Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Road work: There are changed traffic conditions in many parts of the CBD as work takes place on the light rail network, the supercars track and Bathers' Way upgrades.
Road work: There are changed traffic conditions in many parts of the CBD as work takes place on the light rail network, the supercars track and Bathers' Way upgrades.

ON Friday morning, Newcastle City Council funneled all traffic coming down the Hunter Street mall and all traffic in Perkins Street into just one southbound lane of Brown Street. In the context of the marked increase in traffic diverted along King Street, this created chaos. On Friday afternoon, it took 35 minutes to travel from the corner of Perkins and King to the corner of Hunter and Brown – half way round one block! 

Immediate solutions to this problem include blocking westbound traffic in the mall, diverting Hunter mall traffic up Wolfe Street, or banning parking on the eastern side of Brown Street and creating two lanes – one for right turns (the slowest and most difficult to make), and one for left turns. I’m sure there are other solutions.

Why is there no evidence of serious consideration of the effects of these significant traffic diversions and why was there no responsible NCC officer available (even on the emergency line) over the weekend to sort out the mess they created?

David Williams, Newcastle

Memorial climb support

POPE’S View (Newcastle Herald, 3/11) was the first cartoon by Pope that I’ve agreed with. Normally the jaundiced views by political cartoonist Pope are fairly incomprehensible let alone agreeable.  

The “view” of developing a tourist-climb to the top of the National War Memorial to provide a magnificent view down Anzac Parade is a splendid idea.  

Full credit to Pope for it. I hope the government implements it soon. Could the Herald please include a few more Lewis cartoons?  At least Lewis cartoons were more readily comprehensible.

Peter Devey, Merewether

Birthplace not citizenship

I WAS born in Wales, not too far from the home town of our first female PM. When I became an Australian citizen I pledged allegiance to Australia.

Since then, when I arrive in the UK on an Australian passport, my passport is stamped “entry six months no access to public funds.”

Although born in the UK, I have fewer rights than citizens from the European Union who are not born in the UK. So why would I think I am a citizen of that country?

Fred Saunders, Waratah West

Call for more checks

WOULD it be too much of a task for the Australian Electoral Commission to have a system in place to check if a candidate is eligible before accepting the nomination? 

With only 150 to be elected, times that by 10 to allow for unsuccessful candidates, it is still only 1500 to check. 

We trust them to handle many millions of votes to be checked, counted and an honest result given, surely it would be easy and not all that expensive.

Fred McInerney, Karuah

Learn from arrivals

I THINK we are wasting a great resource in society at the moment. Many people coming into Australia are just filed under the label ‘refugees’ and are erroneously perceived as less educated, which means their abilities are ignored because the current bureaucracy means government employees are not given the time to find out what skills they have and how they can have the opportunity to take those skills and use them.

I’ve travelled through many of these countries and I have a great respect for these people. Like to learn how to build a mortar free stone wall, a mud and straw building that can be built and repaired and last for centuries, woven textiles and beautifully embroidered cloth and highly skilled metalwork, pottery and wood carving.

Just a small example of the skills they can give us back, which we’ve lost in our modern society and are now looking to reclaim. If only they are given a chance.

Ann Ellis, Merewether

Shame in our name

PUTTING aside the turning back the boats policy and detaining refugees off shore and not even suggesting what should be done with them, as I have stated my opinion on that before.

This government has certainly done enough to have charges laid against it for the lies, deceit and inhumane treatment of these innocent people in their care on Manus and Nauru, all done in our name and bringing shame on our country in an attempt to score political points with the xenophobic.

We treat hardened criminals with more respect and humanity.

Allan Earl, Thornton

Citizenship rule ‘simple’

THE cries of people like Carl Stevenson that Section 44 of our Commonwealth Constitution is “un-Australian” (Letters, 6/11) are rather silly.

If anything, the law is very Australian and very simple. It requires that a person be only an Australian citizen and enjoy the benefits of only Australian citizenship in order to be a member of the Australian Parliament.

What could be easier and more logical? Modern Australia is a multicultural society and we enjoy many benefits that flow from this. We should go on encouraging and nurturing this multicultural community. But multicultural is different from multi citizen.

To require a person to be solely an Australian citizen to be a member of our parliament is eminently sensible and hopefully will remain in place. Lazy and ill informed people who can’t do their due diligence well enough before seeking election should have no place in our parliament. And section 44 cannot be changed by a simple act of parliament. It is part of our Constitution and thus requires a referendum to change. Thankfully, the chances of that happening are practically zero.

Daryll Hadfield, Redhead NSW

Kids need more protection

WITH sentencing discrepancies between Australia and the USA in regard to offences against children so big, it makes me wonder why the Australian government obviously doesn’t value the children of our country the way the USA does.

In Australia you can murder your baby or child by starvation and be out of jail in six years. In one recent Queensland case, a mother murdered her two twin babies and still only got six years. A similar offence in the USA would earn you 45 to 60 years in jail. 

Australia may be the lucky country, but not for the children of this nation who are our future and who the government fails to protect by sentencing so weak.

It’s no deterrent for any child abusers or predators.

Michele Clapham, Cooks Hill