Australia currently imports around $32 billion of petroleum products each year, a significant impost on our balance of payments. And, at any given time, we only have around 29 days of supply in the country for all our transport needs (including aviation, cars and heavy vehicles).
If the international situation were to deteriorate significantly would we have enough supplies to keep the country going? Angus Taylor says we have an arrangement with the US to underpin our reserves but would that be useful if hostilities in the region are interfering with the supply chain?
If the government were to seriously encourage the uptake of hybrid and fully electric vehicles, our reliance on imported fuel would be reduced, our balance of payments would be improved, our national security situation would be enhanced, and many of the vehicles could be charged with local power from roof-top solar.
Sounds like a win-win to me. How about it, Angus?
Catherine Rossiter, Fadden
Not good enough
It's pretty clear we have a just-in-time government led by "Just-enough" Morrison.
Whether it's sex abuse, aged care, banking or corruption, he does the minimum he can get away with.
Can anybody name a thing he cares about other than the next election miracle?
He treats climate as if it were a school assignment, a thing you can leave until the night before.
Unfortunately climate change reversal is something that will take decades, perhaps even longer, to achieve.
By the time he and his government take it seriously, it will be too late.
A R Taylor, Giralang
Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca have paid out $26 billion in dividends and stock buyouts to shareholders over the last year ($8.44 billion, $10.6 billion and $3.2 billion respectively); enough to vaccinate the whole population of Africa.
COVID-19 is a public health emergency, not a private profit-making opportunity. Big Pharma should not be allowed to decide who lives and who dies while boosting profits and creating new billionaires.Dave Roberts, MSc, PhD, Belconnen
COVID-19 is a public health emergency, not a private profit-making opportunity. Big Pharma should not be allowed to decide who lives and who dies while at the same time boosting profits and creating new billionaires.
Dave Roberts, MSc, PhD, Belconnen
When I heard the NSW police minister say (in reaction to school kids putting up classroom wall paintings on racism and police brutality) that there was no racism in policing in Australia I wondered if I had heard right.
Since the Royal Commission report on Aboriginal Deaths in Custody some 30 years ago 474 Aboriginal people have died in custody.
Any 10-year-old school kid will tell you racism in policing played a pivotal part in that.
The police minister must have his head buried in the sand not to see that stark reality.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
A logical solution
There have been many comments about assisted dying in the territory, including amateur-hour theatrics about writing to the UN.
The concentration on this one issue misses the essential truth that the broader power of the Commonwealth to overturn territory powers remains within the Seat of Government Act.
A more strategic approach would be to lobby for its removal. That may involve someone with sufficient standing in the local Labor Party to speak directly to their federal colleagues Albo and Dreyfus. A short meeting should be enough to secure such a commitment from an incoming Labor government.
Rohan Goyne, Evatt
The new minister for defence certainly has moved swiftly to assert his authority. Not content with having dismissed those wicked dancers, he has also overruled the CDF with a decision not technically his to make by deciding who will and who will not retain awards. Who knows what group or decision will next attract his attention. But he needs to be careful as he might let his ambitions run away with his capabilities.
James R Smith, Watson
Time to act
Readers might be aware that the proposed AWM redevelopment is not yet fully approved with National Capital Authority (NCA) consideration of the proposal due in coming months. But one could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.
The AWM has applied to the NCA for approval for "early works", to include the demolition of Anzac Hall, the destruction of over 100 trees, including all the eucalypts out the front of the memorial and the excavation of a large area around the memorial entrance; all this before the redevelopment itself is approved.
The process is ludicrous. If the "early works" are approved, the NCA will subsequently be considering whether an institution whose partial demolition it has authorised should be rebuilt.
Readers are encouraged to make their views known to the NCA by April 30, by searching "NCA current consultations".
Dr Sue Wareham, president, Medical Association for Prevention of War, Canberra
Red letter day
Hoorah. George Christensen is quitting because politics is "broken" and doesn't do his bidding on his conservative agenda.
Well, how about that? A big dummy spit despite George being one of those pollies from the right who themselves have broken politics by obstructing even moderate policy initiatives, and who have played a huge role in Australia's embarrassing failure to do anything fair dinkum about climate change.
Oh, and George was a member of the government which canned Gillard's carbon tax, a program that was working. Decent bit of conservative agenda winning there, George.
James Mahoney, McKellar
Articles of faith
Before I accept Eric Hunter's advocacy of atheism (Letters, April 20) may I ask him the following questions:
1. Does he believe that the universe arose from nothing?
2. Does he believe that something always existed; that it had no beginning?
3. Does he think that on the balance of good and evil it would have been better if the world had never existed?
Eric French, Holt
The rule of law?
