I am angry and heartbroken for the people of the Williamtown red zone, who through absolutely no fault of their own have had their lives destroyed by the very people we assume are our protectors.
The airforce knew about the risks decades ago but continued to pollute their neighbours’ properties and take no responsibility for the disastrous outcome they created.
It is almost irrelevant now that the federal Liberal government are claiming that there is no proof the chemical contamination is harmful. It has already rendered the owners homes unsaleable so they have been abandoned and cannot escape the nightmare they are living with every day.
On top of this, the state Liberal government have now approved a sand mine in the red zone right on top of the already emotionally exhausted residents.
Shame on the state and federal governments and (two then employees of) Port Stephens Council who also knew about the chemical pollution years before the residents did and also neglected to inform them.
Perhaps it's time to crowd fund a 'Three Billboards' approach along Nelson Bay and Cabbage Tree roads to shame all three levels of government and show the Williamtown community our support, and to show our disgust at their complete abandonment by our so-called leaders, all of whom seem to have totally lost any moral compass.
IN response to the Newcastle Herald's article ‘Hunter dudded again’ (Herald, 9/5): When are the people of our region ever going to take a stand and say “enough is enough”? The only chance of us ever getting our fair share of the pie is to become a swinging seat.
Voting the same way as our parents and grandparents did only get us more of the same – nothing! The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome.
Money is not spent in our area, by either of our major political parties, because it has always been a ‘safe seat’ and we are not considered a priority. Our region's coal industry provides the nation and government with huge amounts of revenue and what do we get in return – very little.
Why do we continue to allow ourselves to be treated as ‘second class citizens’?
How shameful is it that huge amounts of money has been allocated to the RAAF and Defence forces, when bottled drinking water is the only compensation given to those poor souls in the red zone.
The people of our region deserve better than that. Who knows what future class actions there may be, if contaminants find their way into the Tomago sand beds, which is conveniently located just outside the red zone?
We really need to make our vote count at the next election. If we could do something different, it would certainly make all the political parties stand up and take notice. Let those in power know, that we are force to be reckoned with.
MY wife and I have been Jets members for many years, and have sat in the same seats for many years.
We have sat through years of terrible performances and in sometimes terrible weather. We rallied outside the stadium to keep the Jets alive when it looked as though they would go under.
Finally, we have a good year and make the grand final, only to find we have been thrown out of our seats, because we are deemed not worthy enough or not important enough to sit in these seats anymore.
Many members are blaming Jets management directly for this, but I will take Lawrie at his word that they had no hand in it.
We went to the game, and sat where the stupid website told us we could sit, but strangely didn't feel part of the club, and left as soon as the final whistle was blown.
Greg O'Rourke thinks it is fine to give away 4000 seats to “sponsors and clubs”, but treats the members like garbage.
One thing I will tell Mr O'Rourke right now is: if I ever get thrown out of my seat for any Jets game in the future, they can have it, because I'll be gone for good.
IT was disturbing but not unexpected to hear that the IPC has approved sand mining at Williamtown, a process which will see half a million tonnes of sand extracted every year. Sand, along with gravel and lime, are the chief ingredients in the manufacture of concrete which is mainly used in housing and infrastructure construction.
The average home uses 84 tonnes of sand and gravel while a freeway uses 15,500 tonnes and, according to the Housing Institute of Australia, we will need at least 184,000 new dwellings a year to cater for our high population growth. There will also be a massive increase in infrastructure spending which will see a 20 per cent growth in just one year, making it imperative to find new sources of sand as we have already depleted much of the readily-available material.
The next location for sand extraction is tipped to be offshore – mining the ocean floor would be far more damaging than anything we have seen on land yet while some environmental groups have expressed alarm few, including the Greens, are willing to suggest we cut immigration back to sustainable levels.
I HAVE in the past attempted to dampen the enthusiasm of those proposing that a container terminal be placed in the Port of Newcastle. I have stated on numerous occasions that whilst a container terminal in Newcastle would be a good thing for the city; there is no requirement for the state.
The latest federal government grant for duplication of the rail line servicing Botany should give pause for thought to the proponents of a Newcastle terminal.
I have written that no government, state or federal is going to write off the billions of dollars of infrastructure spending built specifically for the Port of Botany.
Hopefully we will no longer have to read pie in the sky fairy tales in support of a Newcastle container terminal.
As far as competition laws being flouted by the NSW government goes, as far as I can see, I'm not a lawyer, the ACCC has no power to stop the government doing what it likes. It’s time for us to work on realistic plans for the future use of the BHP site.
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