There to serve
Don`t you just love a politician when they use the phrase, “We hear what you are saying?”
Let’s unpick this observation a tad. The only time it would appear that politicians listen is when they are in opposition.
The only time we, the voter,s get to mark their report card is at election time. Many a commentator has stated, the public are not fools so stop treating them as such. It’s also said it’s not compulsory to serve but once elected it is compulsory to serve.
Fail that tenet and out you will go, as it was with Malcolm Turnbull.
B. Cumberland, North Nowra
Honour their service
For more than 70 years, Australian peacekeepers have played an important role in providing support and assistance to the international community.
On September 14 each year, National Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Day, we honour the courage and professionalism of Australian service and police personnel who have served in more than 50 multinational peacekeeping operations since 1947.
While the first Australian Peacekeepers worked as unarmed military observers, bringing violations to the attention of the international community, over time the nature of peacekeeping has evolved to include the management of more complex and multidimensional issues.
These have ranged from operations as military observers, providing logistical support, and monitoring ceasefires to landmine clearance operations, supporting democratic elections, providing policing support functions, and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Tragically, 16 Australians have died serving as peacekeepers. This National Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Day, I encourage Australians to respect and honour their sacrifice.
It is also important to remember and reflect on all those who have served in peacekeeping missions, and those who are currently serving in the Middle East UN Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), and the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS).
Thank you for your service.
D. Chester, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Plant out of action
The Sydney desalination plant can supply 250 megalitres of water a day. Even so, this output is not large enough to operate effectively as an emergency drought measure. For this reason in 2010, Sydney Water devised a “water buffer” plan called the 70/80 per cent rule.
When the water level of the Warragamba dam drops below 70 per cent; the desalination plant is brought into service until the dam returns to 80 per cent capacity.
In June 2012 the NSW government, sold/leased the SDP for a period of 50 years to an Australian bank and overseas company for $2.3 billion.
The Premier, at the time, signed an “upkeep and maintenance contract” guaranteeing the new owners $534,246.00 a day – $194.4 million (every 12 months) – $10 billion for the duration of the lease, to keep the plant in readiness when needed.
On December 16, 2015, a mini-tornado hit the plant ripping off the roof, destroying electrical equipment and damaging control devices.
Lat week it was reported the city’s water storage levels have dropped to 65 per cent.
Why didn’t the plant commenced production several months ago when the dam water level dropped to 69.9 per cent? The Sydney Desalination Plant is still not able to be brought online.
What an outrage. For the past 32 months the owner, SDP Holdco Pty Ltd, trading as Australia Sydney Desalination Plant Pty Limited, has received NSW taxpayer funding to the tune of $518.4 million, for care and maintenance – and no repair works have been carried out.