LAST week's tragic loss of life of a cyclist in the inner city ('CBD tragedy', Newcastle Herald 21/3) and the pleas from the police for safety near the light rail, means we must ask: how did we get here?
Late last year, concerns about the safety of people cycling on Hunter Street were raised by cycling organisations. City of Newcastle chief executive Jeremy Bath dismissed them as "a handful of people in our community who are hoping for the work of Revitalising Newcastle to fail" ('Cycle safety fears on new Hunter Street', Herald 15/11/18).
That very week the council's own community survey results came with the rates notice. "Better connectivity of cycling routes" was one of the top 5 issues raised for improvement by the 700 plus people who completed the survey, a few more than a handful.
Gladys Berejikilan asks us to leave our cars at home when we visit our beautiful city. But a safe, dedicated cycling route to the beach has not eventuated from our city's renewal. Perhaps it's time for our council to decide whether it wants to represent our interests and advocate for our safety, or just be an apologist for what the state government decides it wants to do in our city. Please stop marketing to us, and start advocating for us.
Bronwyn McDonald, Mayfield West
TERROR CLOSE TO HOME
MY only sibling, my sister Janice, has lived in Christchurch, New Zealand, for over 30 years. For most of that time she and her husband, Max, have lived in the coastal Christchurch suburb of Linwood. There is a mosque located at the end of their street quiet, peaceful street.
Six months ago, they down-sized and moved to a unit in the city and not far along their road is another mosque which is on my brother-in-law's regular walking route. Sadly these were the two mosques targeted last Friday during times of prayer. Following the massacre I phoned my sister on a couple of occasions to see how she and Max were coping with the terrorist attack, as I knew that they were acquainted with members of those communities.
They were devastated that such a thing could happen and they, like many other people in Christchurch, reached out to the Muslim community to reassure them that this act of a crazed terrorist was against all of their personal values and beliefs. This coming together of Muslim and non-Muslim communities has proliferated throughout New Zealand and Australia, and has brought the people of different faiths closer together.
I was impressed the masses of flowers placed outside these two mosques as well as mosques throughout Australasia. Hopefully this will help to reassure Muslims that the crazed actions of a lone gunman do not reflect the attitude of the general community towards them. Maybe some good can come out of this horrific and senseless slaughter.
It goes without saying that the aim of terrorists is to create fear, division and mistrust between various community groups but maybe this terrible act will create a greater understanding, right now, and in the years ahead.
John Lambkin, Floraville
KICK ON BEYOND PHOTO
THE photograph that last week dominated sporting news of AFLW player Tayla Harris is spectacular. Here is an athlete of tremendous sporting finesse and talent being captured, empowered by her ability in a moment of magic. Women in sport are fierce.
They are enthusiastic, powerful, strong and warrior-like.
They are also the quiet achievers in the public eye, because it is blatantly obvious that women in sport are grossly and unfairly under-represented in the media.
As we have seen, unfortunately when they are pushed into the limelight there is a proportion of society who are disrespectful of their incredible abilities.
The culture of Australia has been that sport is the domain of men, and to be fair, men are also great athletes. However, isn't it time that women receive fair representation and acknowledgement when due? I read the Herald most weekends and I don't believe there is enough coverage of women in sport.
This is not good enough. Let's shine the light on gender equality in all aspects of our culture. Let's create a fairer society where everyone is respected for their ability regardless of gender.
We represent half of society if not more, we are passionate about our sport and fitness. We support and respect our sporting brothers, sons, fathers, partners and friends. Equal coverage of women in sport should be the norm.
Natalie Brazil, Newcastle East
HARBOUR OUT OF VIEW
DEAR Gladys, where to now for you? A stadium that did not need an excessive amount of money to be spent on replacement when a much cheaper upgrade would reportedly have fit the bill.
From what we see, there are not many days or events when the stadium was used to capacity.
Speaking of bills, where do you think the money is going to come from for the blowout (again) in the Sydney light rail project?
I guess we already know it will come from the rest of the state's hard-working people via service cuts that you will no doubt justify as cost savings.
There are other centres in New South Wales beyond Sydney that could have used that funding for projects.
Your government has already indicated it can pull the paltry $12.5 million for our cruise ship terminal.
In my opinion you are too short-sighted in dealing with the rest of the state and you live by the code that if it isn't in Sydney then it's not important.
Greg Lowe, New Lambton
PUT A CORK IN BLAME GAME
STEWART Ewan ('Coal shouldn't dominate regional basket', Newcastle Herald, 22/3) has a very simplistic view of the Hunter economy if he believes all the Hunter's economic eggs are in the coal basket.
He also makes claims about my views on the Hunter economy that are incorrect.
Sure, the coal industry is responsible for around 20 per cent of the Hunter economy and 12,000 direct jobs, but that still leaves an 80 per cent contribution from other industries including his own world-renowned wine sector.
The Hunter is world famous for its high-quality wine and its high-quality coal.
That's a strong example and testament to the power of co-existence and economic diversity.
Our Hunter industries should work together to strengthen the regional economy, not resort to public and personal attacks.