Further to Murray Upton's response (Letters, March 9) to Greg Pritchard's article ("Snowy 2.0 defaces a national park", March 2, p23), all I can say it is a vexed issue.
I have been following it for some time, both on behalf of Climate Action Monaro, and secondly, as a Cooma resident.
When I asked Professor Andrew Blakers at a public meeting in Queanbeyan prior to the 2019 NSW state election about the relative merits of his 22,000 possible pumped hydro sites against Snowy 2.0, he replied: "We need both".
The virtue of Snowy 2.0, he said, was that it would supply seven days of power, which no other form of storage or pumped hydro site could supply.
Time has moved on since then, however, and Snowy 2.0 is a fait accompli.
The factory is being built in Cooma to build the concrete sections of the tunnel; roads are being modified to cope with the B-triples that will move the sections and workers are moving in pushing rentals through the roof because there isn't enough accommodation.
Meanwhile, battery technology has improved to a point where most pumped hydro as a form of energy storage will be displaced by batteries, certainly in supplying short-term back-up. Plans are underway to build what may be the world's biggest large-scale battery at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley.
Pragmatism has to rule the day. Snowy 2.0 has started and will be an integral part of the National Electricity Market (NEM).
Once coal has worked its way out of the system as a power supplier, Snowy 2.0 will play a critical role in smoothing out the irregularities in supply of renewable energy (wind and solar).
We need to embrace all forms of storage, not just batteries, but Snowy 2.0 as well.
Jenny Goldie, Cooma, NSW
Right royal row
Although a republic supporter and no royalist, I found the interview with Meghan and Harry didn't do the couple any favours.
CBS is paying mega bucks for a licence fee to air the American chat show which basically has Harry, vilifying his own family in a tacky two hour interview.
To use a good old Australian phrase "it didn't pass the pub test". The so called "racist" comment probably amounted to a clumsy reference to hereditary genes.
I would not blame Buckingham Palace for failing to dignify the show with a response.
Sylvia Miners, Isabella Plains
Why pick on Porter?
I agree with Steve Evans ("A little less baying for blood would improve our troubled world", March 5, p50) when he says "A bit more understanding of complexity and a bit less baying for blood would be useful".
The media frenzy surrounding Christian Porter is disgraceful. It's a witch hunt. Where has the presumption of innocence gone? Why wasn't Bill Shorten treated like this?
Even the Liberals' so-called "attack dog", Tony Abbott, didn't go after Mr Shorten. He respected the process of the investigation and Bill Shorten only admitted it was he who was investigated after he was cleared. Was he presumed innocent? Yes. Is there a query about Mr Shorten's character hanging over him? No.
So why is Mr Porter being treated differently? The baying for his blood needs to stop. I'd also like to point out that there are no criminal allegations of wrongdoing against Christian Porter. They were withdrawn last year. As there are no allegations against him and the police have closed the case I have no idea why the press are still hounding him.
Julia Hawketts, Weetangera
Nick van Weelden (Letters, March 10) must have been extremely lucky in his experience of the Boticelli to Van Gogh exhibition. We experienced the opposite. We were horrified by the lack of crowd control and COVID-19 safety when attending the exhibition on Monday.
Having purchased tickets in advance for a particular time slot, we were confronted with huge crowds and queues. No social distancing was evident whatsoever inside the exhibition.
People were pushing through to the front of the mob in order to read the badly placed descriptions. No orderly progression was indicated so people were milling in all directions. The small room where the Van Gogh Sunflowers painting was displayed was so full of people we were elbowed aside.
Anne Lewis, Sutton
I admire Dr Liz Allen's willpower and strength of character ("One woman's ultra-tough road to the academic top", March 8, p4-5) in dragging herself out of the social gutter and reaching the top tier of academia.
I also admire the courage and persistence of the women who have undertaken "unwomanly" strength training in the face of domestic violence ("Strength training gives lift to domestic violence survivors", March 8, p6).
Put these two together and you have the mentally and physically strong women of the last verse of Helen Reddy's song I Am Woman: "Oh yes I am wise, But it's wisdom born of pain. Yes, I've paid the price, But look how much I gained. If I have to, I can do anything. I am strong, I am invincible ... I am woman." Ms Reddy was right.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Public schools defended
What is the difference between public and private education in Australia? ("Catholic strike spirit lives on", March 6, p6). The Catholic church is an international corporation in a privileged, tax free position, able to draw on the public purse for religious education.
The Archbishop's accolades are triumphal but misleading. Australians all have access to public education systems run by "great teachers" and "great school leaders" who have been trained to the same level in the same institutions across the nation. Parents choose to send their children to publicly subsidised private schools for religious education. They choose to pay for the privilege.
