Letters to the editor Saturday May 26 2018

WATCH IT: Parents will be urged to keep quiet watching junior football fixtures this weekend to allow the players to enjoy the game without verbal questioning. HUNTER families this Saturday will be prevented from verbally offering encouragement or cheering on their own children at local soccer matches.

WhileNorthern NSW Football’s Silent Saturdayinitiative is primarily directed at the small minority of parents who we consider over the top and critical, our policy is in relation to all comments – even if they are positive in nature.

Parents are advised that duty officers will be encouraged to use their mobile phones to record any vocalisation of support or otherwise on the day.

We will be reviewing carefully any footage provided to us,and parents caught out may be banned from attending future matches if they can be identified.

It may seem heavy handed, and some may feel this is political correctness gone too far, but it is important that parents follow instructions on the day. Prior to game starts, officials will hand out leaflets to parents instructing them are not to communicate verbally with their children whilst on the field – at any time.

Northern NSW Football is considering making cheering freesoccer an ongoing part of future seasons.

Phillip Andrews, Northern NSW Football development managerLOCKOUTS AIM OFF THE MARKTO JUNEPorter (Letters, 19/5):while I agree with you that Tony Brown is indeed brave to be doing what he’s doing, I also believe that he, like anyone who supports the lockout laws and zero tolerance reforms to the current licensing laws, is, somewhat ill-informed and misguided.

The story you told of a soldier brandishing a gun after being denied a drink is quite obviously an incredibly extreme example of alcohol-related violence, andin the 2000sany extreme cases of alcohol-related violence in Newcastle have always been few and far between.

Overall, the vast majority of Friday and Saturday nights in Newcastle have been incident free, with only a profoundly small percentage of people causing any trouble.

On the other hand, countless Novocastrian pub and club patrons continue to prove time and time again that they are well and truly capable of behaving themselves each and every weekend.

In this new millennium, Newcastle boasts zero incidents of anyone pulling out a gun in a pub or club after the call for last drinks.

Adz Carter,NewcastleA BIT SHORT ON BUSH WISDOMONE wonders if there is anyone in politics who has any grey matter when it comes to the acknowledged fact that n cities, in particular Sydney and Melbourne, are bursting at the seams,and on both the fundamental issues of housing and transport are not coping.

Of course, most with any commonsense would realise that the problem is one created by the politicians themselves. The complete failure of the immigration scheme, or the lack of one.

The nonsense that there are plenty jobs in the bush may be true in the good times, but what happens in times of drought when the crops fail and water is as scarce as a honest party politician?

We have a problem where we are over-represented by urban pollies and public servants who have no knowledge of the fragility of this vast country. I think it’s high time those in power educated themselves on the reality of life outside the city and stop this blasé attitude that big is better.

Alan Metcalf,StocktonADDRESS UNSEEN EMERGENCYOH my God. I work for a freight company and we have our own employee assistance program. Get with it Ambulance NSW(‘Spotlight on NSW Ambulance after Hunter paramedic’s death’, NewcastleHerald,22/5).Really?Shame on you.

These people, along with police, nurses and firemen deal with the day to day issues of all different scenarios, danger and life threatening situations. They should have the best on offer in the way of counselling, issues on the job etc. It’s unbelievable in this day and age that you provide so little.

Step up and look after our special peoplebecause they have to be beautiful souls before they take on a job in the fields mentioned. I certainly don’t think I would last a week doing any of their jobs. Let’s fight for them now before we lose any more people due to their occupation and the issues they face day to day.

Michelle Toohey,BarnsleyNO NEED TO SOLDIER ONI FEEL gutted for the families who have to deal with the lack of support for paramedics by Ambulance NSW (‘Spotlight on NSW Ambulance after Hunter paramedic’s death’, Herald,22/5).

I think paramedics deal with more trauma than policemen, firefighters or even surgeons. They deal with life and death every day, and it appears they aren’t supported to deal with what they see. So many millions can be funded into reviewing the processes, but we need to see changenow.

We respect our Anzacs and our soldiers, yet our paramedics are doing this day in, day out. They need so much more support, and they need it now.I believe families are being torn apart by the lack of support. I don’t have all the answers, but experts do and they need to be heard.

Compulsory debriefing with peers, on-site counselling support, and time off for mental health time seem commonsense to me but are non-existent in the structures of Ambulance NSW. Change the systemnow, or we’re going to keep losing our soldiers that are fighting the good fight and keeping us all alive.

Nathan Toohey,Mona ValeBRAVO ON A TALE OF OUR CITYTHANK you so much Robert Dillon for a great read inHard Yards. I enjoyed every page as a dyed-in-the-wool Knights fan and would like to make a small suggestion:that names were put under team photographs if you writeanother book.

I also love your weekly comments about our great team. I couldn’t get a copy at my local newsagent, so my son managed to get it for me on his computer and it came very quickly. I wholeheartedly recommend this book for any Knights fan.Well done, Robert.

Elizabeth Giles,AshtonfieldLETTER OF THE WEEKTHE pen goes to Geoff Black, of Caves Beach, for his letter on the logistics of the University of Newcastle’s plan to add new city campuses in the future.

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