Letters to
the editor

Destined for irrelevance

The Murdoch media’s relentless campaign against the Voice to Parliament referendum appears to be the crumbling empire’s last attempt at relevance. News Corp’s once-deadly influence on politics in this country may well be slipping (Paul Bongiorno, “ ‘No’ stretch of the imagination”, July 22-28). Hence why they seem to be throwing everything at the Voice debate in a shameless ploy of spreading misinformation. I still have faith in the Australian people and am certain Dutton and his cheerleaders at News Corp are on the wrong side of history. A successful referendum will be curtains for Dutton and News Corp. Good riddance, I say.

– Brian White, South Hobart, Tas

ACF stands proud

The Australian Conservation Foundation was misrepresented in the July 22-28 paper (Ben Abbatangelo, “Doth protest too little”). ACF has not “endorsed” a “growing apparatus of ‘planet-destroying policies’ ”, as anonymous insiders were quoted saying. We are not “enmeshing” ourselves with big carbon traders. We do not support “dig, dig, dig” and “clear, clear, clear” if it’s for renewables. ACF is proud of the campaigns we run with our 500,000 supporters to protect and regenerate nature and create a renewable-powered Australia. You wouldn’t know it from “Doth protest too little”, but ACF opposed the government’s “Green Wall Street” nature repair bill, because linking nature repair to the generation of offsets risks facilitating the destruction of more existing wildlife habitat. Our campaign to stop all new fossil fuel projects continues and will grow. ACF isn’t a one-trick pony. We disrupt business as usual, create solutions and activate people to get involved in making change. We make no apology for seeking solutions to the environment and climate crises. We believe we can persuade many Australians to join us. That means talking with communities, government and business. To get off coal and gas, Australia is going to need lots of big new renewable energy projects – from solar and wind farms to new energy transmission lines and, yes, mining of critical minerals needed for renewable technology – but these should not come at the expense of the animals, plants, rivers, forests and places we love and depend on. The essential transition to a renewable-powered Australia needs to be good for First Nations peoples who have cared for, shaped and managed land and sea for millennia. Traditional Owners must approve and benefit from energy projects built on their land. The environment movement is broad. That’s a good thing. There’s strength in a movement that respects and can hold within it a diversity of approaches to creating the change our country and Earth desperately needs.

– Paul Sinclair, campaigns director, Australian Conservation Foundation

Challenge the process

Albert Palazzo (“Afghanistan: the illegitimate war”, July 22-28) made two very important points in challenging Australia’s participation in its longest war. He asks whether that 20-year-long debacle was legitimate, and also claims the Australian government created an ethical vacuum in which the ADF was expected to operate. What also needs challenging is the decision-making process for taking Australia into war. Currently, the prime minister alone can make that decision. He/she might consult a few cabinet cronies, but there’s no input from the public, who foot the bill, or parliament. Over many years, enlightened souls within the Australian Greens and the War Powers Reform group have argued for change. But the Labor Party isn’t listening. We need to ditch the Defence Force Posture Review that gave the US military “unfettered access” to Australian military facilities/personnel/hardware, and we need to ditch the AUKUS deal, both of which demonstrate our shameful loss of sovereignty.

– Jo Vallentine, Coolbellup, WA

Put to good use

Gabriella Coslovich sets out an unanswerable case for abandoning the proposed stadium in Hobart (“Grand-standing”, July 22-28). She brilliantly provides the arguments against such a waste of public money, which could and should be used to benefit the Tasmanian people. Australia is undoubtedly enthusiastic about the AFL, but the AFL’s single-minded determination to extract such a large sum of money from the public purse is hard to justify in terms of expected benefit. One can only hope the powers-that-be can make a decision that will allow better use of both money and land.

– Juliet Flesch, Kew, Vic

Opposing view

Gabriella Coslovich’s article on the Hobart stadium was disappointing, and simply echoes the views of opponents. It ignores the fact the campaign for the team has been going for a long time and has been well supported. It denies the benefits and even repeats the discredited view that a stadium isn’t needed. The stadium was never seen as a “panacea for economic regeneration”; rather it will be a community asset that will provide a great new space for footy, other sports and other community uses. It revitalises an area that has frustratingly sat largely unused for years. Yes, there was a great idea for the location from MONA, but that was many years ago and did not go anywhere. The citing of a hastily cobbled together alternative proposal, which just as quickly disappeared in embarrassment, suggesting such things as an enclave of 1000 houses alongside a working port, is misleading. The article’s tenor is a giveaway, with its strange put-downs such as “backwater”, references to Utopia and, bizarrely, “Tasmania’s abysmal literacy rates” – which are not that different from the rest of Australia.

– Keith Thompson, Kingston, Tas

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 29, 2023.

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