CONGRATULATIONS Mark Curry on your induction into the Australian Country Cricket Championship Hall of Fame. I have known “Prawns” for years and he is well deserving of this honour, not only in the way he plays cricket but the way he conducts himself off the field. A man in much the same mould as the late, great Dutchie Holland. Well done to those who bestowed this on Mark. Now all you have to do Mark is send me the $100 you said you would give me if I wrote something nice about you. Only joking. Well done.
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Melville Brauer,GatesheadCAN you please stop printing the rude letters from Fingal Bay about people from Sydney? It is unedifying to read such nasty, petty comments and one couldn’t blame anyone for deciding to take holidays elsewhere in future if an area whose income depends heavily on tourism is so unwelcoming. While you’re at it, can you please ask the butcher and his correspondent/s to meet for coffee and a chat instead of subjecting us all to their pointless banter? Thank you.

Wendy Webb,BelmontREGARDING ‘Dirty Dip’ (Herald,11/1). We get into trouble at times relating to the “good old days”. Well they were when Peter Walmsley, along with his wife Janette, managed the baths. Pristine? Yes.

Ken Harvey,Warners BayJAMES Macaulay (Short Takes, 13/1), then why not have those services running to ideal, functional Newcastle station? The station could feature a part of its rich history. Just think of the choice for a vibrant hub that’s ready to go. Now that’s a gateway, for our peerless CBD that has raved about beaches and waterfront. Services can stop at Wickham.

Graeme Tychsen,Rankin ParkSO Premier Gladys Berejiklian ignores her own Treasury’s advice of tackling negative gearing and the generous capital gains reduction to improve housing affordability in NSW. In whose interest is she acting – the ordinary taxpayer’s or property developers’?

Susie Johnson,AdamstownRECENTLY I had an emergency visit to John Hunter Hospital. The treatment I received was exceptional from everyone . They mended my heart with professional care, always keeping me informed, making sure I understood procedures and with a sense of humour thrown into the mix. In short you saved my life and my family and I will be forever grateful. A heartfelt thank you!

Christine Galvin,Cardiff SouthIS James Macaulay (Short Takes, 13/1) seriously suggesting that there is a train “every 10 minutes” from Awaba to Wickham interchange? How about every hour (two hours on weekends)? If he had to attend a funeral at Christ Church Cathedral, further east, instead of Sacred Heart he might be less inclined to say “Newcastle is looking good” and “change for the better”.

Keith Parsons,NewcastleTHE POLLSWHICH one is scarier?

Spiders 40.32%,Snakes 26.34%,Sharks 21.51%,Other11.83%

PERSPECTIVE is a wondrous, thing, Andrew Smith (Short Takes, 21/11). Depending on your focus, the mathscan demonstrate all sorts of viewpoints. Andrew’s focus is on who didn’t vote ‘yes’. Using the same method but focusing on ‘no’ shows that 38.4 per centof the 79.5 per centwho voted, equals 30.528 per cent. That is, fewer than one third voted against marriage equality. Another look at the glass reveals it really is half full.
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Janet Sutherland,HillsboroughPERHAPS Niko Leka (Short Takes, 21/11) should also consider the many Australians who will be living in darkness and heat this summer because they are so worried about how they will be able to pay their electricity bill they are scared to turn on their lights and air conditioning. These are not people who tried to enter Australia illegally. And what has this excuse for a government sitting in their comfortable offices in Canberra done to address this problem?Rhetoric and empty promises.

Ann Ellis,MerewetherTHEsong ” Running Scared” would be well known to Roy Orbison fans, and that is precisely what I believe the Turnbull government is doing by closing Parliament for an extra week. They obviously think theAustralian voters are fools and will not see what they are about.

Darryl Tuckwell,EleebanaWHY can’t people, in their interpersonal contacts, deal with others as normal in their own way as they expect to be treated as normal in their own way? Dealing with issues objectively, without a presupposed bias about the other person, would foster the idea of the fair go.

John McLennan, CharlestownWITH mad dogs and Englishmen about to take the field and tennis grand slam contenders warming up in the wings, those who report these dominant summer battles should be sure they know how to correctly do so. In recent years that has become a lost art.A tennis match is not lost 6-1 6-1 6-1, that is a winning score; and one-day cricket games, along with the big-bash, are decided simply by who scores the most runs, regardless of overs bowled, or wickets taken — 10 for 201 always beats none for 200.

Ron Elphick,Buff PointTO Mac Maguire (Short Takes 20/11):Belgium’s divorce rate has soared to over 70% since the introduction of legalized gay marriage. Like I’ve said the only winners trying to sort out Bruceand Barry’s divorce will be the lawyers, just stating the facts.

Brad Hill,SingletonTHE POLLSDo you think biofuels could replace coal as the Hunter’s biggest industry?

Yes, 52.8%, No, 47.2%MESSAGEBOARDOn Saturday, November 25, about 300 former workers of the Kurri Kurri aluminium smelter will reunite at the Kurri Kurri Bowling Club for the smelter workers’ fifth annual reunion. The event will begin at 11am. Light finger food will be available. All permanent, casual and contractors who worked at the smelter and their families are invited.

