Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Friday, March 2, 2018

LIVING LOUD: Support to keep the live music sector alive in Newcastle has one inner-city resident wondering what this means for those living in the area.
LIVING LOUD: Support to keep the live music sector alive in Newcastle has one inner-city resident wondering what this means for those living in the area.

IT strikes me as a little unusual that Newcastle City Council is now officially supporting a live music scene/sector (‘Joining chorus on music industry’, Newcastle Herald, 28/2). Doubtless the live music industry provides a level of velocity to the overall economy; you might want to add a palpable level of cultural buoyancy in for good measure for that argument.

Supporting a vulnerable industry is always a 'feel good' story. Forgive me if I missed something, but isn't the CBD fast becoming a residential zone?

Why should we encourage live music in an area rapidly becoming a 'livable' precinct? Surely live music will interfere with ratepayers’ need for a good night's sleep?

Are these new residents 'whingers' if they complain or are they the exciting new investors in our city's future? Either way, is it not the live music industry members that can now be called the 'whingers'? Why are they destined to receive support when the existing businesses of the CBD and East End have yet to receive support in lieu of the massive civic disruption? Shouldn't the live music industry also wait for the future bonanza as promised by the state government?

I can understand that the council will want to protect its reputation, but to expedite a support for the local entertainment industry looks to me like an insult for those existing businesses directly affected by the many initiatives currently disrupting town.

More unanswered questions that leave me wondering about what exactly we are trying to shape Newcastle 2.0 into. Over the last 18 months, I was told that if I didn't like V8s, I should move out of the East End. Curiously, as a beach lover, it was my choice in 2005 to move into the East End. Let's apply this logic in 2018 shall we? "If you want to live somewhere that supports live music, may I suggest New Orleans?"

Scott Cooper-Johnston, Newcastle

Enough with the housing

WHAT a surprise! The Property Council's plans for Broadmeadow are overrun with housing development (‘Broaden suburb goals’, Herald, 22/2). Why can't we have a park developed with all the sports facilities, set in beautiful surrounds, with paths, cycle tracks, shade trees, ponds and lawns? Of course, with adequate car parking around the perimeter. Access for both able and disabled would be easy on that flat ground. Better still, accessible public transport (note, accessible and public!). Newcastle has been crying out for these types of upgraded facilities, and its central geographical position, so much valued by the Property Council, would make it ideal for such a use. An indoor pool for all water sports, swimming, water polo, diving, etc would be a good start, or they could just throw an aircraft hangar over Lambton Pool and integrate it into the precinct via the Hockey Centre and the football fields. Let the developers pay market price for their building, not give them public land at cut prices in the spurious name of "progress" or "revitalisation". If it doesn't stack up financially, don't build it!

Keep Broadmeadow as open space and a sports precinct, not a housing development.

Lesley Comerford, New Lambton

Getting ideas on track

IN relation to comments by Greg Cameron about the inland railway (Short Takes, 28/2), I think that he has his finger on the pulse regarding a rail freight bypass via Western Sydney, however I would make a few alterations. In addition to this idea, I believe that a new main line should be constructed from Sydney’s Hawkesbury area via the Central Coast and Wollemi to Cessnock, where it would follow the existing alignment of the South Maitland railway to Maitland.

The present Central Coast line is quickly becoming a bottleneck and a new route will need to be constructed to avoid future chaos. This proposal would alleviate capacity restraints on the Central Coast line and provide a faster route for commuters and freight traffic. The construction of the inland railway would drastically impact of the future of the North Coast line, because most goods trains that operate between Maitland and Brisbane, commence or complete their journey in Melbourne.

Hence if the inland railway was constructed, they would be rescheduled to operate via the new route. A more desirable outcome may be to duplicate the North Coast railway.

Stephen Miller, Rutherford

Change it, while you can

MY understanding of geopolitics is that it would be expected that our Prime Minister would engage in a certain amount of toadying whilst visiting the most powerful country in the world. Mr Turnbull used some of the President's own catch phrases such as "making America great again" in some of his addresses. However we should draw the line at incorporating Trump’s corporate tax breaks. The PM once ridiculed the President, now uses him as a benchmark!

This particular weakness in leadership only reflects a general malaise that has disengaged our political democracy.

The wreckage that is the NBN, power generation, transport infrastructure and the Murray-Darling is a product of self-administered self interest. Successive governments have carelessly frittered away our wealth whilst bargaining away our own manufacturing industry on "free trade" agreements that achieve little other than the surrender of our sovereignty. Our political representatives have spinelessly compromised our moral integrity with billion-dollar offshore detention camps and a pointless plebiscite.

Locally of course, we poison our people at Williamtown while building a new rail line 20 metres to the right of the old one in Hunter Street. We need an urgent review of government in this country. What we can change with a pen now will save our grandchildren changing with a sword later.

Tony Emanuel, Hunterview

It’s freedom of speech

I HAVE had a lot of less than intelligent comments since I commented on females with tattoos (Letters, 22/2) but Adz Carter’s is at the bottom of the pile (Short Takes, 1/3). 1. When did I ever infer that tattoos ever impaired anyone's ability to do their jobs? Never. 2. As for accessing Jeff Corbett's article, I bought the Herald, found Jeff’s article and read it. It's not that hard. Try it. How did you access it, or did someone read it to you? As for the 1950s, those were the good days. But you must be living in the stone age because now people have the right to voice their opinion. It's called freedom of speech.

I actually expected more feedback from the female side, I believe their comments would have been more intelligent on why they need to get tattoos.

Melville Brauer, Gateshead


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