I've been opposed to Scott Morrison using national security as a campaign platform as national security in Australia has traditionally been bipartisan. Simply, Australia has limited room for manoeuvre. Whoever has lead a political party has usually made little difference to our national security agenda.
However, I will accept that I may be wrong. National security policy may be the biggest issue in this election.
The Solomon Islands - China deal, a development most likely motivated by Australia's participation in AUKUS and movement towards nuclear subs, requires strong leadership and a considered response to restore Australia's weight in the balance of power in the Pacific region.
Unless both parties agree right now to a way forward, whoever wins this election will be responsible for determining the security not just for Australia, but the entire Pacific region. Quite clearly, this election is about national security, and not just ours. The security of the entire region is at stake.
Sadly, China's actions in pursuing the Solomon Islands deal does not provide Australia much room for manoeuvre other than locking us into an arms race.
Which party is most likely to commit to Australia becoming a nuclear power? The way I see it, only medium and long range nuclear weapons will help provide the security our allies require in the Pacific region given the prospect of hostile military bases in our neighbourhood.
The US is concerned the deal between Beijing and the Solomon Islands could "destabilise" the region.
Really? Someone from the Pentagon is concerned about destabilising the region? After 70 years of destabilisation throughout the whole world? Do they even think before they issue a press statement or speak publicly?
Will Australia soon be part of a proxy war as well? There is every possibility once the US starts to add even more military bases in Australia to their 800 plus bases already in service throughout the world.
The chickens are coming home to roost. Australia will become another US sacrificial lamb. It's just a matter of time.
I'm getting sick of all the Australian domestic political chatter and media comment about the Solomons and China as if it were solely some sort of bilateral Australia - Solomons issue, with China as the external bad guy.
What about the views and security interests of all the other south west Pacific nations? Do they only matter if and insofar as they affect Australia?
What have those nations been saying? Has anyone asked them what they think about it all? If they have anything to say, would any of us listen?
Further to Mark Kenny's excellent analysis of the Solomon Islands-China affair ("This govt is asleep in the Pacific", April 24, p15), I suggest that Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare was insulted by the attitude and actions of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Mr Morrison decided not to visit Honiara himself, nor to send Foreign Minister Marise Payne.
Instead he sent Zed Seselja, a junior non-cabinet minister. Mr Seselja, if he is known at all, is recognised as the man who stands silently behind the PM when there is an "announcable", in which he has played little or no part, that is favourable to Canberra.
The only thing the AFP vaccine mandate policy achieves is the premature and unnecessary destruction of loyal police officers' careers ("Dismissal of police officers begins under the AFP's vaccination mandate", canberratimes.com.au, April 24).
Vaccine mandates are being eased across the country, particularly in the eastern states and most especially in NSW in relation to workplace requirements. While vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness, they are less so at stopping people catching and spreading the virus, particularly the now dominant BA.2 Omicron variant.
Allowing unvaccinated people into bars and restaurants doesn't substantially alter the risk of catching COVID there. This has informed the recent relaxation of mandate requirements in NSW and Victoria.
The AFP actions are heavy-handed, out of touch with the scientific evidence base, and most certainly disproportionate given the real world policing issues that require attention, not spurious vaccine requirements given revised government COVID policy settings.
I have not seen any evidence that the relaxation of COVID restrictions since the beginning of the year has been appropriate. In fact, the contrary has been the case.
There has been an explosion in the number of cases that has put all of us at risk, especially with the revelation of long COVID which only becomes apparent over time.
The impact on our economy and health services has been horrendous with greater work absences leading to organisations not being able to operate effectively.
Our elected ACT politicians have failed us, having been led like sheep by the politically motivated actions in other states. Please restore the restrictions we had last year so we can become a healthy society again.
I applaud Australia's actions in assisting and supporting Ukraine in its defense against the Russian military aggression and occupation of Ukraine. There are further measures that can be taken and one of those should be the expulsion of all Russian diplomats from our shores.