I watched the National Press Club event on April 21 where journalists put questions to speakers on China, including Wang Xining, deputy head of the Chinese Embassy in Canberra.
Wang Xining argued for rules-based and rational approaches to sort out disputes between countries via international organisations such as the World Trade Organisation and the World Health Organisation.
The South China Sea example came immediately to mind. A judgement by an international tribunal in The Hague came down overwhelmingly in favour of claims by the Philippines.
The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, said China's "territorial sovereignty and marine rights" in the seas would not be affected by the ruling. This has since been further underlined by the increasing Chinese militarisation of the South China Sea.
On the other hand, the international tribunal concluded there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the "nine-dash line".
Wang Xining's point about appealing to international organisations thus falls in a heap if one country can just declare an organisational ruling is null and void, if it doesn't suit its own individual interpretation of an issue.
Murray May, Cook
RE: Jevon Kinder's comment on the clumsy use of statistics by Leon Arundel on Australian per capita carbon dioxide emissions (Letters, April 21).
Australia's per capita emissions are ninth in the world according to 2019 figures from "the World Data Atlas". Palau is the top country by carbon dioxide emissions in the world with 59.88 tons per capita. The top five countries also include Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates; countries that have relatively low populations.
Australia is 16th in the world in the generation of carbon dioxide emissions, contributing about 1 per cent of total emissions.
David Barker, Forde
Student visa loopholes
If Bob Salmond (Letters, April 22) is genuinely concerned about people circumventing immigration rules he should look at the rules governing international fee-paying students.
There are numerous options allowing students to extend their stay, gain permanent residency, and to then qualify for citizenship.
The Tamil family are not bolstering anybody's coffers so the government is using them as an extreme public example to deter others in similar circumstances. It seems you get a fair go in this country if you have money.
D Bogusz, Greenway
To the point
THE LONG WEEKEND
The decision to have an Anzac Day holiday rather than the solemn commemoration that it ought to be rather flies in the face of arguments to celebrate Australia Day on the day instead of having a long weekend. It also burnishes our reputation as the land of the long weekend.
Bob Gardiner, Isabella Plains
SPORTS AND ANZACS
Concerns are rightly raised about playing organised sport early on Anzac Day. While the diggers loved physical games, and indeed marked the first Anzac anniversary by playing footy in the afternoon, they revered the day which must surely commence with solemnity. Nor would they have played organised team sports on a Sunday.
David D'Lima, Sturt, SA
To Ian Pearson, (Letters, April 23) and "may we be worthy of their sacrifice". Hear, hear.
Stewart Bath, Isabella Plains
LET US READ
So, when can we have magazines back in the hairdressers and doctor's surgery?
Jennifer Saunders, Canberra
STEP IT UP
Morrison's proposals for the climate summit are a joke. A small amount of money proposed; the so-far unviable CCS; hydrogen production via fossil fuels; weak targets and no effective policy drivers. While China is not on the list of countries he wants to collaborate with, action by China may hold the key to averting climate disaster.
Rod Holesgrove, Crace
BIDEN'S PR SHOW
If you wanted evidence that Biden's climate conference was just another PR exercise ask yourself on what grounds was Xiye Bastida, a 19-year-old Mexican climate activist who lives in New York, invited to speak?
Roger Dace, Reid
C'mon Bob Salmond. (Letters, April 22). Pull the other one. Fair suck of the sauce bottle. Stop yanking our chain, cobber. Are you are another graduate of the Liberal Party's "empathy enhancement institute".
John Mungoven, Stirling
I "dips me 'lid" to David Pederson (Letters, April 21) for his insight into the workings of the Morrison government, and also the influence of the goons on the wider Australian society.
Peter Baskett, Murrumbateman, NSW
WHO IS PAYING?
Why are Ginninderry ads on TV and who is paying for them? Hopefully it is not the taxpayer. Surely Minister Berry should be using her salt and pepper protocol in our government's own development.
P R Temple, Macquarie
Bill Shorten asks: "What type of terrible person scams the NDIS and rips off monies from the most vulnerable people." Are the words "robodebt" and "refugee detention centre" any help?
John Sandilands, Garran
DIVIDE AND RULE
It appears it is convenient for Morrison to cast blame on inner city residents for wanting action on climate. Deliberately causing division among fellow Australians, instead of working to find solutions to our climate crisis, is not the way to lead.
Ching Ang, Kensington Gardens, SA
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