Letters to the editor July 17 2018

FLASHPOINT: Reader Darrin Gray says supporters of government investment in coal-fired power generation need to show their business case to taxpayers.
FLASHPOINT: Reader Darrin Gray says supporters of government investment in coal-fired power generation need to show their business case to taxpayers.

I WRITE in response to your article “Why Liddell Power Station is such a lightning rod”, Herald, 10/7.

In my opinion it is time to remove all subsidies from all electricity generation sources and let the market truly determine the best solutions to supply. I will forever argue that the natural monopoly of the distribution network (poles and wires) should have always stayed in government hands, but power generation? – there are lots of buyers and can be lots of sellers, so the government doesn’t need to be involved.

It now bemuses me that the most conservative elements of the current Liberal government who are the apparent champions of small government, free markets and trade are arguing to socialise electricity generation, by “picking market winners” and spending public money to build coal-fired power generation.

It is bizarre that the people who are quick to paint everything and everyone who disagrees with them as lefty socialists, can argue with a straight face for government to build new coal generation capacity. Keep Liddell open? Release your business plan, show us your numbers, because it’s us, the public, that has to pay for it one way or another.

Darrin Gray, Kurri Kurri


IN LATE June my daughter took her two-year-old son to the new playground park on the corner of Lake Street and The Esplanade, Warners Bay.

When I spoke with her later that day, I was told the new fence around the park had gaps between it and the soccer ground fencing. My grandson found this gap exploring the area and proceeded through it onto the footpath beside The Esplanade, a very busy road. My daughter had to race along the fence to the nearest gate about eight metres away to go outside the park and retrieve her son.

I went down to the park to look for myself and indeed found two gaps of about 200mm between the new “pool style” fence and the existing soccer ground fencing. 

I rang Lake Macquarie City Council the next day and made a complaint about the safety of this new fencing. 

I was given a reference number and told a request had been raised for action on this complaint. The integrity of the fencing, how it was installed, et cetera was never in question, just these two gaps that were left. Who from council inspected and signed off on this area, saying it was right to go?

I drove passed the park days later to see if any action had been completed, just in time to see another toddler go through the same gap my grandson had onto the footpath beside The Esplanade. 

I also saw the child’s visibly upset mother running along the fence to the nearest gate to rescue her son. Luckily, it was another potential tragedy averted.

After seeing this I rang Lake Macquarie City Council again, 12 days after my original complaint, to chase up this “high priority safety issue” as nothing had been done.

When I rang I was put on hold to allow the operator to ring the relevant person or department so I could speak to them in person. No one was available at this time, but I was told I would definitely be contacted by this person by the end of the day.

It is now July 13 as I write this, and I have heard nothing from anyone at Lake Macquarie City Council. The gaps in the fence are still there. School holidays are upon us and the park had more than 100 kids and parents there this morning when I again went to inspect these areas.

Surely a tragedy doesn’t need to occur before something is done. 

Graeme Bennett, Warners Bay


MANY years ago Newcastle suffered an earthquake and the people of the city rallied together to help those affected by the disaster. Fast forward to current times and again Newcastle has suffered from earth movement, this time man-made, in Hunter Street, Scott Street, and the East End. 

Why can’t we use any remaining funds from the Lord Mayor’s Earthquake Fund to assist the shopkeepers who have suffered so much after these events? 

I believe the monies paid back by the interest-free loans for the earthquake are still alive. The shops do not want charity, but I am sure that interest-free loans subject to substantiating their losses over the past year or so could do so much to still show that Newcastle people stand together through all types of trouble.

Chris Markhamm, Wallsend


I BELIEVE Scott Hillard’s claim (Letters 14/7) that “those of us with any wisdom consider rape and abuse of women to be criminal issues – not social ones” defies belief and indeed brands him as lacking any wisdom in my view. By any simple definition, social issues relate to those general factors that affect and damage society. They reflect aspects of society, it’s people and institutions that people want to, and can do, something about.

Does Mr Hillard truly believe that the rape and abuse of women does not affect or damage a society, where females account for 50% of its population? Rape and abuse of women is both a criminal issue and a social one.

Greg Archbold, Eleebana


IT WAS truly horrible reading in Saturday’s paper the results of domestic violence (“Abuse of Hunter females ‘chilling’”, Herald 14/7) and as a male I am offended by the manipulative and controlling behaviour many men exercise over women they claim to love. This is never love! Love always wants the best for the person that one loves, though it may not be the best thing for themselves at that time. 

We have cranked up the self-gratification and the self-concern far to much in our current society. The future direction doesn’t seem to promise much except more of the same. As a society under the popular sloganism that we are embracing without any real understanding of how to repair social ills, we are continuing to spiral out of control. There is a way out of this mess and it is teaching real moral boundaries to all, to teach real respect of each other where if someone holds a different view we do not shut them down but we welcome the difference. This path was abandoned some time back and domestic violence and other hateful things raised their ugly heads so we are hard pressed to see where true love is revealed between people who know how to love and respect each other in real life and not just create a slogan about it. We all need to find true meaningful love.

Milton Caine, Birmingham Gardens

This story The business cases should power the debate first appeared on Newcastle Herald.