Letters to the editor Wednesday January 31 2018

ENVISIONED: Ross Grey says those behind Shortland Waters Golf Club's reinvention should be applauded for their efforts to create a modern club. Picture: AVEO
ENVISIONED: Ross Grey says those behind Shortland Waters Golf Club's reinvention should be applauded for their efforts to create a modern club. Picture: AVEO

LAST year, Shortland Waters Golf Club embarked on their 10-year plan of making something of its future. The purchase of a large chunk of land by AVEO allowed the club to finally begin the dream of a modern golf course and club house.

Much to the chagrin of those detractors who have walked away from the club, Shortland Waters is on its way to becoming a club of the future. Sometime between June and September it will boast eight new golf holes, two of which have already been finished and are in use. The remaining holes will be similar to a links creation.

To those who have walked away, think of this: when you built your brand new home, it started from a dream and finished as a new creation of your making and dream. This is the case for those men who have created this plan for the golf club. Thanks to these men, we have a brand new modern golf club called Club Shortland. The golf course remains Shortland Waters. 

Only losers walk away from the thought of change. To you detractors, I have some recipes for egg dishes when you wipe the egg from your faces.

To all involved with this marvellous creation, including AVEO for their ongoing support and Lee and his green keeping crew for their huge efforts in maintaining the course under difficult circumstances, I proudly say thank you.

Ross Gray, New Lambton


WITH the passing of Australia Day, invasion day, unification day, murmurs of a Republic, and changing of the flag, I feel it is time to do something about it.

With the greatest respect to our indigenous people – and with their permission – may I suggest using their flag to include all of us? Although the Aboriginal flag may not be all that ancient, the culture it represents is 60,000 years old and deserves recognition.

By acknowledging the flag we accept that we are a part of that ancient history, albeit a small fraction. With the first nations people's permission, that will mean their acceptance of all our later immigrants: Europeans, Asians, Africans, Americans, and of course Kiwis, to be known collectively as Australians.

The current flag can surely be used in those circumstances such as Remembrance Day and Anzac Day, because that was the flag men fought and died under. Having a single flag would show the world we are a united nation, not a divided one. I hope everyone gives this some consideration.

Greg Rendle, Rankin Park


THE efforts of a small number of bleeding hearts to change the date of Australia Day should not succeed, as it is obvious that they have very little knowledge of their own country’s history.

All indigenous people have suffered at the hands of those who have settled their lands. The American Indians were slaughtered in a number of massacres, yet no action was ever taken against those responsible. This is remarkably different to those who committed the infamous Myall Creek massacre, where 28 unarmed indigenous men, women and children were murdered. As a result, seven of those responsible were hanged. This was not the first time those of European descent were hanged for the murder of Aboriginal people. I believe the comment of genocide by the Greens leader shows his total misuse of the word. 

Even if the date was changed not everyone would be happy. Let’s not forget the majority of those in the First Fleet were convicts in chains brought against their will, but has anyone bothered to give those poor souls a voice? In closing, we should happy with what this country has given us and join together in peaceful harmony.

Alan Metcalf, Stockton


THE right to strike in this country is nearly dead, and will leave workers at the mercy of their employers. This has been coming since 1996, when John Howard was elected Prime Minister. I believe it was his hatred of unions that started the ball rolling. It seemed to start back in 1973 when, as treasurer in the Malcolm Fraser government, he was threatened to be tarred and feathered by mine workers in Queensland for wanting to impose a tax on their subsidised housing in outback mining communities. 

The tax was never forthcoming, but Howard never forgot the threat and commenced his campaign to destroy the union movement.

Darryl Tuckwell, Eleebana


PETER Devey (Letters 29/1) may well be correct that Stockton beach erosion is not the result of sea level rise, but he is incorrect in his assessment of global sea rise. A CSIRO-issued graph shows sea level rise measured by tidal gauge data from 1880 to 2014, and includes a range of uncertainty. From the 1990s onward it also includes levels based on satellite altimeter data, which has virtually no band of uncertainty.

The graphs show a melting rate steadily increasing from 1880 to 2014. A rise of 50mm took 35 years from 1880 to 1915, but only 15 years up to 2014, and the rate has continued to rise since then. It would be illogical to expect anything else as the melting of Antarctic glaciers has tripled in recent years, and the Greenland ice shelf started melting more rapidly in 2003.

The Antarctic continent is also experiencing significant loss of submerged ice. Interestingly, as ice contracts when it melts, this actually lowers sea levels, but not the levels of scientific concern.

Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi


Most toilets at the John Hunter Hospital leak, constantly wasting water. When the Hunter Water area has full-time water restrictions, it is a real annoyance to see virtually every toilet at the John Hunter constantly running.

The newer cisterns in the Royal Newcastle Centre seem to be the worst. I have been going to the John at least every four weeks since before the RNC was built, and it has always been the same.

I have complained until I am blue in the face but the usual response from staff is that they can’t do anything. A single toilet could be wasting up to 270 litres per day (Hunter Water’s figure), there must be some where between 50 and 300 thousand litres per day going down the drain. Think of how many lawns that would water, how many homes it would supply in total?

James Hunter, Metford


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