Letters to the editor August 27, 2018

Dry times: Groiden Schammell, of Hamilton North, writes that leaders should focus more on long-term solutions when it comes to guarding against drought. Picture: Marina Neil
Dry times: Groiden Schammell, of Hamilton North, writes that leaders should focus more on long-term solutions when it comes to guarding against drought. Picture: Marina Neil

I WOULD like to acknowledge the dire situation faced by our farmers and everyone affected by drought.

It is fantastic to see the donations, relief funds and concerts from the public but unfortunately this is only a short-term fix. 

Even a shorter fix by the not-so-generous donation from our government to each farmer of around $4000.

I have read several letters in the paper expressing the same views as mine with the idea of a long-term fix.

This idea being some sort of infrastructure being built enabling the collection of coastal drain water. Surely the Greens would love the idea of recycling water. 

This water could then be stored in a dam and then piped out to drought-affected areas. 

Yes, this idea has costs that would go into the millions of dollars but once built would benefit everyone for years to come. 

First and foremost the farmers would have water for their farms. This would allow them to produce meat, vegetables, milk etc that we all need and purchase every week at supermarkets and corner stores.

So my question is: why is a commoner like me asking this? Why hasn’t the government considered this as a sustainable option for the future of everyone?

Is it because the money is given to foreign aid and there is nothing in return? Is it because they aren’t personally affected? Is it because they don’t have to worry about having food on their table? 

The list could go on but sadly it seems the people in power just don’t care or have a long-term solution.

I therefore put this idea to the people of Newcastle to put forward to our politicians to do something.

As a proud Novocastrian I would like to think that we can all band together and make this happen.

So to the lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp and fellow local members of parliament, please take my lead. You will be heroes and forever loved.

Groiden Schammell, Hamilton North

Still waiting for change

IF we were waiting for something of substance from Pope Francis in his recent address on sexual abuse in his church, we are still waiting. 

What everyone wanted was some action but all that came out of his mouth was a bunch of words, very typical of the Pontiff.

So where does the church go from here, where is the leadership, where is the direction concerning paedophile priests and the huge number of victims? 

Perhaps the Pope just hopes it will all go away, that in five, ten, fifteen years all will be well, all will be forgotten.

Surely we still have the subject of justice for those whose lives are wrecked and for perpetrators. Then there is the protection of present and future children.

The Pope may be able to stall things by sitting back in Vatican comfort but for any change to happen followers of this great religious organisation must not be complacent. They are the ones that must force the church hierarchy, force the hand of the Pope to act.

Julie Robinson, Cardiff

Where is the planning?

DOES anyone associated with the Newcastle Interchange have any ideas that make common sense? 

They are building a new five storey car park above the old Store that only caters for residents and workers and will have no spaces for short and long-term parking for rail commuters (‘Doma lodges plans for carpark on Store site’, Herald, 22/8). 

Where is the planning (or lack of it)? This whole process has been a shambles from the start. 

We get told the new light rail line and its landscaping will be aesthetically pleasing. 

I can only call a 70cm-wide strip of wood chips with spaced, low cover, non-flowering plants as boring at best. 

Yesterday, I asked a rail employee what the corrugated iron building was that was going up on the immediate eastern side of Hannell Street. I was told it was a workshop for the light rail. 

How ridiculous that any visitor to Newcastle gets to see an eyesore such as this as their first impression of the state’s second largest city. Surely it should have been built on the far western end of the old Store site so it was out the back and away from view. 

It seems that this government is so far out of touch with future planning designs that would be considered appealing. The people of Newcastle are being served up a second rate facility by a third rate government.

Phillip Mallows, Stockton

Think about the future

"CLIMATE change is not man-made, it is just God wrapping us in his warm Hands" – Sarah Palin, circa 2008. Yes, she actually said that. 

And, from what I read and listen to, there are people who still either refuse to accept what is 95 per cent proven science or are too lazy to study said evidence.

It is frustrating that so many who fail to accept the scientific evidence can actually be in positions of power. 

Politicians of bygone eras actually thought about what Australia would look like many years after they departed. Today, our politicians have absolutely no ideas past 6pm tomorrow.

Parts of Australia are suffering in drought whilst every year billions of litres of fresh water are allowed to flow out from northern Australia into the Indian and the Pacific Ocean.

We are told that high-speed rail is not economically viable – probably correct at the present time. 

However, will a high-speed rail system still be uneconomical in 30 years time? 

Has anyone bothered to consider the number of smog inducing trucks that could be removed from our roads because high-speed rail would free up current rail lines for freight? Greg Cameron would agree I am sure.

I despair of our current politicians but I am desperate for the future of my grandchildren.

Mike Sargent, Raymond Terrace

New Zealand an example

AFTER the last New Zealand election in 2014, John Howard sent his commiserations to the outgoing PM John Key saying the result was “grossly unfair”. 

I agree, why should the Kiwis be the only nation with a coalition government that does not indulge in internal bickering. 

Not only that, they managed to overturn conventional economic wisdom and banned foreign purchase of houses and reduced immigration all without invoking the racist rhetoric that pervades in our political system.

Don Owers, Dudley


Email letters@theherald.com.au 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.