Letters to
the editor

NSW descends into farce

So let me get this straight. Alex Hawke is Scott Morrison’s trusted confidant and fixer with considerable power. Hawke is facing a preselection challenge so scuttles meetings by not turning up (Karen Middleton, “Morrison moves to firm up leadership”, February 26–March 4). When a legal summons is issued on him, he fails to acknowledge it. In his absence, a “contradictor” amusingly named Bender is appointed. Is this the real world or an episode of Rumpole of the Bailey? Dodgy deeds such as these will come back to haunt Morrison and Hawke in the polling booths.

– Ray Peck, Hawthorn, Vic

An electrifying vision

Australia needs the vision and inspiration of inventors, investors and innovators such as Saul Griffith and Mike Cannon-Brookes (“The case for buying AGL”, February 26–March 4). As a nation historically beholden to the fossil fuel industry, narratives about a new cleaner, greener, sustainable world are severely lacking. Griffith’s plan is simple, realistic and visionary. In electrifying everything with readily available technology powered by abundant, cheap, renewable energy we really can change “the story of climate and energy from one of sacrifice to one of abundance”. The result will be a healthier, safer, economically sound, more prosperous future for all.

– Amy Hiller, Kew, Vic

Searching out issues

How is it that the federal Coalition has morphed from simple misogyny into a vicious vindictiveness, determined to suppress anything it perceives as likely to threaten its rightful claim to power? Your timely editorial (“Cruel inventions”, February 26–March 4) exposes the parallel universe in which this government is performing like a malevolent Don Quixote, finding ways to eliminate gendered windmills where the rest of us see none. It’s sad that the government’s latest idea of affirmative action is to support a female senator’s move to introduce discrimination against trans women in sport. Genuine efforts to foster wider representation of women in public life, whether by quotas or other means, will fail unless attempts to create artificial barriers to gender diversity are abandoned.

– Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale, Vic

No protection from overreach

Kieran Pender’s piece (“Cutting class”, February 26–March 4) is just the tip of a very threatening iceberg. By any measure, the legislation put to the parliament by the Morrison government has trended towards curtailing the public’s ability to take legal steps to protect itself from, and seek compensation for, the damaging actions and intransigence of corporate and departmental bodies. From anti-whistleblower legislation to the recent failed attempt to gag proxy adviser guidance, the legislation is coming thick and fast as the Coalition retreats behind a scorched earth of protective laws. Sadly, there’s been no indication by Labor, from behind their Liberal-lite bunker, that they wouldn’t feel just as comfortable leaving these safeguards in place. It presents a compelling case to return an independent candidate when next we’re asked to choose our parliamentary representative.

– John Mosig, Kew, Vic

In the absence of integrity

John Hewson’s appraisal of the grubby skirmishes characterising the lead-up to the 2022 federal election is a sobering reminder the Australian public is being shortchanged on values that should be taken for granted (“Battle for the centre”, February 26–March 4). Truth, integrity, policies in the public interest, equitable distribution of the public purse, campaigning that doesn’t resort to name-calling – plus a press that can provide an informed non-partisan evaluation – are, in the main, conspicuously absent. The need for a federal ICAC has never been more apparent – a dearth of integrity is at the heart of all these issues. The existing industry-regulated and -funded press council is generally mocked as a gummy tiger. We require a publicly funded, independent body with legislated teeth to hold media to account for the veracity of its reportage, especially in the political arena. The Australian Electoral Commission must be granted serious powers, backed by legislated fines or imprisonment, relating to truth in electoral advertising. It’s all doable, we just need the political will to restore some dignity to the existing circus.

– Bruce Hulbert, Lilyfield, NSW

Courage for change

How unspeakably sad it was to read Mehdi Ali’s piece about his indefinite detention, knowing this is happening in Australia, the country of my birth (“Outside the gates of hell”, February 26–March 4). What have we become that we allow this to happen? We are horrified at the current atrocity being perpetrated by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on the people of Ukraine, but very few voices are heard in support of people whose only wish was for safe refuge in what they thought was a civilised country. My hope is that the next Labor government has the courage to release all those who have been cruelly incarcerated and to assist them to live normal, free lives.

– Maureen Goldie, Blackwood, SA

Lighting the way

I just loved Jon Kudelka’s cartoon of the woman at one bowser longing for a “source of energy less susceptible to the vagaries of geopolitical instability” and the man at the other commenting “Crazy talk” (February 26–March 4). The scene is illuminated by a giant nuclear fusion reactor 148 million kilometres away that will “energise” Earth for the next 7.5 billion years. It is the best advertisement for solar energy I’ve seen for years.

– Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin, ACT

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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on March 5, 2022.

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