Russian diplomatic missions around Australia represent Putin and parrot his views and ideology and peddle his disinformation and outright lies.
The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, whoever that may be in the 47th Australian Parliament, should summon the Russian ambassador to her office and give him a dressing down for Russia's belligerent and unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
They should revoke his credentials and the diplomatic status of those Russian nationals working within Russian missions around Australia, and demand that they leave by 9pm that very evening.
This action will further show that Australia does not tolerate Russia's appalling violence and may encourage likeminded countries around the world to also eject Russian diplomats.
A number of years ago I canvassed one of our elected representatives with several issues concerning Canberra shortly before an election. I received a positive response on most items but was told that there was no money for Canberra because there were no marginal seats and not to expect much.
The AIS Arena has been in a poor state of repair and closed in recent years. There has been no action on the part of the Federal government until recently when, with Zed Seselja's seat now in danger, the government has miraculously promised $11 million as an upgrade if it wins the election.
The ACT has three seats considered "safe" Labor so there is no interest by either major party to pander to Canberra voters. My pitch to you is to vote against incumbent members. If their majorities are reduced Canberra will not be taken for granted.
In response to your editorial of April 13, noting that the Canberra Capitals were unable "to host other teams in a high-quality local facility common in other cities", Bob Salmond asks "Really? What other cities with populations under half a million?" (Letters, April 17). I can name Hobart, Geelong, Wollongong, Newcastle, Townsville, Cairns and Darwin, all of which have populations less than Canberra's, and all of which boast stadiums capable of hosting NBL games.
Peter Scott (Letters, April 25) writes a moving tribute to all those who have served in the military and sacrificed their lives. He reminds us also through reference to Ukraine that it seems those sacrifices have been in in vain and we have learned nothing from them.
Sadly, Peter fails to remind us of the sacrifices met and made by the many more millions of men women and children who have been innocent victims of mankind's predisposition to conflict. These sacrifices are seldom given much weight on Anzac Day.
Furthermore, as historian Henry Reynolds points out there is a disturbing dissonance between the almost sacred mantra "Lest We Forget" and the ongoing failure to acknowledge the truth around our own frontier wars. That too is a lesson too many of us still seem reluctant to learn.
Call me a cynic, but my guess is that when Josh and ScoMo raid their pork barrel in a last minute desperate bid to save their political skins much of it will be thrown at aged care. Can you really trust such last minute promises?
In throwing $18 billion for infrastructure at voters a familiar Barnaby Joycean myth is being rehashed. Australia can only afford this extravagance if "we pay for it with coal ... with gas" to fill dams and build roads and railways to nowhere.
Keith Hill (Letters, April 17), amongst others, are wasting their time quoting meaningless statistics. Statistics can be readily manipulated to suit agendas - and are in politics. At the end of the day it's simply a matter of lies, damned lies and statistics.
Can anyone explain the mindset of a leader who declares war on a neighbour and then, when one of his ships is sunk in the course of the action, calls it "sabotage"?
Mr Albanese, If you win the election and became the Prime Minister of Australia will you live at The Lodge?
I guess now many autistic children will feel blessed that they don't have Scott Morrison for their father.
Anne Prendergast (Letters, April 24) needs to understand that many people do not object to Zed Seselja because he is a good Catholic. They object because he seeks to impose his religious views on others. Why should the many people in Canberra who would like the option of voluntary assisted dying be prevented from having it just because Zed's religion is against it?
Anne Prendergast (Letters, 24 April) believes people are against Senator Zed Seselja because he is a Christian. No, it's because he he puts his own beliefs ahead of those he is supposed to represent. He is also invisible in between elections.
So Mr Morrison, where does sovereignty end and the "red line" begin?
Zelenskyy did not mince his words when he said the Russian perpetrators of the war atrocities in Ukraine were simply "bastards". People around the world who see the footage of the Russian atrocities would agree.
Sometimes I think, if China attacks us, God forbid. ScoMo will hide in his bunker and say "I don't hold a gun mate".
War turns the participants into killers and destroyers who have moral approval.
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