letters to the editor for Wednesday December 13 2017

DRAWN OUT: Islington’s Dan Endicott argues bad behavior around cyclists on Hunter roads is spilling onto Newcastle’s shared footpaths as they become more popular.
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SHARED paths for walkers and push bikesare getting more popular in Newcastle. The citymust not get into the same bad habits seen on roads: faster vehicles passing too fast and too closely to the slower person.

It all used to be so simple in a car: honk horn, change lanes to overtake, plenty of safety room.But 50 years of ever-worsening driving habits and more confusing bike pictures on roads mean mostcars pass cyclists too closely, resulting in most cyclists scared off the roads.

Do not pass too fast or close to walkers when you are running or on a pushbike.Basically, do not act like Newcastlemotorists do. If we all acted like that on shared paths, hardly anyone would be walking on the iconic Bathers Way or the Anzac Memorial Walk, or any footpath for that matter.

Children aged 12 or under are legally allowed to ride pushbikes on all footpaths in NSW.Unfortunately people get used to bad habits in cars (passing too closely to people) and act similarly on shared paths(passing too closely to people).

Why can’t the police clean up the mess of the roads? We need to look at the bigger picture. Basic human rights to walk safely on footpaths is tightly linked to cars operating on roads safely. Society changed to make drunk driving socially unacceptable in a short time.Change is possible!

Dan Endicott,IslingtonA TOAST TO GOOD POLICYIN 1999, as Newcastle City Council’s inaugural community safety coordinator, I became very quickly aware of the relationship between late night alcohol consumption and anti-social behaviour and violence.

With the support of council meand my successors in the community safety areasought to mitigate anti-social behaviour and violence by negotiating with licensees, police and other interested partiesto better manage late night behaviour. The past nearly 20 years have seen that partnership develop and prosper.

Rolly de With’s article (“Community comes of age in decade of great change”, Opinion 9/12)sensibly sets out the progress made as part of what had been termed the “lockout strategy” over the past 10 years. The reduction in violent incidents he quotes clearly point to the success of that strategy. The “lockout strategy” is now being reviewed after what can only be described as a successful 10 years of operation.

Hopefully, this review will examine what works, look at what needs to improve, and suggest modifications to the strategy. This will be particularly the case when the review takes into account changes that have accrued as a result of the passage of time. If conducted correctly, this review should provide Newcastle with a road map for managing late night alcohol use for the next ten years.

Barney Langford,WhitebridgeTWO DECADES OF DECAYWITHIN the last 20 years the Liberal government has had stewardship for about 15 years, so they deserve the credit for the state that finds itself in now. That is a country that has brought ridicule and shame on itself, made a mockery of the political system, makingitself lesssecureandsafewith most of its policies stagnating or sliding backward. The trigger for a financial meltdown is just one interest rate rise away.

There will be many that disagree with this, but of thema lot will use overpopulated third world countries as a bench mark. , with what it has on hand to work with, deserves so much more than this and should demand respect, andgood governancefor the country and its people.Stop playing games to save yourown jobs.

Allan Earl,ThorntonLAMB DESERVES TO STAYI BELIEVEit’squite obvious the Knights have used players in the past twoyears as cannon fodder at the same time as telling them they are the future of a rebuilding club.Now the Knights are buying so many playersfrom outside that there is simply no room for many of them. Thanks for nothing.

In my opinion, the statements about Brock Lamb by CEO Phil Gardner are ignorant and patronising in the extreme. For example,expecting him to play some first grade this yearand seeing him as a long-term player.

Lamb has already played well over 20 first grade games and was one of the few players to consistently perform well the past two years and could reasonably be expected to get a fair go in 2018, but this seems impossible given the players the club has bought.

Yet another club junior to seemingly be brushed aside and be forced to leave the club.

Robert Green,GeorgetownGIVE VOLUNTEERS A SPOTSHEPHERDS Hill cottage,formerly home to Marine Rescue Newcastle, is about to get a renovation worth more than $1 million . It will probably be re-openedin the form of another eatery or restaurant.

Considering the importance of Marine Rescue, why not allocate a room or section for these volunteers to operate from so people can see and appreciate the work these people do?

This experience would be more of a tourist must-see than another boring restaurant, and gives Marine Rescue an opportunity to collect donations, and attract more volunteers. Come on council, give these volunteers an early Christmas present as a reward for doing good work helping make our waterways safer.Call it the MarineRescue Restaurant if you like -just the name alone will guarantee patronage.

Carl Stevenson,Dora CreekA MINER MATTER FOR CITYWHILE walking in the suburb of Charlestown I passed by a cottage with the name Miners’ Rest. It reminded me of the house that I had grown up in at Wickham. Many Novocastrians may not know this but in the early 20th Century if a miner was killed while at work, as compensation for the widow and children, the mining company would build a cottage for the family. I imagine that there are quite a few of these cottages scattered around the suburbs of Newcastle.

The Queens Wharf Tower is finally coming down so what should go in its place? In the early 1900’s the coal face was a very dangerous place to work. My proposal is that a statue be erected on the site that is a visual representation of miners working at the coal face. It would be a tribute to the men who worked and died under the streets of Newcastle.

Judith Spargo,Kahibah




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