Letters to the editor August 22 2018

CONTENTION: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has seen off a challenge from Peter Dutton but speculation is mounting that another bid will follow closely behind it.
CONTENTION: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has seen off a challenge from Peter Dutton but speculation is mounting that another bid will follow closely behind it.

WHATEVER anyone may say about Tony Abbott's crew of political thugs (and who doesn't?), everyone has to admit that they have the courage of their convictions.

They believe so strongly in their own twisted madness that they will  bring down their party's Prime Minister. They know they can do this because once they get one of their own into the role, their opponents in the party will be loyal enough not to do the same to them.

It's time for Malcolm Turnbull and his supporters to stop letting themselves be blackmailed by these bullies. It's time for them to call the Abbottites' bluff -- declare that if there is a change of leadership, then they will cross the floor and vote against every Abbottite thing until Malcolm Turnbull is restored.  

They have to start by saying, in public, that the NEG bill as agreed by the Liberal party room is to be put the House of Representatives and passed by the whole Coalition government.  If it isn't, then there has to an election, right now, this instant, so that the Abbottites can face the people.

Grant  Agnew, Coopers Plains


BEHIND the scenes, I faintly discern Tony Abbott  in red budgie smugglers swinging through Cabinet to the tune of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball. I believe Dutton is his fall guy, and Malcolm obviously his target. He said he wouldn't. Though not a fan, I thought he was better than this.

Jenelle Langham, Shoal Bay


NOW the government has shown its true colours in energy policy and committed to subsidising the fossil fuel industry in the name of lower prices (‘PM drops climate change target’, Newcastle Herald 21/8), it’s time to talk about what fossil fuels cost us.

Global mean temperatures are predicted to rise up to 1.5 degrees in the best instance. With unchecked emissions, we could see mean temperatures rise 4.8 degrees Celsius as per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. There will be more hot days and fewer cold days.

How will the droughts of 2028 affect farmers without action? The most significant threat to our health and wellbeing over the next decade is climate change. We simply will not be able to live and grow food as we do now if the temperatures continue to rise. The best time to act would have been 30 years ago but the next best time is now.

We are one small country but our carbon emissions are the highest per capita in the world. We had pledged as a nation to work with the globe and improve the dire threat we face in the Paris Agreement.

I believe ignoring that threat and our Paris commitment is gross negligence from our elected representatives. Forget the reduction in power prices they're selling us - coal is killing the planet and we will need to pay for the funeral too.

Kathleen Wild, Mayfield


WELL, just as long as Malcolm (or Tony, or Peter) can ensure their job is safe then everything is fine. Don't worry about the documented abnormal, destructive weather events. Trash the environment, kowtow to all the climate change deniers, those politicians without any education in climate science and the polluters who just want to make as many bucks as possible and who wield the power and influence.

Obviously these people get their manicurists to fix their car and their coal miners to look after their healthcare.

They don't need science. They have substantial real estate and portfolios. The rest of us and our planet can go whistle.

We need politicians who are in the service of the public, not lining their own pockets and currying favour with interest groups. We really need some idealists, not wacky characters with weird agendas. We need people who listen and have the will and capacity to care. The future is under threat. If you don't have a recognised degree in climate science, don't argue with the experts.

Anne Phillips, Wallarah


I BELIEVE the opinion piece in Saturday’s Newcastle Herald by the unelected chief executive of Lake Macquarie City Council (‘Enticing tourists to enjoy best of life on lake’, Opinion 18/8) ignores public opinion and tries to put a gloss on the council’s unprecedented plan to build up to six storeys right on the foreshore at Toronto.

Descendants of the Fennel family wanted to preserve access to the foreshore, as did the 1888 meeting of residents who strove to preserve a little of Toronto’s foreshore for future tourists. At least Morvan Cameron admits that council’s development is on “waterfront land”. Ms Cameron doesn’t explain that council should have millions of dollars left over from the attempted purchase of the Hirecraft Mariner site for the wonderful foreshore improvements she envisions without building right down to the foreshore with a “buffer” of a few feet.

Why can’t the council and its chief executive finally listen to the community and organise a plan that has development but preserves the foreshore strip, and doesn’t overwhelm our greatest tourist asset, the lake? A plan that doesn’t cut the the iconic rail line and deals with all the major traffic congestion issues? 

Only then can Toronto add to its already great cafes and accommodation with its greatest tourist asset intact and enhanced: the lake and its foreshore.

Stephen Dewar, Toronto


I HAVE acquired a new kitchen companion, namely a compostable green bag starter kit (‘Call for weekly bin service’, Herald 14/8). It sits on my kitchen bench, and I’m sure it lays in wait for me to feed it.

Can I be forgiven if I think it opens its mouth to devour the contents when it sees me coming? To name a few, it takes teabags and eggshells, pizza slices which I didn’t like, burnt toast and the usual daily dinner leavings.

The icing on the cake (inference excused) was when we had visitors and I served seafood. Later one of them offered to freeze the prawns and oyster shells. Pickup was a couple of days away. I went to the freezer & found out that he had frozen the prawns & oyster shells together. I’m sure I had told him about our new way with our bins. Maybe too much wine perhaps.

A long time later after defrosting & separating the prawns and oysters (frozen fingers included) the prawns were placed in the compostable green bag. I’m sure the large container opened its mouth in glee when it saw me coming. Don’t get me wrong - I like the idea, but I feel that sometimes a sense of humour is needed.

Daphne Hughes, Kahibah


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