IT must be a wonderful ability to have selective memory in your dreams Allan Morris (Letters, 2/11). For the last 65 years in NSW the ALP have governed for the majority of that time. Closer to home the ALP have held the NSW and federal seats around Newcastle almost exclusively. In all that time, as the Newcastle CBD declined and rotted away over the last 40-odd years, what has the ALP done for Newcastle? I have put all their achievements below my name. Please look closely.
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Neville Morris,ValentineHDC’sMichael Cassel rightlycuts a lonely figure at Newcastle’s abandoned station (‘Night activity for station’, Newcastle Herald,2/11). Go nowhere ideas for the buried station.Here’s a policy for everything falling into place: Real Sydneyintercity coming right to thepeerless destination at the functionalstation, not the 65km/h trundlers, for humming activity, all around. Let’s have our cake and eat it too.

Graeme Tychsen,Rankin ParkTURNBULL delivering stable government: Deputy PM – gone, Senate President – gone, Nationals Deputy – gone, Leader of House Chris Pyne encourages Independent to run against his own party. What will next week bring?

Joe Roskell, CharlestownRECORD deficit federal Treasurer Scott Morrison, Thursday November 2 on ABC TV’s 7.30, telling Leigh Sales and viewers what a good job the federal government is doing and how united they all are.How refreshing. There is otherwise a current scarcity of good comedy.

Ronald Piper,East MaitlandLET’S all get together in our sunnier, less shaded neighborhoods and organise a ‘plant a tree in front of your house’ day. With summers only getting hotter, some shade for the streets would keep us all a bit cooler. Just a 2c thought.

Samuel Rogers, RedheadIF ever the federal government and the opposition stop their game of one-upmanship and political point scoring, maybe they will have time to do something positive for Australia, maybe, but with this current lot, I seriously doubt it.

Jim Gardiner, New LambtonAS one of the mere 40 per cent of Australian Australians who are entitled to sit in the Federal Parliament, I would gladly put my hand up and do the job for free, just to bring back some common sense.

Maree Eggleston,MerewetherI THINK Brian Roberts is optimistic regarding the trundlers (Letters, 3/11). I’ll give them five years and after the taxpayers compensate the operators the state government will have to buy it back at inflated prices. It means we pay three times. Once to travel on it, once for compo and again to buy it back.

Peter Grant,Speers PointTHE POLLSSHOULD shark nets be installed on our beaches?

Yes 53.45%,No 46.55%

Regarding Tony Brown’s letter (Letters, 24/11): Well said Tony Brown, you need to be congratulated.
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Neil Coutts,Martins CreekI THOUGHT the money the Catholics gave to the church was for the poor, not to buy the Pope a new car. But I see their schoolfees are going up in January.

Barry Spaulding,CardiffHA ha ha, Jeremy Bath, you’re hilarious (“Luke lashes luncheon”, Newcastle Herald,25/11). You decide to host a $40,000 party disguised as a charity event and then remember just in time to invite a charity! Unbelievable!

Lyn Linklater,KotaraGREAT column from Jeff Corbett (“Sliding into invisibility”, Herald,25/11).One point Jeff, I don’t think the”F” in FOC meant fantastic! As for you turning invisible in shops, this is a phenomenon that I started noticing at about 60. I found it helpful to ask the server if I was in fact invisible, got some queer peers from them. That said I believe the circle has come around, more people now do not step in front but say “this man is next”, people really are good.

Kevin Miller, WindaleTO my mate Steve Barnett, luckily you’re not of the generation useless era. If you were, you would be suing your work colleagues for bullying, sexual harassment, verbal harassment and everything else. This would of course happen between power naps and at the boss’ expense.

Brad Hill,SingletonA SIMPLE and blunt message to all those serving on local councils, state governments, and the federal government. Under Section 44 of our Constitution … “If you currently hold dual citizenship, you are there illegally”. So grow some balls, get your snouts out of the trough, and get the hell out. You can’t serve two masters.

Alan Wallington,Mayfield EastHOW did the American Black Friday sales become part of our culture all of a sudden?

Andrew Whitbread-Brown,Cardiff HeightsTHE decision of the state government to spend $2 billion demolishing two perfectly acceptable sporting stadiums just to build almost identical replacements is an absolute disgrace. That $2 billion would have been much better spent on schools, hospitals and rejuvenating TAFE, instead of wasting it on tearing down stadiums which are under 30 years old and adequate. This government certainly has some strange priorities.

Peter C Jones,RathminesAT last there is pride of place at the Newcastle Jets. Well done to Ernie Merrick and his team.

Sue Burrough,Carey BayCONGRATULATIONS to Victoria on its assisted dying with dignity bill, and I hope the rest of Australia will follow suit soon.

Eva Koulis, EleebanaTHE POLLSSHOULD the lockout laws be changed?

No, they work 51.63%,Yes, they should be relaxed 37.25%,Yes, they should be tightened11.11%

THE site of Malcolm Turnbull basking in the re-election of Barnaby Joyce nearly sent my beer flat. If he really thinks his great leadership helped Joyce be re-elected he should really consider seeking medical help. The only reason Joyce was re-elected was the people of New England thought he was treated badly.
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Les Baldwin, PelicanTWO words can describe the forthcoming bank royal commission, short and cheap. This will be a farce, it will be on the banks’ terms and will accomplish nothing, and of course the government had to include the union super funds.

Darryl Tuckwell,EleebanaCASTIGATED for not doing it, now ridiculed for doing it. One thing Malcolm can bank on, creditors and debtors will short-change him at every opportunity and foreclose on him at the earliest. When the penny drops, where will thebuck stop?

