Department of Health Secretary Martin Bowles during a Senate estimates hearing at Parliament House in Canberra. Photo: Alex EllinghausenHealth Department boss Martin Bowles will exit the role next week after staff were told the veteran public servant would retire following a 40-year career.
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Mr Bowles, who took the helm at the department in 2014, will finish on September 1 ending a career spanning multiple departments.

Before heading up the Health Department, he led the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and was deputy secretary at the Department of Climate Change and Energy.

He also worked at the Defence Department, where recently he was tipped as a contender to succeed Dennis Richardson as secretary before Greg Moriarty, former chief-of-staff to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, was appointed.

Mr Bowles was a public servant for the Queensland and New South Wales governments before joining the Australian Public Service in 2006 to be Defence’s deputy secretary.

He moved in 2010 to the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, where his work on energy efficiency policies and remediating the disastrous home insulation program was awarded the Public Service Medal two years later.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said Mr Bowles had a distinguished public service career and had driven change at the Health Department.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the public servant had built a well-deserved reputation as a highly respected leader and driver of innovation.

Health Department deputy secretary Mark Cormack will be acting secretary while a successor for Mr Bowles is found.

Mr Bowles is the second departmental boss to announce his departure in one month, after Department of Environment and Energy secretary Gordon de Brouwer said he would quit next month “to pursue other interests”.

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Attorney-General George Brandis has urged the High Court to see to the citizenship saga as quickly as possible Photo: Alex EllinghausenThe Turnbull government has asked the High Court to swiftly deal with the question of whether a slew of MPs and senators were validly elected, urging the case be heard in September rather than October.
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In a submission lodged with the High Court on Monday, Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue, on behalf of Attorney-General George Brandis, has admitted that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and former cabinet minister Matthew Canavan are, or were, citizens of New Zealand and Italy respectively.

The court is due to hold a directions hearing on Thursday.

As recently as Sunday, Senator Brandis had said that “we hope to get the matter before the court as soon as possible. I think realistically that may be in the first fortnight of October.”

But the submission from the Solicitor-General has proposed that the cases of Mr Joyce, Senator Canavan, One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts and former Greens senators Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam be examined in its second sitting week, on September 13 and 14.

The submission argues there is a “compelling public interest in the references being determined as quickly as possible” given the case deals with multiple sitting MPs.

In seeking to appear at any hearings, the Attorney-General suggested affidavits be prepared which lay out “all of the relevant facts that relate to the person’s citizenship”, including “all documents in their possession, custody or control that relate to their citizenship status”.

That would include Senator Roberts’ documents, which he has often referred to possessing, but has refused to show publicly.

“Birtherism”: Bill Shorten has resisted demands for renunciation documents. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Wanting to move proceedings along as far as possible, the government “will submit to an order to pay the party/party costs of each of the referred persons, but reserves his position on costs in relation to any other party to the proceedings”.

The expedited timetable put forward by the government would see all documents and submissions filed by September 11, with the hearings listed for the next week.

Nationals deputy leader Fiona Nash and Nick Xenophon Team leader senator Nick Xenophon are, also, likely to be referred to the High Court when Parliament next sits in September and that the High Court case will likely have direct implications for this pair, too.

The federal government has been rocked by the revelations that several of its MPs are or maybe be dual nationals, which is forbidden under the constitution, and is blaming the ongoing fiasco for causing it damage in the polls.

Under section 44, part (i) of the Australian constitution, a person is disqualified from standing for Parliament if they are “under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power”.

Labor has called for Mr Joyce and Senator Nash to stand aside from cabinet, as Senator Canavan has done, until the case has been dealt with.

In addition, it has suggested the Turnbull government should not bring forward controversial legislation until such time as the High Court case has been finalised.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has dismissed suggestions he might be a British citizen, describing it has “birtherism” akin to the doubts that former US president Barack Obama faced about his birth in Hawaii.

Mr Shorten has said he renounced his British citizenship in 2006, before entering Parliament, saying it was a “crazy conspiracy” for the government to attempt to reverse the onus of proof for MPs, so they had to prove they were not a dual citizen.

