According to your article ''Abbott chief contrite after drink escape'' (September 11, p2), ACT Magistrate Maria Doogan dismissed the charge of DUI after Peta Credlin's guilty plea on the basis of Ms Credlin's good character.
Credlin deliberately drove under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol level of 0.075, not 0.055. She is well educated and a lawyer to boot. She put the life of herself and others at risk when she drove significantly affected by alcohol. She took a calculated risk that she would not be caught out.
She is good at dishing it out to wayward Liberal pollies. However, when she is in the wrong, she gets George Brandis, our next attorney-general, to write a letter saying she is a person of the utmost professionalism and respect. Every other person of good character who at work is respected and professional in their behaviour would have lost their licence for six months and received a substantial fine, character references or not. This is a blatant miscarriage of justice. I hope the magistrate is ashamed and is belittled in the mainstream and social media. Brandis should not have written the letter in view of his political position. The judgment must be appealed, so that justice is done. This is the sort of political motivated judgment that upsets every hard-working, honest Australian, no matter who they vote for.
Peter A. Smith, Subiaco, WA
That Peta Credlin escapes a drink-driving conviction is bad enough, but she then goes on to say: ''Justice doesn't have to be done, it has to be seen to be done.'' The actual quote is: ''Justice should not only be done; it must also be seen to be done.'' A very different matter altogether and something that did not happen in this case. Shades of Orwellian Newspeak anyone?
Doug Steley, Heyfield, Vic
Doug Foskett (Letters, September 12) needs to address his question regarding Peta Credlin to the magistrate who dealt with the matter. I have no idea how to correct the second part of Mr Foskett's letter, where he loosely implies that because of Ms Credlin's political leanings she doesn't bother with facts. A very poor segue from the first section regarding sentencing.
T.J. Farqhahar, Ainslie
The public reaction to a politician's chief-of-staff drink-driving court case being allowed to be postponed, then followed by an order to pay court costs with no other punishment or fine, confirms my belief that court fines and jail sentences for all offences that put other people's lives at risk, including drink-driving, should be mandatory.
Pat Carthy, McKellar
Raiders could do better
I consider that Ricky Stuart was a great Raiders and Wallabies half. However, I respect but disagree with Laurie Daley (''Stuart's ruthless edge right for Raiders'', Sport, September 10, p24). The statistics included in the article confirm my impression of his abilities as a coach. A 24 per cent winning record in his past three seasons in the NRL; 59.56 per cent winning record during his five-year tenure at the Roosters and his first season at Cronulla; and win-loss records of 5-19 and 7-17 at the Sharks in 2009 and 2010 respectively; and 5-19 at the Eels this season is not enough to win premierships.
For me it is a no-brainer that the Raiders should not have gone with Ricky and instead selected a more reputable coach with a proven record. Tim Sheens, for instance.
Edward Corbitt, Farrer
Bigger issue at stake
Peter Campbell (Letters, September 9) seems to be a bit premature in his accusation that the Animal Justice Party has delivered an extra seat in the Senate to the Coalition. As I understand it, the distribution of preferences is still under way, and the Greens are actually predicted to pick up extra seats in the Senate. This would be at least partly with the help of Animal Justice Party preferences in states other than the ACT.
Personally, I would not have risked giving the Coalition an extra Senate seat, courtesy of ACT voters, for anything. But I would scarcely call the cruel and unnecessary slaughter in July of over 1400 kangaroos a ''minor local issue''. If we can't trust the Greens to do the right things by animals and the environment, how can we trust them to do the right thing in relation to climate change or any other issue?
If both the AJP and the Greens can learn from this experience, perhaps it will be a win for the animals in the long run.
Frankie Seymour, Queanbeyan, NSW
Kerry needs to zip it
One would be forgiven for thinking in recent weeks the decision to act against Syria has been in the hands of John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, rather than his president. Indeed, none of Kerry's speeches entertained the idea of an alternative solution to a military attack.
Which makes one wonder if his comment in London, that a deal may be struck with Syria if it were to come clean with its chemical weapons stockpile, was merely a slip of the tongue rather than a well thought-out policy (''Obama pauses as gaffe bears fruit'' September 11, p6).
Having succeeded in embarrassing his president and the country by his off the cuff suggestion, perhaps it is high time Kerry gave it a rest.
