Letters to the editor Thursday August 30 2018

COMING DOWN: Crews are expected to start dismantling the distinctive Queen's Wharf Tower from Monday, which reader Stuart King believes is a loss for the city's identity.
COMING DOWN: Crews are expected to start dismantling the distinctive Queen's Wharf Tower from Monday, which reader Stuart King believes is a loss for the city's identity.

I AM glad to see that the Queen’s Wharf tower will be covered with a con…, sorry sheath, before it is pulled down (‘Demolition crew moves in’, Herald 29/8).

One wouldn't want it to make an unexpected splash before it goes.

In all seriousness, the waterfront will look very flat with it gone, leaving Newcastle looking like any other non-descript coastal town. No matter what you think about it as feature on the skyline, it marked Newcastle distinctively in any view of the city.

Stuart King, Toronto


WHAT a waste of ratepayers’ money (‘Councillors strike out the definite article’, Herald 29/8). All letterheads, signs on council facilities and much more would need to be changed. I believe chief executive Jeremy Bath's ego is out of control. He says: “I’m far more comfortable in telling people that I’m the CEO of the City of Newcastle rather than I’m the CEO of Newcastle City Council” (‘Council targets new name’, Herald 28/8). This is the same man that told us that the council’s move to new premises at Newcastle West would be a saving of $14,000 per council employee per year, which I find just laughable. I would like to see what hat he has pulled those figures from.

Phillip Mallows, Stockton


THANK you Gionni Di Gravio (‘Stand aside mediocrity, heritage is back’, Opinion 24/8) for your encouragement that we of this city may at last recognise our heritage as an expression of our state of civilisation. Newcastle has always wrestled with our ancestry and our place as just an outpost of Sydney and yet this city has had a fine record of great design and fine culture.

Elegant reuse of the old Post Office might now happen.  Let us also be wary of efforts to create at Newcastle Ocean Baths something that would destroy what that place has been for a century, free and  spacious, and I note it has never been known as NOB (‘Iconic baths need more tender loving care’, Opinion 27/8).

David Stewart, Newcastle East


AFTER subjecting us to a horror week, our government proudly reminded us that we have six months of their agonising regime left. This disturbing revelation is the first time we have been included in their plans since the bloodbath. Instead of party room brawling, policy failures and cancelling parliament, our government gave us the news we'd been dreading : they are here to stay for another six months. On the bright side: can you believe anything politicians say?

Is anyone brave enough to say who will lead the Coalition to the polls? Who will the media shock jocks turn on next? We can only hope these men of the airwaves are pleased with their blood-soaked handiwork so far.

We hope Mr Morrison does not turn his back for a minute. If he begins to think about our nation's future, he may not notice the party room or media back-stab until it's too late. I advise Mr Morrison to watch his back very closely and beware of any Coalition colleague who says they support you. If they say they are loyal, you should run for cover Mr Morrison.

John Butler, Windella Downs


IT has been interesting to observe Tony Abbott’s behaviour since the demise of Malcolm Turnbull. Mr Abbott said that the sniping has now ceased, presumably now that he has exacted his revenge on Turnbull.

Scott Morrison has offered to make him envoy to Aboriginal affairs, but Mr Abbott is not sure he wants this role. I can’t see him wanting this prestigious portfolio, nor can I see him leaving parliament.

If you study Abbott’s CV, he joined St. Patrick’s Seminary in 1984 and left in 1987 before completing his studies. He briefly ran a concrete batching plant then became interested in politics.

He wrote articles for the student newspaper Honi Soit as well as for the Catholic Weekly, the now-defunct Bulletin magazine and The Australian newspaper.

So it seems he could have an illustrious career in journalism at 2GB with either Alan Jones or Ray Hadley. Or he could join Sky News with his former chief-of-staff Peta Credlin and other luminaries such as Andrew Bolt, Paul Murray and Ross Cameron. I think the possibilities for Tony Abbott post politics are endless.

Les Field, Wickham


MY wife and I had a few days in Goulburn last week during which we went for a drive out to Crookwell.

It’s a few years since I was last there. About 10 klm out of Crookwell we saw stretches of wind farms either side of the main road. Some were right beside the highway looming up as we came to a rise on a sweeping bend.

I thought of the movie War of the Worlds as these aliens came closer. They look to be about 50 metres high and several were just standing there,  their propellers not rotating, others were slowly swooshing around. There must have been at least 50 of these things and there were groups of workers installing new ones as we got closer to town.

On several properties which had been invaded by these things there were a few ragged sheep and some cows.

I love our countryside, it is a rare beauty. But these sentinels are truly a monument to something I am not sure of.

Can someone tell me how much it costs to locate, occupy the space, build and run just one of these monuments during its lifetime? How long is its lifetime. What is the actual benefit of just one of these things? Can someone please quantify the actual economic benefit of just one of these things? Why is our unique landscape forced to be at the mercy of these blights?

John Mildwater, Caves Beach


READING your story again on the sale of the Vales Point power station by the Liberal state government in 2015 (‘Vales Point owners shuffle’, Herald 28/8) really irks me.

The state government sold it for $1 million in 2015 and the buyer now wants to sell it for $760 million? That’s a $759 million profit.

How has there been no inquiry into the original sale when this sort of discrepancy in the prices is bandied around?

At the time we had the new Maitland hospital put on the backburner. With a reasonable price obtained from this sale back then, maybe the hospital could have been well on the way.

I can't understand how the state Labor Party and the MPs in the Hunter, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie didn’t ask for an inquiry about the sale. Or haven't they got the gumption to do anything about it?

Allen Small, East Maitland


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