We always knew that there would be global penalties if we failed to join the rest of the world in its fight against carbon pollution and climate change, but our selfish views protecting our polluting coal industry prevailed. The majority of our population recognised the danger and wanted to act, but the luddites in Canberra from both sides of the fence have let us down badly. Bill Young, Killcare Heights
Our government is locked in a fantasy land decades behind reality and incapable of acknowledging the risks that Australia and its economy face with climate change. We close our eyes to the damage that our fossil fuels are doing to the word’s environment and ignore the costs of remediation, leaving it for future generations to pay. The Prime Minister and the Trade Minister claim that climate tariffs being implemented by Britain and the European Union are economic “protectionism”.
These initiatives are protectionism – they will help to protect our climate and the world from catastrophic damage. We need real policies to create new clean jobs, retrain those impacted by global economic changes and combat climate change. Keith Woodward, Avalon Beach
Teach Australian values? Sure, but what are they?
Why do values taught in schools have to be aligned with nationality (“Schools weak on ‘Australian values’, think tank says”, February 11)? Are Australians any more connected to democracy than others in our region? I’d like to see Aussies take a stand for representative government with the same passion as Hong Kong residents. As a nation do we value honesty, compassion or tolerance more than anyone else? I think not. Arbitrary connections of values to national traits lead to beliefs in exceptionalism, which is an even bigger problem. John Bailey, Canterbury
The Centre for Independent Studies concern about teaching Australian values in schools raises a few problems. Those values have included political rorting on a huge scale, an inhuman and illegal refugee policy, a failure to stop the spread of economic inequality for its citizens, a failure to adopt an honest climate policy and, sadly, a failure to deal properly and fairly with First Nations reconciliation. Before we address the inclusion of national values and love of country into the curriculum let’s make sure they are something to be proud of, and worth promoting. Alan Johnson, Seaforth
It’s not school children who are weak on Australian values. It’s our politicians who demolish our heritage, don’t allow the vulnerable in our society a fair go and won’t put in place proper legislation to safeguard our future from climate change. Pork barrelling is rife and ethics seem to be irrelevant. How about a special curriculum for them? Margaret Grove, Abbotsford
The Centre for Independent Studies suggests that our education system should follow Singapore’s lead and foster a love of country. There is no questioning Singapore’s economic success but its values include limited free press, capital punishment and the jailing of opposition leaders on trumped up charges. Hardly anything for Australia to follow. Steve Castieau, Bexley
Fairness has gone missing in Australia. In our homes and classrooms teachers and parents do teach our children about justice and equality but try finding it in our governments. The “fair go” has been replaced by the pork barrel, which has been raised to an art form by the federal and state Coalition governments. The sports rorts, the bushfire grants, the council and safety funding malfeasance all demonstrate that the new Australian way is to use public funds for your own party’s political advantage; just splash the cash for your mates and brazen it out with the big lie that everybody does it. Deb McPherson, Gerringong
Take the crime out of gambling
Is it finally time for us to reflect on what gambling really represents in our society (Letters, February 11)? Put bluntly, gambling offers an easy way for people involved in crime to facilitate the flow of money around law enforcement. Surely insisting that all gambling be electronic is the easiest way of reducing the obvious links between gambling and crime. Why do we still allow cash-based gambling? Luke Fennell, Mosman
After years of concerns over the legality of casino business practices, finally their errant ways are brought to light. In so doing we begin the process of cleaning up the corruption that has infiltrated Crown Casino. Maybe one day we can start to deal with the abuse of problem gamblers – one day.
Fernando Longo, Greenvale (Vic)
There is no value or elegance in a casino, despite influencers flaunting their crown presence on insta-advertorials. A casino only serves the dubious commerce of gambling: as was so strongly outlined in the report recommendations, which we hope will be endorsed. Clare Reoch, Mosman
But I fear this is just the tip of the iceberg. A complete overhaul of the gambling industry is required. I am putting my voice behind the call for gambling reform in this country. Jane Sullivan, Thirroul
David Crowe (“Albanese walks the tightrope”, February 11) gives an even-handed analysis of industrial relations issues confronting both major parties. While it is true that some businesses face severe financial challenges in the current economy, work slavery is also alive and well.
