Morrison applauded for calling out the welcome wagon
Victorian Liberal MP Russell Broadbent is being unfair in criticising his colleague, opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison, who has proposed positive discrimination for asylum seekers settling into communities, advocating police and neighbours be notified (''Morrison accused of vilifying'', February 28 p5).
Surely Mr Morrison only means well in that police can help newly settled asylum seekers with directions and road rule advice; and neighbours can help them with the shopping. One hopes that this Coalition-proposed notification service is not confined to asylum seekers but, in the spirit of the 1960s Good Neighbour Councils, is extended to all migrants, however they travel to Australia. And why stop there? People moving from state to state within Australia - military personnel, teachers, business people and even politicians - can all benefit from Mr Morrison's generous community spirit.
Ian Mathews, Garran
I hope the call for neighbours to be notified when refugees are coming to live among them is so they will have a welcoming committee ready with casseroles and cake.
M. McConnell, Higgins
I would like to add, in the interests of ''community cohesion'', another group we should be warned about should they move into the neighbourhood - racist old white men.
Julie Kidd, Bonner
Scott Morrison is quite right in calling for those on bridging visas to be registered with the police. But what happens when they leave their neighbourhood to carry out blatant acts such as going to work or taking their kids to school?
We need a simpler method of identification. I suggest they be required to sew a cloth patch depicting a sinking refugee boat on the left breast of their coat or jacket. Homosexuals would be required to have a pink boat, of course, and Jews would simply have to wear a yellow Star of David.
Dallas Stow, O'Connor
If Scott Morrison is a Christian, I fear for the lions.
Felix MacNeill, Dickson
I was very disturbed to read about the new Human Rights Watch report outlining the torture and rape of Tamils by Sri Lankan security officials. The report puts the lie to the Labor government's protestations that pressuring Sri Lankan refugees to go home is perfectly fine because they face no threat, especially given that several of these voluntary returnees were detained by Sri Lankan authorities. What is more disturbing, however, are the implications of the Coalition's policy of helping the Sri Lankan navy stop asylum seekers off the coast of Sri Lanka, essentially helping the repressive regime on the island imprison its Tamil population.
If the US government, irritated by Cubans fleeing to their shores rather than elsewhere in Central or Latin America (where, as I'm sure Scott Morrison would point out, the people shared their language and culture), helped the Castro regime intercept Cuban asylum seekers it would be rightly condemned. In Australia, such proposals are merely one more episode in the saga of inhumanity towards those fleeing persecution and who deserve a more compassion than they are getting now.
Joshua Smith, Gordon
In essence, what John Warhurst said (''ALP, Greens joined at the hip'', February 28, p17) wasn't new. Sure, Green's the new Red: the new Labor left, ever since everyone watched communism fail all those (expensive) global experiments. That left is still mostly about attacking the industrial state though. Getting the Man.
In observing that the Greens won't get to grips with the complex demands of effective government, Warhurst failed to note that that preference for oversimplification and hubris also means they don't even get to grips with environmental issues.
They're mostly about symbolism.
Locally, will banning supermarket plastic bags save one turtle or see less plastic in landfill? Would biodegradability have been sufficient?
Are billion-dollar trams for a few Gungahlians, subsidised rooftop solar for residential skyscrapers, efficient (that is, lowest cost per tonne of CO2 emissions avoided) ways to cut emissions? Do Greens care about efficiency? Of course not. They're busy being in your face.
Michael Jordan, Gowrie
Myths of science
Frank O'Shea (''Climate change a funny business'', February 27, p9) should get his facts right. Copernicus and his supporters were not mocked by the scientific establishment. They were threatened with the rack and the stake by the Church, which was no laughing matter. Rather than suffering early mockery, Newton was appointed Lucasian Professor at age 27.
The myth that Einstein's views were initially rejected by the establishment is much promoted by those who want to deny the success of the peer-review system in establishing scientific truth. In fact his famous early papers were published in the most prestigious journal in physics in 1905, when he was a 26-year-old patents examiner. He was made a full professor six years later and president of the German Physical Society in 1916. Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce and other climate change deniers will have to look elsewhere for company. King Canute comes to mind.
Neil Porter, Hughes
Frank O'Shea (''Climate change a funny business'') likens Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce to Einstein, Newton and other scientific pioneers. Einstein, Newton, etc. were dissenters from the then commonly held view, and Abbott and Joyce are dissenters about the commonly held view that climate change may be caused by human activities. The inference seems to be that they are just as likely to be correct as Einstein and Newton. The trouble for this view is that Einstein and Newton worked within the paradigm of relativity established by Galileo.
