Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Thursday, September 13, 2018

LIGHTING UP: A student in one of the University of Newcastle's new designated smoking areas this week.
LIGHTING UP: A student in one of the University of Newcastle's new designated smoking areas this week.

I WISH to express my extreme disappointment at the decision by the University of Newcastle to lift their previously exemplary ban on smoking on campus.

What a shameful, retrograde decision.

Having seen several of my relatives and friends die awful, agonising deaths from lung cancer, emphysema, and mouth and tongue cancer, clearly caused by cigarette and pipe smoking, I am amazed that anyone would wish to inflict these ways of dying on themselves.

And most of us non-smokers certainly don’t wish to inhale the objectionable foul odour of cigarette smoke, not to mention the legacy of the environmental plague of cigarette butts.

The reputation of the University of Newcastle has been tarnished by giving way to smokers who clearly have little regard for the health of either themselves or others.

Kevin McDonald, East Seaham


ON the near on 50 years of reading the sports pages of the Newcastle Herald, I have been privileged to enjoy the musing of some excellent football journalists – people like Neil Jameson, Allyn Hamonet and more recently James Gardiner, Robert Dillon and David Lowe. I would now like to add to that list Damon Cronshaw for his studied and forensic article The Usain Train Rolls on, Herald, 9/11.

At a time when quality journalism is under threat it is pleasing to read a piece that so succinctly highlights the absurdity of the Mariners hierarchy in trying to recruit a non-footballer and we would assume pay him money that could be better spent on actually improving the team.

Don't forget this is a management team that has completely failed the Mariners fans in recent years. Thank you Damon for your article, it should be submitted for an award    

Eric Burns, Belmont


I HAVE never seen The Muppet Show, so I'm no expert on muppets. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's description of the opposition within the government is, however, not very apt.

I've always thought of the cleverly actioned puppets as rather cute, cuddly and a whole lot of fun. This is not how I consider Messrs Abbott, Dutton and co.  This little company seems much more dour and sly ... not much humour and certainly not cute.

So why does Mr Morrison refer to the men who overthrew our last Prime Minister as such? Is he trying to make of them something they evidently are not - cute, funny and electable?  

These men are the complete opposite.

Mr Morrison has his eye on the game. He finally has within his grasp the very prize that is the root of the political assassination of Malcolm Turnbull – the answer to his own lifelong ambition.

The muppets won't go away. Are they stupid or just so hung up on their own thwarted ambitions? Mr Morrison has to make the best of a bad lot. Make 'em cute, cuddly and fun and he might just get to keep his dream alive.

Scott Bell-Ellercamp, Clarence Town


NEWCASTLE City Council libraries should take “several leaves out of the books" of the Lake Macquarie and Mid-North Coast Libraries.

Just check and compare their websites.

Lake Macquarie and Mid-Coast facilities are to be congratulated for their ads showing a great variety of activities, offered to the community of all age groups.  

This was especially shown by Lake Macquarie Libraries, during History Illuminated, September 1-9, 2018, which is an annual event. On behalf of the community, we gratefully appreciate the time and consistent efforts made by the libraries staff to organise such a wealth of events.

Elaine Street, Merewether


THIS week, the question of why we lost our prime minister will be asked many times of the government.

So far, the Coalition has avoided the question with deceptive vague responses. Will they ever apologise to us for their outrageous behaviour?

Labor appears to have learned from their spill disasters but the Coalition, if you listen to their comments, are totally unrepentant.

Humiliating our nation on the world stage, ignoring the decision of the voters who supported Malcolm Turnbull and throwing out the NEG.

These are compelling reasons why we must know why Mr Turnbull was dumped.

A darker shadow was cast when details became known of bullying of Liberal MPs, notably against women.

Some of the frustration of the past two weeks was expressed by Mathias Cormann when he said, "I wish the Labor Party would stop their antics and let us get on with governing."  We know who has been guilty of 'antics' this time Mr Cormann.

John Butler, Windella Downs


IN reply to Adam Walton's letter to the editor (Herald, 8/9) please be careful what you wish for. The main issue that opponents (and it's not just older citizens) have is the proposed use of the Bath Street/Victory Row site for a six-storey building – well above council’s planning guidelines – that would be mostly residential units and tourist accommodation with limited other uses, such as those you suggest.

This site is used as much-needed overflow car parking for Toronto, not just for the RMYC, and for those needing boating access to the lake. It affords a place where people can observe wonderful lake views.  Council is not saying how far back from the lake’s edge such a building would be sited.

This is not an issue about 'stifling progress'. It's about appropriate development.

There is already a proposal for a 120+ unit apartment complex with commercial space adjacent, on Cary Street.  Council already agrees that the foreshore is limited in spatial extent and that 10 per cent more is needed.

The foreshore master plan should include the Bath Street site and consider beautifying and appropriately 'activating' the whole foreshore as community space with attractive facilities and infrastructure.

There are other locations in Toronto for residential development. Yes, ‘considered and relevant progress is to be embraced’.

Nico Marcar, Carey Bay


REPORTS that Newcastle council plans to warn prospective inner-city residents of noise associated with live music venues, prior to any property purchase in the "entertainment precinct", call into question council's attitude towards residents suffering far greater noise levels during the Supercars races. Independent noise monitoring clearly shows exceedances of safe noise levels over many hours, clearly much higher than that produced by live bands. Will council now develop a consistent and just approach to noise management from all sources in residential areas?   

John Beach, Cooks Hill