Ron Elphick,Buff PointIN another great article by Jeff Corbett (‘Despicable Don Burke’,Newcastle Herald,2/12),he writes of how the disgusting behaviour of Don Burke unfairly reflects on all men. I believe the same unjust treatment is occurring to members of the Catholic and other churches. The despicable actions of a minority and the even worse cover ups should not be seen as being the fault of the majority. Yet in our understandable eagerness to expose the evil, the balance seems to have tilted to such an extent, that many believe, all are guilty until proven innocent.

Dave McTaggart,EdgeworthIN regard to the Knights signing Mitchell Pearce it makes me feel like selling my new dirt bike and buying a horse, red and blue cape and running around like Super Hubert on game day. Great boost for supporters like me and our great city.

Mathew Earl,CessnockREGARDING the McDonalds proposed development: Like a previous correspondent, I was shocked to hear that McDonalds has submitted a proposal to redevelop their premises, increase trading to 24/7 and have two-way access in Dora Street. I think this would impact on traffic flow in Dora Street and surrounding streets adversely affect residents’ right of quiet enjoyment of their home and cause safety concern for children at the child care centre one property away.

Margaret Rees,MayfieldTHE election you have when you’re not having an election (‘Barnaby swings back’, Herald,4/12). Is that what we just had? Not a nice way to get rid of someone. People showed their disapproval at these underhanded tactics and in the interests offair play, by voting to return the person kickedout. Atleast till the next genuine election. It’s called giving someone a fair go.

Robyn Burtinshaw,Nambucca HeadsTHE majority of Knights supporters make me feel a little sick in the stomach. Last season you signed SKD and I heard everyone whinging about it, but he was your best player at the back end of last season. Now you are all complaining about the signing of Mitchell Pearce. I think he will have a great season.

Colin Geatches,Mayfield

I AM appalled at the significant changes to our local high school buses. My son attends Callaghan College, Wallsend and is “in zone”, yet has to wait 35 minutes after school finishes to catch a public bus home. School finishes at 1.30pm on a Friday and yet he must wait until 3.35pm for the bus. Prior to the recent changes there was a bus provided shortly after finishing their school days. I do wonder if this was a different area or school, whether there would have been such significant changes to their bus route.
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Claire Stanners,WallsendCORRECT Jeremy Bath. Newcastle has so much immense potential, as the most Australian destination, it defies belief it is no longer the destination of the nation’s leading trunk rail corridor, taken off global Sydney’s train network, (Weekender, 3/2). Where’s the policy for frequent 90 minute inter-cities, to 21st century-ideal Newcastle station, to tap Sydney’s wealth? Light rail can carry 1200 an hour, not even a train load.

Graeme Tychsen, Rankin ParkBLUE moon? Nonsense! I was reluctant to purchase some brie for the second time in the month in case it turned to blue vein. The moon is made of cheese, isn’t it (according to Trivial Pursuit).

Allan Milgate,ValentineWE were all hoping that the University of Newcastle’s academic Dr Xanthe Mallett was finally going to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the Beaumont children when it was wildly publicised that she was one of the key scientific minds behind the “breakthrough” in the disappearance.Police have now called off the search as a new dig sight yielded nothing. Those involved say they desperately wants to find the missing children so their parents can give them a decent burial but, like so many other false leads in this case, all this new theory did was give the Beaumonts false hope.

Margaret Priest, WallsendBLAISE Joseph and Dr Buckingham (‘It’s time to stop fixating on Finland’s ed system’,Newcastle Herald,31/1), should note that NAPLAN testing takes a full week out of the school year. Losing one week from 40 to 39. That’s not education, that’s a week of exam coaching.So yes, blame NAPLAN.

Peter Devey,MerewetherOH those poor humbugs who couldn’t see the fun side of Ferry McFerryface and its possibilities. It could have been scheduled for the runs to Taronga Park and Luna Park. As a May Gibbs fan for the past 70 years I can see openings for her with the next two ferries off the boards: Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

Donald Matthews,Fennell BayTHE POLLSDo you agree with the removal of the Lombardy poplar trees on Maitland’s Long bridge?

Yes 50%,No 50%MESSAGEBOARDFIRST aid highlights, a course forparents of children and babies is on at Belmont Neighbourhood Centre on Monday, Feburary 19.Time: 1pm-3pmWhere: 359 Pacific Highway, Belmont North.Cost: $10 per family.Bookings essential. Call 4947 0031.

TO Niko Leka (Short takes, 9/11) –the refugees on Manus broke the law and were costing Australia too much. Too bad the lefties did not have same compassion for many disadvantaged people in Australia.
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Warren Parrey, TelarahTO Niko Leka (Short Takes, 9/11) – I get that you genuinely care deeply for the welfare of the Manus Island asylum seekers but to accuse our government of mass murder is over the top. The asylum seekers have been offered alternatives. If our government caves in to their demands we will, I believe, undoubtedly see the people smugglers back in business with hundreds more deaths at sea. Will those who pushed our government into softening its policies be guilty of mass murder for those deaths?

Dave McTaggart, EdgeworthYES,Tony Cooper (Short Takes, 9/11) –if only Malcolm Turnbull would target the thousands of his supporters who keep the superannuation payments of 2.8 million workers (tax Office figures). In the coming economic crisis, Australia will have to find hundreds of millions for the extra full and part pensions of those who had retirement stolen from their pay packets by greedy employers. If only Malcolm would pursue those thousands with the same effort and disproportionate expense he has of the few in the mostly innocent union movement.

