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WATCHING “Scotty from marketing” in parliament on Monday, the reason for him not going outside to listen to the safety and workplace equity concerns held by many thousands of Australian women, became patently obvious. Scotty just wasn’t dressed for the occasion! Scotty as we know, has an extensive wardrobe suitable for most photo opportunity situations. Construction or mining visits = hi-vis vests and coloured hard hats. Hospital or research facility visits = PPE and white coats. Military announcements = a fighter pilot jacket or camouflage outfits. Rural visits and, “pork barrel funding announcements” = RM Williams moleskins, checked shirt and wide brimmed hat. March 4 Justice simply caught him short! He often says: “Jenny is my sounding board”. If true, why didn’t she tell him to include a smart pant suit or two among his photo-op wardrobe just in case a March 4 Justice situation arose? Fortunately for Scotty his pollywaffle offer of a tea and sympathy chat with several from March 4 Justice was declined. Allowing Scotty in a grey suit, a white shirt and lilac tie to tell the nation how disappointed he was March 4 Justice declined his “sincere” invitation. As Sir Humphrey Appleby might have said: a master class in humbug, prime minister! WHEN a man (who was betrothed to a nine-year-old girl, then married her when she turned 12, and now has four children in Australia) is allowing his 12-year-old daughter to be married overseas has been allowed to stay in Australia after a judge overruled the decision to be deport him because this practice falls within the guidelines of Islamic and Sharia laws, it makes Monday’s protests look like a farce when it comes to stemming the violence against women in Australia. His three daughters can now be exposed to the same fate, along with other accepted laws such as the practice of female circumcision or public stoning for adultery. Australia should march against this type of violence as well; otherwise we are all hypocrites to ignore these types of demeaning laws and practices against young females. We can’t overlook this, otherwise the March 4 Justice cause is meaningless. Real men should also join you towards fighting this child abuse. It shouldn’t be permitted in Australia. Our laws; our country. These three girls are Australian citizens. I THINK the gender pay gap disapproval is hard to understand, when by law the same rate of pay is given to both male and female employees doing the same job. If female workers can’t, for various reasons, do the same hours of their male workers who do the same job, should their hourly rate be increased to make up the gap? Of course not. This is one discussion that appears to be based on overall earnings rather than hourly earnings. From my experience as a once employer, some employees, especially women with families, preferred to regulate their hours and were happy to do so. They didn’t expect to earn the same as those who worked longer. So where is this pay gap going? With accepted circumstances that create a difference in earnings? Or is it more about playing the gender equality card rather than accepting the reality. AUSTRALIA faces a very dangerous few years ahead with China determined to conquer the Indo Pacific region. Our problem is particularly acute given we have a population of only 25 million. In addition, Australia is an attractive target given our high-quality iron ore, coal (both coking and thermal coal), natural gas (including coal seam gas), uranium (we have 40 per cent of the world’s reserves), lithium (we are the world’s largest producer with 140,000 tonnes produced annually compared with China 35,000 tonnes) and this does not include bauxite, gold, silver and the whole range of other valuable minerals. IN THE NEWS: By comparison China has little in the way of natural resources that have not already been squandered. In addition, we have large arable land areas. So, if you need to feed 1.4 billion people you need new virgin lands and Australia is clearly a prime target not only for food and raw materials but to settle your huge population. Hence the ongoing assault on Australian values which is clearly a prelude for war. It’s time Australia invited the US to develop medium and long-range missile bases in Australia in the sparse areas of the interior along with more naval and army bases before we have a Chinese armada bearing down on our coast. The fools who think China can be appeased are in the same class as British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain who thought he could trust Hitler. THE council’s proposed new concept designs for Foreshore Park are drawing a lot of interest and comment from the public (“Petition to save park’s pond for skating”, Herald, 15/3). This petition to save the frog pond for a roller rink certainly has merit and should have been considered by the council before they agreed to spend $12 million on a skate park just up the hill at Newcastle Beach South. Just a reminder to readers, the contract for this $12 million project was started in August 2020. It has been fraught with difficult weather conditions and progress appears to be very slow. It is scheduled to take two years to complete. The question is, just how many skate parks do we need in Newcastle East? For the record, we also seem to have inherited another skate park with the council’s $6.5 million makeover of the old “bus layover” at the station. This area has become very popular with teenage skateboarders at all hours of the day and night. I WAS struck by the blatant hypocrisy of an article in the Herald (16/3) concerning the application to extend the operations of the Mount Pleasant Coal Mine. Australia has signed up to the Paris Agreement to take action on climate change. Our scientists tell us that one of the actions the world must take is stop burning coal, as early as 2030 or very soon after. Yet here we have an application to continue mining up to 2048, and to double the production rate. If this application is approved then the owners of the mine, the Australian government and Australian society are sending a very clear message to the world. We don’t give a toss about climate change, we just want the money. By the way, in Europe the announcements on coal mining are of plans, with strong government support, of winding down and closure. I BELIEVE a cold, cruel wind of silence blows down the corridors of sexual abuse in the federal parliament. The same cold, cruel wind of silence in the church with their cruelty of sexual abuse. AT the last federal election, female electors outnumbered their male counterparts by over 400,000 – comprising some 51.2 per cent of the electorate. Yet despite a field of female candidates no more mediocre than the males on offer, only 37 per cent of federal seats were secured by females. Imagine if that power were harnessed when it counted at the ballot box? SCOTT Morrison, in parliament and responding to the women’s stand for justice and equality, said they were lucky they were not in nearby countries where they might/would have been shot. Is this an insentient statement of his attitude to women? SPOT on Wayne Grant (Short Takes, 16/3), Dr Boulton’s letter was very insightful. I wonder now though how your friend reacted to the photo on the front page of the person’s T-shirt message at Monday’s march? I’m assuming he may fall into the category depicted, like I do. I found it despicable, an insult and a good way to alienate the overwhelming majority of us who are decent husbands, fathers, grandfathers, brothers and sons who were otherwise onboard with the cause. Now I’m not so sure. WHY must citizens protest about the activities and decisions of our elected representatives who pretend to be the government of the people? The biggest rally ever in Newcastle, but the rail is gone. More huge rallies by Black Lives Matter but the highest prison rates are Indigenous. Thousands protest for sexual equality, but no government interest – who do the government represent? WHAT I love when getting off a bus in Newy is when people say thank you to the driver. What I also love is getting off the bus in Lake Mac after getting home from Newy and saying thank you to the same driver. I quite like the abbreviated term of Lake Mac. And I definitely like the abbreviated term of Newy. I do miss the 363 tho. AFTER all the lessons the government has had, they are still allowing security guards working in COVID hotels to have other jobs. Come on, wake up. A LETTER to the editor from Pat Garnet in yesterday’s Herald said young boys needed to be taught “male social morals”. It should have read “male social mores”.

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