Your editorial (July 21) argues that the review of the Reserve Bank should "focus on the failures". It should also focus on the success.
Since adopting its medium-term inflation target in the early 1990s, inflation has averaged in the middle of the target, employment has reached an all-time high, and the unemployment rate is down to its lowest since the 1970s. Until the COVID-related lockdowns, Australia had arguably the longest uninterrupted economic expansion in history.
It is always possible to improve further on a good performance, but denigrating it for a cheap shot headline does not help.
The editorial also misrepresents the bank governor's forecast on interest rates as a promise or an "assurance". What the bank actually said was that they wanted to see data showing "inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3 per cent target range" before increasing interest rates. In the spirit of transparency, the bank had then shared its view that, prior to the Russian attack on Ukraine driving up commodity prices and the surprising speed of the Australian economy's recovery from the COVID recession, it had initially thought this condition was unlikely to be met before 2024.
The bank's setting of the cash rate has always been state-dependent not time-dependent. The reference to 2024 was never a promise and the governor made this clear to anyone who would listen.
While it is good to see a review of the RBA, it is difficult to understand how the federal Treasurer can defend such inept behaviour by this organisation. The RBA has been completely out of touch with the economy and the community. They have irresponsibly encouraged Australians into huge debt and were the principal influencer of increased house prices across the nation.
As late as September 2021, the RBA was telling Australians that interest rates would not increase until 2024, further encouraging Australians into debt and spend money they didn't have.
Now because of mostly external factors, war in Europe and natural disasters, fuel and food prices have gone through the roof.
The RBA response is to now penalise those most vulnerable in our community. They will fix these price rises, by increasing interest rates, making it difficult for those with high mortgages and stop these families spending money to bring down prices. The RBA really have their head stuck in the wrong place.
It is appropriate for an inquiry into the RBA. The RBA is broadly able to control monetary policy with its set legislative purpose.
The composition of the board could benefit from some wider community and economic representation. Professor Warwick McKibbon was the last economic member on the RBA and his subsequent comments on RBA solutions have been at variance to adopted RBA policy.
I think that the RBA on predicting rate suppression until 2024 was well founded at the time. We were in economic support mode with COVID, then we had the unexpected Russian invasion of Ukraine, the supply chain limitations and the harsh Chinese lockdowns lowering production. These were risks that could not be anticipated.
Using modern monetary policy the RBA strongly supported the government to avoid a COVID recession and used quantitative easing (note printing) to stimulate the economy and finance the government debt and uplift lagging inflation.
The rise in house prices should have been managed by a determined government using property taxes and duties, but it was not so inclined.
Chris Emery is mystified by the claim that light rail to Woden can contribute to a viable sustainable public transport system. He is worried by the time of travel between Woden and Civic. I think he needs to take a wider perspective. The population of Canberra has now reached a critical point in terms of public transport. At peak times the roads are increasingly choked with traffic - cars and buses.
Buses have their role as feeder services, because of flexibility, but they cannot provide a mass transport system. This is why cities all around the world have turned to light and heavy rail again.
Light rail is comfortable and reliable. It does not depend on traffic flows. It can carry larger numbers of people per unit.
I think some Canberrans have become fixated on light rail as some sort of major irritant. There is room for divergent views, but wider planning and environmental issues should be kept in view as well.
At 5.30am last Friday, my 21-year-old granddaughter was driving along the parkway when in the distance she saw a bundle of something lying literally in the middle of the road.
Cars in front either swerved or slowed then continued on. As she got closer she saw it was a little joey. She stopped and carefully and safely made her way to the injured animal while ignoring the horn blasts and flashing headlights from passing motorists who were either oblivious to the incident or did not care.
She picked up joey, took it to her car, bundled it up in her jacket and drove to her work place where the rangers were contacted. While waiting she stayed in the car caring and comforting the joey until they arrived 30 minutes later. We do not know what the outcome of joey is - hopefully it was a happy one. I have seen and heard of other heart-throbbing rescues but this is one of the very best.
Amanda Vanstone is something of a literary chameleon. Sometimes she writes with common sense and moderation; other times her reasoning is off the planet. Her column "A diet of just the bad stuff is killing our kids", July 21) represents the latter. While citing a drawn-out example of how a child related a ludicrous version of Idi Amin's death, she somehow connects this with Australians being obsessed with only the "bad" parts of our history (implying an over-emphasis on the dreadful treatment of First Australians).