Einstein in particular added the results of the Michelson-Morley experiment relating to the constancy of the speed of light to relativity, and then added his own brilliance: hardly a complete rejection of scientific orthodoxy. Newton and Einstein were experts in their fields and actually accepted the science, with all its uncertainty and failures, taking it to be the best available at the time. They then worked to overcome these failures; they didn't just dissent. Of course, it is through scientific consensus that we know that Newton and Einstein were right.
The very technique denigrated by climate change dissenters.
If being a dissenter is the only reason for us to agree with O'Shea that Abbott and Joyce are the distinguished descendants of Einstein and Newton, then we have no reason whatsoever to agree. Yes, Abbott and Joyce are entitled to their view. We do not have to believe them. I prefer to listen to scientists about science.
Andrew J. Turner, Kingston
Loss of faith
We should all applaud Zed Seselja for reminding us that the Liberals are just as sneaky as Labor when it comes to stabbing colleagues in the back, and lying to the electorate. Politics in recent years is littered with many examples of political leaders saying one thing when it suits them and then doing another.
Given the track record of Gillard and Abbott, and the heavy sway of their spin doctors and strategists, it will be very hard to put faith in what they say over the coming months.
I hope for two things. Let's have less righteous commentary about personal aspects of what Gillard or Abbott said or did, and more focus on policy. Second, if they change their minds about a policy or an issue, have the guts to say so and give us some reasons. No more abrupt changes with '' a like it or lump it'' attitude, and definitely no more ''weasel words'' such as core and non-core promises. Yes, I know, pigs might fly!
Bill Bowron, Farrer
The ACT's hospitals continue to be the worst in the country (''Hospital bonus goes begging'', February 28, p1), with 44 per cent of those seeking help remaining unprocessed after four hours. That disgraceful number has stayed the same since 2009-10.
Meanwhile, we've almost got a new $400 million-plus dam catching water released from our upstream dams: water that mostly won't be used, and to pay for it ACTEW is threatening huge boosts in water bills. And we look forward to a few thousand Gungahlin residents parking their cars and riding down Northbourne Avenue in new billion-dollar trams.
Ah, priorities. Ah, voter masochism.
Manson MacGregor, Amaroo
Vote for fun
After following the three-ring circus masquerading as the Italy's election I am reluctant to knock our toxic federal system again. At least the Italians give some comic relief as their ship sinks - unlike what we have endured for the past two years.
D. J. Fraser, Mudgeeraba, Qld
So, the former treasurer of the NSW Liberal Party (Arthur Sinodinos) cannot remember receiving political donations of thousands of dollars from a company (Australian Water Holdings) of which Sinodinos was chairman! Fairfax Media reports that Australian Water Holdings ''has links to Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid and that one Nick di Girolamo, also a major shareholder in the company, is a prominent figure in the NSW Liberal Party''. Is Sinodinos not a member of the party which expects the Prime Minister to remember every document she signed as an employee of Slater & Gordon 20 years ago?
I look forward to a major scandal dominating the media and the NSW and federal parliaments for weeks to come. As Mr Abbott and Mr Pyne are so fond of saying: ''There are questions remaining unanswered.''
Roger Terry, Kingston
TO THE POINT
MINING STATE, JOIN DOTS
More coal burned = warmer atmosphere. Warmer atmosphere = more evaporation. More evaporation = heavier rainfall, and more floods. Can Queenslanders join the dots?
Julian Cribb, Nicholls
NO ROLE FOR A GENTLEMAN
I could not agree more with Sankar Kumar Chatterjee's view (Letters, February 28) that Senator Gary Humphries is a gentleman and a decent human being. That's why he should be replaced by someone with a bit more mongrel and cunning to effectively represent the ACT in the bearpit of federal politics. We have found one in Zed Seselja.
Mario Stivala, Spence
BACON PROVENANCE GUESS
My guess, Ken McPhan (Letters, February 28) is that bacon sourced from local and imported ingredients has salt from Lake Eyre and bacon from Asia.
M. Davis, Charnwood
CHARITY CALL OVERLOAD
We endorse Jenni Warren's remarks (Letters, February 27). Like her, we are bombarded by charities and we have many of the things that she mentioned, like key rings, notepaper and address labels. We are worried that we are losing our social conscience but there is a limit to how many worthy causes you can support.
Peta and Tony Hill, Chifley
MORRISON WATCH NEEDED
If ever there was a need for mandatory notification for any purpose, it has clearly been identified by Scott Morrison (''Morrison accused of vilifying'', February 28, p5). Will Neighbourhood Watch please keep an eye on Morrison's movements beyond the confines of the parliamentary zone. All ACT residents should be notified whenever he crosses the line into their suburbs to facilitate appropriate evasive action.
W. Book, Hackett