Letters to the editor March 13 2018

RISING STATUS: Gregory Grey argues a city is a place where businesses can operate 24/7 if they wish, and Newcastle does not fit the bill due to restrictions like the lockouts.
RISING STATUS: Gregory Grey argues a city is a place where businesses can operate 24/7 if they wish, and Newcastle does not fit the bill due to restrictions like the lockouts.

ROSS Greig (‘A shooting star of the beautiful game’, Topics, 12/3) has a problem with football columnist David Lowe referring to the Newcastle Jets as "underdog battlers" (‘For the true believers’, Newcastle Herald, 6/3) and also with the Newcastle Knights’ Mitchell Pearce referring to Newcastle as a country town. Ross goes onto to state that “Newcastle is a city".

Now, please Ross, really? I'm probably the only one, but I believe any business in a real city's CBD should be allowed to operate 24/7. Most wouldn't of course, but they should have the option. Otherwise, it's just another suburb. 

The lockout laws, for example. We can put man on the moon, but apparently the only way to stop the trouble in the CBD is to punish the majority for the actions of the minority! If I happen to pass my local Maryland Tavern, I certainly wouldn't go past the Mezz Bar at Wallsend RSL to go into the CBD. You can keep your so-called city, Ross.

Gregory Grey, Maryland

LET US AGE GRATEFULLY 

SINCE when did growing old become worthy of an insult? Recently we have been referred to as "fat ladies" (Letters, 5/3), "monstrous bums" (Short Takes, 12/3) and in Corbett's ramblings, "old goats" (‘Driving rest of us crazy’, Opinion, 10/3). As if we had committed the ultimate sin of enjoying what is left of our life which we enjoy in Newcastle. I have often wondered why being old is considered such a bad thing. It is not as if ageing can be avoided unless something unforeseen happens which is a possibility in this age of modern technology with all the radiation in the air.

Ageing is not a dodgy disease but part of being human. If one is careful avoiding bad habits and restraining from careless driving. In some instances medication is the cause of body fluctuations over which we have little control. If you look beneath the wrinkles, fat and whatever faults can be found there are many benefits of growing old. 

Ageing is just another opportunity to challenge oneself. Exercise and volunteering helps keep the body and brain in reasonable working order, and of course if one is hearing impaired, it doesn't mean we have lost all our marbles.

If you wish to keep on insulting us, take a look in the mirror and prepare yourself for hearing aids, walkers and all things that come with aged care – that is if you make it there.

Pat Wilson, Merewether

HARSH WORDS ARE NO JOKE

REGARDING Peter Devey (Short Takes, 12/3) and his reference to “monstrous bums”: I did not find that funny.

I find it amazing that this letter was printed. I, and many others find this term offensive. I am not one of the lovely ladies who go over to Merewether baths when Newcastle baths is cleaned but I do know that they would not like to be referred to as fat ladies or fat bums.

If the butt (excuse the pun) of the joke does not find the joke funny, then it has failed to be humorous.

Worldwide, men are finding that it is not okay to belittle women – especially about their appearance. It’s amazing what some men find funny.

It’s not okay and it’s hurtful.

Denise Lindus Trummel, Mayfield

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT

I WAS perusing the Herald when I noticed that somebody in federal government had woken from their dream state and suddenly realised what is happening to some parts of Sydney: whole suburbs are rapidly turning into non-English-speaking zones (‘Tudge: Multicultural Australia is at risk’, Herald, 8/3). Common sense never has been in abundance when it comes to politics, but this is truly amazing. English-speaking people that live there have been watching it happen for years, but due to this ridiculous adoption of political correctness nobody is willing to utter a word in protest.

The reason for the language problem is simple. Imagine being an immigrant entering a new country and you are unable to speak that country’s native language. Of course you are going to settle in an area that makes you feel comfortable, one that speaks your native language. Call me a racist, I don't give a hoot, but unless the language test for Australian citizenship is strengthened the following will occur in the not too distant future. If the high rate of immigration continues, I believe  Australia's city suburbs will become a series of enclaves predominately populated by different ethnic groups. This is a recipe for a disaster our grandchildren will be left to deal with. It’s a pity we can't send a message to the government: get off your butts and do something.

Nick Ryder, Booragul

CONTAINERS KEY TO BYPASS

A “BUSINESS case" for a rail freight bypass of Newcastle (‘State case for quicker commutes’, Herald, 10/3) was undertaken by BHP 20 years ago.

The bypass would have been built had not the state government intervened, taking ownership of the contaminated steelworks site in 2002 to prevent development of a container terminal. After Jodi McKay successfully got a container terminal back on the government agenda in 2009, the new Coalition government secretly imposed a fee for container shipments in 2013 for the purpose of making development of a container terminal commercially unviable. A container terminal will pay for a rail freight bypass of Newcastle and Sydney by replacing trucking at Port Botany as the primary means of transporting containers in NSW.

Greg Cameron, Wamboin 

THINK BEYOND BUILDINGS

I WAS intrigued with Phil McKnight's letter (Letters, 10/3) because, apart from his nominated local beefs, everywhere he had written Newcastle City Council I believed I could have substituted Lake Macquarie City Council. We elect ward councillors to represent us locally, as well as to uphold the public interest. This is especially so for environmental and aesthetic matters. It would seem that even when our representatives are inclined to the left a little, they might now be more responsive to the lure and glitz of new homes and apartments rather than the parallel need to preserve an established and attractive environment.

Excuses have been given for some decisions that fly in the face of common sense. These platitudes can only leave folk believing that the development application dollars are the only arbiter. Maybe there will be a Silent Spring in the future with no large trees for native birds to go?

Angela Longworth, Speers Point

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