It’s well known that the Australian government is an international laggard when it comes to respecting the Paris carbon emissions targets, but to pressure the British government to drop climate change commitments to ensure a free trade deal is a miserable reflection on the sincerity of both governments to tackle the dangers of global warming. Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison are both behaving as international climate saboteurs. Mark Berg, Caringbah South
Today, the thermal coal industry employs 25,000 people, the renewable energy sector has about the same number. In 10 years time there will be fewer coal miners and more people working in renewable energy. The decision to support coal is misguided but we seem committed to a dying industry. This combination of short-term populism and belligerence is not in the long-term interest of the rest of us. Chris Moe, Bensville
This feels like a lesson for a year 2 student: when we are the only country left digging and selling coal, then we will be the only global source. Hardly a scenario for smug boasting and rejoicing by the Minister, but rather hanging our heads in shame at this government’s bloody mindedness. Helen Lewin, Tumbi Umbi
The Flat Earth Society believes Australia, as a country, is a hoax. The federal government’s climate change policies are making it so. Roger Johnson, New Lambton Heights
Behind closed doors
The announcement the Premier, Deputy Premier and Health Minister will no longer be facing a daily press conference is further evidence of this government’s lack of accountability (“NSW records 1542 new cases, nine deaths; daily press conference scrapped”, smh.com.au, September 10). How cowardly – just as the crisis is about to escalate our leadership is missing in action. Sharelle Fellows, Gulgong
Oh joy! From Monday we will be free to participate in an activity of choice at Gladys o’clock. Meredith Williams, Northmead
No Premier, just as we enter the most challenging and worrying time, this is not the time to disappear. Elspeth Murphy, Windsor
Richard Pocock feels that people “just walking along the pavement” are “clearly not exercising” (Letters, September 10). Let me assure him that after one reaches a certain age, just getting out of bed is an exercise. David Calvey, Gosford
Building a legacy
It’s ironic that the Liberals, always so pro-development, should have Bob Menzies’ home demolished due to lax regulations (“Gone to dust”, September 10). Bet Gough is grinning up there. Ashley Berry, Toolijooa
Green Kean had us keen but our faith may be mistaken
Here I was, happy to think that there was a Liberal NSW Environment Minister actually doing good for the natural environment. On the face of it, the NSW government’s move to create zero extinction targets for NSW National Parks sounded like a positive (“Kean eye for extinction”, September 10). Rob Pallin presents a case to think otherwise. He argues that particular plant and wildlife species are being left off the intergenerational asset list to negate particular objections and thereby facilitate the process for raising the height of the Warragamba Dam. If there is any substance to these moves it is one of the most underhanded and cynical political exercises imaginable. Warren McPherson, Gerringong
A crying shame
We should hang our heads in shame at the tragic story of Gwendoline May’s treatment in Dubbo and Wellington hospitals (“Family horror at matriarch’s care”, September 10). The elderly Aboriginal woman’s whole medical experience was marked by the kind of disrespect and neglect that just should not happen in Australia. There must be consequences. Black Lives Matter. Lorraine Hickey, Green Point
No queries with QRs
QR data access is more likely than not to become a standard part of Australian life (“QR data access violates our pact”, September 10). In the early 1980s the police were given the powers to breathalyse motorists for excessive alcohol consumption only. Fast forward almost 40 years and a breath test is a random stop and search, both physically and on a database. Australians have no problem with this as it may stop just one more road death. If QR codes save just one more life from a COVID-19 death, it will be worth it. Paul Davies, Crows Nest
I note that the multibillion-dollar submarine deal is going ahead and yet no one has answered the important questions (“Subs deal to bolster France ties in defence”, September 10). Why do we need submarines, and what will we do with them when we get them? Frank Payne, Killara
Floored by housing view
The comments on social housing by Jason Falinski capture the malevolence and short-sightedness of the federal government (“MP leading inquiry slams social housing”, September 10). His comment that social housing, which he deliberately labelled pejoratively as “housing commission”, “has had a lot of negative impact on vulnerable communities and I query whether building it actually helps people in challenged communities”, ignores the voluminous research that has clearly illustrated the profoundly positive impact that accessing affordable, secure and adequate housing can have on people who are homeless or who are dependent on the private rental sector and having to use most of their income to pay the rent. Alan Morris, Eastlakes
I hope I am not the only person who is angry at the news that Kristina Keneally will be parachuted into the safe Labor seat of Fowler at the next election (“Labor powerbroker backs Keneally switch”, September 10). Apart from the fact that Keneally is not a local, there was already a very hard-working local woman who was hoping to represent her predominantly Vietnamese community at the next election. This is everything that is wrong with politics and the machines that run the major parties. Jobs for mates over hard-working locals. It’s not as if Keneally comes with a great CV. A local member should be just that – a local. Tony Carroll, Wyoming
Living overseas provides a different perspective (“The vaccine deals that might have been done”, September 10). I watched from Myanmar late last year as the Australian government signed contracts with various sources (even if Pfizer was not pre-eminent) for doses sufficient to vaccinate adult Australians two or three times over. Meanwhile, Myanmar did not secure its first batch until January – a gift from India (which they may have later regretted) – and enough to vaccinate less than 2 per cent of the population. Eight months later, the inequitable vaccine supply situation between the two countries has only gotten worse. Clay O’Brien, Mosman
Psst: Secrecy’s out!
