Newcastle Herald letters to the editor: Tuesday, November 14

RESETTING REMEMBRANCE DAY: Reader Michael Carmody says Remembrance Day services have lost their focus. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
RESETTING REMEMBRANCE DAY: Reader Michael Carmody says Remembrance Day services have lost their focus. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

THE traditional Remembrance Day Service has always been focused on the loss of life in all our wars since World War I. 

Having served in an Infantry Battalion in Vietnam in 1967-68, it has always been important for me to remember those men who lost their lives in that inglorious war.

So attending the service in Civic Park on Saturday, I was dismayed that the focus has shifted away from the tradition and has been replaced by the “importance” of the people conducting and participating in the service.

Why does this ceremony need a local ‘host’? Why do we need to recognise every local mayor, councillor, state politician, heads of service clubs, police, ambulance etc? 

Perhaps there were more of the above present. I left the service before all the wreaths were laid.

To the RSL and those with influence who can return this ceremony to it's traditional roots, please find value in my comments.

Make the changes to bring back the crowds and the emotion.

At best, there were maybe 200 to 300 people in attendance, when there should have been thousands.

Michael Carmody, Newcastle West


LAKE Macquarie is twice the size of Sydney Harbour with a growing population of 202,847. 

It already has 95 communities, including nine town centres, and more than one million tourists visit each year. 

At peak times, traffic around the lake is hazardous, and with the rapid growth of huge apartment blocks in Warners Bay and Belmont – to “gentrify” these suburbs by demolishing small houses – more vehicles will use the one road encircling the lake.

Is it not time to emulate Sydney and have big ferries carrying vehicles, bikes, passengers etc around and across the lake?

Can our council, for once, be allowed to prepare for the growing population around one of the most beautiful lakes in the world?

June Porter, Warners Bay


AT a time when the chaos being caused in Hunter Street as a result of the construction of the light rail is putting a stranglehold on business in the city, I find it surprising the development lobby is still talking about what they want to do with the rail corridor. 

By now it should be obvious to all that the rail corridor must remain as a transport corridor.

The reason being that for a city to work, good effective public transport is essential.

Newcastle had effective public transport until the closure of the railway.

Even putting light rail in the rail corridor would have been better than what we are seeing now.

All the construction and the digging would have been on the rail corridor, not Hunter Street.

How many times does this have to be said before those in power get the message?

At a public voice forum at the Newcastle council last month, those who advocated development on the rail corridor scoffed at the notion of buildings that trains could run under.

They seemed to be of the view that trains wouldn't be back for another 30 years, that's if they come back at all.

We need the trains back now. The only reason I could see for their thinking was they didn't seem to know what the zoning for the rail corridor should be.

Whatever the reason, they need to wake up to the reality of what is happening and we need to see some good sense.

Peter Sansom, Kahibah

Disgrace to the nation

OUR political situation, if not laughable, is a downright disgrace.

Both sides are hell-bent on this continual, willful waste of taxpayers’ money with their persistent quest of destroying each other. 

All members of both parties should disqualify themselves due to incompetence and not stand for re-election.

We then only go to the polls when everyone who is standing can prove their nationality, and more importantly, declare their intent if elected. God help us if the present situation is allowed to continue.

Surely we deserve better than what we now have. Like all real Australians, I am sick and tired of the wasteful and immoral conduct that is now a constant barrage on our intelligence.

Dennis Crampton, Belmont North

Ethics and education

JOAN Lambert (Letters, 10/11) states it correctly. You don’t need some imaginary “god” or a particular religion to tell you what is ethically appropriate and what is not.

The Archbishop appears to believe that “the church” has a monopoly on ethical issues.

Appropriate ethical behaviour is summed up succinctly in the so-called Golden Rule of behaviour towards others, and the ethics classes allow children to work this out via inclusive constructive discussion over a range of topics or issues, and where everyone has their say, and where a consensus about appropriate behaviour in a secular society is invariably agreed upon.

Kevin McDonald, East Seaham

Demand a change

SINCE the change of government in 2013, the waste in this country has been enormous.

We’ve had royal commissions into pink batts and then the unions in a bid to snare Julia Gillard and/or Bill Shorten. They were followed by an uncountable amount of money for the refugee problem, including fees paid for tow-backs and the cost of maintaining camps off-shore.

Then there was the double-dissolution election, and the ongoing overspending of a parade of greedy politicians, notably Tony Abbott and his pollie pedals, Bronwyn Bishop, Julie Bishop, and then Joe Hockey's generous pension, immediately followed by a highly paid job in America.

Now we have the eye-watering amount of money to try to fix a mess of the politician's own making – their inability to obey the law and ensure their eligibility to take office. 

We are being billed for their High Court appearances, and any ensuing by-elections.

The end result of this waste will be a claim that they can't afford the welfare bill, and the people of Australia must work longer.

We are not getting value for money, Australia. It’s time to stand up and demand justice and good governance, whatever side of politics we believe in.

John Woods, Blue Haven