letters to the editor December 18 2017

MAKING A MOVE: Vicki McCarter, of Mayfield West, argues that some small but important items seem to languish without attention as the council unveils big plans. AS I read Newcastle council interim CEO Jeremy Bath’s news on the swish new digs(“Council’s $7m march west”,Herald9/12) he and others employed by the people of Newcastle will enjoy for their work, rest and play my thoughts turn to recent communication with that same staff and elected councillors.

Children living in Mayfield Westand those who visit Stevenson Park for sporthave been for years attempting to play on outdated and unsafe equipment.

According to the councilthis equipment was last replaced in 1984 and until very recently, was in such a bad state it was held together with gaffer tape.

The solution to the gaffer tape was to repair it with nylon rope, which now burns and blisters the childrens’ hands.

Our community group managed to extract a promise before the last local government election to securefunds for upgrades. This month we were informed that the Stevenson Park upgrades notice of motion ‘recommends’funds be ‘considered’ within the council budget. Unlike the surety of Mr Bath’s $7 million for his swish new digs, it seems our fight for decent, basic recreation amenities for our kids goes on.

With every big spending announcement, all the people of Newcastle’s inner west see is more of their rate money being allocated to things that are seemingly more important than them and their kids.

Vicki McCarter,Mayfield WestLOOK TO THE LIGHTHOUSEIT is pleasing to see the Shepherds Hill Cottage is being re-furbished & expressions of interest called for (“New dawn for historic Shepherds Hill house”, Herald 11/12). It’s about time too.

This building is perfectly located for a coffee stop on what is a long trek between Newcastle and Bar Beach. Walkers and visitors to Newcastle would be very grateful for a rest and some refreshment in such a beautiful location.

This suggestion may not be entirely welcome to The Hill residents of course, but it is an area that should be shared and enjoyed by the whole population. It is, however, unfortunate for the Marine Rescue service and having them at Warabrook makes no sense at all. Moving them to the Nobbys lighthouse buildings would be a better solution, as it is at least closer to the coast than Warabrook.

Whatever happens, it is good to see the cottage getting a bit of love. The next project should be the Post Office.

One can only wish.

GayeBarbour,Hamilton SouthBUSTING FOR A BETTER RIDEWHILE I appreciate that our route will be significantly improved inboth and thatI will only need one bus instead of two under the new timetables, a lot of other passengers, even on current high demand bus routes, will require more than two buses.

The bus route changes were meant to encourage more passengers on to Keolis Downer’s routes but I believe, except for the key routes, they are highly likely to drive more people away.

Weren’t we promised faster journey times and the return of expresses?

The map shows that even some high demand routes, or parts thereof, have been discontinued. Hillsborough now seems to me to receive no busservice.

I note that Maitland hasaddedbus routesbutyet again Newcastle loses, with services down from 26 to 22. The city needs more bus routesat good frequencies, not less bus routes.

Why areKeolis Downer choosing torelease the timetables on January 2 and not before? The times should’ve been released when the maps became available. I’ve tried to ask, but they won’t reply.

Dennis Taylor, Adamstown HeightsA GENEROUS HELPINGAFTER my recent graduationmy family of 13 members, six friendsand I werehumbled by the patience and kindness of the staff at the Star Buffet atMayfield Ex-Services Club.

My graduation finished late and we got to the restaurant at closing time. After describing our reason for being late, the staff let us collect as much food as we wanted then left us to eat peacefully asthey cleaned up and closed. We were able to not only enjoy our lunch but also spend as long as we wanted with each other. The children were able to have lots of fun while we adults relaxed.

Many of our family members yesterday were from overseas for the graduation. They, with me, greatly appreciate the staff of this beautiful establishment. The restaurant complemented the celebration of my graduation from fouryears of full time study. I am truly humbled by their kindness.

Tereapii Charlie Inukiha’angana,CooranbongMORE THAN JUST BAD EGGSWITH the report from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse about to be released, it’s important to note that chief executive of Truth Justice and Healing, Frances Sullivan said:”The handling of child sexabusein the Catholic churchis all about the misuse of power, privilege and those who participatedin positions of responsibility.”

My hope is that those who cling to the argument that there were just a few bad apples in the church might wake up to thefact there was asystemic and pervasivewebof deceit within the institution.

This wicked desire to put the reputation of the church above all else was a poison that robbed so many children of the essence of their childhood and set them on a path to devastation which many have never overcome.

Pat Garnet,Newcastle EastDUST IS DUST TO MEOUR home backs onto a housing development off Radford Street in Heddon Greta. At the moment there is a large amount of earthworks and land clearing including mulching fallen and pushed down trees.

Dust from the site blows towards the back of our home covering the back outdoor table and pool which we are then forced to constantly clean. This very morning was the last straw with the smell of sawdust coming into our home. I have complained to Cessnock Council, Daracon and the EPA. I have taken footage and photos of the dust created from this site. Mine sites have to adhere to strict dust monitoring conditions with regular visits by the EPA however developments such as this are allowed a free run. We would honestly be better off living adjacent to a coal mine where supervision and on site monitoring is mandatory.

Michael Steele,Cliftleigh

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