Letters to the editor June 20 2016


NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner has announced that Shellharbour Hospital will be redeveloped under a public-private partnership.

This is nothing new the Coalition ventured into the same privatisation area in 1992 by entering into a contract with a company to run the new public hospital in Port Macquarie – with dire results.

Down the track, as it turned out, the privately managed Port Macquarie Hospital was a disaster, earning the unflattering title as the worst hospital performer in NSW with waiting times for elective surgery patients more than double the State average.

Another factor: Nurses employed under contracts found themselves doing the same work as their NSW government employed colleagues but for 15 per cent less.

You would think once bitten twice shy – but no.

Besides Shellharbour, another four regional hospitals are up for privatisation.

This is a dumb idea Jillian.

John Macleod, Berry


Ray Robinson  writes that "the Irish popular vote had only about 37 per cent say yes" in the same sex vote.

To avoid confusion the Irish voters who voted 62 per cent voted yes and 38 per cent voted no. It was a sweeping victory in a country where religion's fundamentalism has long dominated the agenda.

Ray also writes that "apparently there are various meanings as to what constitutes a democracy and who is the one to represent and deliver that vote".

We elect members to do that job. Around 60 per cent of the population support same sex marriage. An elected member's role is to support legislation to enact it.

A faction within the Liberal Party who oppose same sex marriage have a different agenda. They are imposing a time wasting expensive plebiscite that will endorse same sex marriage. Then they will refuse to accept that decision and will vote against it in parliament.

Their position is hypocritical. Such is the way of the closed mind fundamentalists but Ireland has shown their days are numbered.

Reg Wilding, Wollongong


I read Mr Ben Morris letter (Illawarra Mercury, September 15, 2016) with surprise.

Yes, many Vietnamese refugees have roots in North Vietnam but they did not move south because of the war; they moved to escape the notoriously brutal communist regime. They did again in the post 1975 exodus after the war already ended, for the same reason. To understand communism, you must live with them.

Communist North Vietnam raised the war (cheating the world via its cover organisation called The National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam) flouting the 1954 Geneva Convention, and invaded the South, dishonouring their signature in the 1973 Paris Accord.

There is no glory for the offenders, Mr Morris. They were not mere participants, they were invaders. History does not recognise criminals’ deaths no matter how large their loss. Only the victims are honoured, in this case, the Republic of South Vietnam Arm Forces.

Communists bulldozed the cemetery to revenge the (dead) soldiers of South Vietnam, whom when alive, the North Vietnam could not match in battles.

Yes, beating, torture, killing were common in world history. In the Vietnam War, the South had Open Arm policy, treated the wounded or the captured humanely, while the North shot even their own injured soldiers to reduce burden on veteran pension. They left 1.2 millions of ex-soldiers of the South to death in prisons (disguised as re-education camps) through harsh labour, poor food ration and no treatment, medical or surgical, to any of those victims.

Dr Anh Nguyen, President, Vietnamese Community in Australia

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