Letters to the editor

ATTRACTION: A reader has suggested having rangers supervise tourists at the Morisset Hospital grounds would be a better outcome than gates. Picture: Dean Osland
ATTRACTION: A reader has suggested having rangers supervise tourists at the Morisset Hospital grounds would be a better outcome than gates. Picture: Dean Osland

Tourists valuable to town

I AM amazed at some of the reaction to the kangaroo and tourist situation at Morisset Hospital. Are people seriously complaining about tourists coming to the area, and spending money in the local shops?

There are towns that would kill for this sort of attraction. Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area in Morisset is actually the home ground of this mob of kangaroos, and it is a valuable natural and recreational environment for locals.

I question how effective gates will be at the site. There are numerous four-wheel-drive and fire trails through that area. People will still be able to walk in there.

I have had roos behind my back fence in the bush at Windermere Park, and they are harmless. 

If you want tourists supervised, how about assigning a ranger to the site? Why not turn tourists wrangling over to Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Council?  Choose a solution that is a win for the town, draws tourists, and protects the hospital residents.

- G Davis, Windermere Park

Cemetery raid upsetting

YOUR stories (“Thieves target Catalina War Memorial”, Lakes Mail, November 15, and “Distress at grave site vandalism”, Lakes Mail, November 29) prompted me to write to you.

My story is similar. It is totally unbelievable and devastating that people would stoop so low. Until Dad joins Mum at Toronto Cemetery, she is buried without a grave stone. As she loved flowers and her garden, I've planted some bulbs and greenery over her plot. A couple of months ago I redid the plantings, putting in some 30 rosette-shaped succulents. I returned a few days later to check on them and to my great dismay, found all of them were gone, obviously stolen. 

It was extremely upsetting, as I'm sure you'd understand. But what can you do?

- Fiona Honson, Blackalls Park

Pumped hydro can work

CORRESPONDENT Carl Stevenson (“No power comes free”, Lakes Mail, November 29) correctly described the operation of a pumped hydro system, and is correct in suggesting it uses more power than it generates (about 20 per cent more).

While it may not be free, pumping the water uphill during periods of excess renewables will be very cheap. The alternative is to turn capacity off and get no benefit. Running the water down the hill when power is in short supply will attract a rate that easily offsets the 20 per cent energy deficiency.

Mr Stevenson underestimate the potential of pumped hydro to support renewable solar and wind. Snowy 2, the largest potential pumped hydro site, will have a capacity of 2,000 MW and be able to produce that for 175 hours. A proposal for a 235MW upgrade to the existing Shoalhaven pumped hydro system is also being developed. These are only two of 22,000 suitable sites identified to date, and only a select few of these will need to be developed to satisfy our needs.

Like Europe, we can depend on our neighbours, which happen to be the surrounding states covered by the national grid. This grid interconnects an area 39 per cent the size of Europe, and receives a similar diversity of wind and solar conditions across its range, at any one time.

- Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi

Damage caused by trucks

DAMAGE caused to roads by heavy trucks should be clear evidence to Newcastle, Maitland and Lake Macquarie councils as to why not to have a container terminal in Newcastle with thousands of heavy truck movements.Damage to roads, traffic congestion, and noise at all hours of the day and night is why Botany is a non-residential suburb, and why our residential areas are not suitable. Surely Newcastle Council can now afford to give the BHP land back to the people. The developers have had their chop, paid their fees, and left council more wealthy than ever before. 

- Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek