Short Takes

Can someone inform me whether the proliferation of tinnies and dinghies chained to trees at various places along Lake Macquarie’s foreshore is legal? Despite numerous representations to Lake Macquarie City Council, I have been informed that no action will be taken in the immediate future to better store these boats. If this intrusion into public space can be controlled by Port Stephens Council, surely our council should have the resources to follow suit.

Eric Roach, Croudace Bay

Why would you deploy the riot squad – a highly trained unit for combating violence and public unrest – to break up a peaceful protest by mums and grandmothers (‘‘At 95, gran says it’s time to make a stand’’ Herald 29/8)? I suppose when you give a political party an overwhelming majority in Parliament, it can do as it pleases. Mr O’Farrell, we all are waiting with bated breath for the next decision. Are you going to send the riot squad up to Gloucester next?

Ray Davidson, Birmingham Gardens

Now that Medowie Christian School has banned Harry Potter, I hope it has also banned Christian history. It seems that Harry Potter’s good guys use evil means to dispose of the bad guys. But isn’t that what Christians did? They sent crusaders all over the place to slaughter those who did not agree with their teachings. They burnt people to death at the stake if they spoke against their religion. They used (and still use) myths to propagate their beliefs. And I bet a lot of these same teachers watch the garbage that passes for entertainment on TV.

John Ferris, Muswellbrook

Planning and Infrastructure minister Brad Hazzard and Newcastle MP Tim Owen talked to local business owners and the people on the street about the Newcastle rail line going, but did not talk to the people from the Central Coast, west lakes and Maitland who use the trains to get into Newcastle. Don’t blame the rail line for a deserted city. People don’t come because of the parking meters and the state of the CBD. If the business owners don’t do something about that, they will be the only ones to sit back to enjoy the view if the rail goes. They will have their own private area, like Sydney’s Double Bay and Vaucluse, with no outsiders allowed in.

Trevor Whitney, Wangi Wangi

It appears that the left hand of the Department of Education doesn’t know what the right hand wants. Recently there was talk that they were planning to bring in weighing and measuring of students in a effort to stamp out obesity. But then what? Now cartwheels and other forms of active exercise in the playground may be banned unless it is performed in the presence of a qualified gymnast. Children have been doing cartwheels without significant injury or supervision for generations. These policies are diametrically opposed. Removing children from harm is essential, but teaching risk avoidance is harmful.

Roz Ramplin, Adamstown

NSW public sector workers are discovering that no matter how bad things are under a Labor government, it will only get worse under the Libs (‘‘80,000 brace for award cuts’’ Herald 29/8).

Mac Maguire, Charlestown