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Newcastle Herald

Wednesday March 30, 2011


Beyond mediocrity, yesI HAD a letter published recently ("Tread warily, Knights" 9/3) raising concerns regarding Nathan Tinkler taking over the Knights.I wrote that letter to encourage all Knights members to carry out their own thorough due diligence. I have carried out mine and will be voting yes on Thursday night.I have reviewed all the financial information available, including the past few annual reports. I have concluded that the Tinkler offer is a very good deal for the Knights and we need it now.I have discussed my concerns about the structure of the proposal with the Knights chairman and the Tinkler Sports Group chairman. I am now comfortable that the structure the Knights board has negotiated, including the bank guarantees, will provide protection of the club should anything unforeseen happen.After attending the information night and hearing Nathan Tinkler speak I am now comfortable that he will take very good care of our cherished asset.I would hate to think my original letter discouraged people from voting yes.I want to see how great we can be, without the financial restrictions that have dogged us in the past. It's a chance to move beyond mediocrity. Vote yes.Mark ApthorpeSwanseaDrowned in a sea of pollie paperTWO days after the election I received another brochure from the National Party encouraging me to vote for their candidate.Our home was bombarded with advertising material, most of it personally addressed and delivered by Australia Post.The money wasted on all this rubbish could have been put to better use. Public hospitals are crying out for equipment. Flood-ravaged areas of our country need assistance.There is a push to limit the size of political donations. Why not extend that to the amount spent on advertising? Most of the material goes straight into the bin.I lost count of the personally addressed letters I received from the political parties. All they did was turn me against them, so I voted for one who showed much more restraint in advertising.Perhaps a good policy would be to put pollies on performance-based contracts. Think of the money we could save.Robin CarrallKurri KurriThis conduct is code for abuseI BELIEVE Singleton will lose a most effective and dedicated councillor if Cr Howlett is forced to resign ("Email pursuit the final straw" Herald 24/3).Cr Howlett has been a tireless worker for her community and an effective debater in the council.It seems to be her determination to exercise the responsibility to represent her constituents by asking difficult questions and insisting on due process that has led to this disgraceful treatment.It appears that if her opponents cannot win the argument they attack the person with a code of conduct accusation, then go on a "fishing expedition", demanding access to councillors' private emails.This is unheard of.In the general public interest and in the interests of Singleton ratepayers, the Minister for Local Government should investigate the abuse of codes of conduct actions in our shire.Carol RussellSingletonNot a part of the Patrons' TrustREGARDING the article by Ian Kirkwood ("The patrons of profit" Herald 26/3), I believe it implied that I am a member of the Patrons' Trust offer to the Newcastle Knights as an alternative to the Tinkler Sports Group bid.I am not part of the Patrons' Trust, nor have I been approached to be.I reiterate my comment, quoted in the article, that I have the highest respect for Mr Tinkler. I resent any implication that "sour grapes" would motivate such an investment.I am not a close follower of the fortunes of the Newcastle Knights but as a Novocastrian I wish the club well in its deliberations.It must be comforting for the club and its supporters to have a queue of individuals prepared to invest in their future - I believe this makes a nice change from the well-documented financial struggles of the past.Phil ArnallNewcastleGratuitous insult to a fine groupI AM not a member of the Ulysses Club, but my father and mother are, and I was more than annoyed that someone like Jeff Corbett ("Old bikers out of hand" Herald 25/3), picked the eyes from those who are passionate about their interest, then slandered them about their age, body shape, facial features, conversation and for showing affection to their partners.I would love to think that when I am older, my partner and I can share an interest, enjoy each other's company and not be afraid to show affection wherever we are.Who wouldn't want to have an interest they will not give up on because of a little thing like age?The Ulysses Club brings huge business to any town where they hold their AGM. Jeff Corbett should be promoting this event, if only for the business it brought.I choose to live life like the "old farts" of the Ulysses Club and "grow old disgracefully".Peta RhodesBonnells BayJEFF Corbett ("Old bikers out of hand" Herald 25/3) is nothing if not courageous.First, completely unprovoked, he puts the boot into the 3000 apparently overweight Ulysses bikers who have descended on our city for their AGM. Then he takes on the fair sex, denigrating their determined assaults on the (fictitious?) glass ceilings of Australian industry, commerce and politics ("What glass ceiling?" Herald H2 26/3).If Jeff has kept his head down, our portly guests may have departed, without managing to brand his hide with their tri-treads.But the sisterhood neither forgives nor forgets - and is with us for keeps.I am in awe of such fearless (1960s?) journalism.John FlettWangi WangiWHAT a misinformed and sick person Jeff Corbett seems ("Old bikers out of hand" Herald 25/3).The article on the Ulyssians in Newcastle has to be the most insulting column I've read about any group in any newspaper.Ulyssians are just ordinary older folk united by a love of motorcycles. They hail from all walks of life.We have doctors, lawyers, police officers, nurses, builders, labourers. We share a common interest and get along fabulously.The luckier ones at our age still have partners with whom to share their love and demonstrate it by holding hands if it pleases them - not because of any club image.The Ulysses Club raises considerable funds for a variety of honourable and needy causes, including arthritis and children's cancer research.We spent millions of dollars supporting local businesses in Newcastle and surrounds over the past week. Yes, millions of dollars.How much rudeness has Mr Corbett experienced at the hands of Ulysses members? It's a shame that many of our interstate members will remember Newcastle not by the hospitality and beauty of the area, but by his stupid insults.Bob LucasShoal BayCars eating our regionTO say that we need a higher population in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas is laughable. Our roads can't handle the volume of traffic now - and 40km/h and 50km/h zones complicate it even more.My daughter often complains about running late for work, despite leaving in plenty of time. Now I know why. Driving her to work this week, with bumper-to-bumper traffic jams, low-speed zones and numerous stops for trains was a frustrating trip.Bottlenecks occur at many roundabouts, for example, near Warners Bay High School. I believe these are accidents waiting to happen. Charlestown, Belmont, Newcastle, Warners Bay and Glendale cannot cope with more traffic or population. Stop pushing for expansion and think about what is happening.Sandra JohnsJewellsLetter of the weekThis week the letter judged the best, most succinct and interesting will win a special Herald letter-writing pen. The winner will be announced on Saturday on this page.

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