Letters to
the editor

Coalition sticks with Adani

While two-thirds of Australians are opposed to Adani’s Carmichael coalmine, why is it still being considered by Morrison’s government, which is supposed to represent us all? (Karen Middleton, “CSIRO steps back on Adani approval”, April 13-19). Why would we trash the Great Barrier Reef for the profits of a foreign billionaire? Why trash thousands of jobs on the reef for a smaller number in a dying industry? The Coalition government has spun the scientific assessment of the effect on groundwater and aquifers into a gold pass for this destructive climate-change-accelerating polluter. The Minerals Council and its member, Adani, donated $45,000 to the LNP in the past year. Labor returned $2200. The Greens do not accept corporate donations. Please vote to save the Great Barrier Reef and stop Adani this federal election.

– Mary Forbes, Eungai Creek, NSW

A nuanced depiction

“Master of disguise” (April 20- 26) is a masterpiece of journalistic biography by Martin McKenzie-Murray, revealing not just Julian Assange in full psychic undress, but the maddening duality of so many public figures about whom it is all too easy to make snap judgements and easy generalisations. McKenzie-Murray’s brilliant analysis is an invitation for all of us to think more carefully about the paradox and ambiguity of the movers and shakers in current events.

– Daniel Dennis, New Farm, Qld

Explanation found

It was an insightful description of the polar and emotional responses to Julian Assange in Martin McKenzie-Murray’s article. If I may correct the slight that “he shrugged indifferently when advised not to publish the names of anti-Taliban informants” – the decryption key to the cache had already been released by journalists from The Guardian (a publication that I still trust). WikiLeaks tried partnering and this is how it ended up – hence, I think, the shrug.

– Josh Preston, Albion, Vic

Injustice on Timor-Leste

Among the enlightening items produced by Gadfly (“Bill’s joint adventure”, April 20-26) is a very serious one. This is the threatened trial of Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery over revealing the bugging of the cabinet office of Timor-Leste prior to negotiations with the Australian government. At stake was the revenue from oil sales, vital to the poverty-stricken state but just an easy profit to Woodside Petroleum backed by the Australian government. That our government could stoop to such criminal activity, in the guise of an AusAid program, to enable it to bully Timor-Leste into an unfair treaty speaks volumes of the greed that infects our administration. The exposure of this activity by Witness K and Mr Collaery was an honourable action. They do not know the charges, have not been provided with the evidence, are threatened with a secret trial – at which they may not even be present – and may be sentenced to jail. Both men were prevented from testifying at the International Court at The Hague to which Timor-Leste had taken the case when they revoked the unfair treaty. This is a case of gross injustice and citizens must protest to prevent it.

– Gael Barrett, North Balwyn, Vic

Creative vacuum

Although many pages of The Saturday Paper are appreciated by this couple in their 70s for articles that are insightful, honest and provocative, none bring forth more delight and glee than the two pages by Gadfly, aka Richard Ackland. I laughed out loud at the comment about Bill Shorten creaming his face with his knuckles, but was seriously disturbed by the report of an auctioneer and real estate agent being appointed to the board of the National Film and Sound Archive. Of course the arts are there to be enjoyed by all parts of society, but surely there should be levels of professionalism injected into boards responsible for the arts? I have recently been examining the life of Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, who passionately believed music had a civilising effect on society. As a serious music lover, I despair at the lack of creative leadership and funds this government provides for the arts, and with people such as Scott Morrison, Mitch Fifield and an auctioneer in charge, what hope do we have for our society?

– Megwenya Matthews, North Turramurra, NSW

Towering spectacle

There is only one word for Maxine Beneba Clarke’s poem “Liber Pauperum” (Letters, April 20-26). Stunning.

– Vicky Marquis, Glebe, NSW

Filmmaker of great skill

I always like Christos Tsiolkas’s film reviews but reading “Transition lens” (April 13-19) was a joy. His succinct appraisal of Transit and director Christian Petzold’s mix of past and present, and the passion and situations of its people, enthuses me to see it like no other. Also I understand very well the limbo of refugees without papers, unable to go either back or forward. Sadly, Transit is unlikely to come to my town.

– Julia Osborne, Nambucca Heads, NSW

Photo sensitive

Please, no more pictures of Peter Dutton. I tend to read The Saturday Paper over breakfast.

– Richard Mason, Newtown, NSW

Letters are welcome: [email protected]
Please include your full name and address and a daytime telephone number. Letters may be edited for length and content, and may be published in print and online. Letters should not exceed 150 words.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on April 27, 2019.

For almost a decade, The Saturday Paper has published Australia’s leading writers and thinkers. We have pursued stories that are ignored elsewhere, covering them with sensitivity and depth. We have done this on refugee policy, on government integrity, on robo-debt, on aged care, on climate change, on the pandemic.

All our journalism is fiercely independent. It relies on the support of readers. By subscribing to The Saturday Paper, you are ensuring that we can continue to produce essential, issue-defining coverage, to dig out stories that take time, to doggedly hold to account politicians and the political class.

There are very few titles that have the freedom and the space to produce journalism like this. In a country with a concentration of media ownership unlike anything else in the world, it is vitally important. Your subscription helps make it possible.

Select your digital subscription

Month selector

Use your Google account to create your subscription