I hold a degree in economics, but I am struggling to understand the economics of retail electricity prices.
My basic understanding is that if you increase supply, prices go down.
What I am struggling to understand is what financial incentives are there for power companies to build new infrastructure?
As I see it, if power companies don't build power generators, then they make more money by charging us higher electricity prices.
Australia is not a poor country.
So why can't the people of this country, either through their superannuation fund or taxes build new power generators to increase supply and decrease the price of power?
Surely the issue of ineffective power generation is a third world problem. Not something we should be dealing with in Australia.
Greg Adamson, Griffith
Excellent opinion article by Andrew Podger ("It's vital we better protect and nurture the APS", September 11, p20).
One way of "clarifying the role of ministerial staff" would be to deem all communications to or from ministerial staff as having been given directly to or received from the minister.
That would reinforce the notion of "ministerial responsibility".
John F. Simmons, Kambah
A big ask
Writers have said Morrison should avoid being star-struck on his Trump visit.
I don't think Morrison will be able to help himself.
He will, after all, be in the presence of a revered right wing grandmaster guru.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
Rally or strike?
Yes, Dr Audrey Guy, I'll disagree with what the students, teachers, parents, and grandparents are doing on September 20 at the "rally" (clever move, calling it that instead of a strike).
It will doubtless start and end outside normal teaching hours but with no harm to teachers' wages.
Re your comment that stopping formal learning leads to a loss of brain cells, replying to "sanctimoniacs" gives me all the intellectual exercise I need.
Bill Deane, Chapman
Lead by example
Tony Abbott came off the plane from Europe and went straight to the frontline to fight fires. Did Richard di Natale or Adam Bandt, or any Green politicians for that matter, do the same? No. They are safe in Canberra, busy lecturing us about the link with climate change.
P Wilson, Miami, Qld
The only thing that Zimbabweans should be lamenting on the death of Robert Mugabe is that it did not happen decades ago. The man was a despicable tyrant who was responsible for destroying his country and its people's lives. It is unlikely Zimbabwe will ever recover.
Mark Sproat, Lyons
No surprises here
The ACT's development driven government has excelled itself. Driving down William Hovell Drive towards the Coppings Crossing turn off, the views were breathtaking: rolling hills with the Brindabellas in the background and grazing cattle.
All this is being covered in concrete. Bulldozers are making way for hundreds of little boxes and, I presume, apartments. The Woolies, Coles, Maccas and KFCs will follow.
Is there nothing this government will leave untouched? Older Canberrans will remember our once beautiful bush capital. Future generations will have to go to the zoo to see native animals.
All this concrete will never be able to be reversed, There is no stopping this pillage.
B M Cooke, Latham
The founder of Christianity, in line with other spiritual teachers, warned us against greed and counselled us to be generous and compassionate to those in need.
Robin Hood is said to have robbed the rich in order to give to the poor. According to some wag or other, he once remarked that he had tried robbing the poor, but found there was no profit in it.
This government, it would appear, is ignoring both spiritual and worldly counsel and conducting the fiscal affairs of this nation in a manner totally bereft of any kind of wisdom at all.
Pauline Westwood, Dickson
School history lesson
In its relatively short history the ACT has had a considerable number of government schools that have been established then closed, amalgamated with another school, relocated to another site or otherwise split up.
As Jocelyn Vasey pointed out (Letters, September 6) demand for enrolment in particular schools fluctuates over time. The current school directorate is having to deal with decisions made in the past that may be creating difficulties now.
The priority enrolment area for a number of schools seems to be altered nearly every year. When Hawker Primary opened in 1976 there were primary schools to Year 6 level in Page, Scullin and Weetangera.
Hawker Primary was intended then to cater for that geographically small suburb. It is located on a fairly restricted site, and I can sympathise with parents who may be dismayed at the prospect of two transportable classrooms being erected in the school grounds, especially if they are quite sizable buildings.
R Richards, Cook
Drug testing fails
Spot on G Dalrymple (Letters, September 7), drug testing for welfare is not the answer.
Having seen a lot of life I can conclude that throughout the world a vast majority of the population has always found life to be quite brutal and always will.
Just reading some of the letters in The Canberra Times would make any poor soul kick start a reefer or snort a Bex just to get over the misery.
Let's show a bit of commonsense and compassion and do what countries such as Portugal and an increasing number of other countries are doing by legalising drugs.
That ton (yes one ton) of cocaine picked up on a yacht off the Western Australian coast last week would cover the whole of Australia with an appropriate breeze and kick start the party for everyone.
Let's start to loosen up and laugh again. This place is getting too serious.
Wayne Grant, Swinger Hill
What does the Social Services Minister wish to achieve by drug testing welfare recipients? If it's to get people off welfare and into employment the way forward is shown by Switzerland where health treatment that is effective, accessible and non-stigmatising produced "nearly a twofold increase in permanent employment with unemployment dropped to less than half" and "more than a third of those initially requiring welfare no longer needed this type of support".
The consequence of the minister's punitive push for drug testing will be the ramping up of the already insupportable pressure on families and reinforcement of the alienating factors that probably led people to get into trouble with drugs in the first place.
Bill Bush, Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform, Turner
Lambie and Scomo
There's more common ground between Senator Jacqui Lambie and the Prime Minister about drug funding and rehabilitation than they realise.
What both Senator Lambie and the Prime Minister want is to get users off drugs and into permanent work. Drug treatment agencies should have restoration to drug free lives as a principal aim in their charters.
It's not that we have too few rehabilitation agencies; it's that those of excellent standard go unwanted. An Australian medical friend with an up to 80 per cent success at getting people drug free failed for seven years to get Commonwealth funding.
He went to America. Within months a well known medical university obtained $20 million for him to work on that country's opioid problem.
Colliss Parrett, Drug Watch International, Barton
AFL finals a farce
Half of the AFL clubs play in "finals" at season end. A big win for TV networks, AFL clubs and their players involved in these "finals".
But it can be better than this. In 1924 the Essendon Football Club, premiers of the Victorian Football League (VFL), and Footscray Football Club, premiers of the Victorian Football Association (VFA), played each other on October 4. The match was won by Footscray. These two premier teams played off for the title (as claimed by Footscray afterward) as the premiers of Victoria,
Can the AFL drop the phoney finals and have one final between teams one and two?
David Hutchison, Richardson
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send from the message field, not as an attachment. Fax: 6280 2282. Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Canberra Times, PO Box 7155, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610.
Keep your letter to 250 or fewer words. References to Canberra Times reports should include date and page number. Letters may be edited. Provide phone number and full home address (suburb only published).
To send a letter via the online form, click or touch here.