MP's idea preferred
THE agenda for the August 12 meeting of the Built and Natural Assets Standing Committee of Lake Macquarie City Council proposes to replace the existing Environmental Sustainability Policy with a new Sustainability Policy.
This will substantially alter the focus of "sustainability" from "environmental" issues by introducing "economic, social and governance" factors. Why then does council continue with its proposed six-storey Bath Street development on Toronto's foreshore, based on perceived financial gain, in the face of environmental risks and strong community disapproval?
Why are the three pillars other than "economic" not considered?The NSW Local Government Act of 1993 emphasises the recognition by councils of "community needs and interests", the "principles of social justice", the "long term and cumulative effects of actions taken on future generations", "ecologically sustainable development", and the requirement that "decision making should be transparent".
In my view, council's Bath Street proposal fails to properly observe these principles and should be withdrawn. Far better that council implement the excellent suggestions of state MP Greg Piper for parkland development at the Bath Street site ("New idea for Bath Street", Lakes Mail, August 15). His proposals are much more in line with the requirements of the Act.
- Robert Ireland, Toronto
Reserve needs protection
THE bush reserve at Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area, Morisset Park, needs more protection. This land has swamps, open forest, and the beautiful Pourmalong Creek and is inhabited by numerous kangaroos and wallabies, as well as an eagle with a chick nesting right now.
However, all the rules listed on signs around the perimeter are being ignored. Trail bikes are ridden there, cars are driven through, and cars are dumped and burned out. People are cutting up timber, and walking their dogs both on- and off-lead. And littering and dumping are rampant.
I regularly collect rubbish and remove it from the park, but I can't keep up with all the destruction and dumping. More needs to be done to clean up and protect this valuable area from the environmental vandalism going on.
What's the point of just putting up signs? We need enforcement and good barriers.
- Rodney Beckwith, Morisset Park
Renewables top quality
I AGREE with Richard Edmonds ("No new coal-fored stations", Lakes Mail, August 8) that the renewable energy future of the National Energy Grid (NEG) proposed by its operators AEMO can't come soon enough, lowering both power costs and the risk of extreme weather events.
But there will always be a national grid. In fact the NEG, along with the quality of Australia's renewable resources, is one of our great advantages. It covers an area of 3.8 million square kilometres, 20 per cent larger than the European grid.
Replacing our large coal plants with a greater number of smaller renewable plants, distributed widely across the grid, allows us to take advantage of the best renewable conditions, and the variable nature of our weather. There is always good wind blowing and, (in daylight hours) sun shining, over large parts of our grid. It will be well supported locally by the massive amounts of rooftop solar being installed on homes and businesses.
- Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi
Trouble in paradise
"I'M on fire! I'm on fire!" The screams came just as I turned off the shower taps. A wild, bumping dash to the kitchen. We faced each other, she in her gown with blackened sleeves and me in my birthday suit, and she said to me, "Why are you standing there like that? You're dripping on my floor."