The Reserve Bank's 2 to 3 per cent inflation target is not based on a precise and irrefutable calculation. But it is not quite as arbitrary as Noel Whittaker (Your Money, November 20) writes.
There are good reasons for a target rate that is low but positive. Aiming at 2 to 3 per cent inflation allows relative wages to adjust without requiring falls in nominal wages. It allows the Reserve Bank to run a stimulatory monetary policy in a recession without having to take interest rates negative.
Having a similar target to comparable economies avoids introducing longer term trends into exchange rates.
Two to 3 per cent was a plausible target to adopt as even the countries with the best post-war inflation records had not sustained inflation rates much lower. A target much lower would have been unlikely to attract the support of all major political parties, business and trade unions, which has boosted confidence it would be maintained.
Since the target was adopted in the early 1990s inflation has indeed averaged in the middle of the band as intended. In the current cycle, the Bank's interest rate increases have seen inflation fall from 7.8 per cent to 5.4 per cent. The battle has not yet been won but inflation is clearly retreating.
Douglas McKenzie (Letters, November 20) leapt to the ABC's defence in regard to bias.
My observation is that ABC's "balanced" approach is dialled up to ridiculous levels as commented on by their Laura Tingle.
The ABC has a "dare not mention genocide or apartheid" approach despite many pundits suggesting Israel is guilty of both of these.
That suggests bias to me.
But I agree with Douglas that one hour of comprehensive early evening SBS World News is far superior to 20 minutes of mainly trivia on the ABC news.
The decision by our planning authorities to allow the demolition of Woden's only hardware outlet to make way for a service station appears illogical.
There are already two service stations within 100 metres around the corner in Adelaide Avenue. A third is close by in Athllon Drive.
No thought has been given to the tradespeople working on the many construction sites in Woden, or the local handy people who now have to travel to Fyshwick or Tuggeranong for their hardware requirements.
The fact the new development will house another McDonald's outlet may have something to do with it.
It will have a drive through and pickup facility, unlike the one across the road in the plaza.
No doubt money is also behind the decision, prioritising the convenience of the Maccas customer over those wishing to purchase hardware.
Now that ACT outdoor dining permits will be fast-tracked when can we hope to have information about where these outdoor dining areas are going to be?
Outdoor dining is not only a contribution to the local economy, it is a particularly important option for people who need to take COVID-19 precautions.
It should be possible for someone (ACT government? ACT Business Chamber? Restaurant and Catering Industry Association?) to set up a searchable database of venues with outdoor dining, including their opening hours and amenities, such as rain protection.
The Mugga Lane biogas capture project is a step in the right direction to reducing emissions, but only as a transition measure ("ACT gas capture expansion could power 10,800 homes" November 20).
Landfill gas capture can do a lot to reduce methane emissions. The provision of battery storage and a 20-megawatt grid upgrade is also good news for our energy security in the ACT.
Unfortunately burning the biogas still creates carbon emissions. Biogas can only be considered as a transition fuel on the road to reducing pollution.
Better to tackle the problem at the source and reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill.
Roger Quarterman (Letters, November 21) is on the ball with his explanation of the origins and true meaning of the term "woke".
While the term is a relatively modern construct, opposition to those who "are aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues" is not.
So, if you're anti-woke today, then most probably you would have been pro-slavery in the past, against labour reforms regulating working hours and conditions (including the abolition of exploitative child labour), opposed to the extension of voting rights to commoners and absolutely opposed to the suffragettes and voting rights for women.
And had you been around 2000 years ago you'd have been on the side of those who crucified Jesus Christ of Nazareth because his teachings as one of the most woke individuals in history threatened your power and privileges.
I was surprised to be told by an Austrian friend that when a telecom carrier has an outage in Austria all customers are seamlessly transferred to another carrier for the duration.
He also said you have to look closely at your device to notice you are operating on another carrier's system. It is a non-event for users who are largely unaware their chosen carrier has failed.
He indicated most European countries do this. I have also heard that Canada has moved to make this mandatory after a Canada-wide carrier failed for 15 hours.
