PRIME Minister Scott Morrison told our children to "stay in school" and not to march over his government's inaction over climate change. Children openly defied the prime minister. They were told to follow his directive. Senator Matt Canavan added that children were preparing themselves for the dole queue by marching. Instead of affirming our younger generations, he put them down.
It doesn't matter what they were marching for, the Liberals have no right to belittle our children. It's hard to imagine a worse scenario for a government on the ropes. They are happy to discourage young people from expressing an opinion. Not just that, the Liberals are happy to put our children down in front of the nation. Is this really the best way to nurture, encourage and affirm young, impressionable children?
John Butler, Windella Downs
REVIVE NATIONAL SERVICE
HOPEFULLY our federal political parties will have plenty of time to consider their policies for us to consider when voting in the next election. Is any consideration being given to national service for men and women, which many countries still require?
In World War II, UK personnel were called up or volunteered, most never having had experience of or preparation for war. After only three months training, thousands of people were shipped out to countries at war which lasted six years.
My husband was 17 when he had three months’ training before being second in charge on a boat fighting the Japanese in Burma. It was his first experience of the sea, having been in boarding school in the Hills and spending holidays on the north-west frontier and cycling into Afghanistan.
Our top brass are not in favour of national service, maintaining the mantra we have enough permanent members of the three services. Surely, with all the unrest in the world Australia should be prepared for any eventuality in the hope it will not be attacked again. Many people do not know that Darwin was bombed or Sydney threatened by enemy submarines.
June Porter, Warners Bay
OF SAFES AND HOUSES
I BELIEVE that any person or government that still thinks the ridiculous level that house prices have evolved to as a result of greed does not need to radically be brought back to sensible and sustainable levels has a lot to answer for the inevitable impending crash when it comes.
To own your own house was always a main objective of any young person or couple and used to be achievable. If you are one of those that are whinging about changes being suggested, especially to the tax and financial system that will hopefully bring the price back to a sensible and sustainable level, you are part of the problem.
Allan Earl, Thornton
IT’S NO WALK IN THE PARK
IN arguing that “complainants should look beyond their noses” and that "good things come to those who wait", Les Field (Letters, 3/12) wrongly assumes that the multi-level carpark proposed for The Store site will become a public parking facility.
The development application clearly states it is being built to provide the parking requirements for the 350 apartments and commercial space proposed to follow on the rest of the site. The carpark will be only available in the interim for "leased, all day parking" until the rest of the development is built, approximately 12 to 18 months later.
Not only does this arrangement fail to solve the long term need for parking near the transport interchange, it may also deter any investment in parking infrastructure in the precinct in the medium term.
Glenn Burgess, Cooks Hill
PEOPLE MAKE THE EAST END
TWO letters in the Herald; one regarding insufficient safe cycle ways in the CBD (Letters 3/12) and another saying trams must remain stationary for at least 38 seconds at every tram stop (Short Takes 3/12).
Considering cars may have to stop in some areas every time a train stops and wait for it to resume its travel, it’s likely cars will no longer want to even attempt to travel Hunter Street.
Maybe all cars should be banned from Newcastle CBD besides residents. Then we can read all the stories of road rage between those who are privileged and those who are not. Come on, Newcastle council: bite the bullet and build a roadway on the old railway strip.
Forget about developers’ application fees and another 1000 ratepayers; you already have accumulated enough wealth to cover far more than costs for a very long time. Give something back and actually open up Newcastle to the people. It's people who make a city, not buildings, trams, or any other bucket-list attraction.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
WHAT A TREE MEANS TO ME
I HAD just returned from a hectic morning of Christmas shopping. Among the items displayed was an amazing array of Christmas trees.
Shoes kicked off and refreshed by my regular coffee, I decided that it was time to rescue my own Christmas tree as the season approaches.
Not an imposing structure, it’s actually quite small, but the tree is part of my family. It will have its 60th birthday this year, having seen the light of day after my first baby was born. The tradition lived on with my first great-grandchild. On one occasion the cat fancied the tree and over it went, but we righted it.
Among the ornaments are some paper streamers which have almost fallen apart, but they are precious because my children made them when they were small.
We have no fancy lights but my tree doesn’t need them. The memories say it all.
Daphne Hughes, Kahibah
BURN-OUT SEALS THE DEAL
I THINK Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin has made it official: his burnouts on the Newcastle logo at Nobbys hairpin bend have made world headlines. We can claim the title of hoon capital of the southern hemisphere.
We don't have to rely on the suburban hoons any longer to tattoo our public roads, because now we have the professional mark left at Nobbys.
Let's complete the picture by replacing the trees that were removed along the track by planting semi-mature hoon pines, interspersed with boganvilleas.
I’m looking forward to more world class burn-outs, fumes, noise and rubber dust. Forget the climate change tree-huggers and other useless species, because now Newcastle is on the map and millions will migrate here to get high on the petrol fumes.
Martin Schlaeger, Eleebana
SHARE YOUR OPINION
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