In other jurisdictions (eg Ontario, Canada) governments contribute nothing to private schools and the priests provide free religious education after hours and at the weekends. Simple solution.
But there are Catholic schools and parents do pay fees for the privilege of Catholic education. Some still think it's worth the expense. In Australia, maybe it is, from a networking perspective, but don't believe for a minute that the students get a better education than they would if they attended the public school down the street.
W Book, Hackett
Centrelink welfare payments to jobseekers will "increase" $25 a week from April 1, apparently all the government could afford and a sum, which understandably, met with the approval of Australian Industry Group's, Innes Willox. The detention of the Biloela family on Christmas Island has cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
While hairy-chested policies incarcerate and criminalise those who "come by boat" tens of thousands who fly in are "integrated" into the economy, providing a quiescent, subservient workforce, aiding increased production "competitiveness". And the Nationals demand "special" backpacker and Islander visas - "to pick our fruit".
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's suggestion "it was cheaper" to free refugees than keeping them incarcerated, is pathetic, automatically raising the question as to why keep spending billions if freeing refugees is less a burden on treasury ("Freed refugees urge govt to end detention", March 7).
Should this be a Damascene revelation perhaps Dutton might realise Australia's abhorrent detention regime is inhumane, not to mention phenomenally expensive.
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
Roger Bradbury ("I ran the numbers on the bicycle wars", March 4, p26) has no cause to feel despondent about his research into and conclusions about the behaviour of cyclists in this town.
He is spot on. Indeed, whilst on the way to purchase Saturday's The Canberra Times I observed within the space of 10 minutes two instances of cyclist behaviour fairly close to that described by Roger in his article.
The cycling community around this town have got a very inflated opinion of themselves. They are now becoming a menace, particularly on footpaths. Riders should either follow the marked lanes on the road or strongly agitate for a system of bicycle paths.
Michael Doyle, Fraser
Kershaw is right
I don't think we should build Light Rail Stage 2. It is old technology, slower than existing buses, and 10 times more expensive than electric buses. The money that has been set aside for this would be better spent on our health system and looking after our suburbs. If, despite this, the ACT government insists on going ahead and the NCA then we should follow the logical, simpler, cheaper and more aesthetic route eminent Canberra identity and architect of note Jack Kershaw has put forward.
Bill Stefaniak, Narrabundah
First Reynolds and Porter, now Andrews and Hunt. What's happening? Our leaders are dropping like flies.
M Moore, Bonython
TO THE POINT
When we find out which royal queried what colour skin the Sussex's baby might have I'll bet the excuse will be: "What's the fuss? It was only a joke."
Eric Hunter, Cook
IT HAPPENED ONCE
Will we "ever see a government that acts morally and ethically, with genuine human decency?" Nick Swain, Letters, March 6, asked. His despair brings to mind the Gillard government which temporarily halted the abysmal cruelty of the live animal export trade.
Ronald Elliott, Sandringham
I must take exception to one of your trivia questions in a recent quiz. You asked "In astrology, what does an astronomical unit measure?" You left out the correct answer of "gullibility".
Kim Fitzgerald, Deakin
MUSIC FOR POPE
David Pope's take on Scomo's restless night could easily be put to music with Kincade's 1972 hit single "Jenny, Jenny, dreams are ten a penny" (Editorial cartoon, March 6).
Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW
If the person accused of a crime is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty does that imply the accuser is presumed to be lying until proved otherwise?
John McGee, Evatt
FIT FOR OFFICE
I nominate Mark Anderson ("JobKeeper increase debate", Letters, March 6) for prime minister and Nick Swain ("Is decency possible?", Letters, March 6) for deputy PM.
Faye Thornhill, Chapman
After reading scandal after scandal about the Morrison-led LNP government a bag of prawn heads left out in the midday sun would smell sweeter.
John Sandilands, Garran
Italy chooses not to release COVID-19 vaccines to Australia. Can we now protect the health of their diplomats and consular staff within our community. For their safety, should they return home?
Charles Woodhouse, Civic
THE DRONES, THE DRONES
Another beautiful autumn day. Stunning blue skies. My quiet suburb. It should be like that but it isn't. Barr's vision, supported to by the Greens, who you would think might represent a different future, is to have the sky full of whining drones. This is not the future I want. Who is with me?
Greg Carroll, Palmerston
I remember years ago Barrie Smillie telling our Rostrum group: "Don't be silent if you should speak up" In his memory I'll continue to write letters (even if they don't get published).
Richard Johnston, Kingston
Now we are asked to believe no one told the PM about the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins I am reminded of Patrick Weller's 2002 book Don't tell the Prime Minister. John Howard's office knew very well the PM needed plausible deniability regarding children overboard. Nothing has changed since then.
Warwick Budd, Nicholls
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