Is there more to Premier Perrottet?

Peter Shmigel believes Perrottet’s “economic credentials and deep social conservatism” will do the job in western Sydney (“Perrottet makes strategic sense for the Liberals”, October 5). I would prefer a state government that did its actual job – managed transport, health and education appropriately, made sure building codes were tough so apartment blocks didn’t fall down, ensured there were open spaces for the people to enjoy and policies that cut the impact of climate change and managed the parks and wildlife services so that infrastructure and care were not downgraded. So, no, Mr Shmigel, deep conservatism is not something that appeals. I just want a government that does its job, not a version of Tony Abbott without the comic relief. – Marie-Louise Dreux, Dulwich Hill

Peter Hartcher’s article (“Springtime for the centre-left?“, October 5) underscores how out of step the NSW Liberals are in moving further to the right as they anoint Perrottet. – Michael Davis, Balmain East

How, in a state of 8 million people, did we end up with a premier who is so extremely unrepresentative? – Lib Ruytenberg, East Lismore

A win for Dominic Perrottet is a win for Chris Minns. – Jo Bowen, Maroubra

The ghost of Tony Abbott now leads NSW. – Kevin Wilkinson, Arakoon

In our secular society it is not healthy to have leaders who wear their religion on their sleeves. That belongs in the background, along with the rest of their private lives. – Meg Vella, Berry

Pandora scandal shows need to curb corruption

Avoiding tax is only one of the reasons for operating an account in a tax haven. Secrecy is another (“‘Dodging up the books’: Labor senator says Pandora Papers show need for reform”, October 5). The ability to make secret payments allows almost unlimited scope for corruption, especially in the form of bribes and kickbacks to politicians. There is a long list of companies involved in government contracts and purchases, public-private partnerships and public asset sales. Many of these companies have accounts in known tax havens such as the Cayman Islands. We also know that some politicians have had such accounts in the past. Secrecy prevents us from knowing if any have such accounts today. To combat serious political corruption, we need a federal ICAC, and we need total transparency from companies that do business with government at all levels. – George Rosier, Carlingford

Federal politicians are very hesitant to legislate for an integrity commission, as it may not be able to tell the difference between acceptable wrongdoing and unacceptable wrongdoing (“Libs waver on ‘integrity body’ plan”, October 5). – Ben Basger, Bondi Junction

As a self-employed small business owner with service agreements with government organisations, under law I am bound to report illegal or corrupt behaviour. I would expect similar reporting from a politician, especially a premier of a state, if corrupt behaviour was encountered. – Russell Stevens, Jannali

In likening the NSW ICAC to the Spanish Inquisition, Barnaby Joyce has reportedly said that politicians would be afraid of doing their job (“Liberals to ‘hasten slowly’ on federal ICAC after Berejiklian’s fall”, October 4). Surely, an ICAC should make politicians terrified of not doing their job. – David Rush, Lawson

Never thought I would agree with anything Scott Morrison said. But when he refers to NSW as the gold standard state I must say I have to agree with him. ICAC has certainly reinforced that opinion. – Wayne Stinson, Merimbula

There’s a conga line of unlikely ICAC-sufferers, with many eventually cleared after years of stressful investigation, but without any public apology or recompense. Others who’ve had to take the long walk to the ICAC doors have more often than not failed to represent the kind of wrongdoer the public rejoices in seeing in the dock, but who, nonetheless, have been scarred for life over stupidity rather than for behaviour the public might consider corrupt. Give a star chamber set-up an inch, and it will take a nautical mile, making ICAC a body to be feared, rather than respected. Why on earth would we want a national version of an entity which likes to see itself as justice-replacer, rather than justice-assistant? – Rosemary O’Brien, Ashfield

I don’t remember any breast-beating or anti-ICAC comments from the Coalition forces when Ian Macdonald, Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid were being investigated. – Keith Lewis, Narara

The Coalition mantra “if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear” works well when the government is insistent they need to collect lots of data to service our national security, but it’s a very different story when it comes to introducing a federal anti-corruption commission. – Nathan Feld, Glen Iris

The arguments from Morrison and Joyce against NSW ICAC – overreach, innocents in the crossfire, occasionally getting it wrong – are exactly the same arguments the Federated Burglars and Robbers Association has with NSW Police. – Toby Creswell, Newtown

What are the odds the NSW government will now adequately increase ICAC’s funding? – Norman Carter, Roseville Chase

Liveable planet is top priority

Our greatest allies desperately want us to improve our reduction targets by 2030 (“President of climate talks wants nation to double its carbon cuts”, October 5). We have said for years we will meet our targets in a canter. If this is true, we absolutely should be upping our targets. How can we expect our greatest friends to try to convince emerging Third World countries – plus high emitters that don’t have anything like the natural resources that we do – that they should reduce emissions, when a rich country like ours just can’t be bothered? Increasing our targets by 2030 could have huge implications, and morally we have no excuse not to. – Peggy Fisher, Killara

