Letters to the Editor, Monday, March 12, 2018

PASSION: A Knights fan waves a flag in a sea of red and blue during Friday's match between Newcastle and Manly at McDonald Jones Stadium. Picture: Darren Pateman
PASSION: A Knights fan waves a flag in a sea of red and blue during Friday's match between Newcastle and Manly at McDonald Jones Stadium. Picture: Darren Pateman

I AM a Manly supporter of long standing and have attended many home games at our fortress in Brookvale, but never have I experienced the passion and excitement of the Newcastle fans at Friday night’s game.

This was the first home game of a team that has carried the wooden spoon for three years, yet there were well over 23,000 fans there. The game went to golden point and when Newcastle won it, you would have thought they had won the grand final!

Congratulations Newcastle Knights supporters – you deserve a great season for your dedication and belief (but I still think we’ll beat you next time).

Yvonne Blakiston, Lemon Tree Passage 


AS frequent users of train service between Newcastle and Sydney, we have some questions for the NSW Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance.

Will the proposed new trains for our “inter-city service”, which frequently takes up to three hours, have any toilets?

Will there be fixed seating, as opposed to the current reversible seats, which make for more enjoyable travelling?

Will the new carriages safely fit through the tunnels on either side of the Hawkesbury River, or will these tunnels need widening, like those on the Blue Mountains?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, then why are we buying these sub-standard carriages from Korea, rather than build them here in Newcastle, where we have the capability?

Isabel and Doug Hewitt, Hamilton


AS A seasoned domestic traveller, I couldn’t agree more with your previous writers regarding Newcastle’s lack of a proper, dedicated tourist information centre. It has been a beef of mine for a long time.

The recently-revealed grand plans for the overseas tourists of the future (‘Newcastle visitor economy series’, Newcastle Herald, 24/2-3/3) all sound like ‘pie in the sky’ to me; no mention of our own domestic tourists or for facilities to cater for their needs.

Towns large and small throughout our great land all have dedicated tourist information centres. They are usually manned by cheerful, knowledgeable locals who are happy to go the extra mile to satisfy your query. They are always my first stop in a new town. As an example, the centre in Armidale ran a free, daily, two-hour minibus tour of the city, completely manned by volunteers.

With a bit of forethought, an information centre could have been located in the new bus terminus to be built on the old The Store site, ready to serve train travellers and others arriving in our city. I suggested a proper interstate coach terminal there, something else we’ve never had, but it is all for Keolis-Downer apparently.

Ian Wright, Cameron Park


IT’S about 60 years since the famous “stay-in strike” took place at Wallarah Colliery at Catherine Hill Bay.

The miners went on strike to try and save their jobs. The miners were locked down the mine for nine days, the local ladies from the bay cooked all their meals and delivered them to 'pit top'. They were then taken underground to the miners, and the strikers were very well looked after.

After I experienced a tour down a mine, I can’t imagine nine days and nights underground. Even after just an hour I was so pleased to get up in the fresh air again.

The strike ended after the nine days. As they came out of the mine they were given a pair of sunglasses to help their eyes adjust to the sunlight. It seemed all in vain as they were given the sack anyway. Some got their jobs back later on but most found employment elsewhere. 

Most of the miners were older men, so it must have taken a toll on their health. My husband was only 21, and I think the younger ones might have enjoyed it .

Pamela Eebber, Blacksmiths


MARK Creek, I couldn’t agree with you more regarding noise complaints around live music venues (Short Takes, 7/3).

It never ceases to amaze me when someone moves near a live music venue, then, for some inexplicable reason, actually appears to be genuinely surprised when they hear live music. Given the fact that live music has been synonymous with pubs and clubs for roughly 100 years now, this is hardly a new phenomenon. So if anyone complains about noise from a live music venue near their residence, this begs the simple question: Just what exactly were they expecting? The venues were present first, so what makes any nearby residents think that they have the right to complain about any noise that has been occurring long before they themselves were in the picture?

Also, why should any venue have to stop putting on live music that entertains hundreds of people just because a small number of people view it as an inconvenience? I wonder, if these same people decided to move next to a busy highway, would they feel they had the right to complain about the traffic noise and have the right to have the traffic diverted?

Adz Carter, Newcastle


THE proposed reduction of company tax is being seen, and presented as giving tax breaks to the rich, and not the poor, which logically appears correct. However company directors, and all managing staff employed within a company, pay the same personal tax rate as any one else, it's the tax the company pays that is getting the reduction.

Greed is the deciding factor in most financial decisions, with company greed the worst, or most aggressive. Companies are constantly looking at different ways to expand their business, and increase profits, which usually consists of employing more workers, purchasing more equipment, and taking out further loans, in other words, propping up the economy. 

Government must do what's necessary to keep these companies in Australia, than have them transfer operations elsewhere that provide a lower company tax rate, with often lower wages. Unions realise this importance, but doing the right thing doesn't attract votes, or improve their popularity, hence their opposition must be seen as sticking up for the workers. 

I blame the government for not being clearer or using simple language in their presentation. Their arrogance believing people should know and understand will be their doom.

Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek


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