Obviously this should be implemented very quickly here in the national interest.
It's sad and disappointing. The Labor Party swept the Coalition aside 18 months ago as the people voted for a government full of promises.
Climate action, whistleblower action, transparency, honesty and civility in the house were all on offer.
But what we've got is more mining approvals; whistleblower McBride forced to plead guilty as his defence is disallowed; failure in the honesty stakes from the outset; a government driven by fear of misinformation (of just about everything) uttered by the Coalition.
It's like watching a bad movie where a government is controlled by corporate power and misinformation.
I refer to Judy Bamberger's letter (Letters, November 20).
She praises Albanese's leadership and says political leaders have a responsibility to bring communities together, not divide them. That accusation was levelled against Peter Dutton.
Perhaps Mr Albanese and Ms Bamberger could harken back to the most divisive referendum that Albanese instigated, and then lost in a landslide, as a failure to read the mood of the Australian people.
Our "handsome boy" might perhaps also direct his attention to dealing with this countries woes before jetting off again overseas and leaving others in the party to carry out duties that he as PM should be directing.
Unless Peter Dutton completely changes his tactics from fomenting social division and hatred to encouraging social cohesion, harmony, and mutual trust, he is not fit to be Prime Minister of Australia.
The ongoing housing crisis has spawned many articles arguing it is the result of a supply problem and all we need do is build more houses.
However, Leith van Onselen the chief economist at the Macquarie Bank has pointed out that in the last financial year our population growth was around 630,000 due to high immigration but we only built 170,000 homes.
But even this doesn't give the full picture because the construction rate does not include the impact of house demolitions which were 114,323 in the five-year period up to 2021.
There have also been 134,000 homes damaged by weather events in 2020 including 5303 destroyed in NSW alone and this toll is likely to increase as weather events intensify.
There is a very real prospect that regions of Australia - even some cities - will become uninhabitable due to climate change.
This would create a surge of internal climate refugees seeking homes in localities already short of housing.
I don't think NSW needs Zed either. I can't imagine NSW pre-selectors coming up with a reason to place him ahead of the other candidates, all from NSW, they can choose from. Hopefully the lease in Queanbeyan is short term.
If Zed does not get the NSW gig perhaps he can be encouraged to move much further north to help the Queensland LNP wrest a valuable Senate spot from One Nation.
It's pretty brave of the US to send a ship to the Mediterranean to support the Israelis. When they sent a ship [the USS Liberty, a spy ship] close to Israel during the 1967 war the Israelis attacked it, set it on fire, and killed 34 US sailors.
Vasily Martin (Letters, November 20) reveals his true feelings when he refers pejoratively to "virtue-signallers" supporting the Palestinians.
Why is the opposition demonising vulnerable stateless people who have served their sentences by pushing to keep them in indefinite immigration detention? Is this "wedge politics" meant to showing the opposition as tough and the government as weak? Be careful, the wedge might backfire.
Did those late-middle-aged men who boast about growing up in small houses play in the street? A backyard of any size is a bit small to kick a football. Even backyard cricket is an exercise in "please Mr Smith, can we have our ball back?" Traffic is much harder to cope with these days.
Netanyahu claims Gaza is a "city of evil". Defence Minister Gallant says "we are fighting against animals". Social media picks up the theme, comparing Palestinians to "rats or snakes", all serving to legitimise the dehumanisation and slaughter.
Is China wasting its time, money and energy in attempting to gain footholds in the South Pacific given many islands, including the Solomons, are in danger of inundation from rising sea levels. It would transform them into militarily strategic "submarine" bases however.
Dave Roberts (Letters, November 20) labelling Hamas as freedom fighters displays an abject ignorance of terrorism and adds to the compendium of fake news. Freedom fighters don't execute defenceless people, commit rape, take hostages and set children ablaze.
Apparently some Canberrans couldn't resist a cowardly kick at Zed Seselja (Letters, November 18). Zed believed Edmund Burke: "Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement, and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion".
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