Letters to the editor Tuesday March 6 2018

BROAD STROKES: Muswellbrook’s Ray Butchard argues that Newcastle is no longer regional, and can take a fair share of the pie from other areas in greater need. I HAVE long enjoyed the work of the Newcastle Heraldcartoonist Peter Lewis (Lewis’ view, Herald 3/3), however his cartoonhighlights what is wrong with the Hunter.

His cartoon shows a dripping tap marked “Hunter” surrounded by buckets of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie only projects. I believe his cartoonand the Herald’s focus and representation is not on the Hunter but on the Newcastle area.

The NSW government has promised the sale proceeds of the Snowy Hydro scheme would be spent on regional areas of NSW. Cities the size of Newcastle and Wollongong should not be seen as regional areas. Rather they are an extension and outer suburb of Sydney.With the needs of real regional areas being ignored by governments and/or opposition parties, it is time for a fair go for people in the true regional areas.

In those regional areas, the death toll on our roads is unacceptable, the lack of specialist medical support is well known, higher education is not easily available for our students, new business and industry promotion is non-existent and our regional towns continue to suffer population loss as rural NSW residents move to the already overcrowded big cities.

It is time for a change.

Ray Butchard,MuswellbrookOUT OF TUNE ON PARKINGI HAD been avoiding the inner city for construction reasons, which seems to echo amongst the community. Regardless, I thought I would go for a drive to Muso’s Corner and support those local businesses. At the West End of town it is pretty quiet, so it escaped me that I needed to hit the 15 minute free parking button. There was an abundance of spaces right out front thus deceptive given there is no competition for a park.What was supposed to be a “quick trip to get clarinet reeds costing $15” ended up costing me an extra $110 parking fine.

The parking fine is not the reason for this letter. It is to show how I, an average Joe, interpret this. I’ve been to Westfield Kotara and watched a long movie. I was there for four hours and was charged an extra $20 for parking. I gladly paid this since I got value out of it.

I’ve also taken the kids to Charlestown Megamania with the same result. We were there for hours and I had to pay an extra $20 for parking. No problem.Now compare that model to my 10 minute park I was fined $110 for “parking illegally”. But hey, apparently I don’t lose any demerit points. This seems upside down to me for a council trying to rebuild the inner city.

Sorry Muso’s Corner, I tried. I’ll stick with online shopping and the big suburban shopping centres.

Luke Bellamy,Adamstown HeightsBIN THE BAD GAME DAY VIBESSOME youngsters I know were among the 18,000 who went to the Jets home game on Saturday night. They parked, legally, in one of the streets near the stadium, but moved some whizz bins out of the way first. When they returned to their car after the game, they found not one but three notes on it that read: “the bins were there for a reason f—wit”. I know the area gets congested, but since when do you own the street out the front of your house? And what’s with the abuse? Sydney FC fans having a bad day?

Alysson Watson,LambtonTURN EYES TO THE BIG PRIZEI WROTE my opinion a couple of weeks ago about an impending victory by the Jets against the champions Sydney after viewing their defeat by the Asian team in the Asian Champions league and they certainly delivered on that forecast.

My commitments here where I live did not allow me to be at the game but I had great pleasure at home cheering on their 10 players’ valiantness.I, like the marvellous Jets supporters was chanting “Newcastle”.

I will be hoping to book my seat for the grand final.Maybe fortuitous results for the Jets could see the Jets in first place. I live in hope.Also I wish the Newcastle Knights a great season. I hope that they can emulate the Jets.

Donald Mennie,The EntranceBUZZ BEYOND THE BACK ROWI’M a dyed in the wool rugby league supporter,but on Saturday nightI sat down to listen to the Jets game on my radio. I had no real idea of who was who, but that didn’t really matter.

The buggers beat Sydney FC, the bad boys from Sydney. I think that I understood most what was going on at Broadmeadow, but how proud was I?

Althoughthe three jets from Williamtown scared every cat and dog from Adamstown to Catho as they screamed across the sky. “Yippee” I cried as the first goal was scored, cursing very loudly when the opposition scored. My “yippee” when the Jets scored a second goal was definitely heard in Windale.

I suffered through the last minutes and gave a “You Little Beauty” to Ernie Merrick and his band of great players when the final whistle blew.

Thanks, Ernie, from a bloke who will probably never get to one of your team’s games. Thanks for all that you have done for Newcastle’s pride.

Now, before I get too involved and get a Jets tattoo to match my Newcastle Knights one,I had better sign off with a very loud “Go the Knights in season 2018”. Again, credit where credit is due. Good onya Ernie, and all your players and crew.

Wal Remington,Tingira HeightsWE NEED TO FIND OUR CENTREI HEARTILY agree with Dorothy Pinder (Letters 5/3). The lack of a purpose built visitors’centre in Newcastle has been a blight for many years.

Newcastle only has to look to that other Labor stronghold, Broken Hill, to see what a good visitor centre looks like and also how one operates.

It not only has adequate parking for all classes of vehicles including RVs but a cafe, toilets and showers and competent staff. While the current DEO may be proud of his “Newcastle shop” it really is quite lame for a city of Newcastle’s size.

As far as a bus interchange is concerned, i.e. having a few open bus shelters beside a large bitumen car park, even Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory has a better facility being linked to a cafe on the main street.

Amongst all the touted expenditure to Renew Newcastle nowhere does it seem to include proper facilities to present Newcastle as a place where travellers are welcome. For all the talk about boosting tourism potential it all falls flat if the gateway facilities are lame and inconvenient to access.

Stuart King,Toronto

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