Scott Frasers' article "Parliament House: the bubble in the Canberra bubble" (canberratimes.com.au, October 10) gave a graphic insider's view about, as he put it, "the transfer of power and decision making from the public bureaucracy to ministerial offices".
Therein he unloads about all the inadequacies and downsides of working in the house, and reckons that it needs a revamp "to better provide decent working conditions and services for hard working ministers, staff and the opposition".
But his lament loses credibility by seeking to entrench the very core of the problem, that of the unhealthy growth of ministerial advisors and spin doctors that have too much usurped the "fearless, apolitical advice" of the public service. His apparent anointing of the current 12 to 15 ministerial staff members boggles the mind, as it does when contemplating a similar, although less, numbers bending the ears of government and opposition members and senators.
Rather than focusing on the fabric of our (we, the people's) Parliament House, Scott's article should serve to confirm our growing concern about political gains and the media grab over sound policy, driven by these non-elected and often inexperienced apparatchiks.
If the offices are too crowded trim the "politics" and restore the balance of sound public service advice.
Len Goodman, Belconnen
Cynicism at its best
Like Keith Hill (Letters "Same old, same old", October 8) many would consider that the prime minister and federal treasurer are simply blathering on yet again when they suggest that an ASIC crack-down against CommInsure will be hard-hitting and illustrates that serious allegations are being made against some in the financial services sector.
Yet independent banking analysts have made it clear that the potential $1.8 million fine is "pretty immaterial" given CBA's $8.5 billion profit last year, and that the bank's brand is unlikely to suffer despite it facing up to 87 criminal charges regarding its troublesome and now former insurance offshoot.
When will the Coalition give ASIC the power to deliver more than a light rap over the knuckles for scandalous and deliberate business misconduct?
Sue Dyer, Downer
Time to act
David Littleproud totally accepts that worsening droughts are linked to climate change and accepts the science on the role humans play in a changing climate.
He says the government has a responsibility to deal with climate change by facing up to "try and reduce our emissions" but adds "adaption is now the main game". Yes, we will need to "try" to adapt. But we must do more than "try" and adapt, because we're currently on a path for an average global temperature increase of three to four degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The increase over land will be greater and we may not be able to adapt well to that. Australia is extremely vulnerable.
It's not sufficient to say that government has a responsibility to "try" and reduce our emissions. It must "reduce" emissions in real terms. Greenhouse gas emissions have risen since 2016 under Coalition governments.D Fallow, Stirling
It's not sufficient to say that government has a responsibility to "try" and reduce our emissions. It must "reduce" emissions in real terms.
Greenhouse gas emissions have risen since 2016 under Coalition governments. The explanation oft cited is a consequence of fugitive emissions from LNG extraction and export, and that this somehow reduces emissions overseas. But that's not how the accounting works.
Under the Paris Agreement Australia is responsible for reducing its domestic emissions. LNG exports are not an "out".
Mr Littleproud is big on respect. The vast majority of Australians who now want firm action to reduce emissions will have more respect when there's less talk, spin, blame and obfuscation and credible energy and climate policies are enacted to actually reduce emissions.
D Fallow, Stirling
You can help
Paramedic Benjamin Gilmour promotes emotional intelligence over silent fortitude to enhance psychological well-being of paramedics.
The community needs to do its fair share too. Prehospital health carers face the challenges of hazardous environments daily risking life and limb in perilous settings to help the injured and seriously ill.
They don't deserve being threatened with abuse and violence by those they are charged to help. Staff deserve our respect and admiration for risking life and limb to help seriously ill or injured people.
We need reminding that some within the community hold scant regard for the safety of police and paramedics.
For instance, people throw themselves in the path of London Tube trains several times a week. Most are horrifically and mortally injured. The train driver is often traumatised.
Medical workers face grave hazards trying to access the injured survivor, having to crawl underneath the train along potentially electrified tracks. Commuter journeys are lengthily disrupted.
Violent attempts to take one's own life put others at risk of occupational hazards and grave inconvenience. This lack of forethought to the welfare of others adds to the acute stress and threats imposed upon our rescue heroes.
It boils down to communities we are charged to help and protect not subjecting emergency workers to further harm by behaving sensibly.
Joseph Ting, Brisbane
Chapter and Verse
In my long life I have made it my practice to go to original sources of information on matters on which there is disagreement. It is clear that there is a significant difference between the opinions held by a number or letter writers to The Canberra Times and my own. In an effort to resolve this difference I make the following requests.
Will some of the authors of letters in support of the extinction rebellion please provide me with the report names and paragraph numbers of the IPCC reports which unequivocally state the following conclusions:
The human race will become extinct. The current drought in parts of Australia was caused by global warming, or climate change.
It is known that droughts in parts of Australia are correlated with phases of periodic weather processes known as the Southern Oscillation and the Indian Ocean Dipole. Will some of these or other authors please direct me to specific reference details of:
Agreed scientific explanations of the underlying causes of these two processes.
Similar explanations of the mechanisms by which they are connected to climate change.
Answers would help resolve the debate.
Fred Bennett AM, Bonner
Too many people
David Shearman's opinion piece ("Populate and Perish", canberratimes.com.au, October 9) was salutary.
The message that we cannot and must not continue to populate this country in the manner we are doing is indisputable. Yet, it will be ignored by our politicians and policy makers.
The great tragedy of the population debate is that a constructive discussion of numbers and of carrying capacity is wedged between the greed and growth right that gives not a damn for the environmental consequences of this growth, and the limp and lame left that has become so invested in its particular notions of open borders, multiculturalism, race, ethnicity, and globalism, that they treat with the deepest suspicion any discussion surrounding immigration, including the possibility that, just perhaps, this might be reduced.
The silence on immigration, the key driver of Australia's relentless and unsustainable population growth, from the ACF, the Greens, GetUp! WWF, and even Greenpeace, is cause for much heartache, disappointment, and despair!
The left's unforgivable sin is that it has helped crowd out the voice of Australia's sensible centre, overwhelmed as it is by this unholy alliance between indifference and folly.
The right has always been a lost cause on the environmental front; there is some hope the Left will find again its ecological soul and environmental wisdom.
It is up to the sensible centre to find its voice - and quickly. Is there the will to make a difference amidst this confected lunacy?
Graham Clews, Kambah
Who to trust
In the US last Sunday an interview between NBC News' Chuck Todd from Meet the Press and a Republican Senator, Ron Johnson, from Wisconsin, seemed to sum up the basis on which the Democratic party and friends are driving their impeachment actions against the US President Trump.
The senator was asked "Do you not trust the FBI? You don't trust the CIA?". He replied "absolutely not". And why should he.
These are the organisations that manufactured the war in Iraq through outright lies and caused the death of thousands. They have conducted illegal coups, installing military dictatorships to suit US hegemonic policies all around the world.
Rex Williams, Springwood
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