Colin Fordham, LambtonHOW about the Jets. Top of the league. I hope the Knights are paying attention.

Bill Slicer, Tighes HillI HAD the most wonderful lunch with a group of talented, creative, compassionate women recentlyand our conversation turned to the Lisa andKarl issue. Why, we were asking, is she worth 24 per centless than him?.Sorry, but that is not OK. My lovely friends who are doing some of the most important jobs for our community seem to be terminally underpaid. Caring for our disabled and aged for some reason is not as important as some tradie putting an electric eel down your dunny. How do we change this?

Megan Askar, WaratahHAD enough of Manus Island, dualcitizens, yes votesand the Newcastle train issues. Someone send me a blanket. I am moving to Antartica with the penguins. Wake me when Trump has haircut.

Michael Casey, MerewetherI BELIEVE it is high time that the federal member for Port Stephens, Meryl Swanson,took a more aggressive role in defending the residents of Port Stephens in their fight for justice over the ongoing pollution scandal.Although Labor is not in government, she must take the fight right up to Turnbull and his ministers in preparation for the election of a Labor government and the greater responsibilities that will entail for her in the solution of this terrible injustice.

Brian Crooks, SconeSO I might get 25 per cent back of the 100 per centrise of my power bill in the next 10 years? Not good enough Malcolm. I think a class action againstunrealistic bill rises is in order,seeing as Malcolm won’t do anything.

Craig Burden, Hamilton

REGARDING Stockton beach erosion problems (‘Meeting planned to discuss Stockton eroison’, NewcastleHerald,1/11), maybe Simon Jones should arrange to have a car race at Stockton.It seems to get some action in other suburbs plus the parking arrangements have already been organised.
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Graeme Galvin,WarabrookNO passenger drop off zone at Newcastle Interchange? What a failure inplanning not to have a safe place to drop off passengers.

Tim Roberts, NewcastleSO decorations and presents are OK for Christmas (Letters, 1/11)? Surely this is the epitome of commercialisation of a religious holiday. Ask most kids, they probably can’t tell you what Christmas means or that it is a religious holiday. Americans often say Thanksgiving is the best holiday, because the only expectation is that you get together with family and friends to give thanks.

Chris Bench,HamiltonMANY smokers must think their finished cigarette butt must disappear into thin air like their cigarette smoke after they discard them, usually on the pavement, road or a pot plant. It astounds me the amount of you seen doing this, it’s very annoying.

Neil Coutts,Martins CreekMAY well you say “God save the Queen”, because nothing will save an Aussie politician who holds British citizenship.

RichardRyan, Summerland PointCAN anybody tell me who the bright spark was that has allowed six extra car parking spaces to extend towards Whitebridge on the eastern side of Dudley Road on the corner with Bula Street? We now have a situation with anybody turning right into Bula Street from Dudley Road now stopping all traffic headed towards Charlestown. I watched it bank back almost all the way up to the roundabout. Maybe they are preparing the residents for congestion when the new estate opens in Whitebridge. Nah, that would be a conspiracy theory.

Ian Reynolds,ForsterRAY Davidson (Short Takes, 1/11) regarding insurance ads –do as I do when the ad comes on, phone and complain. They might get the message if everyone bugs them.

Tony Cooper,BelmontTHE law is an ass, taking the Constitution on who is an Australian to the Nth degree. People who think they are Australian and never seek benefit from another country and who for years have acted in good faith for Australia are ousted. What a joke, only it’s on us. Common sense? Moral reasons behind words written decades ago ignored. I am sick of the pointless, time and money wasting exercise played out in Parliament.

Betsy Watson, SwanseaTHE POLLSCLOSING Newcastle Grammar for one day during the Supercars race is:

An outrage 36.45%,A storm in a teacup 33.09%,A non-issue30.46%CAN Newcastle learn something from the Baltimore renewal model?

Yes 68.42%,They are unrelated 21.05%,No 10.53%

I WOULD like to know what party thought it a good idea to export water from the driest continent. And with zero day approaching in South Africa I say nobody or no company will take not 1 litre of water away from this land – the people own the water. Now if that ain’t a reason for treason.
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Craig Budden,HamiltonSO Barnaby is slipping back to the backbench with Tony. Will this mean more tantrums in the sandpit now? Who will get the spade and who will get the bucket?

David Quinn,MayfieldCOLIN Geatches, you stated that when Newcastle introduced the lockout laws they were a success and “it worked” (Letters, 21/2), but what are you basing that on? Statistics showed problems for both patrons and publicans became worse after some bright sparks had the genius idea to introduce laws that saw all patrons turfed out onto the street at once, proving the “Newcastle solution” was a solution in name only.

Adz Carter,NewcastleBARNABYJoyce’s greatest enduring legacy may not only be to political history but Australian slang. So and so has done a “Barnaby”

Tony Brown,NewcastleANOTHER good win for the Jets. Not such a great start for the Knights but I’m sure they will have their excuses ready.

Bill Slicer,Tighes HillTO John William Hill (Short Takes, 24/2), glad you agree that thousands of acres of land are taken up by vineyards and thousands more by the horse studs, the biggest gambling industry in the world, and that hundreds of thousands of acres that are used for mining are unsuitable for farming. I think hypocritical Greens and do-gooders encroaching on our every day way of life is far more concerning than a few coalmines encroaching on a few vineyards.

