The recent ABC 4 Corners report on recycling, featuring amongst other things, the Mangrove Mountain Landfill, comes after several years of letters and reports published in Coast Community News.
The campaign in Coast Community News started in February 2014, and since then, has seen 11 front page articles out of 89 editions of the paper, and a total of 73 pages containing articles and letters, making it the subject matter most reported upon in all Central Coast Newspapers’ publications.
Sustained and persistent letter writing from community members such as Margaret Pontifex and Clara Jones, supported by many submissions from the Community Environment Network and the Mountain Districts Association, as well as involvement from the Greens and State Labor politicians, has finally borne fruit, with a number of inquiries being called for, and references to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) being made.
Unfortunately, in the end, all of our reporting over three and a half years, and calls for action, could have continued to fall on deaf ears, had not the persistence of many community minded individuals finally attracted the attention of what is Australia’s most effective news reporting organisation, the ABC 4 Corners programme.
Questions asked in State Parliament and calls for Inquiries all looked like being ignored, until some of it was aired on 4 Corners, even though there is still so much more to be revealed.
One only needs to read some of the published headlines, letters and articles, to see how long this has gone on for and how much damage to the environment has already been done.
The involvement of the NSW RSL and what happened to land left to the community in a person’s will is likely to make more interesting reading.
We may never know who profited from the millions of dollars paid in land fill fees and how much contamination has gone into our water supply.
The various inquiries underway, including an internal inquiry at Central Coast Council, and both the references of the Environment Protection Authority and the current and former Councils to ICAC, can be expected to make even more startling revelations.
Perhaps in future, the submissions of members of the public, supported by well researched information from knowledgeable organisations, will be taken seriously in the first place, and there will not have to be over three years of further contamination or damage added to an already bad situation before any action is taken.
Publisher, Central Coast Newspapers