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PROGRESS: Light rail construction work near Stewart Avenue and Beresford Street on Tuesday. The state government wants to push ahead with the rail corridor rezoning at the same time. Picture: Jonathan CarrollTHE state government’s frustrated plans for the rezoning of the former heavy rail corridor in Newcastle have, after months of delay, finally progressed to the next stageafter the city’s lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes used her castingvoteto push ahead with the plan at the final meeting of thecurrent term of council on Tuesday night.
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The rezoning proposal for the former corridor land between Worth Place and Watt Street has laid on the council’s books since the Labor-Greens majority decidedin May that it wouldn’t agree to place the plan on exhibitionuntil the government committed toa number of traffic and public transport plans forthe city.

But at Tuesday’s meeting, a dividedcouncil voted to approve placing the rezoning on exhibition after assurances from the government that the commitments the council hadasked for would be met.

Cr Nelmes was forced to use her casting vote to push ahead with the plan, after her fellowLabor councillor, the outgoing Stephanie Posniak, voted with the Greens and independent Allan Robinson to oppose puttingthe plan on exhibition.

Cr Posniak told the council she was not satisfied by the state government’s commitments, saying they were “vague at best” and argued that by placing the rezoning on exhibition the council was giving up its major bargaining chip.

“This is our one and only chance to hold [the government] to account [and] it’s important that we don’t rush this process because the government decides they’re in a rush,” she said.

The government’s rezoning proposal includes apublicsquare at the end of Darby Street, a link between the Civic Theatre and Honeysuckle with shop-top housing and affordable housing properties between Merewether Street and the former Civic Station.

In May, Labor and the Greens had called for atraffic report on the impact of the proposal on the city, an overall transport plan and a “legislative commitment” from the NSW government that “all proceeds from Newcastle Urban Transformation Project will be reinvested into the revitalisation of Newcastle”.

The decision prompted a fierce backlash from the government and its developer arm in Newcastle, the Hunter Developer Corporation.At the time Michael Cassel, the HDC chief, accused the council of “changing the rules” and warnedit had “put in jeopardy new open public space, sensible development including housingand commercial space for new jobs, retail and tourist attractions”.

On Tuesday Cr Posniak alluded to thepushback, saying itundercut commitments to giving the city “autonomy” over its future and suggested the council “couldn’t trust” the government.

Decision ‘gives community a say’But Cr Nelmes saidthat by agreeing to place the state government’s rezoning proposal on public exhibition the council is “asking the community what it thinks” about the plan.

“This is a very,very important issue and I really, really want community feedback,” she said.

“I want to know exactly what the community thinks about this rezoning.

“We are not making a decision about what should or should not be on the the corridor,we aregoing and seeking genuine feedback.”

The government is yet to deliver a long term transport plan or legislate to ensure proceeds from land sales on the corridor are reinvested in Newcastle, butCr Nelmes said the government had “played catchup” and that she was satisfied with the commitments the council had been given.

She said that if the commitments weren’t delivered –or the community expressed overwhelming opposition to the government’s plan– then the next council could vote not to proceed with the rezoning.

Among the commitments the government made to the council included a letter sent from NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts to Cr Nelmes in Mayto ensure the council the government was “committed to reinvesting all former heavy rail corridor land sales” into Newcastle.

In the letter Mr Roberts estimated the sales would be worth “approximately $15 million”.

And in June transport official Tim Raimond told the council in a briefing thata draft of the 40-year “Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan”would be released in the fourth quarter of this year.

But it wasn’t enough to convince the Greens, with councillor and mayoral candidate Therese Doyle arguingthe rezoning shouldn’t go ahead.

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Ian Foster has grim news for the Wallabies fans who staggered around Sydney last weekend, pleading for anyone with a kind heart to confirm the desperate comedy act they had just witnessed wasn’t for real.
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Following the 54-34 defeat to the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium a flood of shellshocked Australians asked how their team’s backline defence could be so dreadful, and who was going to be held accountable.

While Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was the obvious target of their discontent, the rotten fruit could also have been reserved for another man in the Wallabies camp: the team’s minister of defence Nathan Grey.

And, boy, he must be happy to be stationed in Christchurch, where he can avoid supporters’ death stares as a tries to lift the tackling percentages for the re-match in Dunedin on Saturday night.

Sitting in a Dunedin hotel about 360km south of Christchurch, Foster, the boss of the All Blacks’ attack, gave Australian fans something more to chew over. The All Blacks always thought the Wallabies would defend the way they did, and to see five-eighths Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale be shifted about the backline wasn’t unexpected.

