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18 Apr

Letters to the editor Saturday September 29 2018

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HIT HARD: Billy Slater after the judiciary hearing that cleared him to play in the grand final on Sunday and, inset, the tackle that landed him there.AS EXPECTED, Billy Slater walked away from what I considered a blatant anddeliberate shoulder charge hearing free to play. This is very bad look for a game that talks a lot about cleaning up this sort of nonsense, yet turns a blind eye on what I considera blatant breach of the rules regarding shoulder charge offences.
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Firstly, the rules are very clear:Billy Slater should have been sent off. Secondly, he should have received a four-weeksuspension and, thirdly, he should have been made an example of so young players learn that even high profile players are subject tothe same rules as they are.

It is no wonder that league fans are leaving in droves as these types of decisions, coupled with the refereeing that fans and players are forced to endure, leave us wanting to find a game that is above allfair, unbiased and consistent.NRL, pleaseclean up your act.

Dennis Crampton,Belmont NorthOUTCRY SHOULDERS BLAMEWHAT a joke, thisfiasco created from Billy Slater’s shoulder charge.

This fiasco was created a few years ago by the public pressure that led to outlawing theshoulder charge in the NRL.

Thanks to the public outcry about how dangerous the shoulder charge is, the NRL bowed to demand.

Apparently facing a dramatic loss of registered players in the code’s juniors,the NRL decided to outlaw a fundamental part of their game due to public backlash from parents who said they would not allow their kids to play rugby league because of the contact, especially shoulder charges. I believe it was afair point for them not to allow their kids to play, but not fair that the rules had to be changed to allow for theirneeds.I understand rugby league needs to compete with other footballing codes, but does this mean you have to change the rules?

Rugby league and rugby union have butted heads for years, but at least rugby union outlawed the shoulder charge a long time ago. At least rugby has stuck to their policy, with any player guilty of a shoulder charge being heavily punished and facingsuspension. For God’s sake, both league and unionarecontact sports. That requires contact of bodies, whether it be high or low impact.

I believe that if the Billy Slater shoulder charge was in round onethis year rather than the game before the grand final there would have beena suspension, so why havespecial circumstances seemingly been made?Is it because of his standing in the game? What if a lesser player committed the same offence, would they be treated they same? I think not. Commonsense would change the rules and deal with shoulder charges the same as tackles. If they were deemed dangerous, they would be sent to the judiciary and dealt with accordingly. Is that unreasonable?If not, why is this the way they deal with tackles?

If you are not happy with the physical contact made in these sports, that’s fair enough. But please don’t support a player who made an illegal shoulder charge and think he deserves to play in a grand final because of the many deeds he has done in thegame.What about the players and families who have suffered at the outcomes of a dangerous shoulder charge, how do you think they feel?

Groiden Schammell,Hamilton NorthWE’RE SHORT ON HONESTYIT SEEMSwe are unable to constitutionally recognise our Indigenous peoples. We can’t possibly establish an exclusively Indigenous body, as that might express an opinion contrary to the wishes of our parliament.We can’t seriously consider moving our national day so that it doesn’t coincide with British seizure and occupation of this continent, and the associated dispossession and destruction of Indigenous society.

Of coursein truth, we could quite easily do all of these things and be a better place for doing so. However, that would require a degree of national, political and personal honesty and introspection that is, clearly, in short supply.Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues to promote the government’s dishonest misrepresentation of calls for a “third chamber” which any informed observer knows to be false (‘Indigenous voice rejected’, Newcastle Herald,27/9).

He attempts to muddy the waters by promoting the idea of a national day of Indigenous recognition and celebration (‘Smile and dance: it’s a new Aboriginal day’, Herald, 27/9) seemingly unaware that one issue does not address the other. On this issue real honesty and genuine goodwill remain in short supply.

John Buckley,FloravilleMOST ARE GOOD APPLESI WOULD also like to give my praise to Amaroo Lodge (Letters, 25/9).My brother Ron spent his last years at Amaroo.

We cannot complain of the care the staff gave to him, in fact I am sure he enjoyed his tenure. He made friends easily and always had good stories about the mates he had there. The staff?He never had a bad word to say about any of them.

He was always kept as clean and tidy as his room. He was fussy about his foodbut he survived. I will never forget how the staff came to his aid in the end, compassionate and caring.Thank you.

Mum also spent 18 years in care. She was 14 years at St Vincent de Paul New Lambton and she enjoyed her time there. The friends she made and the staff were excellent, the food was pleasing and she never complained. It was only the last fouryears, when she became immobile, that mum went into high care at Narla Village.They were also very caring. God bless you all.

Not all aged care are bad places and have bad staff, so how about we give praise to the good ones?I am sure there are more good ones than bad. Ron did complain to me once: he said they did not iron his hankies.

Jan Thomas,ShortlandTHE SUNNY SIDE OF POWERI FREQUENTLY read comments by various writers deriding the reliability of renewables.

In the April 2015 storm the grid failed and our caravan solar, battery and inverter gave us a degree of civilisation with lighting and communication for three days.

Because of that outage, I have taken a section of our house off grid and run the TV and ancillaries, radio, modem and phone, device charging and six lights, one of which is over the barbecue,on renewables.

This equipment runs permanently on solar panels via a battery and inverter. There is adequate power even in cloudy weather.

On sunny days we have an abundance of power and we can vacuum or iron or use power tools.

Dave Hamilton,JewellsLETTER OF THE WEEKTHE pen goes to Gwen Tonge, of Cooks Hill, for her letter about green space.

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