Unlawful behavior, theft and property damage has been going on for quite some time, so I don't think that reading about the break-ins at Club Maitland City (Maitland Mercury, Wednesday February 5) surprised anyone.
It certainly doesn't make it any easier to accept, and what makes it even harder to digest is the fact that law enforcement and the judicial system don't seem to be able to put an end to it.
In light of the fact that it's youths we're talking about, the question that comes to mind is where are the parents? Why aren't the parents being held accountable for their children's bad behaviour?
Another question that needs to be answered is what is the Government doing in terms of updating the laws which obviously are not effective enough?
What is going to become of a young boy or girl for that matter, if they are thrown in jail for months or years, depending on the offense they have committed? How educational is conviction? Or a slap on the wrist for that matter?
I believe as they are caught, they should be sent to a boot camp, where highly qualified educators will teach them what their parents didn't or couldn't.
These young people have a whole life in front of them. What are the probabilities of these troubled young ones succeeding without the right help?
Salvatore Cocco, Rutherford
a new coalition?
Greg Harbourne proposed an interesting idea in Saturday's Newcastle Herald: "If Labor sticks with the Greens they will never win an election."
This begs the question where would the Liberals have come in the last election if they didn't add their votes to the Nationals? Or where would Labor have come if they added their votes to the Greens? So Australians never elect the Liberals as a majority, yet the Liberals virtually control the government because they outnumber their National colleagues.
This brings to mind the "hillbilly dictator" Joh Bjelke-Petersen's attempt to govern in his own right which ended in failure, as would any Liberal or National attempt to represent Australia in their own right. So how about a Labor/Green Coalition? Great idea Greg!
George Paris, Rathmines
As a nation we should never forget the bombing of Darwin, which occurred 78 years ago on 19 February - an attack that will forever be etched in our history - and the beginning of the bombing campaign targeted at towns in northern Australian.
While our nation had been involved in the Second World War since 1939, the bombing of Darwin came not long after the Japanese entered the war and was the first time the Australian mainland came under attack.
Darwin sustained 64 air raids, the first two coming on 19 February 1942 and the final raids taking place in November 1943.
The number of bombs dropped on Darwin is believed to have surpassed those dropped on Pearl Harbor, showcasing the military significance of Darwin in the war against the Japanese in the Pacific.
The first raid saw nearly 200 Japanese planes attack the Darwin harbour which was full of ships.
Along with the loss of human life, three Allied naval ships and five merchant ships were sunk and many others were damaged.
The second raid came not long after with the town's military airfield attacked by 54 Japanese bombers.
Six Royal Australian Air Force personnel were among those killed.
It was a tragic day with more than 250 killed, including Australian and Allied forces, merchant seaman, wharf labourers and local civilians.
Bombing of Darwin Day is an opportunity for us all to pause and reflect on the impact of these attacks and the lives lost.
This year also marks 75 years since the end of the Second World War.
It is an occasion to remember the sacrifice of the some 39,000 service men and women who died fighting to protect Australia and its allies.
Lest we forget.
Darren Chester, Minister for Veterans' Affairs,
Minister for Defence Personnel
ONLINE: NEW HUNTER DAM CONSIDERED
A new dam in the Hunter would be great, but the north of Australia is where they are needed the most. All that lovely water, during the wet and cyclone season, going to waste. It's heart breaking to see.
Build a monster de sal so we can send this water to Gosford and Sydney. This way we can use our own water without risk.