Signs of hope
It was heartening to read Katherine Wilson’s article (“Logging out”, October 15-21) and discover that people in the former timber town of Orbost have come together to endorse a more appropriate forestry for our times. A paper calling for an end to clear-felling native forests has been unanimously endorsed by traditional custodians, farmers, apiarists, those in the timber industry, and conservationists alike. There is recognition that the council must consider, and address, climate change – responsible forestry is part of that. Rather than rejecting all native forest harvesting, the shire has supported low-volume, high-value uses of timber, so long as other values are maintained. Both biodiversity conservation and the avoidance of the greater fire susceptibility of even-aged, drier, regrowth forests are prized. The bad faith actions of certain politicians and union leaders who deliberately mislead and hinder a just and orderly timber industry transformation are exposed by Wilson. The examples of leadership and community solidarity shown by the East Gippsland Shire Council and citizens are inspiring signs.
– Frank Nicklason, North Hobart, Tas
Rick Morton’s article (“Exclusive: Nursing homes advised to avoid ‘high-needs’ residents”, October 15-21) exposes the simple challenge with a care sector driven by the profit motive. It is a further indictment of any claims to unconstrained capitalism delivering efficient and caring services, and further confirms that the accountants have indeed taken over the asylum. Being able to add is important but has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual delivery of a service business. The market economy in 2022 needs to place responsibility at the heart of the market. The fewer companies in a market, or the more constrained the market, the more the obligations on directors to shift the focus from shareholders to a commensurate responsibility to customers and partners. Then the private sector becomes responsible for care balanced with profit. The role of government is clear. As James Madison, a founding father of the USA, stated, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
– D Robertson, Yarralumla, ACT
On the bandwagon
As reported by Paul Bongiorno (“Power prices without glory”, October 15-21), I have also noticed that climate change denialists and sceptics have jumped onto the nuclear bandwagon. My theory is they are setting up for the final lie. After spending decades lying about climate science, climate scientists and renewable energy, they are going to claim that they always accepted we needed to take action on climate change but evil greenies wouldn’t let them build nuclear.
– Graeme Finn, Summer Hill, NSW
No time for timidity
The caution of the Labor Party on anything to do with taxation is easily discernible in Paul Bongiorno’s report, but they need to be careful that caution is not an excuse for timidity. Faced with a third La Niña in a row, and with Australians up to their waists in water, there is no clearer concrete reminder of the power and acceleration of climate change. There is unlikely to be a better time for boldness on the problem. We know what the problem is, we know we have a solution in a carbon tax, and we know it works. This is not the time for timidity.
– Dr David Wilson, Newport, Qld
A pinch of salt
Your excellent editorial (“Oz the great and powerful”, October 15-21) identifies, yet again, the insidious nature of the Murdoch media, which works tirelessly for its billionaire masters and against the country’s advancement. Its clear aim is to continue enriching a small group at the expense of the majority, despite social and economic damage. It is a mystery why subscribers accept the Murdoch propaganda with little critical examination. One can only assume that they benefit from the retention of archaic neoliberal and socially conservative policies, or they seek justification for unethical beliefs or, as you say, they are simply “brainless, heartless and cowardly”. Albanese’s government should indeed take with a pinch of salt Murdoch’s version of “news”, which exerts an unhealthy influence on policy and intentionally plays on bigotry to sway the uninformed to vote against their own interests. Better to listen to people like former competition watchdog chairman Rod Sims who sensibly is calling for higher taxes on mineral resources, carbon and multinationals to fix the federal budget and promote equity.
– Alison Stewart, Riverview, NSW
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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on October 22, 2022.
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