Illawarra Mercury Letters to the Editor, April 14, 2018

Hit the nail on the head

As most people know in the game of cricket, if your cocky and arrogant the game can turn around and bite you on the backside. Late last year on the eve of the ashes test series, South Australian and a well noted fringe player in the national side Nathan Lyon said he was going out there to try and end careers of other players, well you well and truly hit the nail on the head there Gary.

Matty Ryan, Fairy Meadow

Protections with teeth

The low speed train wreck that is Wollongong Coal’s environmental degradation around the Russell Vale mine is further proof that we need new national laws to secure a livable environment. Wollongong miner 'can't handle’ coal pollution, says EPA – Illawarra Mercury 5 April 2018.

The NSW Environment  Protection Agency has a scathing list of 13 compliance activities it has undertaken against Wollongong Coal  at Russell Vale. The company continues to dodge on its compliance obligations.

Despite the best efforts of EPA staff the situation illustrates the need for an overhaul of the laws to build a protection agency with real enforcement powers. The current challenge by the miner to a three-year-old EPA requirement to manage stormwater from the site shows the ineffectiveness of the current legal compliance measures.

The actions of Wollongong Coal and other companies in mining under the greater Sydney water catchment has finally prompted a review of this basic challenge to the environment and our water supply. Lets hope one of its recommendations is a national system of protections with teeth.

Brian Mason, Coledale

Knee-jerk reaction time

As yet another live export scandal breaks, with footage showing the agonising death of 2400 sheep on a live export ship headed to Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE, industry spokesmen and their government apologists rush out the usual trite phrases about "one-off" events and warning against "knee-jerk" reactions.

Maybe it’s time for a knee-jerk reaction. This is the term used by doctors for a test of reflexes that indicate the health or otherwise of the human nervous system. The live export trade is a profound sickness in our society, and ignoring it and hoping yet another incident of hideous cruelty will soon be forgotten just makes the patient, our community, that much sicker.

These thousands of sheep died from extreme heat, many being unable to reach food and water and suffering behind the bodies of their neighbours, who were left to rot on deck. The argument that this is acceptable because farmers make money from it does not hold water: people make money from cigarettes and illicit drugs too, but we try to stamp out those evils.

I authored a study which estimated the total CO2 emissions of Australian live exports at approximately 1.8 million tonnes, which puts the live-export industry among the top 40 CO2 emitters in Australia.

Stopping the trade would be equivalent to removing 320,000 cars from Australian roads. It's well over time for a knee-jerk reflex that will restore both our moral and environmental health by banning this obscene industry.

Desmond Bellamy, Byron Bay

High top: Bird on a lamp post by Paddy Ranasinghe. Send us your pictures to or post to our Facebook page,.

High top: Bird on a lamp post by Paddy Ranasinghe. Send us your pictures to or post to our Facebook page,.

I won’t disappear

Reply to the letter by Don Kelly, "IN RESPONSE TO" Mercury, Saturday April 7, 2018. What a lack of dignity by Mr Kelly, who now joins Mr Swan in which my name is deliberately replaced with 'the usual suspect'. Fascinating how immature, malicious and conveniently illiterate these two are!

Apparently, Mr Kelly (like Mr Swan) can say what he wants about an issue or a person (without checking the facts or being truthful) while expecting to walk on water. If you think I am going to disappear because of misrepresentation and insults Mr Kelly, then your delusional as well. 

Adrian Devlin, Fairy Meadow