Mark Kenny ("Labor stretched to breaking point", November 24, p16) is spot on. There will be no acceptance of the necessary demise of the fossil fuel industry until there is a clear and equitable path for the workers to transition out of the industry.
The precedent was set with the closure of the BHP plant, which many expected would be the death of Newcastle. Instead, because it was so well managed, the city thrived.
Kenny's suggestion a fund be set up to pay out the workers and provide them with the wherewithal to make their own decisions about what they will do when the mines close makes all the sense in the world.
With borrowing so cheap at the moment this would be an eminently feasible proposition. With their futures taken care of, acceptance of a necessary step on the way to a low carbon future can be secured.
All we need now is the political will to solve this wicked problem. If the government is so blinkered as to refuse to recognise the inevitable, let's hope Labor has the guts to make the proposal. The workers are entitled to a future for themselves and their families.
Margaret Lee, Hawker
Time to act, Albo
The Labor Party lacks both courage and commitment. In relation to climate change it follows in the wake of either the Greens or the Liberals, keeping its head well down. It fails to commit to meaningful targets and actions.
It is unconvincing. It commits to zero emissions by 2050 but fails to make clear the pathway to that target. The state premiers have clearly demonstrated the value of following the science in relation to COVID-19. The same bold attitude has to be applied to climate change.
Mark Kenny ("Labor stretched to breaking point", November 24, p16) outlines the bind for Labor trying to remain equivocal. At least Bill Shorten had commitment.
Mark Kenny also lays out an excellent plan to transition blue collar workers away from coal mining. That costs money. The entire community should bear that burden. Nobody is immune to climate change. Inaction has a considerable, and growing, cost.
Allan Jackson, Nicholls
Many rotten apples
General Campbell's speech reminded of a brief conversation with one of the "Rats of Tobruk" in the turbine shop at Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour. He was a former member of the Royal Australian Engineers and I was an engineering apprentice in my late teens.
Another apprentice and I were agreeing that former soldiers would not talk about "The War" because of the things they had seen the enemy do. The guts of what that tradesman told us was; it was not just what they had seen the enemy do, it was also the things they had seen their mates do, and in some cases, not wanting to remember what they had done themselves.
He said the Australian army was no different to Australian society; even in wartime it had criminals in all ranks. He gave us a couple of examples of corruption but not of the other things to which he alluded.
That ended the conversation and we both went back to our work in shock because growing up in the immediate post war period we had only ever heard stories of good deeds by our service personnel and bad deeds of enemy personnel.
I suspect the Brereton report has only identified the rotten apples that went to Afghanistan but that there are many more bad apples than the hierarchy is likely to admit.
John F. Simmons, Kambah
I welcome the disability royal commission's interim report on its first 15 months of operations. Abuse is not inevitable for people with disability and must not be tolerated under any circumstances.
The report makes special note of the difficulties of reaching all people with disability who have experienced abuse. For this reason, Endeavour Foundation continues to encourage all people with disability to contact the commission or an advocacy organisation that can assist them in doing so, if they wish to speak out.
I acknowledge the courage of those who have already come forward and shared their experiences. I also applaud the commission's commitment to creating a safe, inclusive and accessible environment for people who wish to disclose abuse.
The interim report highlights many of the far-reaching challenges people with disability experience, from policy and funding constraints, sector practices and interfaces with other mainstream services to a lack of understanding and undesirable community behaviour.
Andrew Donne, CEO, Endeavour Foundation
Last Thursday night (November 19), my brother and I were travelling southward on our way to a restaurant in Swinger Hill. Shortly after entering Yamba Drive (near Hughes), a silver VW Golf passed us at about 120 km/h (in an 80 km/h zone. On seeing red traffic lights at Launceston Street, my brother slowed, ready to stop.
Rather than stop, the VW swerved into the right-turn-only lane, continued through the red lights at high speed, somehow dodged the traffic that was already entering Yamba Drive from the right, then sped on down Yamba Drive. It seemed almost miraculous that there was not a terrible accident with multiple fatalities.
Unfortunately, we were too shocked by the driver's antics to think of recording the VW's registration number. Perhaps someone in one of the other six or so cars who witnessed that incident did record the VW's number plate and notify the police of the worst case of dangerous driving I have seen in my 56 years and 1,100,000km of driving.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Heads should roll
The Australian government will pay $112m in compensation to some 400,000 Australians as a result of the illegal, immoral robodebt scheme. Not even a scandal of this magnitude is apparently deemed sufficient for a ministerial resignation.
Christian Porter, Alan Tudge and Stuart Robert have all played a role at various times. However, as suggested in your editorial ("A robodebt royal commission would be justified", 18 November) it is Scott Morrison who, as Social Services Minister, Treasurer and Prime Minister has had the major influence and who must bear the ultimate responsibility for this sordid fiasco.
