Letters to the editor September 12 2017

SUNSHINE: At Belmore Basin on the breakwater by Anita Pallas. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.

SUNSHINE: At Belmore Basin on the breakwater by Anita Pallas. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.

WHERE IS THE CREDIBILITY

Approval for Russell Vale Mine was from Department of Planning/Planning Assessment Commission known as the Preliminary Works Project (PWP).

This approval contained a condition to realign Bellambi Creek to prevent flooding and pollution issues. The work has never been carried out or the condition met. The only reason given is that the proponent does not have the money.

The realignment was initially required to be completed on October 13, 2012, but postponements have subsequently been approved by Department of Planning until the current situation.

The PWP expired on December 31, 2014 and the works still have not been carried out. The properties downstream from the mine are still under threat of flooding and the creek is continually polluted.

Department of Planning fined the company $3000 on October 31 October, 2016, and placed an order on them on December 16 to complete the realignment by June 16, 2018.

However Wollongong Coal has made it clear that they will not realign the creek but instead will make an application to modify the expired PWP to remove the condition.

This is okay by the Department of Planning.  They have already bent over backwards to allow this condition to slip and now they are allowing the removal of the condition altogether even though the coal has been extracted and the money pocketed without the fulfilment of the required condition.

Are we now to assume that any condition placed on an approval by Department of Planning can be pencil whipped away?

Where is the NSW Government’s credibility?  Where is Wollongong Coal’s credibility? We can never believe anything they tell us again. Meanwhile the Bellambi Creek is still prone to flooding and pollution.

Gavin Workman, Corrimal

IS DEMOCRACY DYING?

It is with dismay that I have watched recent developments about truth, reporting, news, politics, etc. There is President Trump’s concept of fake new which basically means putting a label on something we don’t like or don’t want to hear.

And now it is democracy’s turn. What could be more patently and more basically democratic than a referendum or a plebiscite? How could any other expression of the opinion of the totality of its citizens be more democratic? We get the answer: “but no referendum has ever been passed”    So…………………..

Doesn’t that mean that the majority of citizens are not in favour of the motion, idea or question?   How can that be used as a reason to ignore and nullify the result?

But they reply: “it shows a deep set and ingrained bigotry or stupidity in the electors.”     So…………..

You mean they had the hide to disagree with you? Shame on them, the bigots!

Following this argument through about the stupidity or bigotry of the masses, are we to discount every election, referendum or plebiscite ……… but only if our party doesn’t win? What is the difference between an election and a referendum.

The referendum is the very essence of democracy. It is democracy carried to its highest pinnacle. It is the absolute (and should be binding?) decision of the people. Truth is truth in spite of President Trump’s new logic. Let democracy not be further nullified.

David Coates, Wollongong

ISSUE A HOT POT

The source of the bible objection to the gay vote comes from Leviticus (that’s right the place where instructions on slaves are given).

It so happens that Washington State has passed two bills – legalising gay marriage and pot which together satisfy the bible injunction that a man who sleeps with another man should be stoned. Throw in pot and you are there .

Keith Tognetti, Keiraville

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