MONDAY’S Sydney airport air traffic control shutdown created issues and complaints from passengers disgruntled with the delay.
Fair enough, but our thoughts are of how proud we are of our son who was the controller at the desk when the system decided to shutdown with no warning. A couple of "heavy" flights coming in at 5am, with another 40 lined up behind them to start at 6am, and a total system failure hits the console.
On his own to start with, but soon joined by his peers and together everybody down safely, all aircraft in one piece and a great effort by a modest group of highly trained and truly competent people. It is truly at moments like those that people make the difference, regardless of what our technology has in mind for us.
Well done to all, great job as always keeping us safe in the sky.
Steve Pullen, Fullerton Cove
A FRESH START UNLIKELY
GOOD luck Mark Knight (Letters 26/9) with your wish for the newly elected Newcastle council to "Stay true to the people and true to yourselves”.
To me this doesn't gel with the previous council's bungling of the control of the V8 Supercars event. In my view elected representatives at state and local government levels have abrogated their duties to their electors, in this case by totally transferring their responsibilities to protect residents’ safety and freedom of movement to a corporate body.
The current Brisbane Supercars race is promoted with the words "Come and watch the street racing" with shots of V8 cars smashing and somersaulting in a tight street.
The instructions recently offered to residents to block your ears, batten down and hole up in your back rooms and seal your windows and doors with putty and tape could be easily be warnings for an expected land invasion. Looking to the near future, if the race eventuates next year I'm sure many residents will sell out, opening the way to the inevitable spread of more high rise. Newcastle East has already acres of concrete monoliths creating loss of sunshine and uncomfortable wind tunnels. I’m amazed there hasn't been a class action by residents and businesses. Vale old Newcastle.
Bruce Harris, Valentine
IT CUTS BOTH WAYS
SO Newcastle councillor Brad Luke believes it’s a pity Labor “didn’t set a non-politically partisan precedent and appoint an independent deputy lord mayor” (“Deputy mayors on first agendas”, Herald, 25/9).
Like when former Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy appointed Cr Luke as his deputy?
In my view Cr Luke appears confused. Remember when he ran as an “independent” lord mayoral candidate in 2014 while still an endorsed Liberal ward councillor?
And does he still think merging Newcastle and Lake Macquarie councils is a “no brainer” (“Merger a ‘no-brainer’”, Herald, 17/8/15)?
Keith Parsons, Newcastle
A HISTORY OF THE SOUL
IN reply to Les Hutchinson (Letters, 20/9) the pre-Christian philosophers Socrates, Plato and Pythagoras believed in the immortality of the human soul.
According to the New Testament (Acts 23: 5-7), The Pharisees believed in life after death - the text called it "resurrection".
Christians believe, following Jesus, that God loves all human beings so much that he doesn't let us stop existing when our bodies die. The 20th century theologian Alex Vidler said that we don't know what life after death is like, except that as we are all precious to God, our identity, our real essential self, personality, spirit, soul is preserved.
Believers and non-believers can at least have this in common: if we are fortunate enough to have loved ones, children, grandchildren, family and friends, we live on in their memories, just as those who have gone before us live on in ours.
George Garsey, Morpeth
LOADING UP THE RUBBISH
THERE will be a public backlash to Lake Macquarie City Council’s proposal to only pick up normal household rubbish only once a fortnight (“Lake on its way to bin changes”, Herald, 27/9) and if you don't believe me just wait for the next election.
They say that this is to try to limit the amount of rubbish going into landfill but anyone with a minuscule amount of intelligence will know that the same amount of rubbish will go into landfill once a fortnight.
Then to top it off council is going to charge extra for half the service, adding an extra impost to already struggling families. Can you imagine the exotic smells coming from normal household bins sitting in the sun during the summer for a fortnight and the increase in flies in our suburbs?
Make no bones about it, this is pure and simple a money grab from our elected council and I urge all ratepayers to have their voices heard to their local ward councillor.
Les Baldwin, Pelican
ASKING FROM THE SIDELINE
I PROBABLY should not comment on the same-sex marriage debate because although I voted, I don’t really care particularly powerfully one way or the other.
But with some of the rubbish being pedalled in TV commercials and public comment, I feel the need to ask some questions.
Is it perceived by the “no” camp that there will be lots more gay people if they can get married? Has it been stated anywhere that if we forge ahead with acceptance of same-sex marriage schools will be compelled to have homosexual sex education?
If so, why has it not been compulsory to have heterosexual sex education in all schools to now?
What of the gay, unmarried couples, who have children by some means now, will they or the children be any different if married?
To use an old Kevin Rudd term, I think they should all have a cuppa and a bex and a lie down, both sides of the debate.
Fred McInerney, Karuah
A HIGH AND LOW PRICE
IN THE next few days, the High Court will make a decision on Sunday penalty rates. The Federal government could have stopped this, but no, they support these changes.
Here are the facts. We have a group of people who are among the highest paid politicians in the world supporting laws that will reduce the wages of the lowest paid people in this country. This is not responsible government.
It is an act of bastardry and should be seen as nothing else.