Barnaby Joyce continues to embarrass himself, his party and the Coalition, by backing coal over renewables.
Okay Barnaby. Where would you like to put that new coal fired power station? In your backyard?
Are you volunteering to have a nuclear power station in Armidale?
They're a whole lot harder to conceal than wind turbines or solar panels. And they'd require new transmission lines to be built too.
If either coal fired or nuclear power were viable commercial options they would have already been built by the many private companies that own coal fired power stations.
The reason they haven't is because they're unprofitable. This is why the Coalition is suggesting we fleece the public purse to build them so they can then be then sold on to some private company for a mates-rates deal.
Maybe they'd be more affordable if they were built in a marginal Nationals or Liberal seat and they needed a grant for a new sports club toilet?
Paul Wayper, Cook
Train the MPs
I read with interest that APS officers are to undergo Integrity Training ("Mandatory Integrity Training for APS", February 13, p9).
I trust that the present secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet will be one of the first participants.
It is also to be hoped that the establishment of a National Integrity Commission, promised by this Government in 2018 for delivery in 2019 will not be further delayed.
D J Taylor, Kambah
This is silly
I have never heard anything so silly as introduction of compulsory integrity training for public servants. Unless things have changed, in the years I worked in the APS (over 45 years including at agency head level) we were trained to uphold the APS code of conduct which covered these things.
What is needed however is compulsory integrity training for all politicians as well as an integrity commission.
Unless things have changed, in all the years I worked in the APS we were trained to uphold the APS code of conduct which covered these things.Rex Hoy, O'Connor
Rex Hoy, O'Connor
Train the staffers
I read with interest the article "Mandatory integrity training for the APS" (February 13, p9) .
The Public Service Commissioner talks about "the decline in trust in government".
To be honest I think the money would be far better spent providing the training to MPs, Senators and political staffers.
Something really has to be done to get them off their zero base.
Kent Brown, Ngunnawal
Canberrans may have wondered how our Federal MPs would react to the nation's capital being shrouded in smoke, fire bombers in the air, and emergency evacuation advice on local media.
Well we found out last week after the Joint Coalition party meeting. The Nationals want more coal fired power stations.
What will it take to convince these northern National knuckle-draggers that burning coal is bad for us?
The PM, Scott Morrison, now has a couple of problems. He promised the Nationals during the May election campaign approval for a couple of coal fired power stations, one in NSW the other in Qld.
He also effectively has a one seat majority. If he reneges on his promise it would only take a couple of National MPs to cross the floor on any legislation and blow the place up.
The PM may now understand Turnbull's recent comment the Coalition, as it stands, is incapable of formulating policy on energy and greenhouse emissions reduction.
Don't expect too much progress in the next two-and-a-half years.
R F Bollen, Torrens
I recently cared for a 20-year-old patient born in Zimbabwe with a sports injury sustained during a push off for a basketball shot.
She hurried to put on an N95 face mask on before having her ankle casted and being fitted with crutches, for fear of being exposed to the Wuhan corona virus contagion.
I, an emergency specialist of Australian-Chinese descent who had no signs of a respiratory illness, was perceived as an infectious disease risk.
Not long ago I defended several dark-skinned patients from disease-free southern Africa when a teenager complained to me about being cared for in close proximity to them at a time when Ebola posed a prescient and global threat.
Identifying the source of a potential pandemic based on racial characteristics dehumanises us all. Infection outbreaks necessarily emanate from one epicentre.
As coronavirus accelerates to pandemic status globally anti-China and anti-Chinese impulses will be calmed as then any person with respiratory illness becomes suspect.
Joseph Ting, Brisbane, Qld
The decorated American military man, Lt. Col Alexander Vindman, who testified against Trump in his impeachment trial was been fired by Trump "for insubordination".
The soldier, a top Ukraine expert at the National Security Council who is held in high esteem by his professional colleagues, had said at the trial that the only reason he felt confident to come forward to give his testimony was because of his faith in America's democracy.
What an irony. His faith was misplaced in Trump's America which looks more and more totalitarian by the day.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
Re: "Let's finish the job on superannuation", (Crispin Hull, Forum, February 8, p27).
Australia's old age pension is no more than a charity. You are not entitled to it although you have paid for it. You have to prove that you are one of the deserving poor. Contrast that with the UK. If you had a paid job there, and of course paid taxes, you are automatically enrolled in and pay for the pension scheme as in Australia. In the UK you own it. In Australia you don't. The government hates to let go all that lolly.
The UK scheme was set up pre-WWII as a government department, run by dedicated civil (pubic) servants and calculated actuarially to be self-sustaining. In Australia it is regarded as an imposition and a burden on the tax system. Compulsory super was meant to achieve the same effect but it fails because it is a band-aid solution.
