Newcastle Herald letters to the editor: Saturday, December 30, 2017

READY TO HELP: Lifeline's regional manager Rob Sams has paid tribute to the people who support their vital 24/7 service to the Hunter. You can call Lifeline on 131 114.
READY TO HELP: Lifeline's regional manager Rob Sams has paid tribute to the people who support their vital 24/7 service to the Hunter. You can call Lifeline on 131 114.

LIFELINE began in the Hunter in 1966, starting when Reverend John Chegwidden was awakened by a distressed call wanting to know if a Lifeline service was operating in the area.

As we come to the end of 2017, some 51 years after we began, we are proud to continue our support of the local community. In addition to our well known 131 114 crisis support line, we have training, face to face counselling and a number of support groups and services – there for people who need us the most. Of course, we couldn’t do all of this without the support of our local community. Only 45 per cent of our funding comes through government. 

So as we end 2017 and prepare for a new year, we want to thank everyone who supports us in our work. At Lifeline we are in community, for community and with community. Thanks to all. 

Rob Sams, regional manager, Lifeline in the Hunter & Central Coast

A TOWERING ISSUE

BY saying that the residents who opposed the sitting of a Telstra tower in the midst of a residential area were against progress was an unsuccessful ploy by Lake Macquarie City Council to split the Caves Beach community (“Rage against the machine”, Herald 18/12).

Those residents who strenuously opposed the siting of the tower, wholeheartedly agree that we need the tower, but we assert that it should not be so close to houses, a retirement village, pre-schools and schools. 

Council believes that Telstra thoroughly investigated 14 different sites. It is strange that the site chosen is the cheapest by far – both for rent and the cost of installation.

I doubt that council had the expertise to test all of Telstra's assertions. 

June Hook, Caves Beach

STANDARDS HAVE SLIPPED

SOME decades ago in infants and primary classes, NSW schools endeavoured to inculcate attitudes and values based on truth, duty and excellence.  

Syllabus topics included: unselfish conduct, nobility of character, good manners, self restraint, practical social service and concern for the welfare of others. 

Many admirable people abide by these moral principles, some occupy important leadership positions. Alas, however, some of our leaders, political and otherwise must have skipped classes because many of them reveal abysmal standards. 

Double standards and bilious hate are common currency in contemporary public affairs. 

There has been a depressing descent, led by the political class, into a cesspool of destructive incompetence.

Maybe our leaders at fault will make some decent resolutions for the new year; maybe they could refer to the 1963 social studies syllabus for inspiration. 

If such reflection fails, maybe a jury of scrutinising, right-minded citizens could apply a stinging legal cane to their bottoms. 

William Bruce, Eleebana

WHAT’S THE HARM IN TINSEL

WITH all the media coverage, plus the public positive response to the wonderful Christmas decorations displayed in the pathology rooms at Wallsend as well as great public response to the Christmas bus this year, I am sorry to say I was privy to a very different sight.

I was in the surgical reception area last week at a private hospital, prompting this letter.

A man approached the clerical staff member, returning a short time later with attitude, proceeding to rip down all the decoration, to then be thrown in the garbage.

The staff member and nurses in the area at the time were visibly upset. This was in public view – not a good look, especially at the supposed festive time.

The nurses and staff do a wonderful job trying to make a hospital stay as comfortable as can be, more so at this time of year. Surely Christmas decorations and spirit go along way in helping with recovery. I personally like bright and happy nursing staff.

Were there similar incidents throughout this hospital, with more upset nurses and staff, who had gone beyond what is expected to make it a brighter place to be?  Pleasant hospital experiences encourage people to opt to return to that hospital.

But this was not a good look. Other people must have been left wondering what the problem was.

Was this another case of political correctness gone wrong, or just a person throwing their weight around to the detriment of this hospital, as well as the wellbeing of nurses and stuff, who work hard to make a hospital visit as successful and pleasant as possible?

Robyn Jackson, Argenton

KEEP ANGELS IN THE AIR

A QUESTION arising (“Caught in a stand-off”, Herald 28/12): doesn't our region's service have two helicopters? Sure, the second aircraft can be built-in assurance if the other machine is unable to fly.

However, given significant local community donations, I'm sure donors would want rescues to remain thecore business for the service. I hope the current state government's contracts aren't a contributing factor.

Garry Blair, Maitland

NO BREAK IN REVIVALS

NEWCASTLE City Council chief executive Jeremy Bath has decided to get personal (Letters, 28/12) with his comment about what side of my bed it is from which I arise. Well, I can reciprocate.

I would have thought that for around $400,000 a year Mr Bath could come up with something more imaginative for the Roundhouse than student accommodation.

Most students I know of live on two-minute noodles and go home for the 12 weeks of the holiday breaks to save money. 

How does this idea help revitalise a city? Imagine the eight-week university summer break with no-one there. 

Aim as high as possible Mr Bath and if you fall slightly short no one will complain. But if you aim that low, then nothing will be achieved. 

While on the subject of holidays, have you noticed that the visitor information centre at Honeysuckle has been shut since Wednesday of last week? Amazing in this peak tourism time.

Ray Dinneen, Newcastle

LETTER OF THE WEEK

THIS week’s Herald pen goes to Gary Holland, of Singleton, for his letter on the demise of the Christmas Day Samaritans lunch. 

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