Letters to the editor Saturday September 8 2018

GATHERING: Toronto Foreshore Protection Group convened a meeting on Tuesday regarding the proposal to develop lakefront land in the suburb. Picture: John Sharples

GATHERING: Toronto Foreshore Protection Group convened a meeting on Tuesday regarding the proposal to develop lakefront land in the suburb. Picture: John Sharples

IN response to Wednesday’s article (“Petition against Lake Macquarie City Council development on Toronto foreshore attracts 3400 signatures”, Herald, 5/9), as a Toronto resident with a young family, I believe that any development around the Toronto foreshore is excellent and to be welcomed.

I believe 2 Bath Street, along with a number of other vacant blocks along Anzac Parade, are an eyesore and have been for a long time.

That address has, for as long as I can remember, remained inactive public land that is used only as extra parking for a nearby licensed premise and the temporary parking of yacht trailers.

While I believe that the height limit should be reduced to fewer stories, I believe the benefit of commercial space such as cafes, restaurants, bars, boutiques or watercraft-hire outlets, coupled with $9 million worth of improvements to the foreshore between Goffet Park and Bath Street, would greatly enhance the area, truly making Toronto a greater location to live and visit.

Remember, we are talking about 10 per cent of the relevant foreshore. It is 10 per cent that is currently unused, and prior to this development’s announcement had no proposed beneficial usage to the residents of Toronto. Going off on a tangent, it strikes me that protest actions such as those as we have seen in Toronto of late are perpetrated by an older cohort of residents. Why is it that such older cohorts across the great cities of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie seem intent on either stifling or stopping progress?

I believe considered and relevant progress is to be embraced, not stifled or stopped.

Adam Walton, Toronto

WHAT’S IN STORE NOT IDEAL

THE approach of the state government and its arm, the Hunter Development Corporation, to planning and development decisions in Newcastle keeps me wondering. The new bus interchange development planned for the old Store site, at a height of around 90 metres, is almost double the height that would require an architectural design competition to receive council approval, yet it seems this requirement can be bypassed by the government if Hunter Development Corporation had a tender process. So it looks like we may not be getting a particularly beautiful building.

Even though The Store has been categorised as of local significance on the heritage register, apparently Doma the developer doesn't even need to retain or restore its facade. Although the existing property contains parking spaces, it looks like the new development will have zero public parking spaces despite it being a transport interchange. I have to wonder who the winner is here. The public, or just the developer?  We can only hope when this new bus interchange is built, it will be a whole lot better than the one that replaced Wickham station,  which provides very little protection for the public from the wind and weather. Let's hope we get value for money this time.

Susie Johnson, Adamstown

WE’LL BE SEEING RED MORE

AS the concrete and steel caterpillar-like light rail tracks start to be completed and finally start to join up we are also starting to see newspaper advertising advising us of the pending start of tram testing, and we are also seeing the installation of traffic lights. There are no less than 12 sets of traffic lights installed, or being installed, in Hunter and Scott streets and one must ask what impact this is going to have on people who still need to use their cars in this area?

With traffic lights at intersections, tram stops and pedestrian crossings, it is going to be a rather slow and confusing drive for locals and visitors who use their cars to get out, or into the Newcastle East End. Not only will locals have to contend with traffic flow, some who live in apartments that have vehicle access from Scott or Hunter streets will be restricted to one lane when either entering or leaving their buildings.

I guess the answer will be that “you will get used to it”, However, if we stop to think back to when trains ran between Wickham station and Newcastle station, there were just a couple of traffic lights, and I'm told the journey took just four minutes.

John Fear, Newcastle East

A REGAL CAUSE TO SUPPORT

MY concern, along with many others, is about the reduction of car parks for patrons – many of whom are elderly or disabled – of the Regal Cinema. Reducing the car park to 19 spaces will not be favourable for the cinema, and could eventually make it unviable and lead to closure. The Regal is an icon and should be respected. It has wonderful movies and people of all ages go. Many people have signed the petition against the planned beautification which could see half the car park at Birmingham Gardens disappear. Come on Newcastle, we deserve our Regal. The next council meetings about this are   September 18 and 25 from 5.30pm. Come along and support our cause.

Kerry White, Fletcher

QUERY ON SITE PLANS

NEWCASTLE City Council rejects development proposal for 84 units in Adamstown (“Foundry unit development goes to court”, Herald 6/9). Developer takes council to the Land and Environment Court. The court demands consultation with the community, council and more information from developer. No judgement has been determined but a new sign appeared saying NOW SELLING. Buying off the plan is one thing, but I believe selling something that might not exist is another.

Susan Morris, Adamstown

IT’S NOT LOGICAL TO ME

AS a self-declared expert in foresight, Sean Farnham (Letters 6/9) opines that the acceptance of an asylum-seeking child will lead to “hundreds of thousands” of similar children heading here. Inevitably, our Australian quality of life will be reduced to that of the countries from which they fled. With extrapolations of populist “logic” like that Mr Farnham, I believe you are wasting your talents on these opinion pages. Do you realise how much you could be making as a columnist, a presenter, a radio shock jock or a new candidate for One Nation?

John Arnold, Singleton

THINK OF THOSE DETAINED

SEAN Farnham  (Letters, 6/9): It's just a shame that your wise and caring thoughts for people who upset your thinking don't extend to those of us who are upset by the fact that, when farmed out to offshore detention, they are treated like unwanted cattle and not as human beings – to further enhance your point that Australia is off limits.

Allan Earl, Thornton

LETTER OF THE WEEK

The Herald pen goes to Brian Agland, of Hamilton, for his letter about Centrelink. 

SHARE YOUR OPINION

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.

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