A stepping stone to net zero emissions by 2050
No opportunity to speak at the UN Summit? Can our Prime Minister not see that he needs to give a little more? Hanging on as long as he did to shonky carry over credits nonsense, claiming a reward for an increase in emissions but less than expected, has been an embarrassment for years.
Australia’s ridiculous target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 was blindly copied from the US. But what was not copied was that its end date for this target was 2025 whereas our lot delayed it to 2030. So let us revise our end date to 2025, a stepping stone to net zero emissions by 2050.
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island
Who really decides our climate change policy
The Prime Minister says our ‘‘climate and energy policy will be set here in Australia, in Australia’s national interest, not to get a speaking slot at some international summit’’. He would have been more honest if he had said our policy will be set here in Australia by the right-wing rump of the Coalition.
Geoff Feren, St Kilda East
Victoria must continue to take a strong stand
Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions have declined (The Age, 11/12). Let’s keep up the momentum. Our state’s renewable energy target and rollout has created thousands of jobs as well as cutting emissions. To keep this going, the Andrews government should set science-based targets that match that of the UK to cut emissions by 68per cent by 2030. Anything lower would be weak and ineffective at driving this urgently needed transformation. Let us be ambitious and continue to act in line with science, continue to create jobs and continue to show the silent, negligent, federal government what leadership looks like.
Vicky Ellmore, Northcote
Endangering an agricultural ecosystem
It appears the assumption by Latrobe Valley coal mine operators that they would rehabilitate their gigantic, open-cut pits by filling them with water (The Age, 11/12) is flawed. As in the case with the over-allocation of water of the Darling River in the Murray Darling Basin, we endanger a huge natural and agricultural ecosystem by assuming there is plenty of water to be used however and wherever we like.
The Hazelwood pit alone has a greater volume than Sydney Harbour. There are several lessons here. One is that coal extraction destroys the land. The second is that with climate heating upon us, there is less water available for current demands, let alone for filling humongous holes in the ground that we heedlessly created without a thought for the future.
This is another big plus for solar and wind – they do not destroy the land on which they are situated and they are compatible with many agricultural pursuits. Arguments about altered rural vistas being spoiled by wind turbines fade into ridiculousness when compared with the rehabilitation problems facing closed coal mines.
Jill Dumsday, Ashburton
A priceless recreation
I imagine the Juukan Gorge in Western Australia would, like many cultural treasure sites, have been 3D-scanned by ultra-high definition colour laser. Film companies, using this astonishing method, can construct 3D walk-through recreations in full scale and colour – for example, ‘‘$1.5m screen to revolutionise filmmaking’’ (The Age, 10/12).
If such data of the gorge exists, Rio Tinto should be required to commission an accurate, full-scale, walk-through museum memorial to this priceless Indigenous artefact. A reminder, in the fullness and accuracy of its recreation, of how large corporations, in their overriding pursuit of profit, can sometimes act with insensitivity and create social damage.
David Terry, Armadale
Importance of languages
Australia is a multilingual nation, yet the dominant culture is monolingual English. No surprise that universities are cutting language teaching (The Age, 11/12) as the first step in revenue saving. A prerequisite for leadership, particularly in politics and education, should be that such positions are open only to those who are at the least bilingual. Research shows that speaking several languages improves intelligence.
Kay Moulton, Surrey Hills
A man of many talents
Mungo MacCallum, the king of the lampooners, has departed aged 78 (The Age, 11/12). Will we ever see his like again? A Wentworth (alas), the brown sheep of the family was arguably Australia’s greatest larrikin political columnist. Ask any pompous politician (of whatever political flavour), but especially the private schoolboy type, born with a silver spoon cleft to his palate who had that ‘‘born to rule’’ air.
Wit, raconteur, hard drinker and heavy smoker, Mungo could charm the velvetine off the flock wallpaper, all with a wicked glint in his eye and a laugh that roared. Journalism will miss him. Take note those who are newly emerging. Larrikinism can take you to the top, read and watch and the great man will show you the way.
Maurie Johns, Mount Eliza
Degrees of worthiness
It does not matter how many studies show the cashless welfare card does more harm than good. For the government it is a success because, as with the practice of keeping payments to the unemployment below the poverty line, the primary purpose is to punish.
Unlike ‘‘worthy’’ recipients of government largesse – cashed-up retirees receiving franking credits or property speculators getting tax breaks through negative gearing – people at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale in need of support are ‘‘unworthy’’ and ripe for the kind of scapegoating that can help win elections.
Kim Bessant, Footscray
Such a cruel punishment
It is every country’s right to protect its borders and decide who enters and leaves it. It makes for easier management and a more secure existence for its citizens. However, it is indecent to lock people in hotels rooms for more than a year (The Age, 11/12). Free these refugees.
Graham Haupt, Ivanhoe
Towards a fairer policy
How about our Christian prime minister show some real Christmas spirit and introduce a one-off amnesty, allowing all non-dangerous refugees the opportunity to settle and work in Australia. This should include any applicants held in detention for more than a year. Together with an expanded formal refugee program, this would partly offset the unplanned drop in immigration and maybe give us some extra fruit pickers to keep the Nationals happy.
