Letters to the editor April 19 2017

HEAVENS ABOVE: Brayden J. Williams' image taken from Compton Street, Dapto. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.

HEAVENS ABOVE: Brayden J. Williams' image taken from Compton Street, Dapto. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.

IMPROVE RAIL LINK

When Gareth Ward was elected on a promise of improving transport on the south coast, most voters would have assumed he meant both road and rail.

Since then there have been a series of steps towards completing an unbroken motorway between Nowra and Waterfall, which is good.

However, nothing has happened with trains other than a bit of window-dressing and the slap in the face of depriving Wollongong workers of the opportunity to build new trains.

The slow train journey is putting south coast people off rail in droves. Train patronage on the south coast line has declined 13 per cent over a decade, the biggest loss of any Sydney-region rail lines.

Now we learn that for vastly less cost than stupidly extending the motorway towards the Sydney CBD (most drivers in fact split at Heathcote to go to different parts of Sydney and few would drive into the centre of Sydney because it's not possible to park), we can have half an hour slashed off the train journey time that would tip the scales towards train travel to Sydney and reduce the need for a motorway on the old F6 alignment into Sydney.

The logical corridor for a motorway link is via Alfords Point to the M5, from where people can choose any direction within Sydney that they want.

I think that if Gareth can't deliver at least a half-hour reduction in the train journey time before the next election, whatever way that is achieved, then he has broken half of his promise and is not entitled to retain the seat of Kiama.

I say that as a supporter of him which I hope will indicate to him how serious this issue is to south coast voters.

Tony Prescott, Bomaderry

STOP DITHERING

If this government would stop dithering about then they could solve the housing problems. Instead they would rather collect the revenue from the tax being collected by the stamp duty.

But if they passed a law saying that you cannot buy a property if you don't live here or you’re not a Australian resident. Then the housing crisis would not exist. I mean for gods sake, they the foreigners can only buy 50 per cent of an apartment block..

Are you serious about this? The mind boggles at this stupid rule. Get real and get serious.

Lawrence Wren, Towradgi

NO CHOICE FOR CUSTOMERS

Another Easter, tonnes of chocolate products in the big supermarkets and department stores and, once again, barely a sign of fair trade-certified or sustainably-produced chocolate.  

Easter is a time of year when we could, with our huge spending on chocolate, support poor farmers in Africa by paying a little more, enabling them to make a living without using child labour or farming unsustainably.  

But Coles, Woolworths and KMart, for example, which could easily showcase fair trade products and give customers a choice, act as if they do not exist. For anyone trying to purchase ethically-produced Easter chocolate, buying online seems the best option, with oxfam.org.au being one good choice.

Bronwyn Bryceson, Mangerton

IS THAT DISCRIMINATION?

I've just read the story about Natalie Nye (Illawarra Mercury, April 11, 2017) lodging a complaint with the Anti-Discrimination Board about her job application being knocked back because she is (part) aboriginal.

I fail to see how a position that states applicants should be "Aboriginal identified" is not racial discrimination in itself.  After all,nobody would be allowed to advertise a position for "White Australian identified" without the Anti-Discrimination Board jumping on them.

Keith Norris, Bellambi.

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