Letters to the editor: April 17 2018

FLYING THE FLAG: Reader June Porter applauds the Gold Coast's Commonwealth Games but questions whether sport will be so central when Australia is a republic.
FLYING THE FLAG: Reader June Porter applauds the Gold Coast's Commonwealth Games but questions whether sport will be so central when Australia is a republic.

CONGRATULATIONS to all concerned with the Commonwealth Games, another triumph for Australia.  

If we become a republic, we shall have to forgo participation in such future events. Perhaps the money saved could be directed to becoming a cultural country with more input in the arts, opera, ballet, classical music concerts, art galleries, museums etc.

I regret the young, multicultural future generation may not enjoy what we “oldies” did, and what their countries of origin have provided for many years. Shall they have to find another use for the many sports stadiums being planned by some Australian states?

June Porter, Warners Bay


KURT Fearnley is an icon of Newcastle and Australia. I, like many others, would see it as only fitting to rename Fernleigh track to Kurt Fearnley track as a small token of appreciation for everything this sporting legend has achieved. Not much else needs to be said. Let’s make it happen.

John Epton, Maryland


I HAD the privilege of attending the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and experiencing their wonderful hospitality. I have been impressed with the security and the incredible number of friendly police who interacted so well with the crowds, but best of all was the public transport system.

The G:link light rail or tram system was brilliant and effortless, taking us to where we needed to go. Newcastle should be ashamed. If you want us to use public transport, it needs to be improved.

The ineffective light rail from Wickham to Newcastle is a joke. We are a big city and at a minimum light rail should include the John Hunter, the university and McDonald Jones Stadium and, eventually, the airport. Newcastle puts a lot of dollars into the NSW economy and it is time to stop treating us as second class citizens. 

Kris Kelly, Maryville


I READ with interest the opinion piece (‘Third places’ where urban loneliness doesn’t dwell, Opinion 14/4) and would like to add my personal story to the discussion. I live in Tighes Hill and when I moved here seven years ago I suddenly realised that my new situation was missing certain elements that I had enjoyed in my previous residence in Wallsend. These elements include access to a garden and being able to contribute to the community. Under my own steam I searched my new neighbourhood, physically and online, until I found the Community Garden located in Kings Road. What a great move that turned out to be.

Pretty soon I was being introduced to all kinds of fellow residents with an interest in gardens primarily, but also an interest in connecting socially. Over the years (OK so it is just seven at this stage) I have come to the conclusion that the community garden’s greatest asset is not necessarily the produce that is harvested from the garden plots but the ability of this free space to facilitate social interaction between people.

The community garden ‘space’ has been very well utilised for many events, some formal and some less so, that have attracted various sections of the Tighes Hill community to gather and engage in friendly spirit. Some memorable occasions include the kid’s poetry competition, Mother’s Day tea parties, local choir recitals at Christmas, cooking demonstrations and the odd ‘movie night’. The value of these ‘third places’ cannot be underestimated; they are priceless. 

Tom Clarke, Tighes Hill


IN MONDAY’s story (“Seismic shift as work begins”, Herald 16/4) Bob Brown is suggesting the discovery of gas would be economically catastrophic due to an accelerating effect on global warming. Balderdash.

Substituting natural gas for coal markedly reduces carbon dioxide emissions per unit of electricity generated. The USA is one of the few countries to be on a reduced emissions trajectory largely due to gas.

Gas is used to produce ammonia which in turn produces urea. Both chemicals are essential fertilisers, without which, a lot of the world population would starve. Some 3% of gas goes into making 200 million tonnes of urea fertiliser. While there may be other sources of nitrogen they are insufficient or at the research stage. There is no current alternative to using a fossil fuel feedstock.

Most plastics are made from fossil fuels. Can you imagine a modern economy without plastic? Even the coal protesters in Newcastle Harbour have kayaks made of fibre glass and polyester,

Ted Burns, New Lambton


LAST Wednesday my brother-in-law Kevin suffered a stroke at the wheel of his car and was involved in a thankfully minor accident whilst in Newcastle for work.

To the driver of the other car, thank you so much for quickly recognising that Kevin was in trouble. He’s a great husband and father, much loved brother and brother-in-law, uncle, son and son-in-law. From what I can gather, despite no doubt being troubled and inconvenienced by some random person colliding with you, you’ve taken quick action in identifying his distress and calling emergency services to the scene.

Kev has made some good progress already, thanks to being quickly transported to Newcastle hospital and what would have been excellent intervention and treatment there. I sincerely hope you haven’t been inconvenienced too much and that you realise your quick actions have quite possibly saved Kev from much greater injury. Thank you.

Karen Johnstone, Stanthorpe


I AM a medical doctor with accreditation in Australia. I booked a flight with Virgin Australia. Overnight, my partner became ill with a communicable illness. Virgin switched our flights for free within 12 hours of the flight despite our tickets not covering the benefit. I'm sharing this because I think that this sort of decision by an organisation is for the betterment of the health of society possibly at a loss of profits for Virgin.

I think this sort of decision doesn't always occur resulting in people getting on flights and making others unwell and so Virgin's management on this matter should be shared to the general public and indirectly to other airlines. The topic is appropriate heading into flu and gastro season.

Brock Medlar, Carrington