Brad Hill,SingletonTHE most important thing Newcastle needs to do is tidy the place up, it’s disgraceful. The cruise terminal should have been built five years ago. Too much talk almost no action! Wake up. Get out of the stone age.

John Wrightson,HamiltonBARNABY Joyce has no right to sit in parliament. He is an achiever who gets things done, a job creator who works hard to represent the people who voted for him. Barny’s hands don’t shake on pay day unlike the useless self interest mob that wastes our time and future.

Steve Barnett,Fingal BayTHE POLLSWHICH would be your tourism priority?

Stockton 13.42%,Glenrock 4.53%, Foreshore 38.76%,Broadmeadow 13.76%, East End 9.9%,King Edward Park 6.38%,Conference centre 13.26%MESSAGEBOARDA FREEBlackalls Swing Band concert is being held on Tuesday, March 6,atToronto Community Hub, 99 The Boulevarde, Toronto from 2pm.Revive memories of music from the ’50s.Admission: Free. Afternoon tea:$5. Contact:4959 3821.

THEremoval of change rooms at Nobby’s Beach seems to be the latest step in a long line of stupid decisions to discourage people from going into Newcastle.
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Scott Dwyer, Cameron ParkI SUGGESTall families who are using in-homechild care tolook at the effect the new child care subsidywill have onyour care.Can you afford to work after July 1, 2018?

Amanda Johnstone,MayfieldTHEUSA, Cuba, North Korea, Haiti, Somalia, Italy, Serbia are just a few republics we can try to emulate.With Paul Keating as president we could not fail to have the odd revolution. It would only cost a few hundred million dollars to start with and be of no real benefit. Bring it on.

John Maxwell Hollingsworth,HamiltonISJulie Robinson confusing Jesus with Moses(Short Takes, 29/12)? According to some, Joseph (from the line of David) and Mary were betrothed, and the Roman Emperor had decreed a census would be taken, of men only, who had to be counted at the place of their birth.So Joseph had to travel from Bethlehem to Nazareth.He took Mary with him as she was expecting a child.Because of overcrowding in his family home, the couple were allowed to sleep in the barn with the cattle, where Mary gave birth.As Mary and Joseph were not married, would Jesus be illegitimate rather than a refugee?

June Porter, Warners BayTHINGSmust be slow in your shop if you just look at hindquarters all day. It could be worse, they could do a hambone in front of your place, or they could be mutton dressed up as lamb. Don’t be a silly sausage, they can’t all be big heifers.

Gary Edman, Adamstown HeightsIFeveryone is concerned about paedophiles, as I am, is it safer to get changed in the open? I believe not, as privacyis important to all but especially the ageing and the very young.Our beaches in Newcastle are our showpieces and tourist attractions, so perhaps money couldbe spent on these areas in lieu of moving council offices or councillors pay raises.

Denise Lindus Trummel,MayfieldLORDMayor Nuatali Nelmes – listen to the community re Nobby’s change rooms, instead of giving yourself a pay rise.

Michael Casey,MerewetherINreply to Olwyn Edwards (Letters, 2/1). Whilst travelling through a country town, I noticed outside one shop a sign which said ‘Bored Husband’s Seat’. I thought that this little gem could apply to anywhere.

DaphneHughes, MayfieldWITHthe Nobby’s Beach changing facilities the centre of controversy at the moment (‘Hot under the collar’, Herald, 3/1), the public toilet/changing facilities at Merewether Beach should also be added to the mix.The shower/change (if it can be called that) spaces were an afterthought and definitely cannot cater safely during the summer months.How they have missed being complained about in the past is anyone’s guess, but they definitely need being brought into the 21st Century.

David Barrow, Merewether

I THOUGHT these people doing the light rail were only going to close a section at a time. Now they have closed another stating the first should be finished by the end of the year. Light rail will never work we’ve been there, done that with trams. I just hope I wake up soon from this nightmare. C’mon Gladys, incompetence at its best.
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Dash, WaratahBEING a gold member of NIB (joined in 1967) I find the comments by the CEO (‘Hunter fund’s big decade’, Newcastle Herald, 4/11) to be disturbing. I have in the past week made inquiries with another fund to transfer my membership and found I would be better off leaving.

Greg Parrey, AshtonfieldTO Shannon Kemp (Letters, 4/11), I live on the racetrack and I’m neither for nor against it, but get your facts straight. It’s actually 10 weeks a year, sixweeks to set up and fourweeks to dismantle. That’s 70 days per year my friend, not three. Another ill-informed individual.

Tony Padgett, Newcastle EastREGARDING Jeff Corbett’s comment “that’s why our society sneers at unemployment” (‘The failure of success’, Herald, 4/11). Sorry Jeff, you’re off the mark. People just don’t like their hard-earned taxes paying others to sleep in. If they don’t collect welfare, relax under the trees by all means, but not if I’m paying for it.

D. Kirkpatrick, KaruahI WOULDlike to ask Lake Macquarie council have they forgotten all about Hillsborough Road upgrade or are they just blowing smoke up people’s backsides and have no intention of doing anything about it?There’s going to be another death there soon –are you going to take full responsibility for it? Seriously, there are more suburbs in your electorate than Warners Bay and Glendale.

Colin Geatches, MayfieldTHEREare people who mistakenly believe MrShorten is unpopular with the public.I think they prefer not to look at a child star all grown up.So to see Bill in that bus is not the same as when I saw Smiley get a new bike.

