Your correspondent Olive Rodwell is wrong to assert that the department misled residents or put their health and safety at risk in relation to the Port Kembla Copper stack demolition (Mercury letters, ''Demolition filled with risk'', January 17.
In fact, the department has worked tirelessly with other agencies – including the Environment Protection Authority, WorkCover NSW, NSW Police and Wollongong City Council – and members of the community to ensure the stack demolition can proceed in a safe and controlled manner.
It is also wrong to claim that this process has been carried out in secret, as representatives from the department and other government agencies have met with concerned stakeholders, including local residents, on several occasions.
Importantly, we are committed to continued consultation with the community leading up to the proposed demolition on February 20 to ensure that residents are aware of the procedures that will be undertaken.
The department has comprehensively addressed all issues relating to the demolition, including health and safety concerns, and we encourage local residents to read our assessment of the demolition plans and supporting information here.
Chris Wilson, Executive Director – Development Assessment Systems and Approvals, NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure