Electric vehicles powered from renewable sources are the future
I believe electric public transport, now being trialled, should take precedence over private electric cars and that it should be free.
I have an electric car used by my daughter's family.
They have a grid feed photovoltaic system as do I, although mine is stand alone.
For now, recharging at the company's stations costs nothing and their goal is to have these stations powered by renewable energy although that would not appear to be 100 per cent at present.
More enlightened countries, Norway for example, not only subsidise the purchase of electric vehicles but offer further inducements such as priority lane usage, parking and insurance concessions etc.
I have bought mains electricity for only 18 months in this century when I was in a rented house and, from memory, paid an additional $30 a quarter for green energy.
For those who can afford this extra it would push the balance towards renewable energy whether they want to charge an electric car or not.
If all this fails, it has long since been demonstrated that electric vehicles, powered by fossil-fuel produced electricity, account for fewer emissions than an internal combustion engine.
Have no doubt, electric vehicles powered from renewable sources are the way of the future, if we are to have one.
Dick Varley, Braidwood, NSW
Graham Downie (Letters, November 2) is spot on as usual.
I have often wondered about the aspirations of those people believing in an omni-present electric vehicle (EV) future.
If we cannot keep the lights on now and with electricity also at its most expensive, what hope is there of renewable energy replacing the truly massive energy content of liquid fuels used by vehicles?
Penetration of EVs in the vehicle market is still less than 3 per cent but tipped to grow to about 16 per cent in two decades, worldwide.
M. Flint, Erindale
A 2017 University of Canberra report stated that the introduction of electricity smart meters in Victoria had not been a success based on cost-benefit analysis, with overall costs significantly outweighing any savings.
The same report said that smart meters risk being hacked.
Other observed disadvantages of smart meters include a substantial rise in household utility bills, and adverse health effects for some people from a device that wirelessly emits pulsed microwaves 24 hours a day, every day.
Perversely nonetheless, the Australian Energy Market Commission made a new rule intended to open up competition in metering and to facilitate deployment of smart meters (type 4 meters).
The new arrangements begin on December 1, 2017 in SA, Qld, NSW, Tasmania and the ACT. Customers can opt out if they have a working meter. But after December 1, all new meters will be smart meters, through one's electricity retailer.
Stop Smart Meters Australia asks whether this is the slippery slope to much wider use of smart meters, and advise sending a refusal notice to retailers in advance of December.
By doing so, a type 4A meter can be supplied in future if required, that is one with its wireless capabilities not enabled, but still able to be read by a meter reading person.
Murray May, Cook
The court messed up
There is the letter of the law and the intent of the law. Section 44 is about allegiances, not barring someone who was rightly oblivious to a legal technicality of another country he had no ties to.
It is hard to imagine anyone in Parliament who is more Australian than Barnaby Joyce.
The High Court had the opportunity to make a ruling that created a legal precedent in interpreting section 44 to one that makes eminently more sense, that if a person is born in Australia and has not taken up any other citizenship than they are eligible to stand for political office.
This would have solved the problem without talking about a referendum to change the constitution.
The High Court messed up.
Michael Stevenson, Narrabundah
Is Barnaby worth it?
It's been reported Barnaby Joyce has cost the Australian taxpayer $2.6 million in constitutionally illegitimate wages and allowances on which he'll be given a waiver by the Special Minister of State, $500,000 for the legal costs for his case in the High Court (which was for a matter which pre-dated his illegitimate election of parliament) being his failure to undertake due diligence prior to nominating for Parliament and finally the undisclosed cost of the byelection, which is only required because he failed to take seriously his obligations as a candidate.
Is he really worth it?
Rohan Goyne, Evatt
Who else is there?
Now the High Court has shown it will almost strictly interpret our constitution, will we now see those who are "entitled" to the rights and privileges of citizens of foreign powers willingly or otherwise be removed from our Parliament?
There are many who are in the proverbial cleft stick as they have parents who are citizens of Great Britain, Greece and others.
If you have, for instance, renounced your British citizenship, you may still recover it by way of application.
The Home Secretary will approve it unless you have a criminal record or an unstable mind.
Those born of German parents automatically gain German citizenship.
How many others sitting in federal parliament are ineligible under section 44?
Leonard William, Kallangur, Qld
A sculpture please
Now that Canberra has been named the third best city in the world to visit and further to the discussion regarding Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony (Letters, November 1) is it not time that their contribution to the Canberra plan, despite modification, be fittingly recognised sculpturally. There is a small brass plaque in Ainslie Place but perhaps a figurative sculpture atop Mt Ainslie would be befitting the "Creative Capital".
Rick Smyth, Narrabundah
Australians suffering too
I write re Kerry Foster's letter (Letters, November 2) stating politicians do not reflect Australian values in connection to people kept in detention on Manus Island.
Politicians do reflect the values of many Australians needing to stop people coming into Australia illegally.
Christianity does not condone criminal activity. The government took these measures to stop people paying thousands of dollars to crooked people smugglers to get on leaky boats to drown at sea or come into Australia illegally.
If an Australian went into another country without a visa he would be slapped into prison, not looked after as the men are on Manus.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the refugee from Somalia, said most of the people claiming to be refugees were not telling the truth.
It is strange the men on Manus who never stopped wanting to get away from the place now refuse to leave.
They say they are afraid of the community outside the detention centre, but Papua New Guinea and Australia can be extremely unsafe for their own citizens. Violence seems to be part of all communities.