Dave Wilson, Bar BeachRe: the Telstra outage in Sydney on Sundayand Monday. If Telstrastopped off-shoring jobs to India and the Philippines, maybe they’d have more qualified staff back in Australia, who could have taken care of the problem more quickly.

David Davies, Blackalls ParkTHE POLLSTHEslow rental price increase is…

Great news! Tenants can finally afford to pay the bills 50%Nothing to worry about 29%Terrible news for investors 21%Message boardTHEBoolaroo Uniting Church community is holding a garage sale fundraiser between 8.30am and 1pm on Saturday, November 11. The event, at 53 Main Road,will feature stalls of craft, cakes, white elephant goods, plants and books.

CAN someone in the know please explain why the rugby league goalposts at Maryland’s Bill Elliott oval were removed, and when (or if) they will be returned? The AFL ones across the road are still there. The season must be due to begin soon, and I assume the Wallsend-Maryland Tigers still exist, and are still intending to play there?
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Jan Caine,MarylandI WAS talking to a mate the other day and I said, they reckon that “taking Sunday penalty rates off hospitality workers did not create any jobs at all”. His reply was “I don’t know about that but the coffee price certainly didn’t come down”. So now I ask what and who were the winners in that exercise?

Fred McInerney, KaruahTHE council wants tourism in Newcastle when at Nobbys beach the seats are very dirty, soft drink spilled over seats and tables; ice cream, ice blocks all over the seats and tables; sticky mess very uncomfortable to sit down. Council supplies the seating and tables, how about the council clean the place? It will help tourism and the general public. Nice place, but dirty.

Alan Ackroyd,HamiltonBILL, Bill, Bill all you have to do is shut up and you’ll win the next election by a mile. Bad enough the last Labor government pushed back my retirement age by two years and you want to abolish negative gearing, which will lower the price of my home, making it harder to get into an over 60’s village. Now you want to abolish tax credits on my very modest share portfolio, which I had hoped would supplement my pension and cover a few crafties each week.

Dave McTaggart,EdgeworthSTREWTH Jeff Corbett (‘Driving rest of us crazy’, Herald,10/3), you had better pack the van and take off to my home town of Hat Head. I know you like the joint despite the barnacle-encrusted old yokels and a 40km/h speed limit.

Steve Barnett,Fingal BayGIVE poor old Jeff Corbett a break. His mostly tongue in cheek articles are hilarious, and he is only giving voice to what most people think anyway. Keep it up Jeff. The wowsers need to take a chill pill!

Tony Morley,WaratahTO Ross Edmonds of Waratah (Letters, 14/3):whilst I do find it irritating that it seems to take a while for the queue of cars to move when the light goes green, I’m happy to take all day in my Honda Prelude to get to where I’m going. The tailgaters can just go around me; that’s what the accelerator is for. And with four-wheel steering, my ‘89 model car is sure to get a 90 degree angle park right every time, the first time.

Bryn Roberts,New LambtonREGARDING beating the big end of town, Darryl Tuckwell, (Short Takes, 14/3). Rugby league runs 26 weeks until the pointy end of it starts. Don’t start doing cartwheels yet, there’s a long way to go, another 25 rounds.

Gary Graham,Raymond TerraceTHE POLLSAREyou surprised bus patronage rose?

LITTER: More needs to be done to clean up the streets of our cities, argues one contributor who had a most unpleasant experience. Picture: Dominic LorrimerLAST week my wife and I travelled into Newcastle to enjoy an evening with friends, stopping in the East End to visit our daughter. We parked our car in Wolfe Street just up from King Street and went to our daughter’s house some 50 metres away.After about half an hour, we returned to our car to find the passenger side window kicked in and my wife’s purse stolen.
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We have learnt a lesson that despite the heavy tinting of the windows and the bag tucked under the seat; we should not have left it. It was, however, 4.30pm with heavy pedestrian traffic and we did not expect such a brazen attack in broad daylight.

At this stage a neighbour advised us that he had seen the offender and immediately rang the police and informed us that the police would be here soon.

After 90 minutes and still no police, I walked in the direction the offender was last seen heading, in the hope he had only taken the cash and had discarded the purse.I travelled down Wolfe Street and ventured into the laneways and pathways that abut the old David Jones building and car park in King Street and what I saw was nothing short of a disgrace. The area is littered with rubbish, evidence of drug use, graffiti and many squats used by the homeless.

East End resident groups and state and local politicians are often arguing about light rail and V8s, infrastructure and events that will only benefit our wonderful city. Why is no one championing the underlying social issue, which is apparent in the East End? Authorities and property owners have an obligation to the broader community to keep property and public space in a satisfactory condition and in my view, they have both failed to meet this obligation.

With rain threatening, a broken window and no police in sight we went home disillusioned with the events of the afternoon.

Garry McLachlan,RedheadBigger and better on wayTHE council has made clear to the Newcastle Herald that a standalone change room for people with mobility challenges (Short Takes, 10/1) and fully accessible toiletwill soon be built at Nobbys, in a substantial enhancement on what was available.

This work will also include a standard parents’ room sized for a parent and theirchildren to change privately. Later a hoist will be installed as part of a lift and change room facility for beachgoers requiring assistance, which will allow them to transition into a beach/water wheelchair if required. Council understands it would have been ideal to have the upgraded public accessible facilities constructed at the time of the refurbished pavilion,but delivery timeframes tied to grant funding prevented this.

