We have been diplomatically humiliated by the ease with which China has supplanted Australia as the major player in this key region.- Ian Foster, Nicholls
In the darkest months of 1942, US and Australian naval and land forces fought bitter and costly battles to prevent Japanese incursions into the Solomon Islands which would have cut our trans-Pacific supply lines and strategic interests in the SW Pacific. Now, 80 years later, we have been diplomatically humiliated by the ease with which China has supplanted Australia as the major player in this key region.
The nations of the Pacific have long warranted greater attention and respect by Australia. Our past military interventions to restore and maintain civil order and respond to natural disasters have certainly been important. However, it is now clear that they have not made up for our successive cutbacks in foreign aid, our record of disparaging the concerns of the impact of climate change in the Pacific and a political regard focussed on tourism and untapped cheap labour.
We cannot blame the Solomons for seeking broader international links, nor China for wishing to advance its own regional interests. For the bulk of the past 20 years, Australia's conservative Coalition has developed and overseen our diplomatic and military posture in our region and cannot evade responsibility for this outcome. The nature of the agreement between Solomon Islands and China is a significant threat for Australia and an indictment of our past errors. Any honest statement to the nation on this setback would have to include an apology to the Australian people for years of mismanagement - though I doubt it is being contemplated.
Zed, what have you done? You have dropped the ball on the first go. Disqualification. Why were you not watching with interest the game plan of the other team.
Appointed Minister for International Development and the Pacific on 22 December 2020, I find the handling of this very important event was not managed with diplomacy and urgency as it should have been. Not attended by the Prime Minister. Obviously he was ill-advised that this was not worthy of his time taken to resolve this fledgling event.
If Albanese somehow thinks that coal mines can "stack up environmentally and commercially" for future approval, then how is Labor's emissions target of 43 per cent to be reached ("No 'teal deal': Leaders rule out minority government")?
The latest IPCC report has clearly stated that new investments in pollutants like coal and gas are no longer an option. With the majority of Australians wanting real action on climate change, it's not surprising that voter support for both major parties has sunk to its lowest level in five years and that the Greens and climate independents are now gaining traction.
The report "PM visits major emitter while sledging Labor's energy plan" (April 20, p7) reveals a stark contrast between the policies of the Coalition and Labor on issues that are of serious concern to a clear majority of voters: climate and energy.
While Mr Albanese visited a factory that manufactures electric vehicle charging stations, the Prime Minister visited a mining equipment factory. The latter is owned by one of Australia's largest producers of liquified natural gas (LNG) and oil: two of the fossil fuels responsible for almost all greenhouse gas emissions - the causes of global warming and climate change.
This is a clear indication of which side of politics is really concerned about what is fast becoming an existential threat for humanity.
So both Mr Albanese and Mr Morrison slipped up. One because he had a momentary brain blank and the other because he 'misspoke'. Nobody would condemn either of them for this except it is being blatantly used for political purposes.
Who hasn't had a momentary lapse of memory or publicly said something that ostensibly was a fact only to have an error exposed? These things are embarrassing but not serious and usually repeated only by the perpetrators when they are telling a joke about herself/himself. It's almost too absurd to be true that voters would be influenced by such trivia.
As for this voter, I am looking for evidence that the parties have well developed policies that include implementation plans and timelines. I'm also want to hear from people other than the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition. Their speeches are almost predictable and have already become.
Would the parties please let relevant ministers talk in detail about the plans for their portfolios and would the leaders step back to make this possible. Perhaps most importantly, would the media start to focus on questions about the things that actually affect our daily lives.
I love Canberrans. I stand in support with the Ukrainian community every Saturday at 10am across from the Russian Embassy on Canberra Avenue holding my NO WAR sign. I want to thank all the people that honk their horns in support. Those fabulous tradies and truck drivers never fail to support and those Honda Jazz owners are the best. Young women and men, elderly people and families all showing their support, saying no to the horrific atrocities happening to the Ukrainian people.
I am confused however by the few that abuse and call out very nasty things. You watch and read the same horrifying news showing innocent people being killed, injured and displaced for no good reason. Please do write in and explain because I really don't understand.
I would hate to see the Russian Federation Flag in Reconciliation Place taken down because of the current fracas in Europe (Letters, April 20).
There are a lot of wonderful Russian people living in Australia who feel proud of their country and their culture and are delighted when they come to Canberra to see their country represented in such a way.
Please consider them when you think about having the flag lowered. Think of this characteristic and keep the flags flying.
"Climate action? How?" - Well said, Jim Coats (Letters, April 19). How? Rationing of air travel, compelled to use public transport, modest homes with large treed gardens rather than desolate expanses of McMansions, keeping your car for decades, make do and mend - the list goes on and on. Forget joys flights over the Antarctic ("bucket list 1: before it melts") and "I really need that latest electric telephone". Would you leave home and the only appliance that draws any power is the refrigerator? And we bleat and moan "when is the government going to do something about climate change, blah, blah, blah?"
Bob Douglas (Letters, April 19) is full of praise for Nicholas Stuart's earlier opinion piece ("Most important issue is missing," Opinion, April 18) about the need to do 'something about the environment'. But both Douglas and Stuart are also guilty of missing something important.
They call for massive (75 per cent) cuts in emissions and an end to all use and mining of fossil fuels by 2030 - but what they are missing is an explanation of exactly what practical effects they expect to achieve by such drastic action?
They clearly won't achieve any reduction in global warming, as major emitters such as India and China will simply get their coal from other suppliers and will keep increasing their use. And they therefore can't influence the severity of floods, droughts and fires which will continue unchanged.
Probably all that will be achieved is depriving thousands of steady employment, reducing the national budget by hundreds of billions of dollars at the very time we are trying to pay-off the COVID debt, and likely threatening our national energy grid. Radical action by 2030 is too great a risk, especially as the likes of Stuart and Douglas can't demonstrate that anything will actually be achieved.
The Commonwealth lifting the prices cap on the Home Guarantee Scheme will do nothing to address housing affordability ("Housing scheme cap in ACT lifted to $750K", April 18). It will only benefit a few people and these lucky few will need to be careful as their mortgage repayments will increase sharply in future years.
Australia needs to have a serious, comprehensive discussion on housing affordability. Let us vote for the party that offers to do this. Without pre-empting this inquiry, one way to stem house prices is to increase supply and offer the right mix of housing. This, however, needs to be done in conjunction with other measures.
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