Letters to the editor - Friday, December 29, 2017

SHOWING THE WAY: Ivan Hecimovic, of Lambton, hopes that the style Ernie Merrick has brought to the Newcastle Jets can become a prototype for the club's future.
SHOWING THE WAY: Ivan Hecimovic, of Lambton, hopes that the style Ernie Merrick has brought to the Newcastle Jets can become a prototype for the club's future.

IT has been a remarkable turnaround this season for the Newcastle Jets, with not even the most diehard of fans able to predict the team would be clear second after 12 rounds and sitting on 26 points. 

For the most part those 26 points gained have been achieved in an exciting, positive, attacking style. Many commentators are labelling them the entertainers of, and even the most attractive team to watch in, the A-League. The team under coach Ernie Merrick is playing a style akin to total football, where virtually the whole team apart from the keeper and two centre backs are used as attacking options. The fact that we have fullbacks and holding midfielders scoring goals underlies this total football-style philosophy under Merrick.

After many years of watching Jets teams under various coaches trying to play a dominant possession type game like Barcelona with no success, I for one hope that from now on this is the style and philosophy of football that becomes a blueprint for all Newcastle Jets football teams to aspire to match. At the very least, I personally would to see Merrick's contract extended for another five years. 

Ivan Hecimovic, Lambton​


IN reference to “What a mess” by journalist Donna Page (Herald 27/12), almost a decade had passed when the community requested a repository and a future fund to assist residents in northern Lake Macquarie to dispose of lead contaminated soil.

Local and state governments, the EPA, our local member and the Lead Expert Working Group have not progressed our concerns to any form of meaningful result. Greg Piper is a pivotal player, as he was as an elected councillor in 1991, our state member and mayor from 2004 to 2012 and made chairman of the Community Reference Group by the EPA. The community deserve a satisfactory final outcome.

There’s too much indecision, bureaucracy, finger pointing and being out of touch with the communityy’s overdue and urgent needs. These problems have dominated proceedings. How about returning the contaminated soil back to the Pasminco site where it originated? There is still plenty of land available on site.

The future fund should reflect a sizeable amount, with more than 100 years of lead contamination, and for the sole use of the community. It can never be a slush fund for council, the EPA or anyone else to waste.

Stan Kiaos, Boolaroo


THE proposal to move Newcastle’s council administration west has provoked much adverse community discussion and raised many questions. Why abandon perfectly good buildings, leaving them empty and with no clearly identified purpose, only to expend vast sums of public money on renting another space?

Did our council seek tenders to supply accommodation when it was apparently decided secretly that moving staff into a new location was desirable? For such a large contract, is it not normal practice to call for tenders? And since the chief executive seems able to state precisely, to the dollar, the efficiency gained per employee, one would have thought that a thorough business case for the move would have been prepared and presented to councilors beforehand, and that it would have included alternative uses for the existing council buildings.

Instead, a series of thought bubbles has been supplied to us such as student housing, renting out the town hall and more. To me, the whole affair smacks of decisions made on the run, yet another failure to consult with community, ignoring council's own community forums, and a manic compulsion to produce a daily "good news" media release.  

Could we have measured, rational decisions made by our city managers, and not spin doctors?

John Beach, Cooks Hill 


TO answer Kevin McDonald (Letters 26/12), there are many religious beliefs, including the creation of the Earth 6000 years ago, which I don’t accept, but, as long as they are not detrimental to the common good, like preaching jihad for instance, I have no problem if taxpaying parents want them taught.  For me, that is exercising freedom of religion. 

For Kevin, it is fortunate that evolution is “taught as fact” in most schools. 

This of course need be no threat to the religious beliefs of mainstream Christians, for whom evolution might be a slow miracle rather than a swift one, but science as fact is a dubious concept, with scientific truth never being final and always open to revision in the light of new evidence.

The history of science is littered with discarded “facts”.

Evolution is more correctly a multi-faceted theory, seemingly explaining some things satisfactorily, other things less so.

If children are being “sold out intellectually” when creationist dogma masquerades as science, they are also being sold out when science, and in some cases pseudo-science, masquerades as dogma, whether it be with evolution, environmentalism or gender theory, to give but a few examples.

Peter Dolan, Lambton


I HAVE no doubt that Greg Cameron's plans for a container terminal at the Port of Newcastle are well intentioned and have great merit. However, as one famous Australian once said "tell him he's dreaming". Mr Cameron's plans have far too many ifs and buts to be seriously considered by a government of either persuasion.

Mr Cameron's plans require that the owners of Port Botany would be happy to lose a considerable amount of their business. The plan also pre-supposes that the owners of the trucks which currently carry containers in and out of Botany would quietly park their expensive vehicles without complaint.

Any NSW Government would then have to admit that the billions of dollars already spent on road and rail improvements in and out of Botany was a mistake. Funding should now be written off and spent on transport links to Newcastle.

Any NSW Government would have to have greater foresight than is currently on show. Such a State Government would also have to accept that its vision would mean the loss of an election as it would almost certainly lose every seat it holds in Sydney.

As I wrote, the merit is there but "tell him he's dreaming".

Mike Sargent, Raymond Terrace