“We weren’t surprised,” Foster said. “They have been doing that for a couple of years where they position the 10 in different positions. And I guess when they have got both Foley and Beale on the park, they are more inclined to put them elsewhere than the traditional roles.”

The All Blacks had a field day in the first 50 minutes, scoring eight tries prior to concentration lapses allowing the Wallabies to score four of their own.

Although Cheika was adamant Grey had his full support, he must have been clenching his back teeth in anger when he realised a month-long training camp, aimed at striking the Kiwis with all their might in Sydney, amounted to nothing but discontent for his team and their supporters. It seems like Wallabies D is different at every set piece. Constant swapping of positions depending upon field position. Can’t fathom it.??? Laurie Fisher (@LordLaurie58) August 19, 2017 Photo: Dean Lewins

Having studied how the Australians defended during their June tests the All Blacks had done their due diligence. But it’s unlikely they would have dared dream that the Australians’ application would be so poor.

“I am not sure it is the structural issues that I hear them talking about, it is more of an individual tackle thing,” Foster noted. “We will see.”

Apart from reserve loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett, who suffered a head knock last weekend, Foster said the All Blacks had a full squad to choose from.

Midfielder Sonny Bill Williams suffered no ill-effects from the head knock he suffered in Sydney, and hooker Dane Coles, who didn’t play last weekend as a precautionary measure following his headaches, will be available for consideration.

Blindside flanker Jerome Kaino is still dealing with personal issues. Akira Ioane has joined the squad as cover.

“We are just giving him (Kaino) his own personal space at the moment, so Akira has come in in the meantime,” Foster said.

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TOUGH TIMES: Edgeworth midfielder Lachlan Pasquale has hit back from a mid-season dip to again feature prominently for the high-flying Eagles. Picture: Marina Neil
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Edgeworth midfielder LachlanPasquale and coach Damian Zane sometimes joke about the time the Eagles boss was ready to “get rid of him”.

That was leading into 2015 – the first of three premiership-winning seasons for Zane at Edgeworth.

By his own admission, Pasquale was “a bit lazy” at training, but Zane stuck with him –and at him –and “eventually got through to me”.

Pasquale went on to earn Northern NSW rookie of the year honours.

So when Pasquale’sform dipped this year, Zane knew the 20-year-old could respond.

Pasquale spenttwo games in the under 20s mid-season and has since risen to the challenge.

“He started off well then he probably got a bit complacent,” Zane said.

“But he’s knuckled down and his last eight to 10 games have been all top-notch, and he was good again on the weekend.”

As a defensive midfielder, Pasquale helped Edgeworth grind out a 1-0 first-leg semi-final win over Broadmeadow at Magic Park in wind-blown conditions.

Pasquale was glad he’d turned around his season as the Eagles battle on Saturday night (7.30pm) at Jack McLaughlan Oval for thechance to shoot for a third consecutive grand final win.

“My form just went down and Iwasn’t enjoying it,” Pasquale said.

“It got to a point where there was a session and I just wasn’t feeling it.Zaney messaged me and we talked and he just told me to put my head down and work hard.

“I’ve really liked this second half of the season. I’ve just worked hard, doing extras and it’s kind of paid off so far.

“I’m enjoying it heaps more, and not just soccer. When things are going well for you, you just enjoy everything. Everyday life.”

He believed the mid-season malaise was partly because of a long 2016 season which was followed by three months of training with the Newcastle Jets Youth squad.

“I think I got a bit complacent,” Pasquale said.

“And after a while, things can get a bit monotonous. I didn’t really have much ofa break in the summer.

“I trained with the Jets Youth and our season atEdgeworth went intoOctober because of the NPL finals, so I was feeling a bit burnt out.”

He admitted trying to break into the Jets Youth squad “was pretty daunting”.

“Because I work full-time as an electrician, it was hard to juggle work, and racingstraight to training,” he said.“I found that really difficult and after three months I saw where I stood in that Jets Youth team.

“I was one of the older boys and only able to play there for oneyear, so I rang Clayton [Zane] and told him I’d stay at Edgy.”

