Letters to the editor March 16 2017

SWELL IMAGE: Surf pounding into the Wollongong Harbour breakwater. Picture contributed by Everest Ho.

SWELL IMAGE: Surf pounding into the Wollongong Harbour breakwater. Picture contributed by Everest Ho.


If there has been better evidence to support Fair Work Australia's (FWA) most recent handing down about Sunday penalty rates I would like to hear about it.

Sunday evening's WIN game attracted over 16,000 rugby league supporters.

However, the food and beverage queues were long and windy, and hungry and thirsty patrons became agitated with the slowness of the service, with most outlets only supplemented by a “skeleton crew”.

The sooner FWA's finding is enshrined in legislated the greater the opportunity will be for a raft of genuine work seekers to be gainfully employed each Sunday.

DJ Preece, Balgownie


Possibly there may still be some from among the hundreds of people from the Illawarra who had travelled to Canberra in October 1982 to show support for the 30 Kemira miners involved in the stay-in action.

Some who recall on that momentous day, ALP politicians battling with each other to be the first to the microphone to promise if elected, to support the introduction of a “National Fuel and Energy Policy”.

A policy promoted by the Miners Federation to ensure the proper husbanding of finite energy resources and for Australia receiving a fair price for those resources.

History shows the ALP reneged on the promise.

No doubt due to the major energy exporters claiming such a policy would inhibit their negotiations in the market place.

As a consequence, Australia has remained as “a price taker” rather than “a price maker” globally.

Fast forward to 2017 and the news of an imminent shortage of gas for the Australian domestic users.

Why is this so you may ask?

Think back to the failed promise of October 1982. International energy conglomerates have controlled the energy policies of successive Australian governments.

As a consequence, they are given free rein to pillage our valuable, yet finite energy resources.

Barry Swan, Balgownie


I am intrigued and somewhat puzzled by the ongoing and sometimes heated exchanges, in the media and elsewhere, over the place of Sharia Law in Australia.

Under our Constitution, Australia is governed solely by Australian Law. Sharia Law can not supersede Australian Law.

The only way any aspects of Sharia Law could be embraced within our legal system, would be if they were adopted by Parliament, in which case they would then become Australian Law.

No problem there.

If for religious reasons, Muslims want to live their lives according to any of the diverse variations of Sharia Law, they can. That’s their business.'

Our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Why the acrimonious debate?

John Martin, Woonona


The recent decision to reduce the penalty rates for Sunday work is yet another attack on working conditions.

Business representatives have picked on the most vulnerable  and lowest paid workers, who have no or very little bargaining power.  

Savings from reduced penalty rates, like the Turnbull Government's business tax reduction, will go straight into the pocket of business.

There will be no additional jobs in retail or hospitality as a result of this decision.  

Contrary to the views of some and despite Sunday rates, hospitality and major retail outlets are thriving in our area.

Try and get parking in Milton on Sunday morning and early afternoon.

The small retail shops in Ulladulla/Milton that close Sunday do so not because of Sunday penalties, but rather the lack of trade and their own need to have some time off.     

Penalty rates are there to compensate those who work unsociable hours giving up leisure time with family and friends.  

If introduced, people working these hours will in effect get a wage cut.

Would the Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis take a three per cent cut in her salary?

Industries with strong bargaining powers such as the waterfront, oil, electricity, emergency services and health will not lose their penalties without negotiating substantial offsets eg higher rates of pay.    

Ken Bone, Conjola Park.


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