Letters to the editor February 7 2018

VISION: Adz Carter applauds those with clear ideas for Newcastle's future, applauding them for refusing to "let this town devolve further into a retirement village".
VISION: Adz Carter applauds those with clear ideas for Newcastle's future, applauding them for refusing to "let this town devolve further into a retirement village".

I WOULD like to wish Jerry Schwartz the best of luck in his bid for Newcastle’s long abandoned post office (“Jerry’s bid to buy post office”, Herald 3/2).

I would also like to extend my sincerest thanks to The Herald for the much-needed two pages devoted to Newcastle’s live music scene (“Singing for survival”, Herald 4/2) including interviews with musicians, hoteliers and politicians alike.

While there are a number of Novocastrians who seem to be actively trying to stop the positive progression of our once-proud city, it’s fantastic to see some sort of balance restored by some forward thinking individuals who aren’t content to see this town devolve further into a retirement village.

Adz Carter, Newcastle

SILENCE OFFERS NO SOLUTION

THE silence is deafening in regard to PFAS contamination from the government on the Williamtown debacle that their Defence department caused. Maybe it’s time for a good old fashioned blockade of the RAAF base to make the powers that be take notice.

Tony Morley, Waratah

BETTER USES FOR OUR CASH

I HAVE supported survivors of sexual abuse for many years and am searching for the hope that will provide justice for these people, who have suffered the most heinous crimes.

It seems many more will die while waiting for redress because of this tragedy, as many have done already. Words don't describe how angry I am to see that a little-known government agency will move from focusing on financing Australian business exports like wine, sheep placenta, kangaroo essence et cetera to dealing with some of the world's largest arms manufacturers as it funds the next generation of Australia's arms exports (“Obscure agency handed $3.8 billion”, Sun Herald 8/1).

This excellent report clearly demonstrates that there are horses for courses and that the government intends undertaking this program. The agreement to fund and support sexual abuse survivors was made within days of the Royal Commission report but very little has been made public since. At present this amount would be a mere drop in the ocean compared to the squandering of precious taxpayer funds which will ultimately kill human beings. I hope there are people out there who see the unfolding catastrophe as you recognise where the government’s loyalties lie. I have no confidence that will change. What can we do?

Pat Garnet, Newcastle East

A POWERFUL CHANGE

CLARE Boyd-Macrae ("Next time there is a power outage, try relaxing" Opinion 2/2) stated "apart from people on life support systems" as her only exemption for people to relax during blackouts, because they die I guess. Really? 

What about commercial freezers that fail, foundry furnaces and ovens that without continuous power can seize up requiring expensive re-lines, industrial manufacturers, research lab freezers and all other businesses that can't operate without power?  Traffic lights that fail causing traffic chaos? The pain and cost just goes on and on. Ten years ago Australia had some of the cheapest and most reliable electricity in the world. Blackouts were rare. Now we have some of the most expensive electricity. Every heatwave delivers serious blackouts somewhere in the country.  Even without a blackout, electricity costs to industry can jump 100-fold or more. Cheap, reliable electricity is essential for a competitive economy.

Recently, in a South Australian heatwave, peak power cost jumped above $14,000 per megawatt hour - a huge cost.  Ask yourself why, and who is at fault?

Peter Devey, Merewether

COMMUTERS DESERVE BETTER

WE have all heard about the fun and games with the new bus timetables. While this has been the result of the actions of a private company, I believe the Transport Minister should have stepped in and demanded changes. 

Then there has been the issue of the light rail in Hunter Street. As soon as the transport minister had become aware of the contents of Document 71 he should have ordered a review. The state government’s original preference was to run the light rail in the rail corridor. As we all know, the decision to run the light rail along Hunter Street was made by the previous transport minister, Gladys Berejiklian.

Why would anyone close a railway when the design for the interchange had not begun and the design for the light rail not been completed let alone either of them been ready to be commissioned? Where was the sense in that?! 

If that has not been enough, there have been all the problems with the light rail and the trains in Sydney. In among all of this, retailers in Hunter Street are struggling to survive and the government has shown it does not care.

Despite what some are saying, Newcastle is not booming. The actions of our last two transport ministers have had a serious negative impact on public transport in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter as well as the retail sector in Hunter Street. I think both the Transport Minister and the Premier should resign or be sacked.  Newcastle and the Hunter region are entitled to better than this  

Peter Sansom, Kahibah

TIMETABLE NOT ADDING UP

I SINCERELY hope that Keolis Downer is not planning to organise and run chook raffles at pubs in Newcastle on a Friday night if their attempts at organising bus timetables are an indication. My daughter caught bus 13 from Newcastle to Glendale Centre. As the bus pulled in, the connecting bus to Speers Point left. She was then forced to wait on her own for one hour for the next bus.

If you intend to shop at Glendale Super Centre or go to the movies at Event Cinemas and you live at Speers Point, make sure that you go to an early session as the last bus home leaves Glendale at 6.25pm. And they are trying to encourage us to use public transport!

If you intend going to Newcastle from Speers Point for a night out and your Plan B is a bus home, think again. A true indication of the future of Newcastle was evident last Australia Day. Speers Point Park was packed with thousands of people. Newcastle was a no-go zone. Talk about swinging a cat – you could have swung a lion! So keep the chook raffles off the agenda Keolis Downer – the feathers are already flying!

John Morris, Speers Point 

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