What Amanda fails to mention is that for two centuries we heard only the "good" bits - anything else was ignored or denied in the glorification of white settlement. She also side-steps the reality that Australia was colonised by Britain and that what other nations did elsewhere is irrelevant to the Australian experience.
Amanda comments that we need the whole truth. Amanda could make a good personal start to understanding the whole truth by reading Henry Reynolds' Truth Telling: History, sovereignty and the Uluru Statement. If she does, I am sure her common sense and moderate side will return to the fore.
While I thought I could ignore Bill Stefaniak's letter ("EV policy naive and elitist, July 21), I then got to Stephen Jones' letter and realised that there was more than just one person who isn't aware of what is going on. All EU car manufacturers have agreed to produce only battery powered vehicles by 2035, as has General Motors, and probably others. It may well be impossible to actually purchase a non electric new vehicle in 2035.
One grows used to the promoters of historical plays claiming that their authors or subjects carry profound messages for our times. ("It's time for a history lesson, Canberra", July 19) even if the morals they detect in the past often turn out to be just the same moral messages that theatre-goers are used to hearing today.
Producer Amanda LaBronté has a fairly easy sell in presenting the Jacobean author and woman of parts, Emilia Bassano, as a feminist ahead of her time. Indeed she was that. Yet LaBronté goes over the top in saying that "Apart from being Shakespeare's muse, Emilia also was a poet in her own right, but couldn't get her works published because she was a woman in the 16th century, and also a woman of colour".
Not so. Emilia Bassano is remembered as the first English woman since the introduction of printing who did publish a book of serious verse. And quite good verse, even if its title Hail God, King of the Jews (in Latin) hardly set it up to be a best- seller.
Like the recent pre-COVID play about her story by Paul Kauffman, this new play by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm plays up the possible connection with Shakespeare. Yet there is no proof, though some likelihood, that Shakespeare ever met her while she was the mistress of his company's patron Henry Carey. And no evidence that she was Shakespeare's lover, let alone the "Dark Lady of the Sonnets" even if the Dark Lady was based on a real person.
We do not even know that Emilia had dark hair, a basic pre-requisite for being the Dark Lady. She had an Italian father but an English mother, so the jury is out. Perhaps it is better to appreciate her for herself.
In recent days, Canberra tap water has acquired a mildly unpleasant taste. This is proving to be a reasonably expensive development for me, as I now have to add Scotch to my water, to mask the water's taste.
With our convict heritage, Australia has a weakness for men with a dubious background.
A perfect solution for both countries - the UK should make Boris Johnson the high commissioner to Australia!
ScoMo should know all about not trusting governments. He led the least trustworthy one in living memory. He wonders about God's plan for him even though he didn't miraculously arrange for him to win the recent election. The answer is obvious: ScoMo job was to destroy the Liberal party. Mission accomplished.
Margaret Lee (Letters, July 21) is spot on. On bushfire disasters, if the RAAF can convert one of its tankers to a fancy VIP jet, why can't it convert a couple to water bombers?
London records it highest temperature on record (40.3 degrees). 10,000 years ago northern UK was all iced over. At what point (perhaps the start of the industrial revolution?) did we humans exponentially add to the changing climate systems?
Whilst wandering lonely as a cloud in the inner north yesterday, I was suddenly struck by a major absence. There was not a sign of graffiti anywhere. I presume that the rest of Canberra is similarly blessed. Oh happy day.
I take umbrage to Bill Stefaniak's letter (21 July) that remarks "Mr and Mrs Isabella Plains might have trouble affording an electric car". Bill, a founder of the Belco Party who lives in Narrabundah, is obviously avoiding getting offside those sections of Belconnen that would be less likely to afford an EV than people in Isabella Plains.
During the last mask mandate and, perhaps not incidentally, when the "freedom" convoy was encamped at EPIC, I was surprised that Coles in Dickson allowed customers to flout the mask requirement. Perhaps this time the major retailers could step up, and earn their social licence by insisting that all their staff and customers mask up.
I fully support Janine Haskins' letter from July 20. I was very sad to read of the brutal death of Mr Peter Keeley. I hope the three young thugs are charged with something. Mr Keeley would still be alive if he had not met with this trio. I feel there are too many horrendous crimes by underage thugs. It's time names are published. Judges and magistrates seem to have sympathy for the perpetrators, not for friends and family of victims.
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