Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Saturday, March 18, 2017

ACTION: As Australians continue to pay a premium for power, one contributor has argued the "tinkering" with solar must stop if we want reliable energy in the future.
ACTION: As Australians continue to pay a premium for power, one contributor has argued the "tinkering" with solar must stop if we want reliable energy in the future.

AUSTRALIA is blessed with abundant energy resources – 40 per cent of the planet’s uranium reserves, extensive on and offshore gas and enough coal to last centuries.

It beggars belief that we pay over the odds for electricity, and suffer from a lack of reliable supply. How did this happen?

Government interference in the market to dictate supply methods (also known as “Renewable Energy Targets”) distorts the normal laws of supply and demand. Business is loathe to invest in new base load generation, for fear of being regulated out of business. Bans on gas extraction choke supply and inflate prices. Green tape makes coalmines horribly expensive to operate.

While we sit in the dark – on top of a pile of uranium – other nations are racing to build nuclear plants. I understand Finland, Argentina, the USA, France, UAE, India and 10 other countries have nuclear power plants under construction.

Other nations are embracing safe, clean energy security whilst we tinker with unreliable and dangerous solar and wind power. Yes, dangerous – WHO figures show that more people have died from falling off roofs installing solar panels than all the nuclear power “disasters” in the past 50 years. We have nobody but ourselves to blame when the lights go out.

Scott Hillard, New Lambton

Clean up your act

I WISH to express my frustration with the council clean up system at Newcastle council. We used to have a suburb by suburb clean up system that enabled people to know where the collections were to happen. People would scout these areas and the piles of junk would shrink. Recycling at its best.

Now this doesn’t happen and the piles are crushed in a truck adding to the rubbish dumps. Three times I have had a clean up and have had to chase the council to have it collected, despite booking it in.

Henriette de Jong, New Lambton

Uniquely Newcastle

A FEW more unique features that we can have for the Supercars race later this year.

Use the guns at Fort Scratchley for the start of the warm up laps, that would be a great sight and sound on national TV.

Now the Gold Coast has trophies in the shape of a surfboard so what can we have that is unique to our area? It could be a trophy in the shape of a coal ship (Pasha Bulker) or a lump of coal, or even the Anzac Walk, but hopefully not the observation tower at Queens Wharf, can you imagine the presentation on live TV around Australia as they hold up trophies in that shape?

Maybe the council can have a competition to involve the community for suggestions. Whatever we do, we need to take every advantage to promote our wonderful city to a national audience that the majority of have never been to.

If we do this right the annual flow on effect for tourism to this area would be a shot in the arm for the city that is looking for a new identity as it redevelops into a unique city of the future

Peter O’Neill, Warabrook

Calling out sexism

THANKS for the letter Trummels (Letters, 17/3). Noting the sexism card to further an argument implies my argument was anti your view on wastefulness or entitlement. The opinion does not indicate there is no sense of entitlement or wastefulness at NCC, all councillors would know my feelings on international trips at the local level. The opinion discusses the fiasco created by a valid $270 childcare claim.

If the true issue was entitlement or waste, as you suggest, then the original story would’ve run at the time of taking the trip and focused on the cost of the trip to ratepayers, not the tiny sum of $270. Secondly, you would not have made the comment “Take the child but pay for childcare” as the larger, and many may say wasteful, expense is still being made. Also, the focus wouldn't have been on Nelmes, but rather on all who voted or advocated for the trip. Lastly, if this were truly an objection to entitlement it has set a precedent for large uprisings every time any councillor votes to spend more than $270 on items outside of roads and garbage.

Regarding crying sexism at every turn – I understand the feelings you may have, as I also have these feelings when encountering others who lack the intellect to debate issues without sexism, rely on generalisations, or are blinded by politics. I'll continue to point out sexism when I see it no matter what genders, political parties, or my personal opinion on the surrounding issues involved.

Jacqueline Haines. Stockton

Search for new values

KEVIN McDonald says many parents do not wish their children enrolled in state (secular) schools to be indoctrinated with religious so-called “truths” (Short Takes, 15/3). Firstly, Kevin misunderstands the meaning of secular in this context. When public education was established in NSW as ‘free, compulsory and secular’, secular meant non-sectarian, not non-religious.

Secondly, if parents wish, their children can opt out of religious instruction classes, but they cannot opt of the controversial ‘Safe Schools’ program. Thirdly, Kevin’s swipe at the concept of religious truth would carry more weight if he proposed an alternative belief system of his own. What new values, apart from traditional Christian ones, do children learn in ethics classes?

Peter Dolan, Lambton

Meaning in employment

I NEED some advice. Faced with the concept the climate is probably facing a catastrophe, I need to revise the correct advice to give my well-qualified but unemployed son. Given the climate problem is caused by too much human activity mostly involving fossil fuels, I have advised him to find a job that is either helpful to the environment and/or absolutely essential. In the meantime I am supporting with food and shelter. 

So far he has not found a suitable placement. I have been advised it is wrong that he doesn't work and to give him a swift boot up the backside and tell him to get any job. I cannot see how burning fossil fuel to perform frivolous tasks just to keep the employment statistics looking healthy will help the globe long term.

I would like to think the community could give us advice on how to live a life to keep the world habitable for generations in the future. I welcome discussion.

David Hamilton, Jewells

Letter of the Week

The Herald pen goes to Ian Roach for his letter about the justice system.


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