I'm genuinely pleased that Gilbert Hughes's insurance issues worked out well for him (Letters, March 17).
Unfortunately I had an older car (with comprehensive insurance) that was badly damaged by a collision with a kangaroo. To confirm it was a write-off (I had intended to buy back the wreck from the insurance company, and get it repaired) I was required to lodge a claim.
I was advised I would be able to withdraw the claim and everything would revert to how it was.
I lodged the claim and then decided to withdraw the claim and have the car repaired at my own expense.
The insurance company advised that after the repairs were completed they would not insure the car comprehensively because it was "too old" for comprehensive insurance.
So, before the accident, it was not too old to be insured comprehensively. But, after the withdrawal of the claim, it was too old to be insured comprehensively.
The advice that, on withdrawal of the claim, everything would revert to how it was prior to lodging the claim, was just plain wrong.
A salutary tale for those readers with older, much-loved vehicles.
Gordon Fyfe, Kambah
Survey not unique
The Institute of Public Affairs survey criticised by Dr Klugman (letters March 19) is just one of many similarly biased surveys.
Given the attacks on the ABC by Coalition members, it is interesting to observe how much they have come to rely on it to get their message out during the current rash of crises.
Years ago surveys often included what were then known as "closed" or "open" questions. Closed questions were deliberately designed to get the answers being sought. Open questions were designed to get other views and ideas.
But the IPA is not the only guilty party.
When our local government was seeking input in relation to the possible legalisation of e-scooters last year I went to their on-line poll only to find every question designed to get a positive response. That is dishonest.
I sent an e-mail pointing out some of the risks associated with unfettered approval of e-scooters. I did not get the courtesy of a reply.
J F Bishop, Flynn
Australia will win the struggle against the coronavirus problem. I am sure of that. But it has given us a shock and proved again that our economy resembles that of a third world country.
Successive federal governments have relied on income from selling raw materials. We have virtually finished our iron and steel industries. We expect our clothing, textile, and footwear products to come from overseas.
We rely very heavily on overseas produced building materials.
This has to stop. We need to encourage co-operative manufacturing sectors.
The Master Builders Association, for example, could arrange the co-operative manufacture of materials for the use of members.
This would have the advantage of vertical integration and keep dollars from going off-shore.
It would also employ many Australians.
The federal, state and territory governments should encourage this.
Sankar Kumar Chatterjee, Evatt
People who accept the Barr government's assertion 100 per cent of Canberra's electricity supply comes from renewable sources are not "ignorant" as Geoff Nickols claims (Letters, March 13).
Mr Nickols does not seem to understand how the eastern Australia electricity grid works. Nearly all power generated in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT is fed into the eastern Australia grid, or National Energy Market (NEM).
Exceptions would be rural properties with their own solar or wind generators and those households which have solar panels and appropriate storage batteries.
Solar and wind farms, along with large storage batteries, contracted to the ACT government, now supply all the electricity Canberra needs.Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Solar and wind farms, along with large storage batteries, contracted to the ACT government, now supply all the electricity Canberra needs. Therefore there is no need to purchase power from the NEM, except, perhaps during periods of abnormally high demand or the breakdown of fossil-fuelled generators.
These eventualities will also be covered when the ACT's "big battery" is commissioned in coming weeks ("Big battery to help power Canberra's green future", canberratimes.com.au, September 12, 2019).
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Good luck with that
If Ian Pilsner expects Scott Morrison to be hailed as a great leader for the way his government responded to the threat of coronavirus (Letters, March 13), he will likely be disappointed because they were just doing what they were expected to do; their jobs.
It stands in stark contrast to the way the LNP has responded to the threat of climate change.
In the beginning they denied it was even happening. Then it shifted to an admission that the climate was changing but with a disclaimer that climate always changed and humans weren't responsible. This gradually morphed into a grudging acceptance of the science, accompanied by corporate largesse disguised as the most ineffectual policy response possible - "direct action".
Not only have Mr Morrison and company rejected all expert advice and ignored the majority of Australians who want meaningful action, they sought to minimise the bushfire devastation we all just witnessed and continue to act in the interests of a few obscenely wealthy corporate sponsors by pursuing policies which everyone knows will make the problem worse.
They couldn't care about the plight of those affected by the fires any less if they tried.
But it is even worse than that. They know that permitting the expansion of the Australian coal industry will be to the detriment of every living thing on this planet.
James Allan, Narrabundah
The travel alternative
Canberra's policymakers and letter writers know driver-only car travel is the main contributor to traffic congestion and transport emissions.
