Letters to the editor March 14 2018

MOMENT: Mitchell Pearce's last gasp field goal last Friday was all that separated Newcastle and Manly. John Atkins argues the system is a flawed way to decide games.

MOMENT: Mitchell Pearce's last gasp field goal last Friday was all that separated Newcastle and Manly. John Atkins argues the system is a flawed way to decide games.

FROM the moment the NRL announced the introduction of golden point I have been strongly against it. The main reason given in favour was the excitement it produces at the finish of a close game. If frantic, rushed and often pathetic attempts to kick a field goals are exciting, then I'm missing something.

I didn't see too many excited Manly players or supporters at the end of Friday night's game, it's always gut wrenching for the losers (that didn't particularly worry me in this case as I'm a passionate Knights member and my dislike of Manly has dimmed little since the sixties). I do have a solution that would retain the excitement factor, remove the losers’ letdown and provide a result.

The competition points system could be radically changed if five points were awarded per game. Win outright and you obviously get the five points. A golden point winner would get three and the loser two, with 2.5 points each for a draw. Being level after 80 minutes and getting nothing for it is manifestly unfair.

John Atkins, Hamilton South


THE federal government has approved blasting the sea bed off Newcastle to ascertain the viability of oil and gas mining (“Group plans rally against seismic tests, Herald 12/3) We have surely paid our dues as regards fossil fuels in the last couple of centuries. We breathe coal dust – I spent yesterday scrubbing it off my deck – and our glorious Hunter Valley has been plundered, leaving scars on its surface and its rivers depleted and degraded. Now someone is threatening our marine life just as the Newcastle region is beginning to position itself as a vibrant renewables hub and a tourist destination. We are being taken for fools.

I thought losing our historic rail line was stupid, the V8 idea was mad, but this seems criminal. Blasting affects all manner of sea creature: whales might avoid damage to their navigation systems this time, but do we want to further diminish our fish and deafen our dolphins? If they actually mine, do we want to be the next Gulf of Mexico? 

Kath Leahy, Cooks Hill


TYLER Farnham (“Student artwork ‘not appropriate’ in class”, Herald 10/3): your student artwork is, in my opinion, appropriate! I am one of the general community who admires artwork of all kinds and would not have cause for offence at your requirements to use any part of the male or female body in order to complete your meaningful HSC major work. 

It is a very difficult age we live in to navigate this kind of response. Wouldn't it be great if we could all think progressively and not be retrograde with art? There is nudity in sculptures and paintings all over the world, right throughout history. How ridiculous that this is even an issue today in a senior student art HSC portfolio. Good luck, Tyler.

Michelle Russell, Wangi Wangi


THE sledging incidents in South Africa are shameful. Irrespective who started it, involving family members of the players is unacceptable. It is probably time for the cricket boards to consider giving the umpires power to deal with bad conduct on the field. There are two umpires and they are being paid a princely sum to ensure the game runs smoothly. 

According to figures published in 2013, cricket umpires were earning over $100,000 per annum plus perks like travel and accommodation. Why not broaden their scope and let them earn it? Surely they should have the power to correct misconduct on the field with a penalty of, say, awarding 6 runs to the aggrieved team for minor issues through to sending a player off the field for serious misconduct. If such powers existed, it would not take long to bring the players into line.

Peter Mason, Fern Bay


I COULDN’T agree more with Jeff Corbett's article (“Driving rest of us crazy”, Herald 10/3) about the slow coaches on our roads. Admittedly, there are a small number of drivers who drive too fast and so need to heed the numerous signs to slow down. However there are a larger number of drivers who need some encouragement to speed up. Like Jeff, I also have a problem with some drivers at traffic lights. When the light finally changes to green, the general idea is that you get going, but some drivers don't! Are they having a little nap, playing with their mobile, getting their mind into gear or what? Some of them look quite startled when I, who up to that point have been fairly patient, give them a blast of my horn.

Maybe they are happy to take all day to get to wherever they are going but please get out of my way. I want to get home before Christmas even if you don't.    

Ross Edmonds, Waratah


LABELLING people “silly old goat” and “silly bloody woman” I find offensive. Jeff Corbett (“Driving rest of us crazy”, Herald 10/3), you should know better than to refer to citizens in such a derogatory manner. Blipping your horn at people doesn’t help either: in fact, it often works in the opposite way and can cause some unhelpful reactions. A horn is only to be used as a warning to others to avoid accidents.

Police at accident sites urge drivers to slow down, be respectful to other drivers and allow plenty of time to drive between points of destinations. Perhaps you should take note of this advice.

After reading your article, it appears you do not have any tolerance for other road users. You seem to be a rude, inpatient and an uncaring person who thinks they are the only one entitled to use our roads. Perhaps it would be better if you did go back to full-time work, taking you off the road for longer periods. I believe we would all be safer for it. By the way, in the not-too-distant future you to will also be a “silly old goat”.

Dennis West, Mount Hutton


I OFTEN wonder who those drivers are that tailgate, beep at every opportunity and swap lanes incessantly and dangerously. It seems it’s you and your friends, Mr Corbett. 

From the look of your photograph, you are not far off being a “SOG” yourself. One day when you need help with simple tasks in the nursing home, you may be grateful for the “SBW” aged care worker who will be working for a minimal wage and doing it all with a smile. I thought society had moved on from this attitude, but maybe you are just a DOD: delusional old dinosaur.

Dianne Knight, Nelson Bay


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