I am writing to express my disgust with the major banks' recent decisions on interest rate cuts and the newly introduced Bank Code of Practice.
These decisions clearly show the major banks have learnt little, at least in the short term, from the outcome of the Royal Commission.
Cultural reform in the banks will take a significant change of leadership and some years.
In the meantime, they will pay a hefty price as the community increasingly disengages with them.
Three of the big four cut variable home loan interest rates by 0.19 -0.2 per cent, compared to the full Reserve Bank cut of 0.25 per cent in its cash rate..
ANZ stands out as the only bank to pass on the full cut. However, you have to worry about whether the banks consult on these matters and it was ANZ's turn to offer the full cut after cutting home loan rates by less than its rivals last month.
Concerning the bank code, I commend your recent editorial on this issue. I can do no better than sum up my views by repeating a few of its concluding comments: "They have been allowed to rewrite their own rule book... The big banks have done the very least they could get away with".
The government regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, has apparently, and worryingly, approved the new Code.
Geoff Clark, Narrabundah
Who are the bigots?
The Australian Christian Lobby has called for the government's proposed Religious Discrimination Act to recognise the "religious freedom" of businesses and individuals to discriminate in the supply of goods and services.
Such robust "religious freedom" to discriminate would amount to a bigot's charter and effectively relegate LGBTI people to second class citizens.
The Ruddock Review of Religious Freedom preferred the opposing, more sensible view that giving "businesses and individuals [religious freedom] to discriminate in the provision of goods and services would unnecessarily encroach on other human rights, and may cause significant harm to vulnerable groups in the community".
The credibility of the Government's claim that its response to the Ruddock Review "is about protecting every Australian from discrimination" depends upon which of those two opposing views is ultimately adopted.
Businesses that remain unwilling to accept same-sex marriage and which feel the need to discriminate against LGBTI people should advertise their religious bigotry.
That would allow myself and other consumers to exercise our right to boycott them into bankruptcy.
Bruce Taggart, Aranda
Plastic not our friend
Steve Evans should not dismiss lightly the damage that plastic waste is causing in the oceans.
It has been estimated there are between 15 and 51 trillion pieces of plastic in the world's oceans, including about 1.8 trillion concentrated in a 1.6 million square kilometre patch in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.
This gigantic amount of plastic debris has adverse effects on the marine food chain, from shrimp to whales. I am reminded of three reports of dead whales found with large amounts of plastic in their stomachs.
The worst case was a juvenile Cuvier's beaked whale found starved to death off the Philippines with 40 kilograms of plastic bags and rice sacks in its stomach.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Hold on to your hat
What happens when the entire Australian economy - from the federal budget to corporate debt to household debt - depends on unprecedented levels of debt at unsustainable low interest rates? That is what we are about to find out.
The Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policies will either succeed or fail. Either way it will be a disaster for the Australian economy.
The governor of the RBA, Mr Phillip Lowe, thinks that by cutting interest rates the RBA is "stimulating the economy". It is, in fact, robbing the middle class.Victor Diskordia, McKellar
It they succeed, interest rates will rise and Australia's debt laden economy will get the shakes and asset prices will fall.
If they fail, the RBA will cut rates further until price signals are distorted so that the capital used for production is used inefficiently.
Meanwhile the RBA has herded savers into a nearly zero savings rate.
The governor of the RBA Mr Phillip Lowe thinks that by cutting interest rates the RBA is "stimulating the economy" when in fact it is robbing the middle class.
Victor Diskordia, McKellar
Punish school bullies
Bullying is a societal problem, not a problem to be faced by individuals or schools alone.
When discussing physical bullying with my students, I always ask why is the situation within the school's boundaries different to outside of them, where the same behaviour would be severely dealt with by the police and our legal system. Even our teacher unions seem to discard this difference.
Having been bullied severely as a student in year four, many years ago, where 12 boys my age or older took it in turn to hit or kick me, I know of the long term effects of violent behaviour.
I ended up with a broken jaw and a badly bruised face. The students involved got off lightly, while I live with the memory of this daily.
Forget the school gates, the law should be the same wherever we are. Deal with physical bullying by naming it correctly as assault. Charge the culprits harshly.
Tony Kedy, Belconnen
So, the Barr government/developer hegemony that is ruining the bush capital rolls on with the latest Hindmarsh development application - "Woden's twin tower apartment complex to tower above the rest" canberratimes.com.au, July 1.
A petition with almost 1000 signatures opposing the development was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on June 4. I was one of a small group of people who, earlier this year, door knocked in Woden suburbs to obtain support.
I chose a main street in four suburbs (Lambrigg Street, Farrer; Beasley Street, Pearce; Eggleston Crescent, Chifley and Burnie Street, Lyons) and door knocked every house during the early evening in order that this statistic might be representative.
