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Cheaper coffee would be a shot in the arm

BREW IT UP: Reader Stuart Benjamin says Australian coffee’s reliance on espresso, rather than filtered varieties that are common overseas, has left prices here inflated.

I HAVE travelled overseas for many years and I am a coffee fan, so I look for the best coffee deal locally. In the USA and Europe I have found a freedom of choice between filter coffee and espresso coffee, but at different prices. Filter coffee is priced at around $2-$3 and espresso coffee is priced around $4-$5 because of different overheads. This means that it is cheaper to produce a cup of paper or metal filter coffee than it is to produce a cup of espresso machine coffee.

I have chosen to buy both filter coffee and espresso coffee when overseas depending on my budget and they are both very good value according to their price. Compared to USA and Europe, I thinkAustralian coffee production is overpriced as it relies almost exclusively on the espresso machine for coffee production and has no freedom of choice. There is no cheaper alternative such as the metal or paper coffee filter being produced for the coffee customer.

I can only advise our coffee roasters and cafés to embrace freedom of choice going forward and produce a cheaper cup of coffee for the choice of the coffee customer. Espresso coffee and filter coffee together as equals. Advance Australia Fair.

Stuart Benjamin,Anna BayIT’S A DROP IN THE OCEANHUNTER Water are giving the general public large figures of $100,000 per property (‘End of the line: locals facing town water cut’, Herald,20/4). Although this is true, I would like to ask all Hunter Water customers if they would pay an extra $5 a year for fiveyears?This is all it would costfor us to have our permanent drinking water supply restored to a quality that meets the Australian drinking water guidelines.

The Chichester Dam, which is at the end of our road, is the most cost effective water supply for Hunter Water and therefore is its chosen water supply. Hunter water send 70 per centof their profits to the state government, and very little of that money gets spent in the Hunter.Please get behind us and help us restore our permanent domestic water supply that we have had for 60 years.

Jenni Denniss, DungogDON’T DRUDGE AT DREDGINGI THINK Swansea LaborMPYasmin Catley and Liberal Senator ScotMacDonald should take a step back when calling for year-round dredging of the Swansea Channel. The politicians should be calling for an independent environmental impact study.

Sixty years ago the council dredged Swansea South to makethreedeep canals, one along the shoreline and two deeperfor a handful of boats. The canal along the shoreline destroyed a deep inletinto a large pristine basin that was full of sunlight, with a sandy bottom surrounded with rich mud flatswhere a host of marine animals thrived. The solider crabs and seashellhabitats werelost overnight.All the dredged sand was dumped, making two islands along both canals. Theystopping the tides from flushing and spreading the sand throughout the lake, the beginning of the mouth of the lake being choked with sand.Over time huge mounds of sand has been dumped around Swan Bay, off Coon Island and near Swansea bridge.The tides are fighting to sift itback to where it should be and the boats are getting stuck.I think the Islands should be slowly pushed back into the canals and sand mounds should be spread out into the dredged areas, allowing the tides to heal theentrance. Boats should be modifiedfor lake use.A free-flowing channel and tides spreading thesand throughout the lakeis what’s needed.

Maureen O’Sullivan Davidson, SwanseaGIVING US ALL WE’VE GOTTHIS time it’s the Herald reporting that Britainis not reliant on coal for power generation (‘No coal for three days’, Herald,26/4).”Power generated from wind and gas dominated” a spokesman was quoted. The full story is that Britain’s energy sources are42 per cent gas, 21 per cent nuclear, 9 per cent coal, 24 per cent renewables (wind, solar and tidal) with shortfalls from interconnectors.Google tells me that Australia’s sources are 13 per centgas, 0 per cent nuclear, 73 per cent coal, 8 per cent hydro and 6 per cent wind and solar. OK, one could infer by comparison that we could increase our use of renewables, but it is disingenuous to imagine that we could eliminate coal and keep the lights on!

Bill Nolan, JewellsNOT MUCHTO SMILE ABOUTWHEN the Transport Minister Andrew Constance came to Newcastle announcing what would happen to the Store building (‘City on the rise’, Herald, 21/4),he also said people should stop being negative and embrace the changes in Newcastle. However, it is hard to embrace changes that make getting into and out of the city more difficult, particularly after the closure of the railway destroyed a fast direct service.

It’s hard to embrace change that makes public transport very difficult to use when bus timetables make sense to only a fortunate few. It’s difficult to embrace change when beautiful heritage buildings of considerable significance are destroyed. It’s difficult to embrace changes that don’t make senseand leaderswon’t listen to those who are most affected.

Peter Sansom,KahibahEAST, WEST, THERE’S UNRESTEAST End residents have copped criticism over their opposition to the Supercars. Now Tony Mansfield (Short Takes, 24/4) seems to be revelling in the fact that, despite their objections, the East End is now jam-packed with cars and the area is buzzing on weekends because of this event. This seems a bit ironic from someone who lives in the suburb where the residents complain and often abuse people parking to attend events at the stadium,or is that a small minority?

Barry Reed, IslingtonFREE RIDES MUST FINISHWITH all the disturbance on CBD streets, I do understand it is difficult for cyclists to get around, but that does not mean you can ride on the footpath. Firstly it is illegal, and secondly it is downright dangerous. From what I have seen the worst offenders are young adults attending university at the CBD campus. They have the nerve to tell pedestrians to get out of the way, even mobility-impaired pedestrians.

I think it is about time councilrangers or the police clamped down on this illegal and dangerous behaviour with fines on the spot.

Nigel Dale, HamiltonLETTER OF THE WEEKTHIS week’s pen goes to Brian Suters, of The Junction, for his letter about Carrington pump house.

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