Think about it, before revitalisation ruins us

VISION: New York City’s popular High Line walk. It has been suggested a similar attraction could be created in Newcastle if the rail corridor is not built on.ON Tuesday our council will have the most important decision in a long while; whether or not to block the disused rail corridor with developments.

Should we lose this important strip of public land to development, for the sake of 150 apartments, or should we keep it for use by the public, until we discover whether the city is coping with the extra $2 billion in developments and the extra 2000 apartments in the pipeline?The government has given the council the authority to decide and the council has asked for the community’s opinion. By way of submissions on the rezoning proposal, the community has shown its objection to the permanent blocking of the corridor with developments.

In the meantime, the corridor could be used in the same fashion as The High Linein New York City or The Goods Linein Sydney, for use by the influx of new residents. It would also allow for a safe cycleway.

The light rail will result in a reduced capacity on our roads for vehicular traffic. Add to this the inevitable increase in vehicles because of the 2000 apartments, and we have a recipe for congestion.

Who will benefit from the development of the corridor? It is not the community. I fear it will take the city a long time to recover from the so-called “revitalisation”.

Barbara Ferris,NewcastleWe all love a good storyNATIVITY scenes are appearing now, but was it an historical event or an invention by Christians about 80 years after the death of their founder? The earliest New Testament documents make no mention of it. Neither does the earliest written gospel. Matthew claims a Hebrew prophecy for the ‘virgin’ birth which is clearly not Messianic and the ‘woman’ referred to concerned the historical circumstances of the eight century BCE.

Where then did the Christians get the idea? The god Tummuz was said to be born of a virgin. Mithras was born in a cave and visited by shepherds. The Greek gods were believed to have had sexual relationships with women. These stories were part of the religious environment which the early Christian found themselves in. It is therefore understandable that they attributed a miraculous birth to their founder.The nativity scene with angels, shepherds, star and wise men makes a good story. To believe in it is one thing. To claim it is anything more than a myth is something else.

Neville Aubrey,WallsendEnjoy holiday, many won’tSO the circus in Canberra is winding down for the year and all the clowns are going on their Xmas break.Every one of these so-called politicians should hang their heads in shame and return all salaries and benefits to the Australian people.

The way this country has been governed in the last year has been an absolute disgrace. This criticism is not just aimed at the Liberal government, but at every political party and senatorin this once great country.

It seems like every politician is pushing issues for their own personal agendas. To all you politicians have a good Xmas dinner and I hope you don’t choke on a chicken bone. There are hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of people living in poverty that they won’t even get the smell of a chicken bone let alone a decent Xmas dinner.

Melville Brauer,GatesheadVagueidea is no planTHE picture of four of our Hunter mayors welcoming the state government’s Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan shows what support there is across the Hunter’s LGAs for co-ordination for a regional plan for jobs, transport, housing, health and the environment.There are a few ideas of merit from this metro plan, but it is too “Newcastle-centric”. Newcastle is a wonderful city, but it is not the whole region, and it isn’t where most Hunter people live. You can’t just chuck a few tram tracks and buildings in the centre of Newcastle, with some vague idea of a fast train and few new suburbs and call it a “Regional Plan”!Thank you, state government, for your dud plan developed in Sydney. We want our own visionary regional plan with transport connecting the whole region, with new jobs promoting our tourism and new technologies as well as protecting our environment. Then our four mayors, and the Maitland mayor, would truly have a plan worth celebrating.

Stephen Dewar,TorontoSupport truth, not partySOMEONE recently posted an online comment that my support for the Liberal Party was making me look foolish. Truth be told I have no particular bent toward either of the major parties and have voted ALP and Liberal depending on who is the candidate I feel will best represent my area.

What I always endeavour to do is respond to inaccurate statements. Given that the vast majority of letters to the NewcastleHerald containing political commentary are biased against our current governments it is not difficult to see that my corrections could be seen as supporting the LNP Coalitions.

Over the past few weeks the Herald has published a combined total of 247 letters and short takes. Of those letters and short takes containing political commentary, 36 opined against our current LNP state and federal governments, four were what I would term even handed and just two supported the governments.

I will continue to address biased, ill informed and inaccurate letters and short takes and call out those who appear to believe that the ALP and unions are beyond criticism.If my approach makes me appear to support the LNP, too bad, I actually voted ALP at the last two elections.

Mike Sargent,Raymond TerraceKeep an eye on heightsWAKE up Port Stephens: if the revised Nelson Bay Strategy goes through council on Tuesday, then high rise will be given open slather with building heights set to more than double throughout the town centre.

Have a look at the crane in Church Street – that’s what will sail through unless the community wakes up from holiday slumber.

Far from leading a much needed economic revival and bringing more permanent residents the town centre needs, abandonment of height controls will kill off the character that attracts visitor and residents alike. I believe hundreds of empty apartments will compound the problem of a winter ghost town. And in the summer peaks, visitor parties bringing two or more cars to each unit, many also with boats, will worsen the parking and traffic problems. Anyone who owns real estate in the CBD should have a serious look at the likely impact on the value of their property right now.

Margaret Wilkinson,Corlette

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