Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Rare virtues: Suzzanne Donnelly is praising staff at Subway, Heatherbrae, after they went to great lengths to return a bag that she left at the restaurant.

Rare virtues: Suzzanne Donnelly is praising staff at Subway, Heatherbrae, after they went to great lengths to return a bag that she left at the restaurant.

I STOPPED at Subway, Heatherbrae, for breakfast and in my rush I left my bag at the table. The bag contained cash, credit cards, a phone and basically my entire life.

The manager on duty, Mick, displayed admirable qualities, which are rare in this world. He contacted people on my phone to try to locate me and then locked my bag away for safekeeping. He even offered to post it to me, as I lived in Sydney and did not get the message or realise it was missing until then.

I wanted to share this story to show my gratitude to Mick and his staff for caring about their customers and for showing virtues, which are not encouraged or exonerated in this world. 

I appreciated their actions and when I offered a monetary reward for his honesty and kindness, I was told that they were just happy to reunite me with my property. This letter is my way of thanking Mick and his staff for bringing me so much joy during the holiday season, a time that can often bring out the worst in people’s behaviour. 

Suzzanne Donnelly, Engadine

Different phone tower sites ‘background’ info

I WRITE as a councillor who opposed the mobile phone tower at Caves Beach, and who voted against approving the DA at the council meeting where it was approved.

However I need to take issue with June Hook (Letters 30/12) in her criticism of council for not assessing alternative sites for the proposed tower.

Council can, and indeed must, only assess a development application that is put before it. The 14 different sites which Ms Hook refers to were provided as background information by Telstra. But the site at Scenic Drive was the only site put forward for assessment and approval. As such in assessing the site staff were, by law, only able to assess that particular site.

Similarly, councillors when making their decision, could only decide yes or no on the Scenic Drive location. It is beyond the power of council to assess other sites.

As part of the discussion in chambers, councillors and opponents raised the potential of other sites as suitable alternatives to the Scenic Drive site in order to persuade Telstra and/or other councillors that Scenic Drive was not the most suitable location.

However it was never within the ambit of staff or councillors to assess alternative sites.

Cr Barney Langford, Lake Macquarie City Council

Questions as the city shifts to the west

IT came as no surprise that Newcastle City Council gave approval for a multi-storey development on the site of the David Jones car park, although it will be interesting to see where people who previously parked there will go in future.

I wonder if anyone in the council thought about that. What I'm interested in is that it was said the development will consist mostly of apartments with some shops on the ground level.

Considering the number of empty shops in Hunter Street in the East End, one has to ask: why the need to build more?

According to an article in the November issue of the Railway Digest, which spoke about the opening of the interchange at Wickham, Mr [Michael] Cassel was quoted as saying: "This part of the city was chosen as the CBD moves further west". "We're right now in the centre of where the CBD will be in the future, as the east becomes more of a residential village.” 

So what is really going to happen? I understand that proposals for the developments to go on the rail corridor are to have shops in them too. I wonder how many retailers in the mall are aware of the plan for the CBD to move to the west. 

If new shops are built in the east with the proposed new developments, I wonder how successful they will be. The problem that I can see is that Newcastle is becoming harder to access.

With the loss of car parking spaces and the fact that most bus services will terminate at Wickham, I doubt that the light rail will make much difference.

A lot of these challenges would not have been the issue they are, had the decision makers been thinking and the railway not been closed. The trains were fast and effective, now they are gone.

Peter Sansom, Kahibah

Playing spotto while shopping at Glendale

WHY, oh why did Joanne McCarthy have to write that article about “spotto” recently (Weekender, 23/12)? I went to Glendale shopping centre yesterday and found myself playing spotto. My goodness, like you said Joanne, the number of males sitting around holding the bags or trundling along after the chief carrying the bags. 

I had never noticed before, but if all the men stayed home the centres wouldn't be half as crowded. And while we are at it. How about leave the poor kids home with dad or grandparents instead of them whinging about “I want”, “I'm hot and hungry”, “please buy me something”, “can we go home now?”

Before this, I was quite happy to play spotto with my grandchildren in the car every time we saw a yellow car.

Olwyn Edmonds, Eleebana

Environment needs bipartisanship 

PROFESSOR Tim Roberts’ article on Monday was very commendable and I wish him every success in his continuing role to achieve this (“My wish for 2018? Real solutions for environment” Herald 1/1).

But unfortunately it will not happen, because his wish for a cohesive bipartisan government working for the sustainable future for our grandkids – as desirable as that is – will never happen.

The nature of our parliamentary system is such that it will never be bipartisan on all things that it needs be. Governments hate nothing more than being in opposition, and in the culture of today’s politics they certainly aren’t going to do anything to enhance or prolong a reigning government’s chances of being re-elected.

Allan Earl, Thornton 

Tip-top idea at Christmas

I WOULD like to give Newcastle City Council a pat on the back. What a great idea, letting residents drop off recyclables to the Summer Hill tip the week after Christmas.

I was there yesterday and I would like to thank the men and women who were working – they were cheerful and friendly.

One chap who was working at the tip-face (I think his name was Scott) was especially helpful. Great idea, hope it continues.

Ray Davidson, Birmingham Gardens