Short Takes August 7 2018: readers have their say on the day’s news

ANITA Beaumont reports that 116,400 women, children and men were homeless in 2016 ("Homelessness in spotlight", Herald, 3/8). In a country as wealthy as ours, that is a national disgrace and we should all hang our heads in shame. While it’s true no political party gives this issue the attention it deserves, it is a cop-out to lay all the blame at their feet. The reality is that there are too few votes to be won prioritising ending homelessness for our pollies to care and that is entirely our fault.

Dave McTaggart, Edgeworth

SO THE response to the drought for the struggling farmers (“High and dry”, Herald 4/8) is phenomenal, but surely we must start to look outside the square and ship animals south to where feed is available instead of shipping feed to areas that most probably won't have rain or grow sufficient feed in the short term. This will save the animals from slaughter and allow farmers to maintain their breeding stock for the years ahead. If my memory serves me correctly, this happened years ago during previous extreme drought periods.                     

Darryl Sharpe, Hamilton

HOW about moving the Newcastle Regional Library and Lovett Gallery across to the City Hall instead (“Art option at City Hall”, Herald 31/7)? That would allow the art gallery to take over the cultural centre, which originally housed the gallery. If the state government ever relented in its mean-spirited refusal to provide the funding, the long-planned adjacent gallery extension could still also go ahead.

John Lewis, The Junction

DESMOND Bellamy (Letters 3/8): another fish tale from another useless group, PETA. You really have to wonder what makes some individuals tick. There are many prawns on this planet. Unfortunately, it seems some are land-based and full of abalone.

Brad Hill, Singleton

WELL put, Dr. David Tabrett (“Surely we can care about people and pets”, Opinion 4/8). These words by Alex Gardiner say it all: “Faithful and loyal to the very end/my demands those of a friend/my wide dark eyes will let you see my love for you will always be”. Your pets never ask for anything but give everything in return. Yes, I hope my dogs will be waiting over the rainbow bridge.

Dianne Parker, Shortland

WHEN discussing NSW’s paralysing drought (“High and dry”, Herald 4/8), I presume all federal Coalition members are under strict instructions to never under any circumstances utter the words "climate change". Words can be powerful weapons, after all.

Mac Maguire, Charlestown

WELL done to Bunnings and all staff involved in the barbecue to help the drought stricken farmers held last Friday. 

Wayne Ridley, Gateshead

IN RESPONSE to Alan Metcalf (Letters 1/8), a lot of people would agree with your sentiments Alan, but your solution of halting population growth is only a recipe for the slow agonizing death of our country. I agree we are in a mess, not through population or climatic conditions but solely man made from years of inexperienced, visionless governments that only govern for the present and not the future. At the risk of being repetitious it is my belief that for this country to once again be a prosperous producing nation full of opportunities for all, we have got to invest in water infrastructure to inland Australia. A project of this nature and magnitude would not only alleviate the problems being faced at the moment from drought costing billions of dollars but create so many more opportunities when rivers and country towns come back to life, and in doing that it then takes the pressure of coastal Australia.   

Allan Earl, Thornton

HAVING sold off state property such as the electricity poles and wires and the Lands Titles Office, the NSW government is now embarking on an infrastructure spending spree. A sizeable slice of the money is funding the replacement (not refurbishment) of Allianz Stadium which is only 30 years old. The stadium rebuild comes at a price tag of about $905 million. The Sydney Cricket Ground Trust commissioned its own safety audit to justify the demolition of Allianz. What many would like to know is how many deaths or serious accidents have occurred at Allianz, say in the last decade?  These figures should be readily available. Even more importantly, how about an estimate of the proportion of these accidents that could be realistically avoided by a new stadium. Unless there is projected to be a marked reduction in serious accidents, it is hard to see why the rebuild should proceed when the Hunter, for one, is crying out for additional education, health and TAFE spending.

Raoul Walsh, The Junction


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