Newcastle Herald letters to the editor September 12 2017

DEFENDING THE EAST: Several letter writers took exception to Jeff Corbett's column in Saturday's Herald about the East End and its residents' relationship to Supercars race.
DEFENDING THE EAST: Several letter writers took exception to Jeff Corbett's column in Saturday's Herald about the East End and its residents' relationship to Supercars race.

I WONDER if Jeff Corbett can be a bit more specific about the precious East Enders he is referring to. Is it the school teacher, the young woman in a wheelchair who has to navigate her way through road works as the temporary paths are not wheelchair accessible? The house painter, the students, the midwife, the backpackers, the nurse, the 82-year-old who has lived in Newcastle East for more than 40 years, the retired BHP worker, the parent with a pram and a toddler, the forestry worker made redundant and looking for a job, the chef, the waiters and waitresses?

Jeff clearly knows nothing about the East End. There is no animosity among pro and anti-V8 fans.

In fact, those opposed to the race have been very supportive of local business who are struggling and wish them well in securing an event during the race weekend.

It appears to me that Jeff is looking down his nose and judging an entire suburb.

It is a suburb that is inclusive, caring and where all are welcome. If you would like to do some research, Jeff. Why don't you come and visit the East End, get to know our concerns and show a little compassion?

Fuelling division is all your opinion piece will achieve.

Catherine Turner, Newcastle


WE read with dismay the piece published on (“Precious in the East End”, 9/9) by Mr Jeff Corbett. It is a distressing article on many levels, not least of all because it diminishes the pain and distress the community of Newcastle East are experiencing in order to ready the city for this motor race.

In part, Mr Corbett notes in his predictably facile “piece” - and we use the term 'piece' loosely  - that “We've had hordes of doctors trotted out to warn of the impact of an influx of Westies on the delicate sensitivities and mental health of the highly evolved East Enders. No open letter yet from the region's naturopaths, iridologists and spiritualists even though it would be worth about as much.” 

We have never been trotted out by anyone or for any cause other than defending the basic rights of citizens of this community for free, fair and unfettered access to their homes and for the protection of their health needs and access to care if and when needed. We have never sought to divide the community. Indeed, we seek to bring the greater Hunter community together by showing collegiate advocacy for all people, including the poor, the infirm and the disenfrachised.

We will continue, without fear, to advocate for the aged, the poor and those needing access to care - both community and medical. We believe that the Supercars race, as it is currently designed will cause irreversible damage to  human physical, emotional and mental health and we will not resile from our duty of care to our community.

Dr Kate Napthali on behalf of Newcastle East Doctors


IN reply to Les Hutchinson's call for "gods-free social policy" ("Religion is Old Hat", 4/9) I say that I am deeply grateful for the co-operation I have experienced between believers and non-believers on many issues dealing with social policy and social reform. 

Examples are working together in the movements for world peace, for ending poverty, ending violence against women, advocacy for the human rights of refugees and asylum seekers in Amnesty International and other groups, and supporting the movement for recognition advancement and justice for Aboriginal Australians.

Such co-operation is not only possible and desirable but urgently necessary for the formation and implementation of good social policy.

George Garnsey, Morpeth


ON Friday, Lifeline hosted more than 700 people for our annual suicide prevention walk (Commitment to tackle suicide”, Herald 9/9). We were thrilled with this record number of people walking with us in support of people effected by suicide. 

We know that in Australia eight people a day die, with many more people affected, by suicide. It is something we need to tackle together as a community. 

Thanks to everyone involved in organising the walk, especially Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group and the Primary Health Network, and to all those who attended.

We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you all again next year.

Robert Sams

Lifeline Hunter & Central Coast regional manager


I AGREE with you Mike Sargent (Letters,11/9) about people belonging to the religion of the country in which they were born. That is, if you were born in Pakistan you would most probably be Muslim. 

Which religion is right? Religions are man-made constructs and have the flaws that human beings themselves bring into any organization they encounter. 

I would answer your question, however, and say that God is love. Religions often become people-centred and love takes a back seat to that. Another of God’s attributes is justice and those who love Him are called to treat all people equally and fairly. 

A good guide is to love God, and your neighbour as yourself, our neighbour being the rest of the world.  This is all that is required but religions and Christian denominations spoil the simplicity with all their add-ons.

Julie Robinson, Cardiff


I HAVE just read the opinion page for Saturday (Letters 9/9), in particular the items supporting same sex marriage, and I am somewhat confused.

The yes campaigners appear on some pages as decent loving persons who simply want the right to get married and be tolerated by the rest of us. But the articles on the opinion page are full of bile and personal invective that is verging on hatred against Malcolm Turnbull, of whom they have no knowledge except what they get from the media. This despite the fact he actually supports their request for marriage equality.

Goodness knows what they have in store for anyone opposing them.

From what I have seen, I believe it is certainly not tolerance. Their attitude brings to mind that famous Queen hit – “I want it all and I WANT IT now”. God forbid anyone who gets in their way. 

Robin Hopps, Singleton


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