In "Why the 'Buy Australian' campaign will hurt Australians" (Opinion, August 11) author Adam Triggs makes the spurious claim that if we decide to stop importing a particular product, then we have to start making that product (or, at least, more of it).
Ridiculous. Not even tariffs completely stop imports. More over, if Australians choose to buy Australian rather than the imported option, we are not actually stopping the import. It simply leaves retailers questioning whether they should stock more of the local product and less of the imported.
If anything, "Buy Australian" means we are creating/maintaining employment in at-risk industries and possibly safeguarding our food supplies in the event a malicious foreign power decides to turn off the tap.
He also claims that "Buy Australian" is tone deaf to the plight of poorer Australians. Looking at social media feeds, I get the impression that they and the slightly better off are the ones who support it the most, even if they cannot put it into practice as much as they would like. After all, they realise this mindset means Aussie jobs, possibly their own.
Yuri Shukost, Isabella Plains
Where do old clothes go to die?
Adam Triggs' article covers some telling facts with which I can agree. However, I have a concern about women's clothing and the oversupply of shops selling cheap garments and accessories. True, it makes these goods available to all, including me, but I am left wondering when I visit a shopping centre if women need all those clothes and where are all these women wearing high-end fashion creations. I can appreciate that it is all part of a supply chain and many people benefit from this, however what happens when these clothes reach their use-by date or maybe just wear out.
The issue that concerns me is the waste. Where do old clothes go to die? Could the purchasing of garments be thought through by the user before they buy? Could consideration be given to the finite life of these clothes and what happens to them after that.
Does this women's clothing supply chain fit in to Adam Triggs' argument that trade means lower prices, especially for the poor?
Denise Burton, Watson
They might as well give up
Enough is enough. Scomo's marketing department in Canberra that is masquerading as a Government should be closed down immediately. At the moment Canberra is NOT responsible for border control, quarantine, private aged care, robodebt disaster, sports rorts and the list goes on and on. All we hear is nothing except excuses and blaming others.
This has to be the most ideas-deprived bunch of seat warmers we have ever produced. Their policy is, what ever we do, blame someone else if it goes pear shaped. Well, we could save the country $365 million a year and just close the joint for all the good it is.
Ken Price, Eaglehawk, NSW
Release and forgiveness needed
I believe the Jirga in Afghanistan made the right decision to release the last 400 prisoners. Although they had all committed atrocities, if there is to be peace in Afghanistan there must be forgiveness and sharing in re-building the country. There must be forgiveness so the Taliban and the government - all tribal groups- can work together to rebuild. They can have a Truth and Reconcilliation Commission as in South Africa. I have worked for some years in Afghanistan and know the strength and pride of the people and their despair of the ongoing conflict. I hope Australians can feel it in their hearts to forgive the few and support the many so that the country can achieve its potential.
Caroline Fitzwarryne, Yarralumla
Back to the drawing board
The City Renewal Authority had cantered back into the mess of its own making at West Basin with a 'refreshed vision' for some public spaces in that waterfront area ("Cafes and parks part of lakeside revamp", August 11). Distractions aside, Canberrans are still in the dark about government plans for the whole precinct.
The new but typical lofty-sounding and glossy-style Acton Waterfront Place Plan poorly details suggestions of tree-filled parks and other public use spaces that will still need to compete with swathes of large apartment and mixed-use complexes to be built in years to come. This attempt to pat down ACT voters' concerns about the still inevitable dense urban infill in this precinct would be far more credible if it had also halted the current and as yet unapproved and piecemeal- planned works proposal for lake-bed reclamation and the creation of an uninspiring, 500 metre long heat-trapping, 'heading nowhere ' walkway between the 'new' lakefront area and the future urban infill.
More trust in the current 'refresh' would be generated if the walkway plans and works proposal were scrapped, the costly need to reclaim the lake-bed revisited, and a new and a more transparent planning process initiated.
Sue Dyer, Downer
A fanciful idea indeed
The full implications of Thomas Mautner's letter (August 11) are just beginning to sink in. A US citizen offered me that same amusing suggestion of "secession" as an escape from the tyrannic dominion of their president. Oh the irony of "urge Canada to accept them". Just as Canada, Australia, New Zealand (or Scotland and Wales) can at any time of their choosing simply vote to secede from the Crown and form a republic, I wonder if the greatest republic on earth would dare allow a free vote that offers its citizens the sanctuary of Liz or Charlie?
Ronald Elliott, Sandringham, VIC
All aspects not equal
I must take issue with Anne O'Hara (Letters, August 1) and her gushing admiration of the government's pledge to offset the cost of rooftop solar panels, and the savings in energy cost for the 'average household'. Like so many who support wide spread introduction of solar panels, she ignores the many ratepayers who cannot take advantage of such generosity. I am referring to the many ratepayers who live in high-rise apartment blocks or those whose roofs face south. They are the ones who are subsidising the introduction of rooftop solar with no benefit, so making such schemes very unfair.