It’s not just the finance, banking and insurance sectors that are crying out for rapid action on climate change (“PM’s paralysis on climate will leave us lagging world”, October 5). The health sector will also be experiencing significantly higher physical and social risks, the effects of which can’t be overestimated. The effects of increased air pollution, insecure safe food and drinking water, and the general physical and psychological effects of extreme weather events have been severely underrated. – Sue Casiglia, North Ryde

Thank you, Andrew Forrest, for exposing the vacuous nature of our federal government’s energy policies (“Blue Hydrogen: a highway to climate disaster”, October 5). The fallacy that you can use fossil fuels to make any sort of clean energy is wasting time and money. We need to invest in the future, and fossil fuels are not part of that. If Australians won’t listen to sense, the rest of the world needs to know about our policies, that put selfish money making above a liveable planet for our grandchildren. – Jane Lorimer, West Hobart

A measured approach

We closed the country down, local government area by local government area. Now we propose open slather across the nation based on a percentage vaccinated in each state (“States told to lift hospital spending to prepare for surge in cases”, October 5). I think a little more caution would be good: reopen each local government area as it achieves the magic percentage figure. – Patrick J Russell, North Nowra

In the seaside village of Pearl Beach, the resident population of around 600 mostly elderly retirees are aiming in on 100 per cent full vaccination. The population doubles over the Christmas school holidays. The timing of “full freedom” for the unvaccinated on December 1 could not be worse.

It can only be hoped that those choosing not to be vaccinated – predicted at around 1 in 10 adults – who spend time in our community over the summer are aware and respectful of the risk they pose to elderly residents. Better still, shed their hesitancy and get double-dosed before the holidays start; there’s still time. This holiday community is just one of so many on the NSW coast bracing for this avoidable risk. – Richard Stewart, Pearl Beach

Next in line

The Perrottet government should show the electors of this state that it is prepared to make hard decisions. Andrew Constance has resigned from the ministry and has stated his intention to resign from state Parliament to stand for the seat of Gilmore in the next federal election (“Constance for Canberra bid riles local party members”, October 5). We are already facing costly byelections in Monaro and Willoughby. Rather than sitting at the trough for those last free feeds, Constance – along with any other members who intend to resign before the next state election in 2023 – should go now to mitigate the cost of multiple byelections. – Mick Simpson, Sefton

A simple solution to clear up the byelection mess: whoever came second at the last election is offered the position. Bet they don’t jump midstream then. – Michael Cronk, Dubbo

Will pork be plentiful on byelection menus for voters in Willoughby, Bega and Monaro? – Sue Dyer, Downer (ACT)

Since the Barilaro news, I haven’t been able to hear myself rant, over the sound of koalas, arms linked, chanting: “We shall not be moved!” – Mike Corbett, Jindabyne

Spotlight heats up

Much has been said about Gladys Berejiklian’s strong intellect, work ethic and determination. As a fellow daughter of migrants who also flourished in public education, however, I find her political decisions hard to understand (“NSW’s girlboss didn’t work out too well for women”, October 5). Many of us who have benefited from the community values of progressive politics feel an obligation to make similar opportunities available to those who have followed us. These values are not learnt at Young Liberals meetings. – Sue Ieraci, Balmain

The $5,000,000 grants in Wagga Wagga fade into insignificance compared to the $576,000,000 paid to Acciona and Altrac, the consortium building the Sydney light rail, in a court settlement (“ICAC had no other choice, Barilaro says,” October 5). Taxpayer money wasted through incompetence. Now would be a good time to put the spotlight on Berejiklian’s controversial decisions. – David Goldstein, Balgowlah

It amuses me that so many Coalition supporters and MPs are pushing for Gladys Berejiklian to move to the federal sphere. They are making a colossal assumption: that ICAC will exonerate her when she is investigated for a breach of public trust and whether she failed to report reasonable suspicions relating to possible corrupt conduct by her then-lover Daryl Maguire. – Arthur Kelly, Camden

Devil’s haircut

Your correspondent (Letters, October 5) frets over the weight of his hair. Pah! That’s nothing. My hair is possessed by the Devil and has taken will. It makes its own decision on style – a new one every day, always ghastlier than its predecessors. Please help me. I’m desperate enough even to accept Scott Morrison’s “laying on of hands” (“PM says social media being used by ‘evil one’, gives rare insight into Pentecostal faith”, April 26). – Steve Cornelius, Brookvale

Ferry confusing

Simon Squires (Letters, October 5) asks who will buy the wrong ferries and trains with Andrew Constance gone. Easy! Make it a federal responsibility. They have a wonderful track record on this front. – David Griffiths, Wollongong

A higher calling

David Morrison of Springwood thinks that if the politicians gave their allegiance to God they would be more sympathetic (Letters, October 5). Herein lies the problem. How do you know what their God is telling them? Perhaps it’s “commercial in confidence”. – Diana Dixon, Blackheath

Midas touch

Garry Maddox ranks Goldfinger as the second best Bond film of all time, also hailing “the first great theme song … by Eartha Kitt”. Please, no-one show this to Dame Shirley (“Expert eye on the spy”, October 2-3). – Geoff Lyons, Lane Cove

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
“Perrottet ‘no extremist’, says Barilaro as other MPs disagree”
From Hatchet: “The factions have done a deal. This encapsulates the problems with governments.”

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