Like all LNP Treasurers, Josh Frydenberg waxes lyrical about the need to cut red tape as though this is the solution to our economic malaise.
As "red tape" is simply another word for "regulation" perhaps Mr Frydenberg could be more specific about which regulations he is keen to be rid of? How about air safety regulations? We don't really need those, do we? Aged care regulations? We just wait for Royal Commissions to deal with that one.
Surely we don't need regulations for safety of imported vehicles? Or imported medications? Or for building standards? Pollution? Water management? Religious freedom? Marriage? Protecting the Great Barrier Reef? Mining in heritage lands or prime agricultural land?
Josh is quite right. We could dispense with all these regulations and Australians would be a lot better off. Except those in aircraft, or nursing homes, or vehicles, or buildings, or ...
Catherine Rossiter, Fadden
Change of tune
Last Thursday Josh Frydenberg declared Federal government debt is now "necessary" to the survival of Australia. He asked, quite rightly: "What was the alternative?"
That question apparently didn't occur to him, or the previous Coalition treasurers, over Labor's federal debt coming up to the 2013 Federal election. It was "budget emergency" back then. It didn't occur to Smokin' Joe Hockey, Tony Abbott, and the treasurer in the wings, Scott Morrison, that the alternative then was for Australia to go into recession.
Federal government debt has been going up rapidly ever since Abbott took power and Liberal voters have stopped caring the Coalition government has taken Australian federal debt from $250 billion to $680 billion in just seven years, three treasurers and three prime ministers.
I'm waiting for them to have the other shoe drop and suddenly declare that "modern monetary theory" is right. Government debt won't exist any more because Australia, as a nation creating its own currency, cannot "owe" Australian dollars to anyone else.
Taxation will turn from the bogey-man punishing businesses and individuals into a safe and harmless way to reduce inflation, let interest rates rise, and keep prices under control.
If they don't I really wonder where they're going to get all the money to keep Australia from suffering a recession, inflation, and stagnation, all while also giving rich people and big businesses yet another tax break, and paying for armaments that China could knock out of the sky in an afternoon.
Paul Wayper, Cook
What an idiot
The woman who filmed her interaction with Bunnings staff in Melbourne defended her right not to wear a mask into their store by citing the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights.
Unfortunately she has obviously overlooked the first article in the declaration: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
Sorry sweetness, choose another defence.
Greg Simmons, Lyons
The selfishness of people refusing to cooperate with the government's best efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic deserves to be remembered.
I'd like to see them registered as individuals not entitled to receive a blood transfusion should they need it in the future. Those who donate blood are the opposite of those selfish people who refuse to consider their fellow citizens,
That said, I'm sure medical help would not be refused to the selfish ones, and I don't think my register would ever come to pass. But I do hope that karma operates to bring some of these individuals to a painful realisation of what they are inflicting on other families who have sick or vulnerable members, or who work in the health services.
K L Calvert, Downer
Aren't we a lucky mob in Canberra to have gotten away pretty well in the current, dire, circumstances. Naturally front-line people in emergency services rate a special vote of thanks. However, the co-operation of many small businesses who were facing financial problems helped a large number of our older people to obtain food and services without too much interruption. I would particularly like to mention Harry, at Capital Chemist, and Rob, at Home Ground coffee shop at the Hughes shopping centre, for their dedication and assistance during this time to make our lives as comfortable as possible.
Those two men, and their fantastic staff, were always happy, helpful, kind, and safety conscious to all and sundry. I am sure there are other small businesses around our district who have served just as well.
Trevor Willis, Hughes
That name change
So Coon cheese will be changing its name due to "racial overtones" ("Activist hails win on Coon cheese name", July 25, p21). Does this ridiculous change mean that all those people with the surname Coon will have to change their name as well? Will those with the name Black also have to change theirs? This is taking political correctness way to far. I suppose changing the name of the Sydney suburb of Blacktown will be raised again.
Christopher Jobson, Monash
Let China be China
My favourite Canberra contrarian, Bob Salmond, (Letters, July 15) is obviously correct in his rejoinder to the CT editorial of July 11. There is a lot of "meddling in another country's affairs" when it comes to Hong Kong.
When you think of the "century of humiliation" from 1840-1940 it is not surprising that the Beijing government is very sensitive of China's territorial integrity.
It is especially galling for the Brits to poke their noses into the affairs of Hong Kong; the whole mess is of their doing. After World War II the Brits were sharp to resume their "ceded in perpetuity" possession of Hong Kong Island and their 99-year lease of the New Territories. An early proposal for reform to give the local Chinese population a say in government (the Young Plan, 1946) was knocked on the head.
