WARNING SHOT: Reader Mike Sargent contends David Warner’s return to the n Test side is far from unlikely if his form elsewhere warrants selection. WHILE I have little time for David Warner’s behaviour on and off the cricket pitch, I do disagree with Robert Dillon’s summation (‘True Test of character’, Newcastle Herald13/10) that Warner may never again play for .Warner’s batting skills are of such a high standard that excuses will continue to be made for his bad behaviour, both on the field and off. A couple of Sheffield Shield centuries and I expect it will be back to business as usual.

By the way, Mr Dillon, I’d argue Steve Smith is no clean skin as you opine, as much as I love that word.I believe the behaviour of n teams, which hasnot been the best for the past 20 years or so, deteriorated even further under Smith’s stewardship. If you ask me, the on-field antics of Warner, Lyon et al can be sheeted home to the poor leadership displayed by Smith.

needs to find a captain like Mark Taylor or Allan Border before it can regain the respect of the cricketing world. Play hard, but play fair.

Mike Sargent,CootamundraA NEW MAYORAL RACENICK Bielby’s reportmentionsLake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser took a hot lap of the lake before the Big Weekend (‘Full throttle for weekend’,Herald12/10).

Now,could there be a challenge from Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes to maybe embrace the Supercars track with an equally enthralling performance? Would special RMS licences be needed for such exploits? I think it could be very interesting.

Richard Devon, Fishing PointVISITS DERAILTHE AGENDATHIS weekend past has seen significant track work maintenance occur on the northern rail line through Newcastle.

This work has necessitated the closure of the level crossings at Adamstown and Clyde Street atIslington to both rail and road traffic. NSWTransport Minister AndrewConstanceappears to have his priorities confused when he suggests fanciful ideas of extending the light rail.

The government’s priority should be a solution to the current rail level crossings that bisect our city causing constant danger, inconvenience and disruption. Mr Constance may label me a whinger as hedid the state member for Newcastle recently (‘Light rail build fortnight from finish’, Herald 18/9),but there are many like me as the next state election looms.

Regarding the rail corridor east of Merewether Street (‘Mystery over corridor land’, Herald 12/10), why the secrecy?

Please come back with our Premier, Mr Constance. I think with every visit you make the governmentfar less popular, bolstering our current sitting state members and ensuring their re-election at the upcoming state poll.

John Mayo, IslingtonEDUCATION NEEDS EVIDENCEI THANK Mr Dolan (Letters13/10) for his concerns regarding my alleged problems and phobias.

I also inform him that I have no problem with his freedom of faith, just as I defend my right to have freedom from faith.

My concern is rather with the fact that millions of taxpayer funds are poured into religious schools thus facilitating efforts to daily indoctrinate students with the beliefs and practices of particular religions.

The students are trapped. They can’t escape. And they dare not question. Daily prayers are part of their “education”.

I reiterate my view that there should be a complete separation of church and state when it comes to educating students.

Let the schools deliver evidence-based education, and let the churches separately deliver their faith-based beliefs in their halls of worship, and not in their schools.

Personally I believe education should be about established facts and hypotheses. Religions are all about beliefs and associated behaviours. There is no evidence whatsoever to support beliefs in gods, heavens and hells, eternal life, ghosts, miracles, and so on.

Yetin religious schools these memes are taught as facts.

Alarming anti-science beliefs are taught as truths in many religious schools. For example, the proliferating “Christian” schools teach Genesis as literally true,that Earth was created in just six days about 6000 years ago,whereas a wealth of scientific facts show completely otherwise.

Finally, secular, fact-based education has no room for secular ideologies, let alone pushing harmfulones!

Kevin McDonald, East SeahamHAVE FAITH IN KIDS TO PICKSEVERAL people have commented in these pages on their despair at religious indoctrination being taught in public schools.

Religious schools of whatever tradition has the right to pass on their beliefs in education, but in the public sector (which should be neutral) I suggest the following may be more pragmatic.

At primary school level, ethics should replace religious instruction to givechildren the basic concepts of right and wrong.

At secondary level, Comparative Religion should be taught to informstudents of the basics of the world’s religions, leaving them to choose one or decide against itas they individually seefit.

Parents wanting their children raised in the education environment of Judaism, Christianity or Islamshould guard against fundamentalism that replaces scientific knowledge with superstitious myths.

The future of our children’s thinking is too important to be left to unqualified albeit sincere practitioners of whatever faith within our state schools.

Neville Aubrey,WallsendTHE DISGRACE IS MISPLACEDTHE increase in the pension has been recently described as a disgrace (‘Aged pension, Newstart increase a disappointment’, Herald 14/9).

What is a disgrace is that a single pensioner on $24,000 can have up to $771,000 in assets before they lose the pension. Are pensioners aware that one would have to have $1.2 million invested to generate this return? Furthermore, if a pensioner passes away, their assets are passed onto the next generation and, if they are on welfare, I believe more of our wealth is lost.

I do not believe in death taxes, butif a person has relied on welfare during their lifea percentage of this money should be returned to the government, not passed onto their beneficiaries.

A married couple are allowed to have over $1 million in assets, not includingtheir house, before they lose the pension. I don’t believe the pension was designed with this in mind.

I find it absolutely crazy that the government borrows money to pay pensions, and I think we are crazy to allow it to happen.

John Alterator, Hawks NestSHARE YOUR OPINIONEmail [email protected]成都楼凤.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.