David Crowe highlights the perplexing secrecy that Scott Morrison attaches to so many matters, several of little real consequence, involving him or his government (“PM’s trip betrays culture of creeping secrecy”, September 10). But perhaps of more concern is that, after all the exposures, he still seems to think he can get away with it. This hubris goes to the heart of Morrison’s character – and intellect. John Ure, Mount Hutton
Alcohol use is legal; production and sale is regulated, and taxation revenue helps to address the harm it causes (Letters, September 10). Cocaine and heroin use is illegal: production is regulated by untaxed criminal cartels and takes place in the poorest, most unregulated and corrupt places on the planet, destroying those communities and causing great harm to ours. You can’t equate the use of cocaine and heroin with the use of alcohol. Jennifer Katauskas, Wahroonga
A round of applause for Don Harwin, Clover Moore and Andrew Andersons (“‘Embodiment of the revival’: State eyes theatre to secure Kings Cross rebirth”, September 10). Reverting the iconic Metro Minerva to a full working theatre would be a mighty way to reinvigorate Sydney’s theatrical heart and our much-loved and sadly abused Kings Cross. Warren Fahey, Elizabeth Bay
Dropped the vial
You don’t need to be a “hero of hindsight” to know that the government fumbled on Pfizer. And now we’re left languishing in lockdown (“PM denies missing chance to secure Pfizer early in pandemic”, September 10). James Hazelton, Beecroft
I read the readers’ comments in the Herald with interest to see what other thoughtful people make of the published articles (Letters, September 10). There are, of course, trivial and ill-informed opinions, and even the malicious, though the moderators tend to weed these out. For really scurrilous posts one needs to go to Facebook. But there are clever and original thoughts which often give me a new perspective on events, information that expands my knowledge, and at very least there are items which inform me as to the feelings and attitudes of those whose experience of life is different from my own. I can’t say how much I value these. Jennifer Briggs, Kilaben Bay
Just not cricket
While some argue that sport should not be politicised, the decision by Cricket Australia to refuse to play the Afghan men’s team while the women’s team is excluded is to be roundly commended (“CA poised to cancel Afghanistan Test”, September 10). Phil Armour, Yass
Get out of jail card
Health problems convicted criminals claim should keep them out of jail never seem to have affected their ability to commit their crimes (“Obeid, Macdonald tell of health fears in bid for lighter sentences”, September 10). William Lloyd, Denistone
It’s been an extremely tough week for the PM on the Letters pages. His government’s decision not to attend a Pfizer meeting was blamed for the country’s numerous lockdowns, the delivery of more vaccines to NSW was seen as favouritism, and his comments about the sacrifices of expats was described as insulting.
But it was his Father’s Day trip to Sydney to visit family which angered hundreds of letter writers who said they had missed out for months on seeing family and friends because they were abiding by the stay-at-home orders – unlike the PM.
As always, editorial cartoonist Cathy Wilcox contributed to the conversation, on this occasion adapting a WWI recruitment poster, “Daddy, what did you do in the Great War?” Eagle-eyed letter writers pointed out that the original work was by Savile Lumley not Norman Rockwell, as referenced on the toon.
We receive letters every day praising Cathy’s insightful cartoons, which have been brightening up our pages on and off since 1989, and full-time on the Letters pages for three years. Cathy tells us she loves working on the toon because she “can take time to process and think about the news” and then work through an idea, “from a gut reaction into a thoughtful comment”. “I also like that the subject matter is ever-changing, as it suits my butterfly attention span,” she adds.
In sadder news, prolific contributor Stewart Smith of Tea Gardens has died. His succinct, witty letters will be remembered, and missed, by many. And a reminder to continue nominating worthy contributions for our letter writer of year. Stay safe and keep writing. Pat Stringa, Letters editor
- To submit a letter to The Sydney Morning Herald, email [email protected] Click here for tips on how to submit letters.