Letters to
the editor

The world’s quarry

Mike Seccombe’s excellent article (“Energy crisis: The truth behind the price surge”, June 25–July 1) exposes the complete failure of successive governments through what most of us would call corruption rather than Mike’s more restrained “political appeasement”. We might try to comfort ourselves with the thought that fossil fuels have had their day and, like their proponents, will become stranded assets. Unfortunately, this is unlikely, because fossil fuel corporations have influenced government policies for many decades with the aim of “sticking to what we are good at” – meaning digging holes rather than making things like cars and whitegoods or even PVs, where we were once world leaders. The aim, of course, is to become the world’s quarry. This move was boosted by the fortuitous or orchestrated demise of our manufacturing industry and our growth in population and consumption, which inflated our imports and made us dependent on mineral exports to balance the trade budget. Since then we have been flooded by greenwash – overstating our capacity to supply clean energy, which obscured the way energy corporations have persuaded our politicians to rebadge our economy from a minerals exporter to the energy exporter for the world. In order to supply all the electricity and hydrogen exports, our total energy demand will increase faster than can be supplied by wind or solar, making us reliant on fossil fuels for decades to come and in the process becoming even more damaging to our environment.

– Don Owers, Dudley, NSW

Widespread profiteering

Mike Seccombe referred to complaints that some companies involved in the energy market were “price gouging”. This dishonest, even heinous, practice is not confined to the big energy companies. The Morrison government halved the excise on liquid fossil fuels (from 44.2 to 22.1 cents per litre for six months from midnight March 29 to 11.59pm on September 28). On June 23, the lowest price of petrol at my local service station was 225.9 cents per litre – higher than in early April. The price was the same or similar wherever I looked. If this isn’t collusive price gouging and profiteering, I don’t know what is.

– Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin, ACT

Sense of entitlement

How could it be possible, without a deluge of media misinformation, for the Coalition to again triumph after its nation-damaging nine years (John Hewson, “The Peter Dutton principle”, June 25–July 1)? Continuing with its nihilistic agenda will simply yield more of the same backward-looking, dangerous and unfair policies. Dutton’s apparent inability to accept responsibility for his government’s failures suggests that, like a dull-witted bull butting the same immovable gate, his plan will be to continue relying on his media cronies to do the heavy lifting, enabling him and his hopeless bunch to reclaim the power to which they believe they are eminently entitled.

– Alison Stewart, Riverview, NSW

Monstrous comparison

In her extraordinarily well-written story, Ahona Guha (“Long road to mental health”, June 25–July 1) characterises our “Frankenstein’s monster” mental health system as “a collection of disparate limbs lurching along in some semblance of cohesion. Each part has been added based on acute need, with little consideration as to the way they should function together”. This is not only true for mental health. Our emergency services’ response to the recent Northern Rivers floods is the most obvious other example.

– Greg Baker, Fitzroy Falls, NSW

Key to democracy

The editorial “The thin green line” (June 25–July 1) is an excellent comment on the current extraordinary situation regarding protests. It all began recently in a camp near Sydney with some extremist, dangerous protesters being charged with affray. Tasmania, Victoria and NSW then imposed heavy fines and imprisonment against almost all protest, especially in mining and forestry areas. This should be seen really as state governments overprotecting their vested interests. Obviously and urgently, the editorial urges that our new Albanese government should step in and “should accept protest as key to democracy” – which it certainly is. Specifically, our leaders must correct the most extreme of these new laws and take genuine action against the real enemy of “catastrophic climate change”.

– Barbara Fraser, Burwood, Vic

Nightmare vision

Aaaargh! Morrison on the front page again (June 25–July 1). Please, haven’t we had enough of this nightmare? As a counter to the belittling and destabilising of Labor PMs and governments by the Murdoch media, as described by Kevin Rudd (“What Murdoch does to new governments”, June 25–July 1), why can’t we just have a black square labelled “This picture of sacked PM Morrison redacted to minimise public trauma”?

– Brynn Mathews, Cairns, Qld

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 July 2, 2022.

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