AS a descendant of one of those people, who through no fault of their own, landed in Sydney Cove on the 26th January, 1788, 230 years ago marked the beginning of the rich and diverse nation that we have today.
Australia Day (26th January) marks the beginning of the colony of New South Wales, as it was then and to even think of changing the date is out of the question.
We are a country that was built on immigration (including our first people), where we have come from all different backgrounds and cultures, and we have managed to throw our differences into the “melting pot” to make us the envy of the world.
In the past 230 years we have gone from the Stone Age to a modern nation where everyone has opportunity. We have become a modern country recognised on the world stage, but more than that we are renowned for the “she’ll be right mate attitude” of all of our people who are always willing to lend a hand in times of need.
The past 230 years have not been easy, as the “First Fleeters” found out.
They came from a country completely different to this one and they had to learn how to survive. The unfortunate part of that was they didn’t learn from the natives nor did the natives show them the way.
What I am trying to say is that enough time has passed and now we should look to the future. We are now many and have come from different lands but first we are Australians and our nation as we know it was born on the 26th of January 1788 and therefore that is the day we should celebrate.
Happy Australia Day.
John Green, Kurri Kurri
A LESS THAN CHIRPY LIFE
I WAS horrified to see yet another crash involving trucks loaded with chickens on their way to a brutal slaughter.
Even more alarming is the apparent refusal by authorities to let activists take the survivors to a sanctuary.
There they could have experienced love for the first time in their lives before they succumbed to heart failure, obesity and broken limbs as a result of this insidious poultry industry.
Are consumers aware that many chicks of only six weeks old are the size and weight of a fully grown adult chicken?
They lived in squalor for their short lives and some likely already had heart problems, some had limbs that had broken under the strain of their unnatural weight. They still cheeped like babies when they were roughly thrown into the crates that would transport them. I ask you all to think about your choices. If you consume chicken, you are supporting this cruelty.
Julia Riseley, Swansea
WE BANKROLLED BERNIE
I’M really sorry to be the bearer of bad news but we, the Australian taxpayers, have helped put Bernard Tomic in this predicament. Having to spend so much time counting his millions, it is little wonder he is bored. We have done this the same way that we have helped many other Australian sportspeople by contributing to funding their training at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
Not everyone who is assisted through the AIS become millionaires, and many parents have worked tirelessly to offer assistance in any way they can. Some of these people get it laid on at the AIS for years and it doesn’t cost them a cent. It would be wonderful one day to hear one of them actually thank the taxpayer through the AIS for all the help.
I sit and think about my children and many thousands of others who battle on working hard to repay mountainous HECS fees and very rarely hear them complain.
Kerry Redman, Waratah
DON’T HEAD THE WRONG WAY
DURING my working days in 1980s and ’90s I could catch a bus from Caves Beach to Newcastle on a direct route, around 50 minutes. It was a little longer than commuting by car but I did not have to worry about parking. It was just great.
Now retired, I find that the proposed routes to Newcastle from Caves Beach involve catching a bus to Belmont, then a change to a Charlestown bus through Jewells. I then have a choice of travelling into Newcastle via Highfields, Kotara, or Broadmeadow. Consider how many stops there are between Caves Beach and Newcastle. The journey is of epic proportions. Is Newcastle Transport serious about getting cars off the road? Is this progress? I think not.
The well-patronised Belmont to Morisset bus route which links with the Sydney flier each weekday morning and afternoon will no longer run. The option for people wanting to travel to Sydney for medical appointments or connect to cruise ships, airlines or leisure will no longer exist and there is no practical alternative, other than private transport. Transport staff tell me that on average two commuters per trip used this service. I have used it for some years and can’t recall ever seeing as few as two users.
The people of the eastern Lake district, and particularly the Swansea area, have been badly let down by government indifference. We are now isolated and forced to use private vehicles to face the gauntlet of Belmont CBD traffic if travelling north.
I am told by Newcastle Transport staff that information extracted from Opal card usage helped produce the new routes and timetables. To use information from an already downgraded and flawed system is defective. Information taken from the travelling public eager for an alternative mode of transport might be more appropriate.
James Wallwork, Caves Beach
IT’S MUSIC TO MY EARS
I WISH Grant Walmsley and Marcus Wright luck in their push to get Newcastle Council to amend planning regulations to include a clause that ensures the onus is on developers to deal with noise, not venues (“Newcastle musicians fight to protect city’s entertainment venues”, Herald 17/1)
When buying a property one should carry out due diligence checks beforehand, if you don’t like loud noise into the night then don’t buy a property near a known live music venue. The expectation from some prospective residents is that they will move into an area and local life will change to suit their needs, little understanding that it is this local life that makes an area attractive to initial buyers.
Newcastle is fast becoming a residential area. This is no bad thing but we must be careful not to lose the infrastructure and entertainment options that make city living worthwhile. There could be nothing worse than a suburban city centre.