Your correspondent immediately draws attention to the figures (Letters, October 22) when he complains about the under-representation of women on the Herald’s letter pages. My observation is that on most days the numbers are much lower. There are certainly just as many women who want to express their opinion. It’s little consolation to look at the quality published rather than the quantity. Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale (Vic)
After reading the letters page, I somehow get the impression that most, if not all, writers are 40 years of age or older. I wonder how old the contributors really are and if there are people under 40 who actually read this page, let alone write it. Can someone clarify me? Julie Campbell, Redfern
Maybe women need a woman to be able to write to the editor early in the morning? Or the disparity may reflect the demographics of journalism at SMH. Male writers dominate politics and women write more in law and specialisms. Anne Eagar, Epping
An increasing number of people do not identify as female or male, so no, “raw numbers don’t tell the story”. Perhaps a longitudinal study with more than two categories would tell more. Suzanne Wicks, Potts Point
Setting the diamond standard
Congratulations to the korfball team who question their sponsor’s ethics (“Diamonds’ Priceless Value Shines in Miner’s Stand,” October 22). If only those greedy sportsmen involved in the golf tournament paid for by a country with appalling human rights could take an example. Karin Viles, Annandale
Sorry, Gina. People who play netball have certain rights in this country, and yes, they don’t have to lean on mining equipment or be afraid of publicly noting your late father’s views on Indigenous Australians. There was another way. You could have given the sport a few million dollars out of your many billions with no strings attached if you really wanted to support netball in this country. You could even have been an anonymous donor. Wendy Atkins, Cooks Hill
Hancock’s sponsorship was never about netball. Tobacco, alcohol and gambling companies are only concerned with improving their public image and selling more products. Fossil fuel companies that damage our environment are no different. Anyone who thinks otherwise is naive. If athletes can’t speak, who can? Ted Hemmens, Cromer
What could have been?
Barangaroo isn’t my taste, but I shrug, avert my eyes, and consider myself lucky that our city still has its share of pristine beauty (“Unlocking land stock and gun-barrel views,” October 22). However, it’s hard not to fall for the bait when we’re reminded of what could have been. And when Perrottet and Keating join forces to tell us what an amazing job they’ve done, my digestive system gurgles in disgust. I thank the Herald for reporting on the project 10 years later, but please don’t forget the many ordinary people sitting quietly watching the vulgar slice of Las Vegas we’ve had to swallow. Rob Mills, Riverview
I was excited at the prospect of Barangaroo, but as the years went on I became disillusioned. I came back from an overseas trip to realize that my view of the morning and evening sky from my home will forever be filled with a dam-building tribute to James Packer (who no longer calls Sydney home). I can walk to Barangaroo, but rarely make the effort. It is soulless and windy as well as gray and barren. I would never take foreign guests there. I am now concerned about what will happen at Central Railway and Blackwattle Bay. What hideous and unwelcome buildings will be erected among the good parts of these proposed developments? Why does Sydney have to tinker and corrupt with design proposals that are supported by all sectors? It just shrinks it. I don’t want my city to be constantly discussed and ridiculed. I want the built environment to match the beauty of the port. Unfortunately we sold Sydney’s soul. Susan Durman, Pyrmont
If our American guests want to see the most beautiful harbor in the world, Barangaroo is not the place (“What are you all smoking? Barangaroo is fine,” October 22). All they will see is Pyrmont and East Balmain; interesting but not spectacular. Restaurants in Campbell’s Cove, Circular Quay and elsewhere offer spectacular views of both the Harbor Bridge and Opera House, as well as the harbour, which would be the reason they came for a visit (aside from free guest house and my bubbly personality). So if the provision of cafes and restaurants was the raison d’être for Barangaroo, it has been an expensive, monumental failure. Except, of course, for the developers. Rodney Crute, Hunters Hill
When is a burden an asset (“Moore pauses to roll out advertising screens,” 22 October)? This euphemism is used to describe their presumptuous advertising screens wrecking our sidewalks. Many are replacing phone booth billboards. These billboards were always redundant, but at least they were integrated. The replacement is a double-sided advertising screen with a poorly designed phone booth behind it, adding more visual clutter to our crowded streets. The mayor says the $450 million contract will enable “a valuable revenue stream for capital works.” It would help if some of that “valuable income” went into designing a sensitive replacement for the ugly concrete barriers that litter our streets for outdoor dining – a good idea, but a visual disaster. John Spatchurst, Surry Hills
The first billboards to disappear are the sight blocks at bus stops. We can’t see the route number, so we can’t signal the driver and the bus doesn’t stop. Kevin Eadie, Drummoyne
The writing way
Your correspondent writes (Letters, Oct. 22) that “the nation already has more than enough unpublished novelists and poets” – as if publication is the point. Ever received a love poem, sir? Dictators lock up writers, published or not, because writers see the world with real clarity. He writes “a creative note to the milkman makes little sense”, but in doing so he recreated an entity called a “milkman”, to whom I would write: “A pint of human kindness a day, please, for Mr. S (and a copy of my recently published poetry collection Gravitation does not always work, love from Rob”. Robert Edmonds, Long Jetty
Comments to the milkman, creative or otherwise, have not been needed in Hunters Hill for over 25 years. Matt Caine, Newport Beach
I thought the answer was 42 (“HSC math question confuses,” October 22). Peter Miniutti, Ashbury
I’ve always loved the Herald obituaries (Letters, October 22). They encourage you to strive for more in life. I am proud to have written an obituary for the beloved Herald letter writer, Anthony Inatey several years ago. Margaret Jones, Bathurst
Whale of an idea
I just watched Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home. Maybe we should broadcast a whale song to stop the rain (“NSW Residents Warned More Rain, Rising Rivers,” Oct. 22)? Marjie Williamson, Blaxland
Your correspondent (Letters, October 22) may be too young to remember the goal I scored in 1954 at home football on a Willoughby oval. It was announced at the school meeting and is my claim to sporting fame. Long after the eponymous prime minister is forgotten, everyone will remember the “Morrison Goal of 1954.” David Morrison, Springwood
Longing for Moir
Bravo Alan Moir (Letters, October 22), thanks for a wonderful incarnation of the Norwegian Blue Parrot. Anne Sefton, Forster
The digital display
Online commentary from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday smh.com.au
Couples earning $350k to get parental leave in a ‘family-friendly’ budget
From Dave H: All over the country people are being forced into poverty as housing becomes unaffordable for too many people, especially in the regions. People on benefits already live in poverty. This decision may be aimed at increasing productivity, but it is certainly those with lower incomes who need help coping with the effects of rising inflation and rising rents.
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