Letters to the editor Thursday February 15 2018

PICTURE IT: June Porter says a renovated art gallery could dovetail with incoming cruise passengers, offering an attraction in the city when they land in Newcastle.
PICTURE IT: June Porter says a renovated art gallery could dovetail with incoming cruise passengers, offering an attraction in the city when they land in Newcastle.

NEWCASTLE City Council seems to have picked a winner in its new chief executive, Jeremy Bath.  He is a breath of fresh air to local government and a good communicator on TV, radio and within our Newcastle Herald. I am pleased to learn that the Newcastle Art Gallery is at last back in the news, with Mr Bath’s mention of re-appointing a curator of the gallery who should be able to make applications to the governments of NSW and Canberra for funds to enable all the improvements to be made as envisaged some years ago. when 21 million dollars were on offer and were declined.

As we are destined to become a cruise port, people could visit the art gallery as well as vineyards, beaches and other attractions. The  annual Newcastle Writers’ Festival is also a great drawcard. Many elderly residents in our region now find it too far to travel to Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra but could manage to get to Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland art galleries to view the works, many of which are in storage. Would it not be wonderful if the three richest women in our Hunter region were able to take an interest in the Hunter’s three minor art galleries as well as Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney?  

June Porter, Warners Bay

PROFESSIONALISM MATTERS

MARGARET Priest (Short Takes, 5/2) says that those involved in the latest search for the Beaumont children gave their parents false hope. These investigators aren’t tactless, they are professionals.

They were in close liaison with the parents and, importantly, stressed that this was just one more line of inquiry. The leads needed investigation. There was no guarantee. Due to the sensitivity surrounding this unique and emotive crime, along with extensive media coverage, it was we that held the high hopes. After so many years of suffering including quack clairvoyants, countless searches and false leads, the Beaumonts would be very cautious about expectations.

I hope they took some comfort knowing their children aren’t forgotten.

Rob Murphy, Charlestown

LOCKING IN LAWS NOT EASY

WHEN talking about the effects of the new licensing laws introduced to Newcastle pubs and clubs in 2008, I believe Michael Thorn could not possibly be more incorrect with his assertion that “Business hasn’t suffered as a result” (“Liquor review progress shows something’s amiss in city”, Opinion 8/2).

Most pubs and clubs suffered horrible downturns in trade with the implementation of the problematic curfews and lockout laws, and many pubs and clubs continue to suffer due to ineffective and unnecessary restrictions limiting what drinks can be sold and when. Whilst Mr Thorn was correct that since 2008 there has been an increase of liquor licenses, since 2008 there has also been a significant number of pubs and clubs that have lost their liquor licenses, or have been forced to shut their doors due to the stranglehold that the “Newcastle solution” had on these businesses.

This also meant that many bar staff lost their jobs and musicians had fewer venues in which they could play. Taxi drivers also felt the sting from of all this. If I were a hotelier, I would hardly consider any of this to be business as usual.

Adz Carter, Newcastle

BUILDING UP A LEGACY

WOW! After reading the story by Damon Cronshaw ( “History in the making”, Herald, 13/2) I just had to drive there to see for myself. The building is just awesome. Congratulations to Bernadette and Dan Connolly, they truly deserve special building awards.

With two of my girlfriends, on 28 January 1957, we went to a public dance in Anzac House, Hamilton. Jim Hunt’s band played every Monday night. There, in the second progressive barn dance for the night, I saw my late husband for the first time. Seven years later to the day, we were engaged and married the following August. We had 42 wonderful years together, so Anzac House has significant memories for us. 

I am chuffed to see the building restored to its former glory. Thank you all, for the memories.

Elaine Street, Merewether

CUT OUT THE LOW BLOWS

SOME Labor politicians are suggesting Barnaby Joyce should step down from second in charge because his girlfriend is pregnant, and the distraction may interfere with decision-making.

Come on, give the man a break. If he was married to the woman, as many other politicians have been during the birth of their children, they would be giving him a pat on the back.

Try telling women both married and unmarried to not return to work because they may be distracted. l know some look at all angles for point-scoring, but this hitting below the belt really shows how low they can go .

Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek

PONDER A REAL QUESTION

I tuned my TV to parliament at 2pm on Tuesday for the first time in years. After the important acknowledgements of the 10th anniversary of the apology to Indigenous citizens and a welcome to Mr and Mrs Rudd, the MPs were into it.

Same old, same old. Dorothy Dixers and shouts of abuse. "My whatsit is bigger than your whatsit" and so on. Repetition as if it somehow proved dubious assertions to be fact. When finally when we had that question for which we were waiting, we got a tense three or four-word response from our leader. Yes, he had complete faith in his deputy. Well, given that he may well have been the only person in the house besides his deputy to seriously to hold such a view, I felt insulted. Frankly, it just wasn't on, Mr Turnbull. Then you dodged it again. And a third time. When your speaker started tossing out Labor members I remembered why I stopped watching question time.

Donald Matthews, Fennell Bay

Payne and suffering

WHILE defending the Greens’ criticism of Liberal Senator Jim Molan's role in Afghanistan, Marise Payne replied, "You consistently disappoint the Australian people and you do so with the most extraordinary lack of self-awareness of what it takes to lead your nation in a uniform”. On behalf of the residents of Williamtown and surrounds I would like to say to Marise Payne that you consistently disappoint the Williamtown people and you do so with the most extraordinary lack of self-awareness of what it takes to live with this contamination.

Stephen Kuehn, Williamtown

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