Then the Brits woke up to 1997 to their untenable position in Hong Kong. In the joint declaration signed on December 19, 1984, the PRC stated that national sovereignty over Hong Kong would be restored on July 1, 1997. The basic policy would be "one country, two systems; Hong Kong could remain "capitalist" for 50 years until 1 July 2047.
The Brits thought that in 50 years a "democratic" Hong Kong would persuade the PRC to "democratise". So in 1986, after 150 years, they finally started "democratic" reforms. Tiananmen 1989 let everybody know that what happened in Hong Kong would be on the PRC's terms.
Kenneth Griffiths, O'Connor
Every day I read more about the ACT government's failure to have better oversight of building certifiers and procedures.
Last December we sold our house only to find that the garage was not compliant. We purchased the house several years ago and used the same firm of solicitors for the latest sale, including the same sales agent and, apparently, the same certifier's findings. It was realised that the garage plans were not correct due to its increased size. It was also too close to the easement and also the house. These details should have been sorted well before we originally bought the house.
So who was at fault? The original owner who rebuilt the garage? The certifier? The solicitors (twice over)? Or the ACT government for allowing such an untidy process? My wife and I are still waiting for all parties to finally agree to a solution.
In the meantime, we are short a considerable amount of money held until all issues are resolved. We are the victims and shouldn't be. The latest holdup was described by the government department as: "It's the COVID-19 causing the delay in finalisation". Give me a break.
A R Henry, Campbell
It was kind of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to give us an insight into his view of the recovery after COVID-19 by invoking Margaret Thatcher. We should remind ourselves that she ruthlessly ended the coal industry, began a path to a low-carbon economy, took the country to war and ended manufacturing, which left a legacy of social decay which remains to this day, and was deposed by members of her own party. Right on Josh.
Steve Thomas, Yarralumla
It's worthwhile noting that Maggie Thatcher, a science graduate, was certain greenhouse gas emissions would lead to climate change. It's sad to see Australian politicians laud her party's economic ideas but brush aside her warnings on climate change and human impact on the planet. Ignoring Maggie's environmental warnings is a massive exercise in cherry picking and greatly diminishes her legacy.
Matt Ford, Crookwell, NSW
TO THE POINT
NOT SO BAD
Sorry to hear about Suzanne Edgar's virus testing experience (Letters, July 25). Last Thursday my wife Helen and I were tested at Holt. We arrived at noon and were out by 12.25pm. Thank you to the very efficient and courteous team of nurses. Both our results were negative.
Bruce Glossop, Holt
THE SKY IS FALLING
The news about the pandemic is so alarming that Henny Penny will soon be asking who's going to turn off the lights.
M. F. Horton, Adelaide, SA
LACK OF APPLICATION?
There has been a notice advertising a job vacancy at the entry to the Karabar shopping centre for the past three weeks. Maybe some of the people on JobSeeker could check it out. It might be part-time but bigger and better things do happen from small ones.
Robyn Leigh, Crestwood
MATTER OF FACT
A visit to Holder wetlands is instructive. Why not have a sign saying the Holder and Cotter roads were once linked here by the sealed extremity of Old Kambah Pool Road?
Barrie Smillie, Duffy
The report "WHO claims vaccine may be ready by mid-2021" (July 2, p12), apart from giving much-needed hope for the coronavirus pandemic, refers to "every corner of the globe". Last time I looked at a globe of Earth, I cold find no corners. Perhaps I wasn't looking in the right place.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
HOT AND BOTHERED
If fever cameras are deployed I dearly hope they will also be able to detect the fevered brows of politicians. That would be funny.
Richard Horobin, Curtin
Ever since I heard Ita Buttrose complaining that millennials need hugs and lack resilience, unlike her own generation, I've been singing, "Oh, why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way?"
Jennifer Bradley, Cook
LESSONS OF HISTORY
The Spanish flu came some 100 years ago in three waves. We all knew this. But what did the human being race learnt from this experience? Nothing it seems. Every country in the world, including ours, was racing to reopen the economy after the first wave. Now the race is to reopen while we are in the middle of the second wave. Lives should come first, the economy second.
Mokhles K Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
If the source of COVID-19 is a Chinese food market, will there be a ban on all food being brought in from China in aircraft passengers' luggage? Will the government act and advise passengers (when international flights are reinstated) that all food bought in will be confiscated and destroyed and fines imposed.
Tom Hollins, Pearce
Now that the United States COVID-19 numbers are going to be collated by the White House, instead of by the Centre for Disease Control, you can bet your bottom dollar that there's going to be a marked improvement in the published statistics. Why do the Americans put up with this clown?
Bronis Dudek, Calwell
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