Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Wednesday, July 12, 2017

DEBATE: Whitebridge residents opposed to a mobile phone tower met with Howard Game from Optus on Thursday, July 6. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
DEBATE: Whitebridge residents opposed to a mobile phone tower met with Howard Game from Optus on Thursday, July 6. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

I AM writing on behalf of the Whitebridge/Charlestown/Gateshead communities who attended a site meeting Thursday to discuss the proposed telco tower for Bulls Garden Road, Gateshead. We wish to extend our sincerest, heartfelt thanks to Michael Constantine, landowner of the proposed site, for attending the meeting and making the ethical decision to withdraw his consent to the lease (‘Tower lease scrapped after bad reception’, Herald, 7/7).

This proposal has been the subject of much angst and uncertainty, and your response and genuine care for the residents affected has not gone unnoticed. We respect your right, as a businessman, to make decisions based on financial gain, but the respect you have earned for choosing to instead act with integrity is something money simply can't buy. I believe Optus could take a leaf or two out of your book Mr Constantine, maybe then they would all realise that subjecting families to long-term, involuntary electromagnetic radiation is totally unacceptable and un-Australian.

Mr Constantine's selfless act has restored our faith in humanity. We acknowledge the need and demand for this infrastructure, but there are many more appropriate sites. Go home Optus – game over.

Angela Fischer, Whitebrige

Forgotten interchange

I AGREE in principle with Peter O’Neill (Letters, 8/7) that transport use in and around Newcastle has to change because the traditional inner city parking spaces just won’t be there. The considerable investment in transport infrastructure focused on Newcastle city taking place will further require people to change their commuting habits.

I think it is unfortunate that Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange at Glendale doesn’t appear to have much priority as part of the Newcastle transport infrastructure “bigger picture”. If this interchange is built it would provide a convenient point for commuters from south and west of the lake to switch from their cars or local buses onto fast trains reducing congestion on the road network into Newcastle.

Steve Grew, Macquarie Hills

A real yellow submarine

PERHAPS I can help Danny Katz (‘Overthinking life in a yellow submarine’, Herald, 8/7) with his difficulties in understanding the lyrics of the Beatles’ song Yellow Submarine. When this song first came out many years ago I had a next door neighbour who had recently settled in Australia and came originally from Liverpool in the UK, the Beatles’ home town. He told me that in Liverpool slang a yellow submarine was what in those days was called an asylum for the insane.

I have never had this definition confirmed by any other source but if he was correct the words of the song make a great deal more sense than if you understand them to refer to a yellow coloured vessel capable of underwater navigation.

Ian Roach, New Lambton

But who is it best for

“ONLY in Newcastle”, Paul Scott (‘No worries, pack your durries for game day’, Herald, 10/7)? Indeed.

Only in Newcastle would we: think running a car race metres from residents’ front doors, based on unsubstantiated spin about showcasing the city, was a great idea; accept a Supercars Act that overrides the protections and common law rights of part of our community; run a tram down Hunter/Scott streets rather than the rail corridor, thanks to Baird overriding then transport minister Berejiklian’s support for the corridor option; accept an interchange site at Wickham when there has been no case made for it; accept the refusal of the Coalition to release the full KPMG report for the interchange and tram route; would a lord mayor champion the street tram option while privately advising the government it would be a disaster; allow the spending of $6 million set aside for the art gallery extension; believe the cargo-cultist idea that the reason for new development near Wickham was all because the heavy rail was truncated there, and; accept that urban, transport, social and other planning regimes, normally the province of council, be controlled by property developers – Urban Growth and HDC.

Recently, a well known Newcastle identity asked me why is Newcastle always “dudded”? Why? Partly because too many people go weak at the knees when outsiders use spin and hype like “revitalisation” without questioning whether or not we are getting the best outcomes.

Keith Parsons, Newcastle

Equality’s dire future

WHERE would we be without the insight from Joanne McCarthy regarding her latest perspective (‘First do no harm’ Herald, 8/7). I, like her, had never heard of mesh as treatment for gynecological or urinary problems in women until recently.

She mentions the similarities between sexual abuse reporting within institutions and what happens when things go terribly wrong when women are implanted with trans vaginal mesh devices. Many women were ringing her crying, saying their lives had been destroyed and their emotional responses were of being sexually assaulted. For those of us who have not endured these horrific incidents we couldn't imagine the violation of our most innate possession. Joanne reports that both cases involve abuses of power that take a sexualised form, and that the vast majority of doctors she has come across when reporting this issue for the past three years had been men.

I would like to take the opportunity to bring to public attention that possibly the greatest cause of senseless death in society is domestic violence and once again the perpetrators are most convincingly men.

I hate that the Supercars races are coming to Newcastle and the train line has been truncated with nobody in authority listening to reason; but at present, with such a discrepancy in equality of personhood between men, and women and children, the future of society looks very dire.

Pat Garnet, Newcastle East

Turning game around

IN reference to Peter Wessel’s comment on the Knights’ coach stepping aside (Short Takes, 11/7): I don't follow NRL, but I’m sure there is a team out there. The coach can only do so much. I think the best way to solve the problem is: 1. All players paid $70,000 a season. 2. Then $10,000 a win, and $1000 a loss. Just watch the will to win come back then. And yes, same applies to my National Rugby team.

Rod Wicks, Garden Suburb


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