Peter Cooper, Greenway.
Chubb on the money
Former chief scientist, Ian Chubb, declares himself depressed with the state of Australia's democracy ("Politicians treating us like mugs", February 8, p1).
What he has to say is thought-provoking.
We think of democracy as an obvious choice as the best system of government.
But once democracy was equated with mob rule.
Socrates thought the ship of state should be guided by a qualified captain rather than one elected by the passengers.
Plato thought democracy was the second worst system, just above tyranny, into which it inevitably degenerated.
He advocated rule by qualified, specially trained guardians.
Democracy did improve dramatically when the people elected representatives to take decisions for them.
But these representatives do not need any qualification other than the ability to charm and please the crowd.
Shouldn't there be some qualification required of politicians guaranteeing their ability to be proper guardians, rather than simply crowd-pleasers?
Harry Davis, Campbell
Mugs is right
Oh how I do agree with Professor Chubb (February 8, p1): "I find the present state of the country depressing and the future as I see it uncertain" and " we are treated like mugs by self interested politicians".
Such true and honest statements.
This LNP government was elected on the back of lies lies and damn lies.
We are now seeing the ineptness of their so called leadership in so many catastrophic ways.
We can do nothing until the next election. I weep every day for our country.
Jan Gulliver, Lyneham
Scholarships for all
A $50 million scholarship ("Schmidt's 2020 vision for ANU", canberratimes.com.au, February 8) to ensure that no Indigenous Australian will miss out of a place at university because they cannot afford to go is great. But what about those amongst the broader Australian population who can't afford it either?
As for his comment that anything in excess of his remuneration of $662,500 would be inappropriate, I couldn't agree more.
The remuneration of $1,445,000 paid to the Sydney University vice chancellor, Michael Spence, is excessive.
What do the Vice Chancellors do to be remunerated at such an inflated level?
To all intents and purposes Australian universities have become money making businesses churning out devalued degrees. Everyone and their dog appears to be in possession of one.
Mario Stivala, Belconnen
TO THE POINT
DOES NOT COMPUTE
While pollies and their staffers continue to indulge in questionable behaviour, ranging from a bit iffy to downright illegal, it is the bureaucrats who have to go to compulsory integrity training. Aren't we training the wrong group?
Gordon Fyfe, Kambah
Mandatory integrity training for public servants? Everyone knows it is their political masters who are in desperate need of integrity training. Sports rorts, water rorts, coal rorts, development rorts, and more. These have not been brought about by public servants.
John Walker, Bonny Hills, NSW
VALUE FOR MONEY
Integrity training for all in the APS could be worthwhile. It would only highlight how many LNP ministers act without integrity when spending public money.
Graeme Rankin, Holder
What is the point of mandatory integrity training for public servants when their integrity gets overridden by politicians or ministers? Perhaps the politicians should undergo mandatory integrity training as integrity seems to be sadly missing in their corner.
Peter Dahler, Calwell
DONE AND DUSTED
Thank goodness the Closing the Gap report is out of the way. The government doesn't have to worry about that until this time next year.
Jeff Bradley, Isaacs
RISK IS REAL
B. M. Bailey raises the risk of fire at a Fyshwick waste facility (Letters, February 13). When the bushfire singed Queanbeyan's beard the toxic smoke from a recycling yard caused significant evacuations.
Ian Douglas, Jerrabomberra
THE NEXT TARGET
Peter Dutton and Barnaby Joyce have blamed arsonists and now Ferranti-Wells is blaming "ecoterrorists" for this summer's climate-change driven bushfires. Who is the LNP going to blame next? Vegans, knitters, ping pong players or people who won't eat oysters when there is an 'r' in the month?
E R Moffatt, Greenway
IT'S A MIRACLE
How good is that? Miracles can purchased!
Paul Kable, Sutton
We need an open inquiry to get to the bottom of the McKenzie affair. The Auditor-General found she misdirected tens of millions of our money for political gain. The Head of the Public Service apparently found she didn't. The credibility of one of our most trusted and respected public officials is now on the line. These are not trivial matters.
Roger Bacon, Cook
Warwick Bradly (Letters, February 7) suggests varying stamp duty rates for vehicles rated at different grams per kilometre emission levels.
The ACT has that already: 0 per cent for vehicles up to 130g/km, one per cent for 131 to 175 g/km, three per cent for 176 to 220 g/km, four per cent if less than 220 g/km. An efficient new car costing around $50,000 has a $2000 purchase price advantage over an inefficient one.
Peter Campbell, Cook
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