Christian Porter and business groups, not content with the long-term exploitation of employees, are now resisting any measures to improve the lot of insecure workers. We regularly hear of migrant workers being exploited, unfair treatment of delivery riders, young backpackers being taken advantage of and widespread underpayment of retail staff. ACTU secretary Sally McManus actually put it mildly when she said, “It’s about time someone is standing up and saying our country can do so much better.” Harry Polley, Dural
A fairer tax for nation
I agree with the proposed wealth tax (Letters, February 11) which, it is suggested, will only affect 3 per cent of the population. It will produce a fairer and better society – 97 per cent of us want that. However, how do we prevent Scott Morrison convincing 48 per cent of the population that it will affect them in a negative way? The track record of the conservatives – who are really only interested in protecting the 3 per cent because they keep them in power – is that they will scare the required 48 per cent with something. Kim Ibbott, Dubbo
Put them out to pasture
The Nats have been out of touch with most of their “wonderful people” for a long time (“Nats lose touch with farmers on climate”, February 11) – except for a clump of fierce “patriots” who proudly fly the Australian flag in their front yards but privately espouse narrow and intolerant views on most things, including glaringly obvious climate change facts. Most farmers and other rural progressive thinkers have moved on with a sigh of desperation. Judy Finch, Cedar Party
A solution for the National Party to reach emission targets and in fitting with current government thinking: only apply the targets to farmers in Labor seats. Neil Reckord, Armidale
Remove this obstruction
Assuming that Morrison and other Liberals with some sense are actually in favour of real emissions reductions (Letters, February 11) – an enormous assumption – allowing the Nationals to just obstruct climate change decisions needs to be overcome. One way might be to stand Liberals in National seats to give voters a proper choice. Voting Green might be too hard and Labor might be viewed with suspicion, but a chance to vote Liberal might just be right. Tony Sullivan, Adamstown Heights
The powers that be
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m feeling very relaxed with the current federal and state governments. Thanks to them, we’re living in a stress-free environment with no need to think for ourselves. They decide who deserves government funding via their efficient pork-barrelling
system, they don’t overload us with information about stuff that would just worry us, and if there’s bad news they’ll avoid discussing it by distracting us with an announcement or two. And there’s no need for any ofthis national corruption watchdog silliness. I can’t wait forthe next election so I can fully demonstrate my appreciation for their efforts. Bruce Guthrie, Cowra (Wiradjuri country)
Too many ads
Would it be too much to ask that if, when sitting on the seat in one of Sydney’s new $100 million bus shelters (“Out with the old, in with the eerily similar, as CBD gets a makeover”, February 11), one might actually be able to see the bus coming and not have their lineof sight obscured by advertising?
Kevin Eadie, Drummoyne
The astonishing thing about the chickens coming home to roost for both James Packer and Eddie McGuire is that, in each case, they took so long to arrive (“Kerry’s big dream hangs in balance after casino debacle”, “Many missteps left McGuire no choice but exit”, February 11). Do I have sympathy for either? Does a moose need a hat-rack? Adrian Connelly, Springwood
Crown’s public offering
The Crown tower need not be a white elephant (Letters, February 11). It’d make excellent and much needed public housing. Michael Berg, Randwick
After the removal of Packer’s folly at Barangaroo, could the demolition team move across the harbour and deal with Seidler’s folly at Blues Point. John Duff, Lavender Bay
Packer’s Barangaroo silo can now be filled with all the barley we can’t flog to China. Sandy Thomas, Lilyfield
Spending family time
I suspect your correspondent had many readers googling “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves” (Letters, February 11). We are now all the wiser and have a ready-made title for someone’s biography. Robert Hickey, Green Point
Return to sender
An appropriate reply to your correspondent’s (Letters, February 11) federal member’s email about the Biloela family could be: “Great, so when are you bringing the family home?” Sandra Pertot, Diamond Beach
At least your correspondent’s federal member answered, mine doesn’t answer emails that don’t follow the party line. And he expects my vote? In his dreams. Beverley Chong, Woollahra
The digital view
Online comment from the story that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
‘New protectionism’: Australia to fight Boris Johnson’s green tariff bid
From Logically Opinionated: ″Yes … maybe it is protectionism … Protecting the Earth … Our home … our only planet … The planet we humans share with all other living beings … Humans do not own the planet and cannot do anything humans want to do with it.″
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