Separately, regarding recentsuggestions that a tourist information centre be locatedat the former Newcastle station, Iencourage Herald readers to visit the Newcastle Shop, located in the former cafe at the Newcastle Museum. There is plenty of parking for small and large vehicles, walk-up access from Honeysuckle Drive, freewifi, light cafe facilities and plenty of tourist information. The Newcastle Shop also serves as the head office for the NEW Crew volunteers, the city’s team of specialist visitor guides who promote Newcastle as a leading tourist destination​.

Jeremy Bath, chief executive, Newcastle City CouncilListen to the peopleRECENTLY an academic on the radio said her research into people’s desire for legalisation of euthanasia revealed it was not so much for release from unbearable pain, but loss of dignity,quality of life and being a burden after a life spent onworking hard and giving for the good of Australia.

In the mid 1950s (post war) the government decided to combine the high income tax and the pension tax (the working person’s superannuation tax) to form the PAYE tax, which ended up in consolidated revenue. There was no “nanny state” then, with baby bonus, child allowance, child minding facilities, etc. and 15 per cent upwards for home mortgages if one were eligible – no first home buyers’ allowance, etc. The pill gave women a choice from being “barefoot and pregnant”, but not equality to men. I always earned more than my husband, but that was not even considered when it came to a bank loan – no credit cards then either!

Surely now is a good time for our religious politicians to take note of what the people want and grant them the right to decide when they quit their “ slough of despond”.

June Porter,Warners BayWhat’s there to celebrateAS we near what has become one of the most contentious days in our public holiday calendar “Australia Day”, “should” it be a day of celebration or just another anniversary in our history, but one where we can take stock of where we are now and what have we learned from past mistakes, and what we done to rectify them?

Just two of the many things that are worthy of some thought: First, how well have we done in closing the gap with indigenous Australians? Second, how have we looked after and future proofed our fresh water in this country?We have thrown billions of dollars and held many inquiries into both these objectives, sadly we are no further ahead. Quite shameful really.One could almost say, the way the governments handle these problems it seems they are pursuing Albert Einstein’s theory of insanity.

Allan Earl, ThorntonServing the communityTHE response from the chief executive of Newcastle City Council (Letters, 9/1) about council’s level of support for sporting clubs was not surprising. Typical mundane political speak around what a council is supposed to do but, I think, far from the reality.

Line marking once a year, or top dressing etc.is really ground management that we as ratepayers should surely expect for our sporting fields at no cost. If paying $20k, clubs could fund all of your aforementioned “features” in the private sector or themselves and still have change.

Grant allocations are limited to the very few. If you truly believe that you are leading an exceptional team Mr Bath, and that $20k is a reasonable fee, set out a ground by ground, club by club feedback forum and make it public.

Better still, open the books, who gets what and why … put your ground management staff forward to answer questions ito evidence that NCC does its job well. I’ve had so much response this week from parents and residents supporting my comments.I intend to contact state and federal members also.

Your job is to serve the community.

Lucinda Crane,Kotara

SENSATIONAL: Novocastrians live beside some of the best beaches around, but one contributor questions why buses don’t go there. Picture: Max Mason-HubersHOW many times have I heard that Newcastle has some of the best beaches in Australia yet we still have no bus service for them?
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Can you imagine no bus service to Bondi, Bronte and Coogee etc? We now have a bus service, Route 21, which goes past Nobbys beach, but no bus stop.

You either have to walk from the Hunter Street Newcastle Transport Hub or double back from a bus stop in Parnell Place. The closest bus stop to Newcastle beach and Newcastle Baths is either Parnell Place or Church Street. Bar Beach and Dixon Park Beach fare no better. It is too far to walk in hot weather. I think very little imagination or foresight is shown by Newcastle Transport or the council. This is a service that should have been available years ago.

I bet that a bus service stopping at these beaches would be profitable. We will soon have a cruise liner terminal and no way to show visitors our beautiful beaches, walk over the Anzac memorial bridge or get off a bus and walk up to Nobbys lighthouse. Newcastle council has done a wonderful job in beautifying the foreshore and beaches but has lost sight in how to show it off.

Jim Overton,Garden SuburbsPaying for crimes of fewI ENCOURAGE Tony Brown to carefully consider the comparison he made between the current review of Newcastle hotel licensing conditions and speed restrictions in school zones and RBT (Letters, 5/1).

But since he brought it up, let’s take a look. The road safety initiatives mentioned by Mr Brown ensure motorists who break the rules are punished. And great initiatives they are, because they do just that. They penalise offenders. They don’t impact other motorists who are driving safely.

That’s why, even though we sadly lost 392 people on NSW roads during 2017, those of us who did not break any rules are still allowed to drive. At any time, to any place.

But that’s not the case with the current licensing restrictions imposed upon Newcastle. We are all penalised for the sins of the minority. Some of us broke the law, but we all must pay.So I believe one of two things have happened: Either Mr Brown penned a letter that makes no sense, or he believes laws like speeding and drink-driving that directly punish wrongful drivers are the same as, or comparable to, licensing conditions that impact everyone regardless of whether they did anything wrong.

Surely it can’t be the latter?

That would mean if people were caught drink-driving, then we would all have to be punished. Would we all have our licences revoked?Imagine the flow on effects. Those locally associated with the motor vehicle industry would suffer immensely.

But credit where it is due to Mr Brown. There is some merit to that theory.

If everyone was punished, their licences revoked, and they started staying at home because it was just too complicated to head out, there would be a significant decrease in road-related incidents, but only because there would be a lot less people … oh wait.