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AMA says pelvic mesh support ‘not our proudest hour’ Decision: Australian Medical Association national president Dr Michael Gannon confirmed the AMA promoted and distributed a pelvic mesh device for women that helped spark a global pelvic mesh scandal.
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Promotion: An Australian Medical Association document describing the IVS Tunneller device as an “Australian medical design breakthrough” to treat incontinence and prolapse in women.

Legal: Women implanted with pelvic mesh devices leave a Federal Court class action suit against Johnson & Johnson.

Crusader: Australian Pelvic Mesh Support Group founder Caz Chisholm fought for a Senate inquiry into how pelvic mesh devices were cleared for use in Australia. The inquiry will sit in Perth on Friday.

Devices: A sample of pelvic mesh devices marketed for use in women to treat incontinence and prolapse.

Angry: Australian Pelvic Mesh Support Group members fought for a Senate inquiry into how pelvic mesh devices were cleared for use in Australia.

TweetFacebookI can only answer that in good faith the AMA WA thought it was a good product. History will not judge that decision kindly. It already has not judged that decision kindly.

Australian Medical Association president Dr Michael GannonI’m absolutely horrified. I’m so angry I’m shaking. That this has been allowed to go on, and the AMA’s been involved. How dare they? We’re human beings.

Pelvic mesh victim Jeanette McKinnonMedical Journal of Australiareport inJuly, 1994 acknowledgedmany doctors were critical of the procedure.

In February 2001, only two months before the IVS Tunneller was cleared for use in America as an incontinence and prolapse device, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons found there was “no peer-reviewed, good quality evidence available to determine the safety and efficacy of the IVS procedure to treat women’s incontinence”. There was no assessment of its use to treat prolapse.

In a paper in 2003 called “Intravaginal Sling Distress”, three Australian specialists, including Newcastle gynaecologist Alan Hewson and Brisbane gynaecologist Chris Maher, reported “disconcerting complications” in women after IVS surgery, including infections, pain syndromes and “symptoms debilitating to the patient’s and partner’s quality of life”.

“Until further data on the safety and efficacy of the IVSprocedures is available they cannot be recommended,” they concluded.

A 2010 Melbourne Mercy Hospital for Women review of 10 years of pelvic mesh surgery found the IVS device had significantly higher rates of pain, mesh erosion and infection complication rates than eight other devices reviewed.

Dr Petros did not respond to Newcastle Herald questions.

In a paper in 2012Dr Petros said his “early experimental studies”had been “wrongly”used as “an intellectual cornerstone to justify the use of mesh in prolapse surgery”.

In the paper he distanced himself from the global mesh scandal, saying complications were related to “large sheet”mesh adopted by some companies, and not the small tapes advocated by him which preserved “vaginal elasticity”.

In a submission to a Senate inquiry into pelvic mesh devices, which will hold its second public hearing in Perth on Friday, Dr Petros referenced his 1990 paper produced after trialling the Intravaginal Sling procedure on “13 female mongrel dogs”, in association with Royal Perth Hospital and the University of Western Australia.

The Herald, Newcastle

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THE last time Esmeraldo San Juan was seen alive he was pulling on a life jacket with reflector stripes to go fishing at Munmorah’s notorious Snapper Point.
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He has not been seen alive since 7pm on March 19, 2016, after a short conversation with a friend who had been fishing but called it a night because of the big waves.

On Tuesday Deputy State Coroner Elizabeth Ryan found Mr San Juan died on that night at Snapper Point, but the absence of a body meant she could not confirm how he died.

Two human bones found in the months after he disappeared were highly likely to be his, Ms Ryan found, after tests of his daughter’s DNA showed a high probability they were related.

The inquest heard Mr San Juan was a gentle man in a happy and stable relationship and with no financial difficulties.

Chief Inspector Rodney Peet of Tuggerah Lakes Local Area Command, who has coordinated more than 10 searches for people swept into the water in Lake Munmorah State Conservation Area, said 17 people had been swept off rocks at Snapper Point since 2010.

One in three of their bodies were not recovered, he said.

Although there is very limited phone coverage on the rock platform, InspectorPeet told the inquest that most phones without coversage are still able to access the 000 emergency facility.

The Snapper Point rock shelf is particularly dangerous for fishermen because it is surrounded by steep cliffs which allows large volumes of water to submerge the entire platform when there are heavy seas, Inspector Peet said.

“The rock shelf also has a large crevice at its base which can cause it to be inundated from the rear, taking fishermen by surprise, especially when it is dark,” Ms Ryan said.

