Letters to the editor November 19

GOING GREEN: Sutton Forest  by Ines Giacometti. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.
GOING GREEN: Sutton Forest by Ines Giacometti. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.

A VOTE FOR LOVE

Congratulations to the Illawarra community for your overwhelming support for love and voting yes.

The marriage equality survey results show the majority of the community across Australia voted yes, with 65.7 per cent of people in the local Cunningham electorate supporting marriage equality.

You have taken a stand in this historic survey and showed how love can win.Thank you to everyone who took part in local events, made calls to family and friends and otherwise worked hard to get the job done.

 We now look forward with hope to a free vote in the Federal Parliament to turn the survey result into laws guaranteeing marriage equality.

The Greens will do all we can so we have marriage equality nationally before the end of the year. We know the Illawarra community will be watching closely so it becomes a reality.

Jane Garcia, Office of Justin Field MLC, Greens Member of the NSW Legislative Council

CREATING FEAR

I’m disappointed to see the roll out of a suite of so called SMART shark drumlines along the coast from Shellharbour to Ulladulla.

The NSW Government is pushing ahead with a six-month trial of SMART drumlines along the South Coast despite no evidence of any change to the risk of shark bites in NSW waters. In fact, anecdotally, the expanded program is creating an inflated perception of the risk of shark-human interactions and creating unnecessary fear. The risk of shark bite remains infinitesimally small.

The Greens have supported targeted trials of SMART drumlines for scientific purposes and the trials on the North Coast have been promising with important data on shark behaviours being collected and very low by-catch and mortality rates of caught sharks.

The widespread expansion of SMART drumlines is more about spin than an effective shark deterrent measure – which they are not – and gives the community a false sense of security. SMART drumlines also require expensive monitoring and without that monitoring will inevitably kill sharks and other marine life like they do in Queensland.

South Coast locals are already shark aware and overwhelmingly reject the idea of shark culls and unnecessarily harming marine animals. Sadly the NSW Government is continuing to pursue a shark management strategy based on fear.

A much better use of these funds would be on more resourcing for life guarding services or investing in genuinely non-lethal shark management approaches including more education so people can manage their own risks in the water.

When we go into the ocean we are entering the domain of sharks. We have to learn to live with them and the constant focus on drumlines, SMART or not, is creating unnecessary fear.

Jane Garcia, Office of Justin Field MLC, Greens Member of the NSW Legislative Council

SCRATCHING THE ITCH

The survivors of the tragic HMA Ships Melbourne-Voyager collision on 10 February 1964 must be scratching their heads to understand why it had taken 45 years before government finally compensated the last survivor’s claim, but posthumously, to the claimant’s surviving spouse.

Yet, contrast this diabolical disgrace and shame against the results of the SSM plebiscite where, it has been mooted, the Yes findings will be ultra-rushed through both Houses, ordained into legislation and proclamated before Christmas 2017.

Governments, depending on the popular politics of the day, will work to either achieve a particular objective post haste or nauseatingly delay a ‘political itch’ in the hope it will go away.

DJ Preece,  Balgownie