Simon Westfold, Bittern
Money always talks
I was shocked to read that it will be possible to jump the queue for a COVID-19 vaccination by paying for it (The Age, 10/12). In the land of the ‘‘fair go’’, isn’t that un-Australian?
Gwenda West, Research
Sadly, so predictable
When I read about the state government’s offer of $200 to 40,000 Victorians for regional travel (The Age, 11/12), my first thought was: the site will crash.
It duly did. How is it that generously paid politicians, and well paid public servants, cannot design and organise a government initiative without it falling at the first hurdle?
As a teacher, when I planned excursions and trips – some overseas – for my students, I always had to ask myself: What if someone gets ill? What if something goes wrong with the itinerary? What if a student misbehaves? And so on. Contingency planning I think we called it. Citizens of my vintage will know a saying that applies to this predictable crash: Couldn’t run a chook raffle.
Des Lowry, Golden Square
Let the kids run free
I hope the netball girls get a more suitable outfit for a truly great game – ‘‘No to the dress? Tight uniforms turning some players away’’ (Sport, 11/12). It makes me wonder about our school uniforms. Some schools have updated theirs in a way that suits girls in the 21st century. Sadly, the same 1940s ‘‘office look’’ is the standard for many girls, and boys look like they are off to work in the bank.
Why subject children to such dreary duds? Of course, some will say they have sports uniforms so that justifies wearing the dreaded straitjacket blazer, ties and silly little dresses for most of the school day. Little girls are restricted from an early age from engaging in more active pursuits because of the dress. For older girls, the ‘‘office uniform’’ is designed for sitting appropriately at a desk and very little else. I suspect uniform committees are organised by folk who like nice, tidy children who represent some myth from the past. Maybe the netball people could add their influence to their kids’ schools – and free up the kids into the present day.
Helen Paevere, Hampton
Jeopardising the draft
Peter Ryan says young footballer Archie Perkins was being honest when he told clubs he was not prepared to move interstate (Sport, 10/12). The reality is if Archie had been a non-Victorian, he would have been told to suck it up and get on with it if he wanted to play in the AFL, as moving away from home is a high probability when you lodge your paperwork to enter the draft.
If the AFL chooses not to sanction Archie for prejudicing the draft, it will open itself up for future draftees to say they have no intention of leaving their state. This will weaken the purpose of the draft system and the AFL will have no choice but to get rid of it.
Bruce McMillan, Grovedale
People not commodity
The only aspect of in-home care that makes the news is the ridiculously long queue for home care packages (Comment, 11/12). What is heartbreaking – and flying under the radar – is the commodification of the treatment of older people, the rorting in the system with excessive fees, companies with no experience of caring for older people being given licences to provide in-home care and support workers with minimal or sometimes no training.
Many older people hope these services will enable them to remain in their own homes. Those with the best outcomes have family support. Without this, many are not able to remain at home.
Dr Sarah Russell, Aged Care Matters, Mount Martha
Peter Randles (Letters, 11/12) asks if there is a reason the Premier will not properly fund the Ombudsman or the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Committee. It may be the same reason the Prime Minister has cut funds for the Auditor-General and will not even set up a meaningful anti-corruption commission.
Ray Pilbeam, Canterbury
Queensland, take the GP
A $60 million fee to host the Grand Prix (The Age, 11/12)? It is preposterous the Victorian government would even consider hosting it in 2021. Taxpayers cannot afford this when we are staggering from the after-effects of the coronavirus. Would Daniel Andrews please offer this event to Queensland.
Trish Young, Hampton
AND ANOTHER THING
I sincerely hope Scott Morrison isn’t asked to speak at the UN summit on climate change. He’s embarrassed Australia enough in the past.
John Cain, McCrae
We’ve had bans placed on our barley, beef, wine and now our lamb. So, children, that’s what happens when you poke the bear.
Brian Gunn, Point Lonsdale
China’s heavy-handed coercion to make us too scared to ditch the Belt & Road deal demonstrates exactly why we should.
Merryn Boan, Brighton
Very well said and written re ‘‘too many men in pinstripe suits’’ in government, Jon Faine (10/12).
Michael Sanders, Reservoir
Come on, Dan. More cash for IBAC and the Ombudsman. Or is there a skeleton back there, somewhere?
Lindsay Donahoo, Wattle Glen
Amy Coney Barrett and her fellow justices trump Trump’s attempt to overturn the election results. Supreme Court 9, Trump 0.
Nick Toovey, Beaumaris
He made politics interesting reading for the man in the street. Vale Mungo.
John Hart, Bright
It is so sad to lose such a brilliant journalist. I always looked forward to reading Mungo’s articles in the Nation Review. Vale.
Mary Fenelon, Doncaster East
Tony Wright (11/12) again weaves his magic with a heartfelt tribute to the fearless Mungo MacCallum.
Glenda Johnston, Queenscliff
Dear Mungo. Thank you.
Michael Wahren, Merrijig
We all deserve to be ‘‘Australians of The Year’’ for our hard work in bringing this virus under control.
Ross Beale, Moonee Ponds
I will never barrack for Australia again if disgraced Steve Smith is reappointed as cricket captain.
Brian Morley, Donvale
‘‘I’ll get the barbecue in a minute, love. The breakdancing heats at the Olympics are about to start’’.
Terry Southall, Bannockburn
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