Inspector Peet said a memorial for fishermen who had died at Snapper Point, which included a plaque for Mr San Juan, was a sobering reminder for anyone who attempted to fish from the site.

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FALLING INTO PLACE: Job Centre Australia Ltd. (JCAL) is a not for profit, community based organisation providing employment, training and NDIS supports to help people like Dominic achieve their goals.
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National Skills Week (August 28-September 3) highlights the opportunities available working through Australia’s vocational education and training sector, the NDIS and employment services.

Dominic dreams of working in events management and knows that gaining skills and qualifications are the key to turning his dreams into reality.

After completing a Certificate III in Events Management through Hunter TAFE, Dominic is studying toward attaining his Diploma in Events Management.

Throughout his studies, Dominic completed work experience at Variety, the Children’s Charity in which he is now a permanent volunteer.

To achieve his goal, Dominic identified the need to work on his social skills and after completing Year 12, registered with Job Centre Australia Choice and Control, specifically to take part in the NDIS Social and Community participation package.

Dominic attends the Job Centre Australia program each Friday where he has made new friends and had the opportunity to try new activities, whilst getting out and about in the community.

The group have a busy schedule of events which are all aimed at allowing participants to express themselves, gain confidence socially and make new friends in a safe environment.

Some of the activities Dominic has been involved in have included group laser tag, bowling, going to the movies and BBQ picnic lunches.

“Dominic has become more social and confident when in the community and now, also in the workplace”, Job Centre Australia’s, Jessica Wallace, said.

During his time with Job Centre, Dominic turned his attention to trying to gain employment, to support himself financially as he worked toward completing his diploma.

Through Job Centre Australia’s Disability Employment Service and Golden Opportunities Program, Dominic was employed at McDonalds Swansea.

“We’re so proud of all he has achieved, particularly securing work recently. He has come such a long way”, said Jessica. “He worked through pre-employment training, learnt how to write a resume, go for an interview, and a range of other key skills to prepare him for gaining work. Dominic is a great example of a young person who is well on the way to achieving his goals.”

Job Centre Australia Ltd. (JCAL) is a not for profit, community based organisation funded by the Department of Social Services providing employment, training and NDIS supports to people with an injury, health condition or disability across NSW and QLD.

For further information, contact 4322 5511 or email [email protected]南京夜网419论坛.

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Debut: Newcastle Americana singer Melody Moko has released her first album, The Wreckage, produced by Michael Muchow and Catherine Britt. Picture: Simone De PeakIt never stops for Melody Moko. During this interview about her debut album, an optimistic mix of pop and Americana called The Wreckage, she tends to her young son, Miller, and helps her husband, Michael Muchow, make coffees at their business, The Peppertown Coffee Barin Mayfield.
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Moko’s album has been in the making for more than two years, but it’s a not case of her getting stuck in a rut at all. She has been touring with Muchow, who is an extraordinary guitarist constantly in work, and they have been raisinga young family and sparking life into their Newcastle cafe project.

Moko has been touring as of late as the opener for Fanny Lumsden, who has been touring extensively. Muchow backs up Moko, and plays in Lumsden’s band.

The album project, prompted by Moko’s need to have product at her shows, began two-and-a-half years ago, with Muchow and Catherine Britt as co-producers. Catherine Britt’s bout with cancer interrupted the process, but in the end, the extra time allowed more editing and the addition of more music to the album.

“I wanted to makean Americana record that pushed the boundaries with the mood,” Moko says. “Ifind a lot of Americana music thesedays is sad, kind ofdown, mellow. But Idon’t think that is what Americana is really about. And that isn’t what Iwanted to present, because that is not who I am.

For Moko, the Americana sound driven by the likes of Tift Merritt and Lucinda Williams in the early 2000s got hijacked by a change of tone, with the music being driven by sadness. She and her producers only half-jokingly blame the hipsters in Australia who took to the genre, saying the US never ended up down the rabbit hole of sadness.

“Americans arestill making it upbeat, with body and beat,” she says, with Britt chiming in “like Jason Isbell,” who is one of the hottest properties in American music today, even though his music doesn’t neatly fit into country or rock’n’roll.

“I wanted to focus on happier songs thathad that Americana instrumentation and Americana feel to them,” she says.

