concerning the improvements at Nobbys (Letters, 27/12). 

Although most of his praise for the area seems merited, I am surprised at his dismissive attitude to the lack of change facilities at Nobbys: “Extra wide (toilet) stalls provide private change rooms while the nearby Newcastle Baths continue to offer full changing sheds and indoor showers”.

Nearby?

It is about 800 metres and a good 10-minute walk from Nobbys to the baths. 

That may be fine for a 24-year-old deputy mayor, but it is a long stretch for older people, for parents with young children, even for people like Jacqueline Davison (Letters, 27/12) who just wants to have a dip and then shower and dress for work. 

I understand that there was great hope that the young Cr Clausen would bring a fresh outlook to council. It appears to me from his formulaic praise of the works at Nobbys, which in my view could have been written by the council marketing department, that he has become just another politician.

John Ure, Mount Hutton

KEEP THE SPIRIT ALIVE

CHRISTMAS Day there was so much goodwill on the roads. Why not be just as nice every other day?

Do not confuse victim blaming with someone trying to stop bad things happening. I am only trying to stop people crashing into things that they do not see until too late.

Completely separate to any crime, in the future a large esky could fall from someone’s trailer. It could fall on the road or footpath. Then someone approaching the esky does not see it for whatever reason, going too fast to stop and hit the esky.

I am just trying to empower people with extra skills of learning about three-second safety gaps in front of them. I think more than 90 per cent of people confuse 20 metres for being a safe distance in a car, but they do not take changing speed into consideration. We need to be focusing on being able to stop to avoid collisions. Even walkers rounding corners too quickly crash into things.

Now, consider the hypothetical future esky being a sleeping baby. Myself personally, I would be mortified if I ran over a baby on my bike.

But I would not blame the parents of the baby for my crash. I would 100 per cent blame myself for the crash. The human rights of the sleeping baby are for people not to crash into it. I am just trying to improve human rights and the safety of all.

Dan Endicott, Islington

A REPORT FROM OTHER PORTS

RAY Dinneen’s letter (Herald 26/12) suggests the answer to what he sees as Newcastle’s problem is for its city leaders to travel the world.

They would go at ratepayers’ expense and first class, no doubt.

But having successfully managed cruise ship operations in several Papua New Guinea ports with far less to offer than Newcastle, I can assure Mr Dinneen that an "I’m proud and happy to welcome you" from the locals goes a long way.

Mr Dinneen, it may not be Paris (thank God, I say) but it’s far from "embarrassing". After decades of stagnation it is starting to bloom. But what would this bloke who is happy living "in the sticks" know?

Dave McTaggart, Edgeworth

WE HAVE PLENTY ON OFFER

RAY Dinneen (Letters, 26/12) surely got out on the wrong side of the bed. He says we need to do more for those disembarking from cruise liners. I agree, but differ in acknowledging how much has already been achieved revitalising our city after decades of neglect.

Mr Dinneen fails to acknowledge the ever increasing number of ships stopping in Newcastle. Surely we must be doing something right. Perhaps visitors enjoy our beaches, arguably the best on the east coast? Or perhaps they visit the Bathers Way or Memorial Walk, quite likely Australia's best coastal walk.

As for parking, I don't think this is an issue for tourists getting off a cruise ship. In 2017 Supercars re-energised our city with appreciation for how amazing our city truly is. Let's finish 2017 with positivity rather than claims downplaying our appeal to relocating Sydneysiders. 

Jeremy Bath, Newcastle City Council CEO

BOXING DAY GLOVES OFF

NEWCASTLE’S Labor MP Tim Crackanthorp voted against Boxing Day trading for his city.

The constituents voted for it in droves, with big crowds electing to spend in the Hunter rather than online or in Sydney ("Boxing Day shoppers pack punch for region”, Herald 27/12).

I believe there are many issues where the state MP is out of touch with his community, but the legislation to enshrine permanent Boxing Day Trading across NSW is just the latest of them. I often get told the Hunter must have the same opportunities as Sydney. Every Hunter Labor MP voted to keep the region’s shops shut on the 26th.

That would have continued to send trade down the highway and deprived willing staff of extra holiday pay. We should all keep in mind the Labor Party has committed to reversing the legislation and once again put up the “closed, please spend your money elsewhere” signs across the Hunter. 

Scot MacDonald, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter

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