NO PROTECTION: A reader argues that stronger penalties should apply to those who harass victims of sexual assault. For support call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

TO Kerry Redman, George Garnsey, Garry Blair and Don Fraser (Letters, 16/11):I have a daughter going through a sexual assault case. She now has few friends, no social life, no school to go to next year, no self esteem andwill have to stop playing sport due the merciless abuse and attack on her character.

Everyone for some reason supports the male even though none of them have seen the evidence. Sorry, Kerry, but there are no laws in place to protect them. Don, please don’t get your daughters or grand-children to scream from the rooftops or I fearthe same will happen to them.

I have been told that this is just society andthe way it is. If that is the way it is, what a disgraceful society we live in.No wonder girls andwomen are too scared to come forward andreport sexual assault. Something needs to be done, anddone now.

People who attack sexual assault victims need to be held accountable as I consider them just as bad as the perpetrator.

Name withheldWATCHDOG WAS ON GUARDI WRITE regarding the Jan Davis opinion piece (‘Dirty deeds done at Rutherford while watchdogs slept’, Newcastle Herald,16/11).The NSW Environment Protection Authority strongly rejects assertions that pollution at the Rutherford Truegain site and its impact on residents has been ignored.

The EPA has issued 18 penalty notices since 2000 and on each occasion the company has been forced to make improvements. The EPA has also successfully prosecuted the company twice in the NSW Land and Environment Court, for water pollution in 2003 and for failing to operate in a competent manner in 2014. The company’s licence was revoked earlier this year.

Suggestions that EPA officers have not been vigilant in monitoring Truegain closely and pursuing them for breaching their environmental licence, and for odour offences, are false.

Details of regulatory action taken by the EPA are available on the EPA’s public register.

Even with the best efforts of EPA investigators, insufficient evidence has sometimes been available to prosecute, including witnesses who have been unwilling to make formal statements to the EPA.

Prosecuting environmental crimes requires the EPA to put evidence before the court to the criminal burden of proof, that is, beyond reasonable doubt.

It is important that community and government work together to detect and prosecute environmental crimes. I encourage anyone with information about this or any other site to contact the EPA’s Environment Line on 131555.

In June 2017, the EPA ordered the landowner to remove all liquid from the premises’ spill containment system and lawfully dispose of it, and then do so again within 48 hours of any rainfall event.

The landowner’s contractor has commissioned an EPA-licensed mobile waste treatment plant and is treating the contaminated water.

The EPA is also continuing to investigate any other potential sources of PFAS in the Stony Creek catchment and is targeting industries where PFAS chemicals have been used or stored.

The public should have complete faith that the NSW Environment Protection Authority promptly investigates pollution and takes appropriate and effective action to protect the community and the environment, including holding the polluters at Truegain to account.

Mark Gifford, NSW Environment Protection Authority associate chief executive and chairBENEFITS ARE YET TO EMERGEWE are stillwaiting to find out the benefits of Supercars to Newcastle.

We have been asked to believe that our lord mayor and councillors were not privy to the contents of original agreement before it was signed with Supercars (‘Supercars services deed kept secret from councillors’,Herald,9/6).

We need to look at the inconvenience over many years, not just over a weekend but for weeks every year.

It affectsthose who reside in the east end and those who would like to access the beaches and businesses in our beautiful city.

We also have suspicions about the numbers attending the Supercars weekend as recently revealed by mobile phone records (‘Phone data counters Supercars crowd tally’, Herald, 16/11).

The benefits to businesses in the area is questionable. The amount paid to Supercars has never been made public. We have a right to feel deceived and not consulted about a major event in our city and we are still paying for it and will be for a very long time.

So now we are asked to be happy about this event?I don’t think so.

Denise Lindus Trummel,MayfieldPLAN TO INVESTIGATE ITI BELIEVE the call for an ICAC investigation into mining planning approvals in this state (‘Planning department corruption allegations referred to ICAC’, Herald,22/11) is well overdue.

The formerjudgewho ledthe ICAC investigations that exposed Obeid, McDonald and Maitland, David Ipp QC,repeated his lack of confidence this year when he describedevents surrounding the Ridgelands Resources approval as a “Claytons” process (‘David Ipp, QC accuses NSW government of ‘elaborate Clayton’s’ mining licence procedures’, Herald,20/3)

He said thatwhen government “doesn’t respect its own laws it’s a recipe for corruption”.

Those of us who live in the ever-increasing shadow of mining approvals know this very well.

It is time for the NSW government to allow the truth to be known.

The banking royal commission was similarly opposed by government, and we now know what a hotbed of lies and corruption that exposed.Independent investigation must happen in this case, and soon.

Judith Leslie,BulgaKEEP TRACK OF MISTAKESNEWCASTLE, we’ve done it again. Or should that be, it’s been done to usagain!

Wednesday night I was reading the Supercars website and saw their lead headline announcing “tram tracks to be covered for Newcastle 500” (‘Tram tracks to be covered’, Herald, 22/11)

I love Supercars andI’m proudly from the Hunter but I’m not a Newcastle street circuit fan.

With that declaration made, I believe rightly or wrongly thatthis once again makes us look stupid as a city. I’m increasingly disappointed that others’ mistakes make Novocastrians look like buffoons.

Garry Blair,MaitlandLETTER OF THE WEEKThis week the pen goes to Adam Walton, of Toronto, for his letter on giving the light rail a chance.

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