Letters to the editor September 21 2017

Cambewarra Range Nature Reserve Helen Fletcher. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.
Cambewarra Range Nature Reserve Helen Fletcher. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.


The recent piece in the Illawarra Mercury `New anti-gambling campaign slammed’ contained an assertion from the Alliance for Gambling Reform spokesperson the Rev Tim Costello that NSW has the worst gambling problem in Australia. That statement is, of course, completely false. 

State and territory governments periodically conduct research to determine what percentage of the adult population are problem gamblers. 

The most recent gambling prevalence study in NSW was released in 2012, and found that less than one per cent of adult population had a gambling problem. 

The study also compared the NSW problem gambling prevalence rate with other Australian jurisdictions and found that the NSW prevalence rate “is lower than all of the other jurisdictions”. 

The issue here is that Alliance for Gambling Reform and their spokesperson Rev Costello like to conflate gambling expenditure with gambling problems, because of their religious and moral objections to gambling, rather than a concern for problem gamblers. 

While NSW does have the highest gambling expenditure per capita of any Australian jurisdiction, it also has the lowest problem gambling prevalence rate. 

A state with the largest gambling industry and also the fewest gambling problems speaks volumes about the great work both government and the industry are doing to minimise harm and encourage responsible gambling. 

The fact that the Alliance for Gambling Reform is criticising the promotion of responsible gambling shows that they are nothing more than a bunch of wowsers and prohibitionists.

Anthony Ball CEO, ClubsNSW


Regarding `Looking for a view’ (Illawarra Mercury, September 16, 2017), Marilyn you hit the nail on the head when you stated you had affected someone’s view by planting on community land.

Would you and your ilk in the future look around and have the decency to ask the people whose views you are going to obliterate do they mind you doing this?

You and your efforts would be treated with more respect and you would get an understanding of what value people put on the limited invaluable views of this unique coastline. Don't drag the yellow tailed cockatoos into it. They are fine as most people have 10 or 20 natives on their block.

Ken Mc Dougall, Bulli


The Sydney desalination plant in Kurnell, which is jointly owned by a Canadian pension fund and an Australian fund management company (Westpac Bank), is costing taxpayers $195 million a year — or $534,246 a day — in “service fees” just to have the plant on standby.

On 16 December 2015, a mini-tornado hit the plant causing an extensive amount of damage to several roofs, and the plant itself. Twenty-two months later, according to a recent Channel 7 news report (September 2017), the SDP is still in a state of disrepair —unusable.

If this is true, after almost two years, the owners, after collecting over $340million from taxpayers— are in breach of contract. Under the circumstances, the owner's lease should be terminated and compensation sought by the government.

John Macleod, Berry


Throughout NSW speed limits have been reduced in shopping centres, residential streets and country towns.

Pedestrians dodge cars moving at considerable speed through these two centres. It is mystifying as to why these higher speed limits have been retained.

Kate Broadfoot, Bulli


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