Rolly de With, The JunctionReview rezoningI THINK the treatment in the business papers of submissions and the Reachtel push poll have led councillors to squander an opportunity to have both reasonable development and a vital transport corridor.

Despite a resolution inviting submissions on whether people wanted light rail on the corridor under buildings and the lord mayor saying she was with what the community wanted, I believe the business papers summarily dismissed all submissions. Council ignored our advice that a 10-metre strip of corridor land is available for two light rail tracks which for two thirds of the corridor would not need to go under buildings.

To claim this dismissal was because of decisions on truncation and construction of light rail in Hunter Street being beyond the authority of council was outrageous.Council’s authority is over zoning. Those government decisions do not prevent council from rezoning to preserve the rail corridor.

Document 71 predicted extreme traffic congestion from Hunter Street trams and recommended light rail in the corridor.Population increase and significant development indicates corridor preservation would be prudent.Far from enabling feedback on the resolution concerning zoning for light rail under buildings, I think the Reachtel poll stymied feedback by not mentioning rail under buildings.All this has lost a vital rail corridor and councillors should review their decision and zone to preserve 10 metres of the corridor for light rail under buildings where necessary.

Alan Squire, convenor, Hunter Transport for Business DevelopmentGift of unconditional loveI READ, with interest, Jeff Corbett’s opinion (‘It’s a dog’s life, all right’, Herald, 6/1). Reading between the lines, it appears as though Jeff unfortunately has not enjoyed the unconditional love given by our canine friends. He has, in earlier opinions, mentioned that he is a grey nomad so probably enjoys the caravan lifestyle. Yes, there are irresponsible dog owners; however, I have found most to be respectful and obliging.

As one caravan park manager once told me “I have never had a problem with a dog, only people”. Says it all. I enjoy reading Jeff’s comments, however, in this instance; he possibly would have minimal supporters.

Michael Stevenson,Warners BayWhat basin biasSO disappointing to see an academic join in on the rather childish idea that the NSW government has a bias toward funding for the Sydney basinPhilip O’Neill, (‘Outsiders not getting best deal’, Herald,8/1).Mr O’Neill misses a few salient points, such as:

1. The number of people in NSW living outside the Sydney basin is closer to 2.1 million than 2.6 million.

2. The 7.8 million population of NSW is spread over 800,642 square kilometres; a fact that tends to magnify works conducted in the major area of population.

3. The Sydney basin provides around 80 per cent of NSW income.

4. Regarding infrastructure funding, the only people who could genuinely complain of being short changed are those living in the Sydney basin who receive less that 80 per cent of infrastructure funding.

5. The reason for there being fewer manufacturing workers outside of Sydney is that Sydney is where the majority of the industry customers are. Macquarie Street can hardly be held responsible for a downturn in mining jobs.An academic should know better that to ‘cherry pick’ facts.

Mike Sargent,Raymond Terrace

IMAGINE, Centrelink taking steps to garnish the over-payments of invalid politicians wages, as they do with the common persons of our society.
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Richard Ryan,Summerland PointI WONDER –what part of “if you want to be a member of the Australian government you have to make the effort to ensure you are not a dual citizen” did they find so hard to understand or difficult to do?If that is beyond their capabilities, then running the country is not the job they should be in.

Allan Earl,ThorntonIT is quite laughable to see the leader of the Greens demanding a full audit be carried out on the citizenship eligibility for all senators. Personally, I cannot see why the good old taxpayer should have to pay for this. If they can’t check their eligibility themselves then should they really be there? I could help make a decision and suggest as others do and just get rid of the Senate and that is the problem solved. The House of RepsMPs who get elected after not being eligible then they pay any money back and disappear into the sunset.

Kerry Redman,WaratahREPORTS say the Coalition’s Michael Sukkar is working on an alternative same-sex marriage bill that discriminates against same-sex marriage. Just when I thought the government couldn’t make a bigger mess than holding the plebiscite, they look ready to trump that with a bill that could take us back to where we started.I thought these kinds of antics were over when Tony Abbott got the boot but the powerful ‘no’ campaign coalition seems ready to out do Tony’s mad tactics. This proves what a stupid idea the plebiscite was in the first place. All we get now from this government are mixed and confusing messages. At least Tony Abbott made no apologies for his follies.

John Butler,Windella DownsMAL thought he was the High Court and delivered his missive – lie low if you’re in doubt. She’ll be right. Trust me “I’m the PM”.

Mark Bowen,BroadmeadowTHE dual citizenship is becoming a bit of a fiascoegyou are born in Australia and your mother also, OK your father was born in NZ but became an Aussie. Gosh you’d think OK, you’ve declared your loyalty to Australia and your intention (not your ancestors) to serve Australia OK. The law needs to be changed to reflect the intention of the person and their loyalties to Australia. If they have never declared any loyalties to another country that should beall that matters.

Robyn Burtinshaw,Nambucca HeadsTHE POLLSTHE internet connection at my place:

Gets me by, but it’s not great50%,is buffering 26.92%,is excellent23.08%MessageboardWARNERS Bay Public School is holding its 125th Anniversary Spring Fair Markets on Saturday, November 11, from 1pm-6pm at the school onMills Street. There will be kids rides, market stalls, food and refreshments, face painting, raffle prizes, music and entertainment, kids creative stalls and games, a race car and a fire truck. All welcome.