While both Muchow and Britt cut their teeth in country music, they bring diverse talents to the table. For Moko, it was the best of both.

“It was easier than Ithought,” she says. “Mike is placid, Catherineis fiery. Both were really reasonable in the studio.

“It was a nice balance betweenfemale perspective and a male perspective.Often it is male-driven in the studio.”

In Moko’s words, the Muchow influence was “a lot of musical genius, clever licks, programming”.

“Theway it came togetherin the mix is all Michael,” she says. “There’s no way Icould envision how a song would sound in the final product, all Ihear is an acoustic guitar and a voice.”

Teamwork: Michael Muchow, Melody Moko and Catherine Britt at Peppertown Cafe. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Britt factor: “so much experience, so clever at vocal parts, how a harmony should sound. She doesn’t mind doing it in 10 goes. She’s a perfectionist.”

Britt, now 32, is beginning to produce more young music artists. She and husband James Beverley are currently building a studio at their home and have plans to increase her production work.

Her ethos is simple: “The best thing to do is get out of the way and let it happen.”

There’s plenty of work to be done, alright, with musicians, recording, harmonies and more. But her point is: the album belongs to the performer at the end of the day.

The first single on the album is The Wreckage, with Moko’s clear, strong vocals backed by a wall of orchestration. It’s not too optimistic, as she sings, “the man that I knew is nothing like you”. The second single releaseis likely to be Second-Hand Heart, a catchy pop-driven tune.

For mine, the hot song is Truth About It, a bluesy soul number with Kevin Bennett backing up Moko’s vocals.

The Wreckage is released September 1. Moko plays 48 Watt Street on Sunday, September 3, with Fanny Lumsden and Natalie Henry.

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Gerard Rigby, (Short Takes 22/8) sign me up. Enough talking, let’s be proactive and get to work. If we can’t save The Store, we can at least say we tried to save the post office.
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Bianca Field,Newcastle EastSo totally agree with Ken Longworth’s review of Les Miserable (21/8/17), amazing production of such a historic story. It certainly brought a tear to my eyes also. Bravo to the Metropolitan Players.

Lorraine Gibson, Jewells”More money than they need”. (The Herald 22/8/17). I don’t think so! If $10m is needed to fix 100 year old Watt St. what about all the other 100 year old streets like Bolton, King, Church Streets to name just a few? Just as Supercars have opened a can of worms in Watt St. I think ‘the light rail we had to have’. Might provide another area where every cent will be needed. Unless of course, common sense prevails and the powers that be put the light rail where it should be, in the rail corridor. Anyone who argues otherwise does not have the taxpayers’ best interests in their sights. $100m comes to mind.

Tony Lawler, NewcastleAlan Squire’s case for light rail corridor use is not persuasive, David Chapman (Short Takes, 22/8). Light rail never provides intercity services. Right to the coast, an Eastern Suburbs designed corridor should be the basis of a business generating high turnover, high volume efficient Newcastle tourist Mecca, especially for soon to be 6 million Sydneysiders. Not only a rich Aboriginal heritage, current earth works are now uncovering so much of what makes Newcastle uniquely Australian.

Graeme Tychsen,Rankin ParkI note two local councils have abandoned the date of Australia Day out of respect for the first Australians. But I have yet to hear of an alternative date from the Aboriginal Community. Objecting to something is one thing. Offering an alternative is something else.

Neville Aubrey,WallsendWhat a cornucopia of letters. All my favourite topics. The rail truncation, Supercars fiasco, church/state separation, multi-faith churches, citizenship issues, light rail, public building decline and vandalism, Australia Day. The only subject missing was the ‘If it’s in the Bible it must be right’ topic.

Too much to take in. I will have a Bex and a good lie down.

John O’Brien,MerewetherI read the story about Kristyn Rourke (“I am lucky I survived”, Herald 22/8). What a brave and gutsy lady.

John Keen, GatesheadI note that the marriage equality yes vote got a huge boost this week with Tony Abbott coming out strongly against it.Lets be honest, anything Abbott is against has a lot going for it.

Mike Sargent,Raymond TerraceTHE POLLSDo you support the Vales Point solar plan?

Yes, 87.3%, No, 12.7%Should the University of Newcastle consider outsourcing the after-hours services?

Yes, 18.3%, No, 81.7%Read More →