ROLLING ALONG: Reader Adam Walton, of Toronto, is urging those critical of the light rail project to hold their opinions until it is up and running. WITH the fast-approaching opening of the light rail through the city, I fear there is a cohort of naysayers just champing at the bit to express their opinion(s) on any teething issue that may arise in the first few weeks ormonths of its operation.

I can already see it:a tram represented as a cartoon of a white elephant in press media when the patronage is notwhat was forecast. This, of course will not be the case, and the transport option will succeed.

I read with interest howcyclists are getting caught in the tramlines (‘Off the rails’, Newcastle Herald16/11)and run off the roadway, and how vehicles are getting stuck on raised dividers (‘Car stuck on the light rail tracks’,Herald19/11). This is even before the line opens.

History has shown in this great city there are plenty of knockers to progress. To those naysayers, please hold your public opinions, and give not only the light rail, but also the greatest rejuvenation of our city, a fair go.

The light rail project has been one of the largest rejuvenationof this city we have seen for decades.

Yes, with such significant changeswe need to expect that there will be teething issues and slight inconvenience. I’m sure the authorities will learn from them. On a final note, cast your minds back a couple of years, and see what a decaying dump Newcastle’s CBD had become.

Adam Walton,TorontoTOO MUCH TRAIN TRAININGTHISwhole light rail joke is getting worse.The vehicles are going up and down Hunter Street at night followed by traffic control vehicles, with traffic controllers on each intersection. It must be costing a fortune.

Training the drivers? Well there isn’t much traffic at night, and you won’t have traffic controllers when you go out on your own. Why does it take four or five months to train the drivers?Not money well spent, NSW government.

I can think of better things to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on.Acruise terminal would havebeen nice (‘Port urged to get started’, Herald 21/11).The poor tourists get off to be greeted bya marquee and two portable toilets in the second biggest city in NSW. It’s abit of a joke.

Maybe the money could instead provide a few more nurses orpolice officers. Either would be nice. NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance should spend a night or twoin the John Hunter to see how hard those poor nurses work. We’ll be famous for the shortest light rail track in the world in the end.Not so well done, NSW government.

Wayne Ridley,GatesheadPAST GAVE US THIS PRESENTAUSTRALIA’S latest Liberal Prime Minister says he has just discovered that the roads are clogged, the trains are full, and schools are taking no more enrolments –in Sydney and Melbourne, anyway.

He blames this situation on the migrants, and says we have to slow down our intake (‘Permanent migration numbers to be slashed’, Herald 21/11).

Scott Morrison might like to shoot the blame home to where it belongs. When Peter Costello was treasurer, he smugly told the world he had a budget surplus so big that he didn’t know what to do with it.Back thennot one road, train system or school could attract his attention.

MrCostello did know about the numbers of migrants coming into the country at that time, and how many more were expected in the years leading up to now. He simply never thought that something should be done to get ready for them, so he just gave all the money away.

And lest we forget thatLiberal prime minister John Howard did nothing to stop Mr Costello’s nonsense. In fact, he encouraged it. MrMorrison would do wellto admit that a lack of planning by Liberals in the past is what has produced the problems of today. Such a change from the usual Liberal smoke-screen would be so refreshing that a huge number of people could be surprised into voting Liberal next year.

Grant Agnew,Coopers PlainsSENATE MUST EXAMINE STINKHAVING for many years been involved with the Rutherford anti-stink campaign, it has always been clear to me that the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) does not have enough power to intervene in the way itshould when it is required.

I believe the way they have handled the Rutherford industrial area’s sickening smell ever since Truegain started operation in the area, demonstrates it.

From what has so far being reported by the Newcastle Herald(‘Done dirt cheap’, Herald 14/11), the few times that the EPA has tried to bring Truegain to account it has been over-ruled by the Land andEnvironment Court or higher authority.

This raises the question of having an agency that costs NSW $196 million a year just so it appears the environment is being taken care of. I believe itis a waste of money.

What has so far been printed by the Newcastle Herald is nothing short of scandalous.

The stories that have been told by former Truegain employees (‘Dirty deeds’, Herald 10/11) are almost unbelievable for this day and age. People keeping quiet for fear of losing their jobsresembles stand-over tactics.It’s truly sad, because I’m surethose employees were aware how much damage those illegal practices they were performing on a daily basis would do to others, including their own families, in the long run.

It has come to the point that, in order to find the truth of any illegal practices that may have taken place, and in the process affected people’s welfare, I believe the only way to bring everyone to accountis a Senate inquiry.

We cannot afford, and the environment cannot afford, to ignore such irresponsible practices any longer.

Salvatore Cocco, RutherfordLAY DOWN NEW TERROR LAWANOTHER news item this week regarding arrests carried out on alleged plans for acts of terrorism (‘Three men charged as terror plot foiled’, Herald 21/11). I call upon all ns to now start applying pressure on politicians to bring in new laws.

These laws should apply mandatory life sentences, without parole, on those convicted of planning and or carrying out acts of terror against the n community.

Whether it needs amendments to existing laws, or new ones, it must now be looked at. It’s bad enough whenpaedophiles and rapists can end up being given an early release from jail and some re-offending, but I believe those with mass murder intentions should not be able to see the light of day ever again.

Our families have a right to be assured those convictedare locked up for the rest of their natural lives.

Am I wrong?

Garry Scow,Warners BaySHARE YOUR OPINIONEmail [email protected]苏州楼凤.au or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.