Letters to the editor March 9 2018

JETTED OUT: Andrew Nabbout has left the Newcastle Jets, earning the A-League outfit a $500,000 transfer fee. Eric Burns says the timing of his Japan move hurts fans.
JETTED OUT: Andrew Nabbout has left the Newcastle Jets, earning the A-League outfit a $500,000 transfer fee. Eric Burns says the timing of his Japan move hurts fans.

WHEN Martin Lee was persuaded to pay a reported $5000,000 for the Jets A-League franchise, I for one pondered as to how he would get a return on his investment. After a poor first season, one would have had to wonder at the wisdom of paying anything like that amount.

Enter Ernie Merrick, and some shrewd signings, and we have seen what can only be described as a miracle turnaround in the club’s fortunes. For the long suffering Newcastle football fraternity, of whom there are many, Saturday night was something we could only dream of through the many dark years we have endured. Surely Martin Lee would now see more clearly football’s true potential in our town! 

Alas, as quick as the Hornets passed over the stadium on the weekend, we have been brought back to the realty of the bazaar economics of football in this country, learning that Andrew Nabbout would be leaving in a deal that is described as being good for the player and good for the club.

Surely someone in Martin Lee’s inner circle must have suggested to him that the timing of this transfer was not good for the long suffering Jets fans? Longer term, it can not be good for his investment in the club. Personally I believe one would also have to question Nabbout’s advisors at a time when he is enjoying the best spell of his career.

My question now is, where do we find a striker to replace Nabbout and what will you have to pay him? The long suffering Jets fans deserve a better explanation from the club as to the logic of letting the player go at this crucial point of the season.

Eric Burns, Belmont

UNDERWHELMING WELCOME

DOROTHY Pinder (Short Takes, 7/3) is absolutely correct. It is bewildering that a city the size of Newcastle is unwelcoming to visitors! We have many friends touring this country in mobile homes and caravans, and they avoid Newcastle for many reasons. They cannot drive to the Tourist Information Centre and park their vehicle. 

Some of them have done this with great difficulty, only to be greeted by this very nice volunteer who was completely overwhelmed by some of their routine questions and unable to provide maps and necessary information. 

Perhaps we should not assume that all people are internet savvy. Some just want a face-to-face chat, a map and guidance. We are very impressed with the way we were greeted recently in Geelong Victoria, a city that is reinventing itself and incredibly similar to Newcastle in many ways.  Come on, Newcastle City Council, take a look at this situation. Somewhere around the intersection of King Street, Stewart Avenue and Hunter Street would catch all entrants to our beautiful city!

Bev O’Hara, Hamilton

WHAT’S THEIRS IS MINE

I HOPE the miners of the Hunter Valley understand that the Adani coal mine in Queensland will probably cause the closure of up to four Hunter Valley coal mines, resulting in major job losses locally while providing few, if any, jobs in Queensland.

This mine will be automated and I believe the few remaining jobs will be filled by the import of cheap foreign workers as allowed by agreements signed off by the federal government. It was admitted by Adani that only about 1400 jobs in total Australia wide would be generated, not the 10,000 plus previously stated by Malcolm Turnbull.

How politicians can hide the facts and truth on this vital issue and not be held accountable is disgusting. At least the Newcastle Herald keeps its’ readers aware of important issues that effect their lives and livelihoods.

Brian Crooks, Scone

A BROADER SIDE OF BARNABY

Leaving Mr Joyce's personal life completely to one side for a moment, I am concerned in two other issues that have come to light about the integrity of the man and the system which in he exists.

During the several television montages of his political life to this point, I note several shots of him playing the publicity stunts wearing a Queensland jersey. The "died in the wool", "born and bred" in New England former Queensland senator roundly criticised the other candidates, during the by election as opportunists who had hardly spent any time in the New England!

What I also find disturbing about this affair, other than the convenient and benevolent rotation of staff around the parliament, is the need for such people.

"Assistant Media Advisor" at $190K per year. Really? Why do these people need anybody to help them create a false image of themselves? Surely we should be exposed to our elected officials as they really are. We can see how well Barnaby has been doing since he lost his media advisor!

It is integral to our democracy that we can judge these people for what they are, not someone who only read off prepared discussion notes and talking points using only carefully scripted language.

For all the ridicule that the Katters and the Lambies of these parliaments attract, they obviously don't use their media advisors, they make a refreshing honest contradiction to the rigid PC and party control of the apparatchiks pretending to be representatives of the two main parties.

Tony Emanuel, Hunterview

NO MORE PREGNANT WAITS

ON March 7 Parliament passed the Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2018, which repealed a law allowing employers to fire or refuse to hire women who knew they were pregnant when applying for a job. 

This was achieved through removing the relevant sub-sections from the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977.

Women facing sex discrimination in the private sector can make a complaint to the Human Rights Commission under the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984. However, the Commonwealth Act does not apply to NSW public sector agencies.

The amendment closes that loophole and brings NSW in line with other Australian states and territories. 

This is an important reform passed jointly by the Attorney General Mark Speakman and Minister for Women Tanya Davies that was delivered ahead of International Women’s Day on Thursday. The removal of this archaic law will open greater employment opportunities for women. It will also provide them with certainty as they manage work and family commitments, or as they look to start a family in the near future.

Scot MacDonald MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter

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