FAIRY TALE OF THE PAST
As a long-time visitor to sunny Wollongong, and as an observer of its culverts and bridges since its exciting August 1998 flood, I can't wait till the community gets its act together.
Since 2002 the City Council has had a draconian blockage policy for its culverts which has aggravated the alleged flood heights, risks and insurance premiums along the coastal plain.
Why is it so draconian when all the Council wants is for its ratepayers to be safe and happy?
It's because the engineers advising it only saw a minor case of debris obstruction at The Avenue, Figtree, then guessed it must have happened at "95% of all culverts".
So the Council blockage policy is based on the imaginings of old men who are no longer around to answer for their sins.
Council has suspected their advice and their policy was too weird to be real so they asked different engineers for a policy review in 2016.
They looked through long-hidden photographs and imagined the flood effects of the photographed debris piles.
Now Council has a different blockage policy based on the different imaginings by different old men.
In short, no one saw more than a blockage or two in 1998, none during any other Wollongong flood and no blockage has ever been measured anywhere, anytime.
Not only has Wollongong the only blockage design policy in the world, it's based on nothing except old men's fears.
So, when it comes to Figtree, throwing out the blockage policy to conform with world-wide best practice would drop alleged flood heights, hazards and premiums.
I've also seen 15 years of low level debris obstructions in American Creek at the M1 but none at the Princes Highway Bridge at Sovereign Inn Motel. How can that be?
Perhaps the dead trees and vegetation originate in the post-1960s dense bush downstream of the Motel.
Let's hope council's consultants undertaking the review of Allans Creek catchment will make recommendations based on some hard information - measured data - and not on fairy stories that would put Hans Christian Andersen to shame.
Rob French, Sydney
BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE
Adrian Devlin argues, (Opinion Page Dec. 23) that because silicon chips and human eyes are both complex devices, they must both have come about as a result of intelligent design. This argument is a good example of a common logical fallacy.
A similar argument would be that because dogs and tables both have four legs, they must both be able to chase cars. The computer chip is certainly the result of well documented intelligent design.
The human eye on the other hand is a result of the selective evolution of our species, which has also been well documented. Both are truly amazing pieces of equipment as Adrian states, but once again no cigar for Adrian.
John Martin, Woonoona
WEB WORDS EXTRA
COALCLIFF TURF THEFT BRANDED UN-AUSTRALIAN
Unbelievable! The degree of selfish greed is totally incomprehensible. I do hope that the thieves get caught as the community of Coalcliff and surrounding suburbs were looking forward to this final touch to such a big project.
_ Smoked out
Actually I think stealing anything that isn't nailed down is very Australian, and if not its still very Wollongong.
GOVT’S UNFARE APPROACH ON GONG SHUTTLE
What about the people in the southern suburbs? They have to pay fares all the time. Council should not be using ratepayers money for those in the northern suburbs.