WE are saddened by the news that the Tower theatre in Newcastle will close permanently on December 5 (‘Final credits to roll at city’s Tower Cinemas’, Newcastle Herald 12/11).
The theatre opened in 1974 and has now been operating for 44 years. We have been regular patrons and have loved “going to the movies” there for a very long time.
There are likely lots of reasons for the closure, but as it is the last operating city theatre it will be missed greatly. Perhaps it is just a sign of the times, but it has brought back many memories of the lost movie houses we once loved.
In town there once was The Strand, Civic, Royal, the Lyrique, Kensington, Victoria and the Tatler to name a few.
We mourn their loss as the city we once knew changes its character and develops a new personality. As those of an older generation, we can welcome the revitalisation of our city but acknowledge the losses with fond memories of the past. Going to the movies as children was a great event and we developed a love of movies that has endured a lifetime, but with sadness we will say goodbye to the Tower theatre in December.
Denise and Heinz Trummel, Mayfield
IT’S NOT US AND THEM
IT was with some surprise that I read Anne Phillips’ letter, 'Trumped up coverage' (Herald, 10/11). In her letter Ms Phillips indicates that she feels the Australian media coverage of President Trump’s haywire activities is overdone and should be minimised.
Ms Phillips’ statement, relating to Australia's relationship with the USA that "we aren't part of that country any more than any other" displays a somewhat disturbing naivety.
Australia's relationship with the US is the cornerstone of our defence policy, as confirmed in the ANZUS Treaty and our, rightly or wrongly, mutual assistance in military operations.
The US is the only Pacific-based force that is able to keep China and other Asian nations militarily in check, an important factor for Australia now and in the future.
In summary, contrary to Ms Phillips' writing, Australia actually is tied to the US to a much greater extent than it is to any other country. Because of this close relationship with the US, it is important that we be kept fully informed of the words and actions of President Trump.
Mike Sargent, Cootamundra
IT STARTS WITH A LETTER
CONGRATULATIONS Kurt Fearnley, NSW Australian of the Year 2019 (‘Pride of Newcastle’, Herald 13/11). Equally, well done to both Joanne McCarthy and Mark Hughes for reaching the finalist stage.
The Australian of the Year awards are a unique opportunity for all Australians to nominate citizens who have made a contribution to the social fabric of our nation. In 2007, I had the honour and privilege of representing a corporate partner of the award on the nominations selection committee. It was a humbling and rewarding experience. To see the breadth of the nominations was inspiring as I read of their achievements and the enthusiasm with which their nominators endorsed their nominee.
These awards, along the the Order of Australia honours are open for anyone to nominate. The pen is in your hand to recognise those most deserving.
Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook
FINISH WHAT’S NOT STARTED
LAST Wednesday a think tank was held by the Hunter Region Councils and interested parties regarding a wish list of hoped for future infrastructure upgrades and future developments. But why are we asking for more when many of the infrastructure projects already necessary are not underway?
There seems to be a lot of talk from Sydney but not much progress. The Inner City bypass needs completion with flyovers and ramps instead of traffic lights, we need to fix the Adamstown railway crossing and Fassifern Railway freight line problems, and another overpass at Maitland railway crossing. We need the Black Hill to Heatherbrae Pacific Highway bypass, better transport to the airport, the new Maitland Hospital, an ambulance station at Rutherford, and to finish raising the road at Testers Hollow.
The list goes on. Most of these have had a feast of talk around them for years. The Hunter’s outer regions are some of the fastest-growing parts of NSW, but there’s not much genuine action.
Ray Dean, East Seaham
PUTTING POWER IN QUESTION
RICHARD Mallaby (Letters 9/11) states that 11 gigawatts of renewable energy has been completed or in the progress of completion. 11 gigawatts is 11,000 megawatts, but the total combined capacity of Eraring, Bayswater, Liddell, Vales Point and Mt Piper power stations is 10,240 megawatts.
That amount of renewable energy equals the output of over 7300 wind turbines. A wind turbine only has 33 to 50 per cent efficiency. They are machines and they do wear and require outages. If the wind speed drops by half, power generation is reduced by a factor of eight.
Mr Mallaby also states that there have been over 100 failures in coal-fired power stations this year. What is the nature of these failures? Also, he states a nuclear power station uses too much water. They operate in the same manner as a coal-fired power station but have a reactor instead of a boiler. One nuclear power station is located in dry southern California. I do agree that nuclear power stations are expensive to build.
Mark Fetscher, Charlestown
COOL IT ON THE COAST
RICHARD Mallaby ‘s letter on nuclear power (Herald 9/11) said country towns benefited from renewable energy. But what specific benefit when that power would only be transmitted to the NSW grid? South Australia’s battery is too small to contribute much to grid stability.
But that brings up a big problem with renewable energy - grid instability. The 7.30 story on high-voltage instability (ABC 8/11) reported on higher consumer power-bills. An overloading of the grid from unscheduled renewable generation pushed up voltage well above the required 240 volts. This higher voltage increased power bills and will only get worse with more renewables.
Most so-called "failures" of coal-fired power have little impact on the grid. Almost all the 22,000 pumped hydro sites talked about are just holes in the ground or valleys that most people will not want dammed. Generation of hydrogen fuel requires more energy than it delivers. The transition to renewables is not looking like a good solution to Australia's power needs, is it?
The cost of nuclear power maybe a limiting factor but with 35000 kilometres of coastline, Australia can readily use saltwater cooling just like the UK and Japan.
Peter Devey, Merewether
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