They seem unaware the most important alternative to driver-only car travel is driving with a passenger. We make about a fifth of our trips as car passengers. A car trip with a passenger causes half the emissions, and half the traffic congestion, of two driver-only trips.
Other important alternatives include walking (about one trip in six), and cycling (about one trip in twelve).
There is another alternative, that includes an average of almost two walks per trip. It gets a $100 million per year subsidy, but provides only one trip in 30.
Leon Arundell, Downer
Queensland treasurer, Jackie Trad, is to be congratulated for suggesting the federal government rush through unemployment benefits in the event of hospitality and other industry-wide shutdowns in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
She may well have asked as well: "Why should current Newstart recipients have to fill in those forms showing they have sought work when the employment market is in free fall?"
Surely this is the time for a guaranteed national income so that everyone has some money in the bank to buy food and pay for electricity. People in decent employment can pay it back at tax time. There is enough anxiety abroad about the coronavirus without having financial concerns as well.
Jenny Goldie, Cooma
Surely Frank Bolton (Letters, March 17) has watched the 7.30 Report or Four Corners and seen the treatment of ABC interviewers.
Surely he is aware there have been numerous instances (in fact in almost all in respect of our Prime Minister and his cabinet) where conservative interviewees have either refused outright to answer direct questions or attempted to completely change the subject in an attempt to not answer them.
For the taxpaying public to be treated with this sort of contempt by our elected representatives is reprehensible. It is a tactic that has been used by intolerant politicians in this country for a long time.
It is a pity Kerry O'Brien is not here to bring them to account and make them face their responsibilities to the electorate.
Roger Terry, Kingston
Given the coronavirus is spreading so quickly around the world, and a vaccine is still some time away, why do governments continue to spend so much on defence?
No amount of submarines, aircraft carriers and fighter aircraft can help contain this deadly global event. People with evil intent could destroy millions of people without firing a shot.
By reducing our submarine contract by just one vessel we could do much to avert the looming recession and the health crisis.
Gail McAlpine, Griffith
TO THE POINT
JUST ANOTHER FLU
Reg Naulty (Letters, March 17) asks the question that has been on my mind.
It was reported on August 17, 2019, that 217,000 people had been diagnosed with flu and 430 died.
Yet our country didn't close down, our population wasn't panic buying and tourism wasn't affected. What is different now?
Gwenyth Bray, Belconnen
THE FUEL SCANDAL
On Wednesday morning I drove to Fyshwick where I bought diesel fuel 31 cents per litre cheaper than at a servo nearer to me.
Is that a record?
Fred Roberts, Hughes
Will our dependence on overseas-sourced coronavirus test kits prompt our government to make us more self-reliant?
Massive cuts to the CSIRO and the sale of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories would indicate not.
Fred Pilcher, Kaleen
With a world population approaching 7.8 billion and a world life expectancy averaging 70 years, there must be an average of around 305,000 deaths worldwide every day.
The irrational panic over the number of coronavirus deaths seems a bit of an overreaction!
Can the media and the government adopt a more rational approach towards this interference in our daily routine?
Garth Setchell, Mawson
WHY THE FUSS?
In Australia influenza causes 3500 deaths, 18,000 hospitalisations and 300,000 GP consultations each year.
The preventative measures for both the flu and the coronavirus are the same.
So, why all this pandemic of panic?
Mario Moldoveanu, Frankston
A CLIMATE WIN
Planes parked up, cruise ships anchored, airports deserted, tourists not touring, supermarket shelves bare, Disneyland shut, borders closing, motor races cancelled, no fans in the stands, smelters and factories closing, travel banned ... zero emissions are almost here.
Viv Forbes, Washpool, Qld
HERE'S A THOUGHT
We will soon be heading off to fire-ravaged areas to show our support.
No doubt they will be charging their normal prices.
Perhaps they could give the customer the option of paying an extra 10 or 20 per cent as a recovery charge.
If ScoMo could make such a donation tax deductible it would ensure the money gets where it needs to go.
Bruce Phillips, Watson
DUNNY PAPER PLAN
We should be modelling the toilet paper situation to estimate when the panic buying will subside. That would indicate if manufacturers should plan for sustained increased production.
Let's get some data scientists or economists on to this little nugget of a problem.
Elizabeth Milne, Lyons
When is the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, going to get serious about Julian Assange and bring him home? This farce has gone on long enough. Perhaps he has not got the guts to take on the Poms and the Yanks.
Martin Ryan, Duffy
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