Alan Parkinson, Weetangera
No substitute for the real thing
Although the 'vertical garden' trials are to be admired ("Ginninderry gardens grow up and up with new vertical plans"; August 8), this is no substitute for the provision of adequate space for garden beds and trees.
Unfortunately, in recent years subdivisions such as the Molonglo suburbs - and also Ginninderry - have had mainly small blocks with only little space left for planting around each dwelling.
Moreover, these developments and whole areas, initially, have been scalped of their topsoil. What hope, then, for trees to grow giving shade and attracting birds?
Dr C.L Watson, Latham
Quick go the saws
Enjoying a wet but lovely walk along Ginninderra Creek in Umbagong Park, Latham, on Monday, we came upon a fallen tree blocking the path. An on-the-spot call to Access Canberra was received by a polite and friendly call operator. Quick action resulted. On the other side of the creek less than 30 minutes later we could hear and see the action of saws as the offending tree was being removed. I wish to express my thanks to all concerned for prompt and efficient service.
Pam Nicolson, Latham
A stunning lack of curiosity
President Trump's statement that the Spanish flu pandemic brought about the end of WWII because the soldiers got sick, marks, in my opinion, a new low point. Undoubtedly many of us couldn't accurately nominate the dates of the two events off the top of our head, but few wouldn't know that they were some years apart, or even something of the events that brought about the end of WWII. It's the kind of information you pick up at school, from TV, from reading, or just from general observation.
My high school history teacher told us that the real meaning of history is to make sense of the present. Why are things as they are? Was the world always like this? If not, why not? These are questions that must, from time to time, make us all scratch our heads. But not Mr Trump, apparently.
I imagine he must live in a perpetual present, like that man who suffered a brain injury in his youth which left him unable to form long-term memories. He remembers the last 10 minutes, but no more than that. What a puzzling life it must be. What a puzzling world. Unless, of course, it just doesn't occur to you to wonder about it.
Fred Pilcher, Kaleen
It doesn't make sense
I can't fathom the thinking behind the NSW intransigence at the border. Since many of the folk have their life's possessions in their car, driving back to a known COVID hotspot and flying makes no sense. Has ScoMo thought about sending down a RAAF C17 to fly the convoy direct to Canberra?
Bill Blair, McKellar
TO THE POINT
NOT QUITE ACCURATE
Actually, Jack Palmer ("Blast to Remember", Letters, August 11), the RAF Fauld explosion comes in at number 2 on the list. I always thought, and Wikipedia, if it is authoritative, confirms, that the Halifax Harbour explosion in December 1917 is the largest non-nuclear explosion. Beirut 2020 comes in at number 5 on the list.
Graham Bridge, Ngunnawal
NUMBERS IN ISOLATION
Just heard a premier reciting numbers about the coronavirus. A number in isolation tells us nothing. As I approach 80 I have been told I look fit and well and should not worry. It would be useful if TV and radio news would tell us if these people had other medical conditions. Without that information a number is meaningless. If they are not allowed to include that information, forget the numbers game. You are frightening people. Even a basic percent of population might tell us more than an isolated number.
Alastair Bridges, Wanniassa
With voluntary isolation, one has time for thought in retirement. In my case, my thought has gone to the inconsistencies in our language that must befuddle those trying to learn English as new citizens. To wit: If the plural of die is dice, and the plural of louse is lice, along with the plural of mouse being mice, then how come the plural of house isn't "hice?" Any answers from English scholars would be appreciated.
P. Reynolds, Gilmore
EXPLAIN THE CONNECTION
Alan Shroot (Letters, August 10) notes that injuries and deaths are caused by vaping THC oil combined with vitamin E acetate. I'd be grateful if he could explain what this has to do with use of nicotine vapes as a safer (not safe) alternative to tobacco for those who can't or won't quit smoking.
Stephen Jones, Bonython
Apparently when PM Morrison said "We always cooperate with Royal Commissions" he omitted the caveat "except when it might reveal we stuffed up".
Peter Edsor, Bungendore
THANKS FOR THE CHUCKLE
My vote for letter of the year goes to Anne Waight for her query on social distancing in brothels (August 10). Priceless! It reminded me of a similarly succinct but pithy letter to The Sydney Morning Herald some years back by a lady who had come across some young men streaking in the Mascot tunnel. Her comment was that if they chose to repeat this action, they might run facing the traffic rather than with it.
Brian Triglone, Torrens
GIVE HIM WHAT HE WANTS
Trump wants his head added to Mount Rushmore. Space should be found to do that so that Americans have a permanent reminder of how they installed a nutcase as president and never make that mistake again.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
MANY USUAL SUSPECTS
The secret service rush Orange Don from his press briefing because of suspicions there was someone outside the White House with a gun. Good luck interviewing the 325.9 million suspects.
Linus Cole, Palmerston
EXODUS ON THE HUME
Gladys, let our people go.
Mary McLaughlin, Weetangera
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