Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Wednesday August 29 2018

LED ASTRAY: Reader Janet Stephenson, of Wallsend, argues self-interest in the leadership spill last week sets an appalling example about priorities to the nation.
LED ASTRAY: Reader Janet Stephenson, of Wallsend, argues self-interest in the leadership spill last week sets an appalling example about priorities to the nation.

THE events of last week in Canberra (‘Rising from the rabble’, Newcastle Herald, 25/8) have set the most appalling example to young Australians, which is that if you do not agree with others in your team or group, you do what you can to tear them down, even at the risk of destroying the team or group.

It is time for us all to demand that all our elected representatives behave with integrity, decency and honour. As for those in the media who agitated for what happened, surely they breached journalistic and other ethics. Full marks to Chris Uhlmann of the Nine Network for calling them out.

Janet Stephenson, Wallsend


THERE has been a lot of discussion on doing something about our water supply to the rural areas of the eastern states. The solutions offered have included turning the water from the eastern rivers in northern NSW to the western plains, and the desalination of sea water, which is already occurring in some states.

Australians have managed the dry nature of our continent remarkably well, subject as it is to the el nino phenomenon and the monsoons in the north. With a growing population, there are two possible schemes that might boost our supply of fresh water where it is needed most. 

The first is to take advantage of the monsoonal rain in the tropical north by collecting and piping this fresh water to the Darling River supplementing the water available in the Murray Darling Basin.

The states of NSW, Victoria and South Australia would benefit. The other scheme entails letting the sea into Lake Eyre which is below sea level, from Spencer Gulf in South Australia through Lake Torrens also below sea level, by a canal. The evaporation rate is very high in this area and rainfall may be increased in western NSW. 

I have also asked the Bureau of Meteorology if there is a correlation between the higher rates of rainfall in western NSW and when Lake Eyre is full.

John McLennan, Charlestown


AFTER hearing stories of the bullying and stand-over tactics during the past week, I am disgusted at the depth the Liberal Party have stooped by bringing the country to its knees and shutting down parliament by essentially going on strike before the leadership spill.

I hear of what I consider the harassment and intimidation of duly-elected politicians just trying to do their job and getting on with running the country and economy. Stories of underhanded tactics and gutter bullying to remove a sitting PM just because they want to meet their own agendas.

We have had the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) running the Turnbull's government's anti-union agenda instead of going after companies that are ripping people off, so why not prosecute these bullying politicians for holding a strike and making threats to government officials just carrying out their work? I'm sure the unions would concur.

John Undery, Kotara South


OF all the appalling consequences to have flowed from Newcastle City councillors’ approval of the Services Agreement with Supercars, without even sighting what they were approving (‘Council’s race roles pile up’, Herald, 25/8), perhaps the most egregious has been the ability of Supercars to be consulted on development applications in and around the race area.

Already, last year, I understand several large body-corporate maintenance projects were told they would have to wait until January to start their work, when Supercars had finished ransacking the east end. In one case, I believe that amounted to a delay of six months. If true, that means an external, profit-making body sets the timing of DAs.

Add to that the delegated authority to Supercars to remove any trees which might interfere with the race, or filming it, and I believe you have a picture of a completely acquiescent council, rolled over by Supercars lawyers, willingly committing our city to 10 years of unlimited funding of a project over which they have no control.

With Sydney and Central Coast councils ridding themselves of car racing on residential streets, Supercars must be laughing at our gullibility. Can this council be entrusted with our city’s future?

​John Beach, Cooks Hill


NOW let me get this straight. The Liberal Party parliamentarians are running around like headless chooks, squawking about conservative, liberal values. Like everything lately, this is either fake news or an oxymoron, as the dictionary states ‘liberal’ equates to being willing to accept or respect behaviour or opinions different from our own, and being open to new ideas. Similarly, conservatives are averse to change, and hold traditional values. Can someone tell me how the current bunch and some of the elder statesmen like John Howard fit in?

Erwin Zehentner, Singleton Heights


WHAT a one-sided match the Knights had against the Sharks (‘Holmes & hosed’, Herald, 27/8). I think the referees need to revisit the rule book. The Knights dug in and had a real go considering they got penalised out of the game and lost Fitzgibbon and Watson. If you ask me, they did not deserve the scoreline.

After also watching the first six games of this round, I am a bit concerned as to what is going to happen in the semi-finals. I think there are still a couple of teams in there that manage to receive the rub of the green from the referees when it counts, and I don’t believe you need to be Einstein to pick them.

Allen Small, East Maitland


THE site of the two reservoirs on the corner of Tyrrell and Brown Streets was the original site of the Newcastle Public School initially established in the basement of the Brown Street Congregational Church in 1858.  A school building was constructed on the land in 1863. The present site of Newcastle East Public School built in 1879 was the replacement school when the Hunter District Water Board decided to construct their new reservoir on that site, the highest in Newcastle for a gravity fed water supply.  It is therefore historically appropriate that the school uses this site for a playground.

John Carr, Toronto


NEWCASTLE City Council, great stuff in getting your priorities correct (‘Council targets new name’, Herald, 28/8). Of course this ‘the’ is the greatest problem with Newcastle. I'm sure all people, businesses and homeless are glad you aren't wasting taxpayers’ money.

Graeme Bennett, Warners Bay


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