Marking environment day in our own way

UNDER WAY: Work to remove trees along Newcastle Foreshore has started, ahead of the Supercars race in the city’s East End in November. Picture: Simone De PeakNEWCASTLE has a peculiar way of celebrating World Environment Day;it cuts down 170 mature trees along Wharf Road and concretes a good section of Foreshore Park land.

In addition, it plans to run with the big-time polluters and allow a race through built-up areas without giving any consideration to the concerns of the residents. It is time for Newcastle City Council and state politicians to wake up to the needs and ails of our environment and abandon this event other communities elsewhere did not want.

If Newcastle wants to become a smart city, some smart ideas have to be implemented, not actions that are pathetic samples of environmental vandalism and don’t comply with what the large majority of the concerned and caring citizens demand.

Martin Schlaeger,EleebanaCouncil ‘vandalism’I AM dismayed by the comments which the Herald published from the Newcastle City Council’s interim chief executive, Jeremy Bath, who appears to have adopted the political propaganda that I have come to expect from Supercars and the Lord Mayor (‘Council out to avoid repeat of figs’, Herald,6/6). How can he say “it’s part of delivering an event that is going to be a huge economic boon”when none of the colluding organisations using this argument to justify their vandalism have ever released a business plan for their event?

According to the article, Mr Bath said the council had learned it needed to communicate more clearly about why trees were removed. Can he please explain to me why it was necessary to cut down the tree that became part of the Resilience sculpture setting which was supported by public donations and dedicated to people affected by suicide and other mental health conditions? The destruction of this unique contemplative setting is just a callous act of vandalism by our council.

Peter Howe,Newcastle EastWhy not nativesG’DONYA Newcastle City Council. You’re sacrificing established native trees and replacing them with 230 “mostly six-metre Norfolk Island pines” (‘Cut Down’, Herald, 6/6).

D’ya know these exotic species provide neither food nor habitat for almost all Aussie native birds and animals? D’ya realise they’re fast becoming a dominant species around the harbour – subject to mass die-back and resultant widespread deforestation when the right disease or pest appears? That the area is one of the first seen in Newcastle by many tourists – wishing to see a bit of Aussie flora – and fauna?

How about a re-think? How about instead you use “mostly native trees” – like several of the many suitable Eucalypts and Corymbia (gums), Casuarina (she-oaks), Melaleuca (paperbarks) and Grevillea, etc?

All are native insect, bird and animal attractants, food and shelter sources. And most will produce usable shade faster. D’ya know that most native trees host native birds which resist the inexorable invasion of the even greater pest, the Indian myna?

Please, have a thought for the environment and the ratepayers – not just the needs of a temporary event sponsor. And please; no more figs either.

Peter Cousins,StocktonDrivers crash carsREGARDING John Gilbert’s comments (Letters, 6/6), I recall having a conversation with what I thought at the time was an old police man, probably close to 60 years ago. The discussion was about what caused an accident, with me suggesting road conditions and he suggesting driver error. His parting statement I still remember well, “you can place a car, faulty brakes, bald tyres and faulty steering on a rough slippery road with serious corners, no accident will happen until a driver gets in the car”. His last words: it is the nut holding the wheel that causes the crash.

Fred McInerney,KaruahTwisted equalityTHE homosexual fraternity and their promoters continue to abuse our natural time-honoured way of life and attempt to shove their twisted view of “equality” down our throats (Letters, 6/6).

There is an old saying: “He doesn’t know whether he is Arthur or Martha” which, of course, was merely a way of describing a person with a dilemma, not necessarily of unnatural tendencies.

The common facetious answer to that saying used to be, “well, he just needs to have a look”. That response, applied in today’s context, would easily display the natural inequality which is being denied.

Bruce Brown,Marks PointClose the bordersWELL, it goes on and on –our limp-wristed political leaders on both sides still ignore the majority and concern themselves with so-called political correctness. What do we have to do to get them to listen to the concerned populous and bite the bullet?

Close our borders for at least three years to all races and religions and then, on opening, offer the privilege of conditional residency, based on our country’s needs.

Forget what the out of touch United Nations say and start to run our country the way we want it run. We want our leaders to lead and make sure we don’t wind up like England, who appears to now be breeding home-grown terrorists.

It is long past time that we start to concern ourselves about our way of life and treat our populous with the dignity and safety that we as Australians take for granted.

Dennis Crampton,Belmont NorthCall for apologyTHE letter from Brian Ladd on behalf of the Newcastle Inner City Residents Group (Letters, 6/6) I believe highlights the “alternate facts” and “fake news” I have come to know from this group.

In Mr Ladd’s letter he says Jeff McCloy broke electoral laws whilst he was a Liberal Lord Mayor in 2011.If you check the 2012 LGA election records, Mr McCloy did not stand as an endorsed Liberal mayor in the 2012 elections. Instead he stood as an independent candidate during this election, and remained an independent afterwards Further to this, Mr McCloy wasn’t even mayor of Newcastle in 2011. At this stage John Tate was still the lord mayor.

Given these clearly inaccurate comments on behalf of the group, perhaps the Newcastle Inner City Residents Group should issue an apology to Mr McCloy for making these incorrect statements.

Mitchell Griffin,East Maitland