Short Takes September 3 2018: readers have their say on the day’s news

Whether or not you agree with what Chelsea Manning did in releasing classified information to Wikileaks, you would think that this government, which stridently advocates for free speech, would not be preventing the former Private Manning from entering Australia to give a talk (‘'She poses no threat': Chelsea Manning tour promoters ask for discretion’, SMH 30/8).  Wasn't one of their own, the now MP Tim Wilson, proposed as a free speech commissioner on the Human Rights Commission? What a big difference a couple of years make.

Susie Johnson, Adamstown

SADLY the Junction Shopping Centre, with its many empty shops, doesn't really offer very much for me except my local Coles. However, I'm totally bemused by the current installations of cheap plastic plants over the entrance from the car park. Glad I don't have to dust them.

Ann Ellis, Merewether

What a great letter from Graeme Kime in Friday's edition of the Newcastle Herald (Letters 31/8). I am in complete agreement with his views and have also wondered for years why coastal water can't be piped to areas of need. Yes, it would be expensive but charity begins at home. Would advise anyone who missed this letter to get a copy.

Col Parkins, Wallsend

NEIL Robinson (Short Takes 31/8) we can also point to any number of dud Liberal leaders like McMahon, Hewson and the embarrassingly servile Menzies. I’ll leave the name calling for the children.

Colin Fordham, Lambton

IT IS gratifying to see more writers realizing the importance of fresh water to Australia . While their suggestions are important, they are no more than what we should be doing regardless of whether in a drought or not, but they will solve nothing of any consequence. The water infrastructure that is needed to alleviate drought problems and create lasting jobs is of a such a magnitude that it will bring rivers back to life and create inland lakes. The benefits of this amount of water can then be seen in river towns coming back to life and hydro power schemes developed. Anything less is just tinkering and wasting money.

Allan Earl, Thornton

SO THE Law Council wants more of our taxpayer money spent on lawyers in rural drought-affected areas (‘More legal services needed for drought affected areas: Law Council’, ABC 30/8). Why don’t we select 11 farmers and let them look at the money being allocated to see if drought affected farmers are more deserving of the monies? They could decide by a majority of seven who is the most needy in the community. If it works, when the drought is over look at the electoral roll and call up enough people off it to have 11 members continue the process while ever we have a Westminster democracy.  

Pierre Rakus, Nelson Bay


Miracle Assistance Dogs’ Carmel Kaczmar will explain the role of the animals and relevant legislation at Toronto Library on Thursday September 6 from 10.30am. Bookings are on 4921 0641 and are essential.