Newcastle Herald letters to the editor September 21 2017

CARE: Reader Natalie Cameron said a lack of privacy in the ward meant her hospital stay after giving birth was not restful despite the hard work of staff.
CARE: Reader Natalie Cameron said a lack of privacy in the ward meant her hospital stay after giving birth was not restful despite the hard work of staff.

RECENTLY I had my first baby at the John Hunter Hospital. I stayed in the postnatal ward after the birth for two nights in a four-bed ward with my son and three other women and their babies. Like most new mothers I was tired and sore following the labour.

The midwives helped me but were often busy with other mothers who had had surgery to have their babies. Curtains separated the four beds but did not stop the light or noise from other babies crying, visitors, or hospital staff attending the other woman and their babies.

It stressed me when my son cried and disturbed the other women during the night and I left hospital quickly because I got no rest during my stay.

Having our son was a very special time and the cramped ward did not have space for my partner or a family member to stay and help me overnight, which I would have liked. Not all women are fortunate enough to go home immediately after birth and need professional care, and a quiet space to allow privacy, rest and recovery.

The staff try very hard to provide good care. Sadly they are let down by the environment they have to work in.

Natalie Cameron, Carrington 


MORE than 10 years ago, Newcastle media trumpeted that money had been spent on the Stockton ferry access so that disabled people could travel on the ferry unassisted to reach Newcastle station, one of the few with easy disabled access.

In 2012, then Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian advised that only after replacement transport was fully available would the heavy rail be shut down.

In June this year, Transport for NSW advised that they planned to build a new disabled friendly ferry terminal at Wickham in 2020. Consider that in December 2015 then Premier Mike Baird advised that he would be riding the first light rail down Hunter Street "next year".

If the latest promise materialises, Stockton disabled travellers will have spent six years without viable transport. The latest is that light rail will also be operational in 2020.

Of course, if the transport corridor were used there would be less of the increasing gridlock that has characterised Newcastle CBD road transport and is certain to escalate. No loss of parking throughout Newcastle CBD that has occurred these last three years has been caused by the absence of the rail service. Nothing so far would have been prevented by train services. There is no explanation as to why the transport corridor should not be used as designed and recommended, for transport to reduce the burgeoning city gridlock.

If the transport corridor is not to be used for transport now, it must be set aside for future transport when common sense and desperation prevails.

George Paris, Rathmines


IN reply to Kevin McDonald (Letters, 18/9): your connecting of the dots between celibacy and pedophilia is simplistic.

Celibacy doesn't explain the extensive child abuse that occurred in non-Catholic institutions, both religious and secular. The Uniting Church had a higher proportional rate of alleged abuse than the Catholic Church did.

Celibacy doesn't explain the fact that Catholic abuse is by and large historic. As Counsel Assisting Gail Furness told the royal commission, "The vast majority of claims alleged abuse that started in the period 1950 to 1989 inclusive. The largest proportion of first alleged incidents of child sexual abuse, 29 per cent, occurred in the 1970s". Finally, celibacy doesn't explain why abusing priests overwhelmingly sought out underage boys in particular rather than other means of sexual gratification.

Peter Dolan, Lambton 


I REFER to the opinion piece (“Relationships: different models need different titles”, Herald, 19/7) on the dialogue of same-sex relationships. LGBTIQ Australians are not cars.

They don’t have a service record, need their oil changed, have a warranty or need their speedo checked.

They are people. People with hopes, with dreams and with feelings. They are our brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, partners and friends.

Yet opinion pieces which diminish the LGBTQI community are part of the daily discrimination they face which has damaging impacts on their mental and physiological health. This community has higher rates of mental health illness such as depression and substance abuse, and tragically has some of the highest rates of suicide in Australia.

Ultimately, this non-compulsory postal survey is not about different types of cars.

It’s about all relationships being recognised as equal under Australian law, and I believe that’s a rather good thing.

Bhavi Ravindran, The Hill


AFTER reading, listening and watching all the news reports concerning the debate about gay marriage I have come to the conclusion that there are three separate groups involved in this debate.

The first group are the gay people who just want to live their lives as it is. Happy to live with their partners and co-habitate with the heterosexual population. These are the gay people who the so-called normal population will accept.

Then you have the second group. These are the big mouths, they are the ones who like to say “look at me, look at me”. They like to bully, threaten and troll people who don't agree with or do what they want them to do. 

Then there is the last group. These people are the the heterosexual people in the so-called normal population, writing their little letters to the editor who must get sick of reading their spiels about how they are backing the yes vote. Why these people have to tell everyone about their choice of vote I do not know.

Thanks to these last two groups, I believe the yes vote will be defeated. Unfortunately for the normal, quiet and unassuming yes voters the gay community will probably have to wait years longer for another go.

If the issue had waited a short time to the next federal election and instead of the postal survey we asked that the question be put on the voting paper I believe it would have gotten the answer that many want to hear when the results are known. But for the bigmouths, it could have all been different.

Melville Brauer, Gateshead


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