THE vile, predatory sexual assault of one of our kids (‘Manhunt’, Newcastle Herald, 14/6) has for the time being sent our whole community into a state of fear, anger and disbelief. The pain and suffering of this girl is now embedded into the minds of all of us local parents. When our children say goodbye for their journey to school, we should be able to expect them to go to school, have fun, learn and return home without incident. What this horrific incident has done is destroy this idea. It is now gone. My absolute and total condolence and heartfelt wishes go to all those affected by this horrible act. If ever there was an argument for capital punishment, I believe this is it. Anyone who seeks to harm children has, in my opinion, relinquished their right to live among us.
Darren McDougal, New Lambton
A DESERVING NEW CROP
I WAS pleased to see recognition of Cathy Tate and Bernie Curran on the Queen’s birthday honours list (Herald, 11/6).
Cathy’s contribution as the anchor of the lord mayoral team with husband John was sufficient in itself without taking into account all of her other contributions. Bernie was, and still is, one of the cornerstones of our university for over 50 years.
I would also like to mention an unfortunate omission from the Herald’s reports, which is the Reverend Deacon Greg Kerr. His contributions to his church, to education and to chaplaincy in the armed services and at the university resulted in a well deserved Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
Tom Jones, Adamstown Heights
DEMOCRACY IS ABOUT CHOICE
THE Phillip O'Neill opinion item (‘Britain's gatekeepers missing in action’, Herald, 11/6) praised government backroom boys for keeping the British nation sensible. Really?
Well then, we will have to bow to those men for knowing what was good for us. Those gatekeepers kept the common folk from running things. What do working people know about good government, anyway? All Australians would be pleased to know that the gatekeepers tried very hard to stop Australia trading with Japan or even opening an embassy in Japan or the USA. They knew what was best for us. You people in the colonies just need to know your place.
Now, with Brexit, those gatekeepers have gone missing. Nigel Farage is being blamed for everything. Farage's exclamation “take back your country” was labelled as racism when in fact he was talking of escape from the bureaucrats of the European Union.
The EU is not only bureaucratic but is expensive, highly regulative, dictatorial and increasingly unpopular. Heaven forbid the unwashed masses should want to change how they're governed. Damn populism.
Peter Devey, Merewether
IT LOOKS STATIONARY TO ME
SO Civic station is going to live on as a café (‘Station lives on in Civic revamp’, Herald, 6/6). Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it lived on as a train station, providing thousands of university students with a seamless transfer from one campus to another?
Revitalising Newcastle director Michael Cassel said the outcome delivered was in line with what most people wanted. I regard this as propaganda which could be amusing if it wasn’t so serious, as in the former footbridge being reinterpreted into the public domain design.
What does that actually mean? That ranks alongside the former Newcastle station site being renamed The Station.
Also, a recent television headline referred to the next step in Newcastle’s revitalisation in fact being the destruction of 600 car parks. Hilarious – and they call this revitalisation. I call it insulting to the good people of Newcastle. George Orwell would be impressed.
Robert Green, Georgetown
PLUG IN A FRESH INQUIRY
The NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) are about to recommended retailers drop the solar feed in tariff to 7.5 cents per kilowatt hour in the next fiscal year from the current recommended range of 11.9 to 15 cents.
This is a reduction of 37 per cent to 50 per cent in the revenue customers with solar panels will receive for providing their excess generation to the retailers. To quote from the IPART website, the reason for this reduction is “our draft all-day solar feed-in tariff benchmark for 2018/19 is lower than the current range mainly because the forecast wholesale prices have fallen from an average of around 11 cents per kWh for 2017-18 to around 7.5 cents per kWh for 2018-19”.
If IPART are forecasting that average wholesale power prices are set to fall by at least 32 per cent in the next financial year, how is it that AGL can only offer a 0.3 per cent reduction in retail prices in the same period? It would appear that all the benefits we are supposed to receive from competition amount to us only receiving a 1/100th share of the improvements in pricing in the wholesale sector. Time for yet another royal commission I think!
Wayne Bissett, Hamilton South
OUR APPROACH IS INFANTILE
EVERY year in this so-called civilised country, thousands of beautiful healthy babies are aborted. There are a number of reasons this procedure is carried out and with a valid cause. Babies that are so unhealthy and deformed that for the sake of these babies themselves this is the most humane course of action, babies that are conceived by rape, the list goes on, all with a valid reason to abort these bubs.
It's when the bubs are healthy and the flimsiest excuse is used to abort them that really gets me going. Don't try and tell me this doesn't happen. “It doesn't fit in with my lifestyle”, or “l was drunk when it happened”. The list goes on with no excuse other than that person doesn't want the bub.
Every year we see countless numbers of people heading overseas to try and adopt babies because through no fault of their own they are unable to bear children. Then we see the people in this country using in vitro fertilisation to try to have a bub. There are thousands of bubs dying needlessly instead of being born and adopted out to people who really want them.
It’s just like the human race: if we don't like it or want it, let's just kill it. The government is quite happy to allow the killing of healthy babies, but when it comes to passing a law to allow the execution of murderers who have committed the most heinous of crimes they are deathly quiet. This letter has nothing to do with the religious side, it is to do with the rights of the unborn bubs.