WHAT a great letter from Sandra McIIveen (Letters, Newcastle Herald 16/8), and as she rightly points out, misuse and mismanagement of existing water has put us in a dire situation. It is the further robbing us of the dying existing water supplies.
That is all the politicians can come up with when forced to talk about the situation. While there is much that can be achieved by planned harvesting, storing and recycling of water and its use, it is becoming quite obvious that those measures alone will not suffice. Australia has got to start producing fresh water. It will not only be our savior but is the one product that we can’t be undersold on by another country.
Allan Earl, Thornton
TANKS FOR HELPING FARMS
WITH all the drought problems, why doesn’t the council let people put water tanks back on their property. That’s all they had in the early ’50s back to the ’40s. There would be a lot of water left in the dams which could make a difference for the farmers. It could be freighted to them. Good help with common sense
Alan Ackroyd, Hamilton
FREE SPEECH BEARS A PRICE
THE maiden speech by Fraser Anning, for whom only 19 One Nation supporters voted, has highlighted the dangers of free speech (‘Unrepentant Anning’s speech condemned’, Herald 16/8). His suggestion that Muslim immigration should be subject to a plebiscite vote is patently absurd and clearly determined to inspire rejection of our multicultural heritage. Since white people first came here in the 17th century, this land has had a multicultural foundation. The Japanese first visited in the 16th century.
He even uses the Nazi term "final solution" to be applied to immigrants of whom he disapproves. This is racial hatred, plain and simple, coming from a person whose family roots are migrant arrivals in Australia.
This highlights the dangers of free speech and points to the reasons why we have legislation to prevent racial hatred, although it’s worth noting we are all one race: homo sapiens, with a bit of neanderthal and other homonym species thrown in.
Should Fraser Anning be legally able to stir animosity between cultural groupings, we would have a much more violent nation. Free speech comes at a cost, first to know about the subject of the speech (ignorance is no excuse) and secondly to speak respectfully of others. It is a small but worthwhile cost.
Scott Bell-Ellercamp, Clarence Town
I JUST CAN’T CONTAIN IT
AS REPORTED in the Herald (‘Container plan ‘didn’t stack up’, Herald 16/8), talks between Newcastle Port and DP World regarding the possibility for a container terminal have broken down. DP World considers that Port Kembla and Botany are a more economically viable and that the tyranny of distance between Newcastle and Sydney weighs too heavily against Newcastle. I have on many occasions stated that a container terminal in Newcastle would be a great boon for the city. However, I also have regularly quoted exactly the reasons espoused by DP World, as a reason that it will not happen. I could say "I told you so" but I won't ... oh, yes I will. I told you so!
Mike Sargent, Raymond Terrace
A HAND WITH THE SAND
NUMEROUS letters suggest Premier Gladys Berejiklian should pack up her crew and equipment and go back to Sydney, leaving Newcastle without interference from the state government. However, the worsening Stockton erosion, with no apparent solution in sight at a local level, reminds us that we should be careful what we wish for.
David Stuart, Merewether
HARD PRESSED ON OUTRAGE
IT IS a sad comment on our body politic, and our media, that the outrageous, controversial and often minority viewpoint usually trumps the rational, logical and sensible alternative position. The former is typically deemed worthy of prominent media coverage on television and in the press.
I don’t intend to provide examples of such sensationalism, for that only provides the very profile and prominence sought by those who utter such diatribe. Frequently it is picked up, reproduced, exemplified and amplified over and over by those who only want to hear that which supports their distorted world view. I appreciate that it is a challenging issue for the media at large, for the outrageous is generally considered newsworthy. Sensible, middle-of-the-road pronouncements may well be considered boring, and at the end of the day media proprietors need to sell papers and attract listeners and viewers. We can all write, watch, listen and otherwise participate in the debate on substantive issues. However the press, in particular, plays a central role in influencing and determining the issues under discussion. Electronic media frequently takes its lead from the press of the day. This responsibility rests heavily on the shoulders of the editorial staff and journalists who work for our local media.
John Buckley, Floraville
EVEN OUT THE ENERGY FLOW
TRYING to make coal-fired energy more affordable is so simple if the government removes their taxes. Coal passes from the miner to the power station, then to the distributor, then the retailer, and finally to us, being charged GST on every change-over or sale. l understand all or most renewable projects are GST free in addition to government subsidies. I am not saying one is better than the other, but if a genuine affordability process is to be considered both coal-fired and renewables should start on the same playing field. Usually governments are ready to blame others but rarely blame themselves, so how about it? For once, do the right thing and remove all taxes on coal or remove all subsidies on renewables.
We can't have an unbalanced system and expect a fair and genuine result.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
DON’T LEAVE GOLFERS SHORT
SHORTLAND Waters Golf Course deserves to be resurrected and admired by all golfers locally and beyond (‘Struggling club takes a swing at developer’, Herald 15/8). Steeped in history with past golfers respectfully acknowledged around the course one can sense the pride golfers had/have of this iconic Newcastle landmark. A once vibrant, and indeed demanding course, attracted passionate golfers who spoke of that two foot putt they missed, and that sensational hole in one they nearly got, the mosquitoes that could carry you away, the glorious bird life. Sadly, today, my course, is a demolition site. I can only hope that this developer will honour its pledge and create the golf course promised to its members and the people of Newcastle.
George Scevak, New Lambton
SHARE YOUR OPINION
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.