Western Sydney growth levels unsustainable

editorial (‘The West wants a bigger piece of the tourism pie’, 9 October) justifies our attention to Western Sydney. The need for planning has never been greater than during this time of record flooding and population growth. While flooding gets a lot of attention, the extraordinary population growth of 27% over five years from 2016 to 2021 gets little mention, despite many notable known facts. These include the fact that the population cannot grow forever, and the impact that growth will have on housing prices, traffic congestion, and many other population-driven infrastructure deficiencies that will be costly to fix. Human ecological footprint is measured at over 170% of renewable biocapacity. Not sustainable at any spatial scale, from global to local. Planning that is responsible for future generations and the ecosystems that support our lives should limit this footprint. Stabilizing population sizes in growing regions such as Western Sydney should be part of that. not.
Alan Jones, Narawena

For a taste of Greater Sydney, head west in October for the Hindu Diwali festival. Diwali celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, the triumph of good over evil, and living together in harmony and joy. See streets, parks and shopping streets adorned with lights, lamps and bunting. Enjoy colors, costumes, music, dancing and great food. Stimulate your senses and lift your spirits.
Meredith Williams, Northmead

Money doesn’t guarantee the future of wildlife

Our frightening extinction statistics make us wonder if the Australian government has a track record of anything more than ‘dire’ on endangered species (“State track record divides opinion”, 9 October). Labor girlfriend Tanya Plibersek’s release of an endangered species action plan sounds positive, but unless it immediately bans cutting and clearing of old-growth forests, it’s all but lip service. Luckily, a powerful petition with 20,000 signatures put the logging of old growth on the agenda of her NSW parliament. If habitat destruction and climate change are not halted, no amount of reintroduction programs or funding will give our sacred wildlife the future it deserves.
Amy Hiller, Cue (Vic)

the cartographer gets lost

How sad that Parramatta’s map center is closing soon (“End of the Road to the Last Map Shop in New South Wales”, October 9). His one of my most memorable travel experiences was following in his grandfather’s footsteps on the Western Front. I still have maps of Nordpadcalais and Picardy, which are excellent sources, and of Major Holt and his wife. Map of the Battle of the Somme, I bought a center.
Lynn Langtry, East Ryde

HSC is a big waste of time

In fact, the disparity between privileged and disadvantaged schools (“Fewer Schools Flocked to HSC Stars”, Oct. 9) is becoming less relevant as HSC becomes an expensive waste of time. Most of the HSC students at my local public high school go to college early. Entries are based on the student’s results in her 11th grade and her first half of 12th grade, as well as an interview. Just take the exam and get your ATAR. Few need her blazingly high ATAR. Well done teachers, parents, students and wise college.
Christine May, South Duras

Despite attending an elective high school, he did not pursue a career in that field due to poor instruction in his favorite subject. This was the most important outcome of a single secondary education, but points to the difficulty of reaching the full potential of every student.
David Greatrex, Bondi

Why are “disadvantaged schools” an issue? What terrible flaws in our society and governance lead to this misfortune? It’s time to remove public support from private and religious schools.
Peter Ronne, Woodbury

Western Sydney growth levels unsustainable

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