Sam Nona, Burradoo, NSW
Indonesia must act
When Tony Abbott visits Jakarta there is a simple question he should ask the Indonesian government: Why is it not a serious crime for the owner of a fishing boat to overload it with passengers and sail it to a distant country? In civilised countries, passenger vessels have to be registered, rated for passenger numbers, and carry safety equipment. And anyone flouting these requirements to the significant extent that Indonesian fishermen have, would be subject to major criminal charges. The lives of those lost at sea while trying to reach Australia are on the heads of Indonesian citizens, and therefore of their government. Their government appears to have done precious little to deter or punish a deadly practice. Why?
Chris Mobbs, Torrens
Rudd must resign and bring tragic era to a definitive end
Kevin Rudd's election defeat concession and valediction on Saturday night concluded six tumultuous years of Greek tragedy. Rudd should have been accepting the start of the third term of a successful government in the face of a devoutly negative opposition. Instead he stood on the ruins of some great achievements and his own reputation, having squandered the opportunity to lead a capable team and ministry. Ironic for Rudd, sad for the ALP, tragic for Australia. They had the sausage but couldn't sell the sizzle. It's mostly Rudd's fault, but he still feels he can make a contribution. It's time for him to go, and not come back.
John Henderson, Isaacs
Labor business as usual
If Bill Shorten wins the Labor leadership without a ballot, then I believe a lot of ALP members will be thinking about reassessing their membership. People join the ALP to have a say in the selection of candidates and because it is purported to be a participatory organisation. Having new rules on rank-and-file involvement in the election of the federal leader is a move towards further internal democracy which would attract more members to the fold.
There is talk about a Bill Shorten/Tanya Plibersek unity ticket. Shorten is a member of the Right faction and Plibersek is a member of the Hard Left faction. The Right always does deals with the Hard Left in areas like preselections, as we saw locally recently in the Charlton preselection. Without a ballot it will be seen as the ''same old same old'' scenario, drastically setting back democratic reform inside the party.
Chris Osborne, Marks Point, NSW
Gillard was no saint
Labor supporters once again seem to be in denial about their thumping loss in the federal election and already some are rewriting history. Having nothing nice to say about Kevin Rudd, the remaking of Julia Gillard has begun. According to Jack Palmer (Letters, September 11) and others, Gillard was a great prime minister brought down by the baying mob. In truth, she was a graceless tribal warrior who would smear her opponents without compunction. The poor judgment and relentless spin that characterised her performance as prime minister to the end was a clear indication that she failed to grow in the job. It may be true that Gillard was a different person in private, and she did leave with some dignity when pushed, but this hardly makes up for her appalling performance as prime minister.
H. Ronald, Jerrabomberra, NSW
Learn the new numbers
I have an economics degree but I continue to learn new economics. For example, it seems that low interest rates under a Liberal government means a reduced cost of living to ordinary Australians, but if a Labor government has low interest rates it is because the economy is stagnating and needs a boost. Conversely, if a Liberal government has high interest rates, it is because the economy is growing too quickly and needs to be slowed down, but if a Labor government has high interest rates it is an increase in the cost of living to ordinary Australians. Now I understand.
David Hicks, Holt
When history repeats
M. Collins (Letters, September 12) sees a ''difference in tone'' between letters to The Canberra Times and those to ''other newspapers'' with the former distinguished by their ''bitter and whining'' tone. Perhaps Collins hasn't been in Canberra long enough to have seen the damage done to its economy by newly elected Coalition governments: 1975 (Fraser) and 1996 (Howard) spring to mind. And perhaps Collins doesn't realise how large the Canberra business - especially the small business - sector is. Tony Abbott went to the election with policies to reduce the size of government - he's starting with getting rid of at least 12,000 (possibly 20,000 to 22,000) public service jobs - and to shift some government agencies out of Canberra. Is it any wonder that people who actually think don't want to vote for a Coalition government?
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Informal but deliberate
I was dismayed by the theme of your editorial (''Conspicuous by their absence'', Times2, September 11, p2), implying that 6 per cent of voters were not politically aware enough to cast a valid ballot. You did touch on some of the reasons, such as politicians' arrogance (take a bow, Andrew Leigh). For several elections some years ago, I deliberately cast an informal vote as a way of saying a pox on all their houses. I argued then that if the informal vote reached 5 per cent, the parties would start to notice what was going on. My prediction has at last come to pass.
Jack Waterford's article (''Bring on the next election'', Times2, September 11, p1) nails the reason: anger and disgust at conventional politicians' behaviour, including rorts and corruption. Maybe we can hope for change when the informal vote hits 15 per cent, or maybe not.