Of people who opened the door, 169 or about 75 per cent, signed the petition. Many of those who refused to sign said they were involved in the construction industry.
This is a compelling statistic that the comments by the community council's chair, Fiona Carrick, that despite some concessions "the complex remained unsuitable for the area" is a view shared by the vast majority of Woden residents.
John L Smith, Farrer
No place for race
Eric Hunter (Letters, June 3) writes approvingly of the PM's reference to Indigenous "continuing disadvantage" and the Opposition Leader's spelling out of the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart "to complete the recognition process".
The Uluru statement is a flowery wallow in self-pity, not always honest and unworthy of its framers. Unsurprisingly, some people at the Uluru conference that spawned it refused to sign it. It talks of "the torment of our powerlessness" when the last four decades of "continuing disadvantage" have seen indigenous Australians occupying political, professional, academic and business positions at the highest levels of society. And although "racist" and "discrimination" are now accusations du jour, it seeks to establish a constitutional change that discriminates between races.
Race should have no place in the Australian Constitution.
Bill Deane, Chapman
Drought is widesprerad
Re: "Drought not as bad as farmers' CEO claims", (AAP fact checker, canberratimes.com.au, July 2).
Drought is not an exact science and the impacts on farmers and their communities are ongoing and compounding.
I said on Sky News (July 1) that 30 percent of NSW was under "severe" drought.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries Combined Drought Indicator, which is updated daily, describes five categories - intense drought, drought, drought affected, drought recovering, and non-drought
Currently the CDI shows that only one per cent is classified as non-drought and 37.9 per cent is in "drought" or "intense drought". Many areas in "drought", including those surrounding Canberra, have been experiencing these conditions for extended periods and have not seen a reprieve.
Dairy farmers are in crisis, farmers in the south have zero water allocation again this year, towns are running out of water and farmers in the north west are bracing for another year with no crops, yet a journalist has chosen to undermine all of this and quibble incorrectly over drought definitions.
NSW farmers and the readers of The Canberra Times deserve better.
Pete Arkle, NSW Farmers CEO
TO THE POINT
NEWSPAPER THE ANSWER
When we moved to Canberra in the 1960s we were advised to place a couple of newspaper sheets onto the front and back screens on frosty nights and to remove them in the morning. This worked well.
Magda Sitsky, Chifley
TO HELL WITH ISRAEL
Israel Folau has cast a stone against a raft of unknown people who have never harmed him. For this he shall surely go to hell, for is it not written (John 8 v7) that only he that is without sin should cast the first stone? It would be blasphemy for Israel to put himself on a par with Jesus of Nazareth. Hell it is Israel Folau.
Peter Cooper, Greenway
SPARE THE SUN MOTHS
So a proposed Snowy 2.0 works site has grassland earless dragons, striped legless lizards and pink-tailed worm lizards frolicking amid the button wrinklewort ("Snowy 2.0 plant may destroy rare lizard habitat", July 6, p.5). Did someone forget to invite the golden sun moths?
Ian Douglas, Jerrabomberra
SAVE THE LIZARD
In a rich democratic country, with the unacceptable distinction of having one of the highest rates of species extinction in the world, might it not be reasonably expected this massively environmentally destructive, minimally effective, project be interrupted for a lizard ("Snowy 2.0 plant may destroy rare lizard habitat", July 6, p5).
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
A DOUBLE STANDARD
Men charged with rape and acquitted are named while ACT government schools where bullying occurs (and to the disadvantage of all schools in the system) go unnamed. Double standards?
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
MORE POPE MAGIC
Once again a Pope cartoon has hit the nail on the head (July 6, p33). The coalition conceived the strategy of class warfare, executed it with passion and precision, and triumphed. No doubt the strategy will resurface in 2020: a gift that keeps on giving.
Ken Brazel, Wright
TRUMP IS COMPETENT
Doug Mackenzie doubts Donald Trumps capabilities. (Letters, July 3). He cites a study by an American 'respected psychiatrist' at Yale University, and friends. I have seen this verdict elsewhere but dismiss it as the disgraceful "hate speech" of a group of people too wrapped in the current virulent tide of "never Trump" to be able to deliver a rational opinion.
J Halgren, Latham
HIGH SPEED RAIL NOW
With interest rates near zero, the Reserve Bank is calling on the Federal Government to implement big infrastructure spending. The east coast high speed rail project is all worked out in great detail by the Department of Infrastructure, with stage one being Sydney to Canberra. Heed the RBA, Prime Minister, and get on with it now.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
WHAT A HIDE
So, Australia's "elected deputy prime minister", Barnaby Joyce, is warning Scott Morrison and company to beware of hubris. "Hubris precedes nemesis," he opined. Well, if anybody in the parliament knows the truth of that it would be him. Has there been a better example of the "entitled" mentality in recent times?
N Ellis, Belconnen
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