Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Friday, June 16, 2017

MATES: When a man retires, the social structure he has enjoyed with his workmates disappears, which is why having regular contact with mates is essential.
MATES: When a man retires, the social structure he has enjoyed with his workmates disappears, which is why having regular contact with mates is essential.

Congratulations must go to Narelle Chesterfield (“Support for Men's Shed”, Letters, June 6).

We hear consistent media coverage of the need to assist men's physical and mental health, we have many support agencies designed to help in this area, but they alone are not enough.

When a man retires after a lifetime of – 50 years or more – going to work each morning, then one day he retires, that social structure that he has enjoyed with his workmates has disappeared.

He may have a garden, go fishing, travel, play golf etc, but there is still something missing – the regular contact with a group of mates. This may cause depression.

This need can be fulfilled by attending a Men's Shed - this brings me to the point that maybe there is not one available.

Men's Sheds have a constant battle with councils that frustrate by not having a qualified staff member who is able to sit down with men from the shed and guide them through the details required to obtain a DA and BA instead of submitting the plans.

Then they have them rejected because of an innocent error, only to have it rectified then resubmitted only to have it placed at the bottom of the stack to commence another journey to the top.

Men’s Sheds was born in Australia. They have spread throughout Australia, New Zealand, Ireland the United Kingdom and is now spreading through Europe.

I suggest you Google Men's Shed and hear many of the members who tell of the fact attending the Men's Sheds has assisted them to overcome depression.

May I suggest that all levels of government have a closer look at this fast-growing phenomenon and allocate funds to assist in this development?

This could be funded by reducing the money wasted on the absorbent amount of money wasted by all candidates trying to convince us we should forget their inability to govern our country and give them our vote and reduce many of their lucrative benefits.

May I say, if you politicians are sincere about men's health, I challenge you to commence now and make an honest effort to assist in the expansion of Men's Sheds, which will assist in improving men’s health.

Albert Cordner, Fletcher


THE debacle "debate", complete with acrimonious arguments verging on fisticuffs, inside the Liberal Party meeting room concerning the Finkel Report is an indication of just how desperate the extreme views of some in the Liberal Party are to protect the coal industry.

Dr Alan Finkel wrote a report within the framework supplied by the Party. It is a pragmatic report which does much to protect existing businesses producing energy and attempts to provide a sensible pathway that should be acceptable to the coal industry.

From the reports I've read it is clear that the conservative extremists want nothing less than no change at all. They are saying a loud and clear "No!" to any change.

Yet the greater world and, according to the Lowy Institute report, more than 80 per cent  of Australians recognise the need for significant change in our energy system and electricity production in particular. Liberal supporters are in favour of the Finkel Report being fully adopted.

It is plain that those who so violently oppose change are not speaking in the interests of our nation and should be ignored by the decision-makers and the public.

Scott Bell-Ellercamp, Clarence Town


IN these times of fear, violence and addiction it is wonderful to see there is still honesty in our community.

Our 27-year-old disabled son lost his much treasured iPod on a bus on Thursday, June 8, while   travelling on a Newcastle bus.

We spent the long weekend with him asking continuously "Where is my iPod?" – To which we had no answer.

On Monday morning I decided to drive into the Newcastle Buses' office where I luckily found that my son's iPod had been handed in by an honest member of the community. 

Many thanks to who ever found and returned the iPod. We now have one very happy son again! 

Mark Russ, The Junction


PETER Dolan’s Christian beliefs mandate that humans are responsible for “stewardship over creation”.

The problem with that view of the world environment is that it sets humans apart from it – as a separate, superior entity from the rest of “creation”.

The environment is to be controlled and manipulated. This is dangerous folly. The scientific fact is that we, as humans, are the environment. We are made of the same atoms and molecules, in multitudes of different combinations, as every other living and non-living thing on the planet.

The water we see fall from the sky is recycled through our bodies. We can’t live more than four minutes without the oxygen atoms from our atmosphere. Indigenous cultures, without any modern scientific knowledge, understood this concept and worshipped and recognised their environment as sacred.

Put simply, what we do to the environment we do to ourselves. Climate change is the greatest problem the world faces today and it’s been brought on by modern religious arrogance that humans are somehow above the environment. Political leadership that promotes this stance through personal religious beliefs is slowly destroying the planet. Some “stewardship” Mr Dolan.

John Arnold, Singleton


AFTER wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars changing perfectly functional suburb signs for wanky new multi-coloured signs, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the story about Lake Macquarie councillor Kevin Baker agitating for more new signs (Herald, June 13).

Unless you have been living in a cave for a decade, anyone would realise suburb signs are redundant anyway. We all have smart phones at our fingertips telling us exactly where we are so why do we need to spend more money on redundant signs?

If Cr Baker wants to see a sign of neglect he should drive around Fishing Point to play find the kerb and guttering. Here’s a novel idea. Spend some money on kerb and guttering so we feel like we are getting something useful for our rates.

Gee, you’d think $4000 a year for my rates would at least cover that? 

Greg Jones, Fishing Point


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