Illawarra Mercury Letters to the Editor, May 16, 2017.

On the fence with HECS

I am not one to debate on education or the HECS debt issue as I have never attended university nor have any of my children at this stage, but I would suggest that a majority of the coalition front bench was at university such as Turnbull , Brandis, Payne, Sinodinos, Fierravanti -Wells and Nash would have enjoyed free education between 1974 and 1988.

I could be wrong but other ministers Bishop, Joyce, Morrison, Pyne and Dutton might not have been slugged and I don't know about Hunt, Porter or Cash if they were all so slugged or not.

I dare say that O'Dwyer, Frydenberg, Tudge and Birmingham would have entered university after the Hawke government introduced the HECS system in 1989 and then it was modified by the Howard government in 1996. With that government increasing fees and introducing a tiered pricing system for different degrees, don't get me wrong I sit on the fence with this issue because it was accepted that all students should contribute to the cost of their education

Matty Ryan, Fairy Meadow

It’s about time

This is the first federal government budget from a Coalition I can remember that has increased taxation and it is about time. Australians have always demanded gold plated services, especially with medical, health and social services but political parties policies always wanted to reduce taxation, that mix is toxic and unworkable. We need to pay for what we demand, and this seems to be happening, and I wonder if it will continue.

Robert S Buick MM JP, Mountain Creek

Drugs for profit

I see that no matter who deals in drugs you can always win. If you get away with it, then you sell them at home. But if your caught then you sell your story for a large amount of Money. What is this country coming to when the TV stations are chasing these despots for a story. The mind boggles at the thought. Also the Media having bidding wars for there story. The bottom line is. Go and get your drugs and if caught sell us your story. This will be the very last time I shall be watching channel Nine. So much for having these degenerates in our society.

Lawrence Wren, Fairy Meadow

State of rail complaint

I do not commute to Sydney, but I can certainly understand commuters pain with what I witnessed a couple of weeks ago. I can not believe the complete and utter disregard for other human beings in our society today. I caught the 11.49am train at North Wollongong station to attend a wine show with some friends in Sydney. The train was almost full. We scattered ourselves through the train trying to find a seat.

To the inconsiderate train commuters I observed- a train ticket does not entitle you to take up three seats to lie down and have a little snooze on your journey neither does it allow you to have a seat then put your bags on the other to ensure no one else can sit down. If you want two/three seats then pay for two/three.

Unfortunately I am not a shrinking violet and if I had been unable to find a seat I would have asked someone to remove their bag or woken the sleeping traveller for one of theirs. Others are not so brazen- they don’t want to offend. Really? The point being that you shouldn’t have to. Does Sydney Rail not have inspectors that travel between carriages to ensure that every available seat is taken up by just one person? Am I being naïve? As the train continued its journey – people sat on stairs – WHS?

Or stood for the entire trip. This is not acceptable. I will be sending a letter of complaint to State Rail. It will probably fall on deaf ears, but commuters I feel for what you have to put up with every day just to get to work. This was just a Saturday morning! It is appalling. Are we living in the 21 century? I'm not sure. Disgraceful!

Lesley Matthews, Wollongong

At sea: Wollongong Harbour, captured by Joanne Smith-Brown. Send us your pictures to or share to our Facebook page.

At sea: Wollongong Harbour, captured by Joanne Smith-Brown. Send us your pictures to or share to our Facebook page.