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Time for crackdown on illegal crackers

LIGHT SHOW: Thousands turned out to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks on Newcastle Harbour. Picture: Marina Neil
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DESPITE the safety issues and the threat of heavy fines and possible prison time for the sale andillegal use of fireworks in this state, there seems to be more available and in use every year at thistime.

New Year’s Eve is a wonderful time for a gathering of family and friends to celebrate the beginning ofa new year, and there are many organised fireworks displays for those who wish to attend themwith family.

However, for those of us with pets that have an almost self-destructive fear of fireworks, New Year’sEve is a nightmare, both for the pet and the owner.

This is due to the inconsiderate people who insist on setting off illegal fireworks in a suburbanenvironment.The close, and extremely loud noise, can be terrifying to a pet and their reaction is distressing towatch.

They cannot be consoled in this state and if not watched carefully can injure themselves in an effort to escape the terror they feel.

Like most pet owners, as NYE approaches, we will try and reduce the risk to our pets by keepingthem inside and also trying to make their surroundings safe.

New Year’s Eve is bad enough, but in our suburb, we have had to put up with the fireworksnightmare for four or five nights prior to the event.

It is about time the police and other authorities clamped down on this illegal activity and made somereal examples of those who are inconsiderate and stupid enough to ignore not only the law, but alsothe rights of others in their own neighbourhood.

Gary Lawless,EdgeworthNot so happy New yearHAPPY New Year to all. Unfortunately I have spent Friday morning at the emergency vet with my little dog who injured her footwhen she panicked at the noise of the Newcastle fireworks.

It has cost me $407 so far, with extra costs when my vet opens on Monday.

The phone at the emergency vet has been running hot with calls trying to reunite panicked dogs who escaped during the fireworks.

The costs to pet owners following New Year’s Eve must be enormous.Many babies and young children are also very distressed by the noise.

The fireworks are lovely and I would hate to see them go, but please can we have more pretty displays and less noise. Surely we don’t need them to be so loud.

Ruth Burrell, MerewetherConsider the evidenceINTERVIEWING two rail passengers,onenot aregular commuter,does not justify a headline “World keeps turning after train line cut” (Herald, 26/12).

Thebetterwayto determinetheimpact of truncation,isthe reaction of commuters to and from work on a daily basis.

In June 2015, publictransport patronage alongthe rail corridor had dropped by50 per cent, since rail truncation.

Prior to truncation, over half of commuterswho had access to cars, used railto get toWickham, Civic and Newcastle stations.

The very obviousincrease in traffic congestion and parking difficulties since truncation, suggests that those former rail passengerswho have access to cars,are nowdriving cars.Clearly cars arepreferred to buses.

Light rail in Hunter Streetwill involve an even slower journey time, traffic congestion and business interruption.Two reports to government have advised stronglyagainst this.

Thenew law courts and university campuswill exacerbate the gridlock problem –hardlyconducive to attracting people into the city to live, work and spend money.Light rail is most effective when it operates in a dedicated corridor separate from road traffic.

Thecompellingargumentisfor the government to accept theadvice ofits own transport experts, introduce light rail vehicleson the existing tracks in the existing rail corridor and save about $100 million.

Alan Squire, NewcastleTake on big business tooAS aunion member, I would like to commentonthe findings of the trade union royal commissionand the obvious political exercise that itwas.

I only wish the government wasas keen to prosecute the likes of the Commonwealth Bank’sfinancial consultants whodudded a lot of people out of their life savings and deprived them of a decent retirement.

It took a lot of work from Labor to have a Senate inquiry. Why did the LNP government try its best to stop it?

Well, Malcolm Turnbull answered thatwhen he emphasised,time and again, how businesses are accountable to their shareholders.

It apparently did not occurto him that they also have a responsibility to the general public and their customers.

It is apparently all right to rip off the client so long as the owner is happy.

Anyway enough of the rant. The union movement has got to change but the unions should be included in any changes.

The answer will not come from the ideological right, but fromtheunions and business community working together.

Now, more than any time in my life, is the time to be a member of a union, with more and more pressure being applied to take less pay for more work.

Glenn Jones, WestonNo-balls, no senseTHE farce that unfolded in the Boxing Day Test against the West Indies at the MCG regarding no-ballscalled on replay after a wicket fallingrequires some answers for cricket fans.

On three occasions,Australian bowlerswere denied adismissal by the umpire waiting to see on replay if the ball was OKor a no-ball.

And on threeoccasions, the decision was changed to no-ball,after the umpire instigated the review not the batting side.

I have no issue with bowlers having to comply with the rules.

But when one considersthose threeballs were the only ones called in that innings at that end by the same umpire, one must ask –are the umpires calling front-foot no-balls or are they just having a look at the front foot at the fall of a wicket?

Robert Irvin,Anna BayLETTER OF THE WEEKThisweek’s special Herald pen goes to Carl Stevenson,of Dora Creekfor hisletterabout the importance of our letter writers.Thepen is inthemail.

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