Australia and politicians, funded by Australian taxpayers' millions of dollars, have looked after thousands of refugees.
The refugees have had shelter, showers, food, clean clothes, beds, medical help while thousands of homeless in Australia have had nothing.
P. A. Upward, O'Connor
Other side of the coin
If I may reply to Kerry Foster, Kathryn Kelly and Clare Conway (Letters, November 2) re Manus Island.
As sure as I am that you are wonderful people with big hearts, there are two sides to every story: what you read, hear and see in the media and the real story.
As allegedly horrific as Manus Island is put across as, these people wanted out and now they want to stay.
Is this because the grass just may be a bit greener on the other side?
Why don't you show as much interest in the multitude of Aussies that are homeless and jobless through no fault of their own?
Why didn't these economic illegals take up arms to defend their countries instead of leaving their women and kids to do the fighting and the suffering.
Why did these people take no notice of the warnings Australia was not taking any more economic illegals?
I'm over seeing poor bloody Aussies battling every day for a better chance in their own country instead of being treated as idiots by shameless charlatan federal, state and territory parliamentarians.
Michael Attwell, Dunlop
One has to wonder at the intelligence of the US President, Donald Trump.
On the report of a nuclear testing tunnel collapsing in North Korea, he commented: "No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea ..."
He is clearly ignorant of the feckless nuclear history of his own country.
Also forgotten are the US and UK atomic testing in the Pacific (1946-62) for which servicemen, unwarned of the dangers, who survived, fought for compensation for cancers and deformities of their children until the end of their lives.
A few, now very elderly, still fight on.
The population of Bikini Island of course, was evacuated and it still remains so radioactive that families or descendants have not been able to return.
Reading history is obviously not a requirement to be President of the US. Intelligence either, so it seems.
Rex Williams, Ainslie
Costs of modernity
An excellent article by Crispin Hull (Forum, October 28, p2) describing how rapid population growth is being ignored despite being the cause of the "seemingly intractable problems of congestion, urban sprawl, development entanglements, renewing and adding to infrastructure, etc".
However, Crispin doesn't highlight the massive damage done to our unique animals and flora through habitat destruction, since more people must be housed, need schools for their children, hospitals, shops, roads and other public amenities.
Where market gardens and orchards providing food for the big cities were once close by, such as at Brookvale in Sydney when I was a child, today they are covered by houses or other new infrastructure.
These were some of our more productive lands and thus we are the poorer.
Also, food now has to come from further away, resulting in greater greenhouse pollution caused by its transport.
Julia Richards, Kambah
Citizen onus on MPs
It's not often that I agree with the leaders of both the government and opposition, but I do agree that there should be no audit of parliamentarians over dual citizenship.
I suspect my reasons are different.
Why should we the taxpayers pay for such an audit when the onus is on them to undertake the appropriate due diligence?
Rather, on the first sitting day of 2018 all parliamentarians should state they do not fall foul of dual citizenship provisions.
If it later transpires they are in fact a dual national then they will resign and personally repay any salary and allowances paid since that day as well to recompense the Electoral Commission for costs incurred replacing them.
Malcolm Paterson, Greenleigh, NSW
Another bites the dust
Re Stephen Parry: Malcolm Turnbull's accidental tourist has made his mark.
M. Moore, Bonython
TO THE POINT
The Canberra Times wants to hear from you in short bursts. Email 50 or fewer words to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NO MORE UPPER HOUSES
While the Senate is essential for fair representation of small and large states in the Commonwealth Parliament, upper houses in the states are pointless. It's time to dissolve all remaining states' upper houses at the end of their current term.
Adrian Jackson, Middle Park, Vic
POPE AND THE TRUTH
How wonderful that David Pope is telling the truth of the Beersheba campaign. How peculiar our Prime Minister and the Israeli Prime Minister say Beersheba helped develop a friendship between the two countries when the charge occurred over 30 years before the state of Israel began, and there were no Israelis in sight.
Gwenyth Bray, Belconnen
Congratulations on publishing the excellent David Pope cartoon on November 1, 2017. If Australia is described as the midwife of Israel, does that imply Australia is the undertaker of Palestine? Are there two or three asses in the illustration. It would be amusing if the situation wasn't so appallingly sad.
Claudia Hyles, Kingston
FULL AUDIT NEEDED
Only a full audit of parliamentary citizenship will solve the current mess and provide confidence in the current parliament. Perhaps adjusting the oath taken before the GG, at the time of swearing-in, to include confirmation that the person seeking office is complying with all sections of the Australian Constitution will prevent future chaos.
Jeff Bradley, Isaacs
NEW FUNDING MODEL
The political reaction to, and the promises of immediate action resulting from the latest terrorist attack in the US compared to the most recent mass killing by an American citizen, suggests if IS wishes to become more acceptable in that country, they might explore ways of funding, or influencing, US presidential campaigns?
Chris Fowler, Bywong, NSW
ON SECOND THOUGHTS
Instead of kicking our politicians out of Parliament for being dual nationals why not kick them out for being ineffective, self-serving and contributing nothing to Australia. No wait, the building would be empty.
Tom Lindsay, Monash
LOOK IN THE CLOSET
So why did Senator Stephen Parry mislead Parliament for so long regarding his British citizenship? The Greens senators resigned as soon as they became aware. It is time for an audit of all current and past parliamentarians! Who knows what skeletons are in the closet.
Edward Corbitt, Farrer