Bob Gardiner, Pearce
I found your editorial on informal voting (''Conspicuous by their absence'', Times2, September 11, p2) perhaps a little light-on. After voting carefully and conscientiously for more than 40 years, I came perilously close to voting informal for the first time. The reason was simple. Without optional preferential voting, however, I noted my vote would likely end up with one or other of the two major parties, parties for which I could not in all conscience vote. Forcing people to vote for parties which are anathema to them is no way to foster formal voting. The solution, at least for me? Optional preferential voting in both the Senate and the Reps.
Your front page on September 11 coincidentally demonstrates one of the reasons I couldn't vote Liberal - ''Homes lost, firies injured … and spring has barely begun''. Another very small brick in the increasingly high wall of evidence for climate change, yet we now have a PM who deep down still believes it is ''crap'', and who will therefore not take any genuine action on the issue.
Peter Dark, Queanbeyan, NSW
Clean Energy Corp must never be cut
I am a father of three and grandfather of four. I am very concerned for the future of all of them as well as the rest of our young population.
Their future depends on the fortitude and creativeness of the present population and, in particular the ruling government, to encourage new innovations that will assist our ever-increasing population.
I cannot believe that the new government would be even considering abolishing a highly successful, profitable and futuristic organisation such as the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
Research on this organisation has found it to be a very new entity staffed by highly qualified and respected personnel.
In its short existence it has been very successful with many profitable projects.
I have read where it has successfully assisted with the financing of a company in South Australia that has found a revolutionary system of growing tomatoes by using treated sea water.
The water is then used to irrigate its crop of tomatoes of more than 20 hectares. This acreage may be increased to more than 200 hectares in the future, which will supply a fantastic crop.
Obviously many other types of fruits and vegetables will be able to be grown and harvested using this system on a worldwide basis.
This is only one of its quality projects. As someone who has lived in many poor countries throughout my life, I have witnessed how poor people can really benefit from new science, ideas and technology.
These are things that Australians are world renowned for and industry should be given every encouragement to continue improving its developments for the future of the planet.
To cut an organisation such as CEFC, which is doing a great service for Australian inventiveness and has such a high standard of operation, is hard to fathom. It will be a lost opportunity for the future of Australian kids if this organisation is nipped in the bud before having the opportunity to prove its worth.
Trevor Willis, Hughes
TO THE POINT
I would like to urge members of the Labor Party to make their comments in the appropriate forums. Family members do not normally air their dirty linen in public.
Moreover, there are many reasons why Labor lost government. Only a thorough review will tease them out.
Herman van de Brug, Kaleen
TIME FOR SPRING CLEAN
The ALP will not again prosper quickly unless it somehow expunges from its ranks Rudd, Carr, Bowen, Fitzgibbon and possibly several others. These are all guilty of unforgivable disloyalty.
T. Marks, Holt
BRING ON DROVER'S DOG
Bill Shorten for the leader of the ALP? Bring on the drover's dog: he'll be more honest, more loyal and less verbose.
Peter Moran, Watson
ABBOTT MOVE COSTS
No surprise that Abbott will cost the country a fortune by choosing to live in Sydney. Money for himself and his ilk will always be the reality of Liberal governments. This way he won't have to face up to the reality that those public servants he intends to destroy are actually real people with mortgages and families. I know The Lodge is being refurbished, but there are other secure residences in Canberra. I'm still hoping for a hostile Senate!
Roseanne Byrne, Jerrabomberra, NSW
BAD TO WORSE
When can we expect the new government to issue a statement saying, ''The financial situation is worse than the Labor Party disclosed, therefore we are not bound by any promises and will have to cut more jobs and welfare payments''?
Brian Wilson, Curtin
Have your pro-euthanasia correspondents Kinder and Hood (Letters, September 11) noticed how the Voluntary Euthanasia Party fared in the recent ACT Senate elections? The party did very poorly on primary votes, and didn't get many preferences either.
Beryl Richards, Curtin
GOOD CALL, PALMER
The fact that Clive Palmer doesn't want to come to Canberra is a wonderful endorsement of the place. Thank you, Clive!
John Foulcher, Kingston
Did it occur to M. Collins (Letters, September 12) that Canberra voters are grown up? Perhaps we vote for policies that we've understood and for the best-quality candidates?
Jennifer Bradley, McKellar
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