Newcastle Herald letters to the editor September 15 2017

CHARGED ISSUE: Cr John Gilbert argues power infrastructure like Liddell is too important to be allowed out of government hands through privatisation.

CHARGED ISSUE: Cr John Gilbert argues power infrastructure like Liddell is too important to be allowed out of government hands through privatisation.

You can blame it on renewable energy, you can blame it on coal, you can even blame it on the boogie, but the facts remain that our current and forecast energy crisis is a result of privatisation.

When electricity generation, maintenance and sale - as well as the materials that produced the generation, were under government control, no such calamities existed.

Electricity is an essential and life preserving service. It is not something that should ever have been floated for the big end of town to use as an investment commodity.

The NSW Liberal Government (and many governments, for that matter) have to get it through their cash-focused heads that government is not a business and it does not sell out to business. Government must remain in control and ensure that the people are actually provided for and protected. There is no protection for the people, when the determination of electricity production and supply is measured by a shareholders dividend.

It is now well and truly time to return all electricity generation to the hands of the government and ensure our future supply is secured. We have no other choice.

Cr John Gilbert, Swansea Heads


THE federal government is fighting hard. They have a real battle on their hands and their stoic resistance to modernity is causing real dangers for our electricity grid.

The article ("Solar and wind power can replace Liddell Power Station", 13/9) points out that industry investment is already going ahead with the required replacement generation, despite the lack of investment guidance the industry has been calling for.

Industry leaders, energy experts etc have asked for certainty in government policy for four years.

Their recommendations are similar to Dr Finkel's. They want a clean energy target, and many still call for a carbon price.

The Turnbull government is so set on maintaining coal as the primary source of energy, regardless of the economics, that our energy industry is in crisis.

How long will it take for this ideological mob to accept reality?

Meanwhile business will continue to innovate and invest in energy production that provides a return. Imagine how much more investment we would have if the government decided to work with the industry instead of against it.

Scott Bell-Ellercamp, Clarence Town


I NOTICED Jeff Corbett's words of kindness toward Broadmeadow residents on the weekend (“Precious in the East End”, Herald 9/9). It's true, we don't complain. We lose parking in our streets whenever there is a major event on at the showground or at the stadium, but we accept it.

We love our location. We love being surrounded by sport. We love the open spaces and our local community. Broadmeadow is a place where you can get out into the sunshine and kick a ball around Wanderers Oval. Families can play on their way to the stadium, and commuters can appreciate the open space while they're the bike path. It's a place for the appreciation of outdoor living. That being said, I'm sorry to disappoint you, Jeff, but you're about to start hearing us complain.

See, Venues NSW have publicised their plan for the Hunter Sports Precinct. We have no problem with the sports precinct - how could we? We're Broadmeadow residents; we live here because we love being in the thick of displays of athleticism and community events.

But they want to destroy our park. They want to build houses on it and eat up the land that's available with medium to high-density residences. They want to destroy the heart of our community.

Venues NSW have demonstrated poor knowledge of how many residents, families, other community members, and friendly dogs use this area. They seemed surprised when we told them at an information night they held for local residents. They were surprised that moving parkland to a place where there are literally no residences (behind McDonald’s) would be devastating to our community.

Please don't destroy the heart of our community. Don't destroy our meeting place. Stop the plan to take the park away from our families and the countless others who use the space, or we'll start complaining.

Rowena Grant, Broadmeadow


TO the lord mayor and all councillors: congratulations on your policy to make Newcastle the capital of refugee acceptances. I am sure they will feel right at home when they arrive in Newcastle from their third-world countries and experience the pot-holed roads, broken foot paths, ineffective street lighting, missing street signs, faded or non-existent road lane markings, unsuitable street tree debris everywhere etc.

All this, while council wastes the ratepayers’ hard-earned cash on hare-brained schemes.

It’s high time you all got up and got out of your comfort zones and acted for the people of Newcastle. Get the pot-holes repaired properly so that they do not appear again as soon as it rains time after time, get the foot paths repaired properly so that they are safe for us pedestrians, spend some of the money you waste every day on adequate street lighting, and for God’s sake buy some paint and fix up the faded or non-existent lines on our roads.

It surely can’t be that hard to organise these simple things that we pay you for in our rates. I’m sure I could organise a team of monkeys to perform these simple tasks and it would only need peanuts and bananas to keep them happy.

Alan Wallington, Mayfield


I HAD to read Cathy Morgan's letter (Letters 13/9) a couple of times to conclude that she is actually suggesting that the cost of tobacco be reduced to assist the poor and disadvantaged to continue to smoke. She also stated that there is no evidence that increasing the cost of tobacco reduces smoking rates. I wonder where she conducted her research. Surely if you were poor and disadvantaged giving up smoking would be a major step towards reducing expenditure, not to mention the proven health benefits. Millions of people have managed to give up smoking, Cathy. I think that road would be more beneficial than waiting for the cost of tobacco to go down.

Brian Agland, Hamilton


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