In like manner, the trail of decisions in the sports rorts affair leads directly to the door of the Prime Minister's office.
Peter Crossing, Glengowrie, SA
Electric truck dreams
In the lead up to the last federal election news junkies might remember Michaelia Cash saying to tradies, "Labor's coming for your utes". Angus Taylor expressing the fear that all those who buy Toyota's most popular Hilux model would be stranded if Labor had their way.
We now learn Boris Johnson has announced the UK will stop selling new diesel and petrol cars/vans/utes from 2030.
According to the report the move is part of a wider 10-point plan for a so-called "green revolution" aimed at generating as much as 250,000 jobs and combating climate change.
This UK policy shift away from carbon based power units surely gives the green light of support to vehicle manufacturers, and just a little piece of incidental information for those inclined to reducing their carbon footprint. Toyota has recently said they will be producing a full electric Hilux within six years. Now I am really am excited.
By the time the full electric Toyota Hilux arrives on the market my current 1986 Hilux, which is still going strong after 34 years and 655,000 kilometres, may be ready for replacement.
John Sandilands, Garran
And the victims?
Thank you Anne Laisk and Ray Heins (Letters, November 20) for speaking up for law abiding victims of crime. We hear a lot about the need for sympathy for jail inmates but very little about their crimes. If we knew why they were there we could make our own judgment on the appropriateness of the sentence. As it is we are usually only encouraged to feel sorry for the offender.
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
Singing the blues
As a rusted-on NSW Blues tragic, who is now in despair and thus prepared to grasp at any straw, I advocate that for the 2020 rugby league State of Origin season a new "aggregate" scoring approach should be adopted. I am emboldened to suggest this because of recent electoral events in America.
My proposal is that NSW, having scored 14 points more than Queensland over the three-match series, should be declared the winner.
I have propounded this view to anybody who will listen to me with mixed results.
The aggregate approach would not necessarily be good for future years though; if one is indefensibly biased, one needs to be flexible.
David Hunt, Watson ACT
TO THE POINT
While the US nears COVID-19 catastrophe Trump plays golf and then slinks back to the Oval Office to sulk. This is the bloke who wanted his opponents locked up. Reopen Alcatraz and chuck him in.
Linus Cole, Palmerston
Trump cocoons himself away while more than a million new cases of coronavirus are reported in the US in a week. After January 20, 2021, historians and psychiatrists will have a field day dissecting Trump's sociopathic tendencies and the heavy toll they took on the living as well as the dead.
Sue Dyer, Downer
I was appalled Trump walked out on a G20 session dealing with COVID-19 in order to play golf. What an insult to the other national leaders, and to his own nation. January 20, when this man leaves office and the US gets a "real" president to run the county, can't come soon enough.
Don Sephton, Greenway
JOBS FOR THE BOYS
On the first brief call Scott Morrison made to the American president-elect and he slipped in a personal good word for Mathias Cormann's post-parliamentary desire to be the next OECD secretary general. The radical right's sense of entitlement to jobs-for-its-boys has become utterly shameless.
Alex Mattea, Sydney
A PUBLIC DISGRACE
The ACT government's public housing units in Lowanna St Braddon are a disgrace. They are surrounded by long grass. The underground car park is waterlogged. Poorly built and now abandoned, they have major structural issues and have been further damaged by the theft of copper piping and cables. Demolish them and start again.
Geoff Davidson, Braddon
ZED'S FOR ZED
On his re-endorsement by the ACT Liberals, Zed Seselja said: "It is an absolute honour to represent the people of Canberra". What a joke. He makes no attempt to represent anyone but himself and his own ultra conservative views.
Patricia Saunders, Chapman
WHERE THE BUCK STOPS
The Governor-General, David Hurley, should resign. He was the head of the army and then the ADF when the SAS atrocities occurred and he visited Afghanistan. If he didn't know what was going on he should have. The buck stops here.
Paul Knobel, Crestwood, NSW
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Visiting Sydney, I passed this sign: "Lane Cove Tunnel. No Dangerous Goods In Tunnel". I thought to myself "That's comforting to know". What a contrast to that antisocial Hume Highway sign in Victoria saying: "Police Enforce Speeding". Or am I missing something?
C Williams, Forrest
Re: Editorial "Trump Destroying His Own Legacy" (November 11, p14). I suggest adding another item to the list of President Trump's pluses. To borrow from an ABC satire, "Trump didn't boo Adam Goodes".
James Lindsay, Narrabundah
Knocking back an 8 per cent pay rise over three years in the current economic climate? That's garbage.
John Howarth, Weston
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send from the message field, not as an attachment. Fax: 6280 2282. Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Canberra Times, PO Box 7155, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610.
Keep your letter to 250 or fewer words. References to The Canberra Times reports should include date and page number. Letters may be edited. Provide phone number and full home address (suburb only published).