He who demanded the highest integrity from the Australian Border Force and departmental staff, and who sacked the Australian Border Force commissioner over what appear to be lesser transgressions, has now been sacked himself.
Apart from the serious nature of his transgressions, a person in such a position should have their attention fully on the job at all times. I would like to see more done to stem out this kind of behaviour.
As it is, Mr Pezzullo leaves the role a year before his contract ends. Is that sufficient penalty?
The government should also review the composition of the Home Affairs portfolio and devolve some of the agencies Mr Pezzullo assembled, for example ASIO.
There should be less power in the hands of one individual who as we have seen may exhibit less exemplary behaviour.
Herman van de Brug, Holt
What's got my interest in the investigation of Mike Pezzullo is the quaint finding that he "engaged in gossip and disrespectful critique of ministers and public servants". I imagine that if every public servant who did that got the sack, pretty soon there'd be few left.
In any case, the next time we scoff at the Chinese charging an activist with "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" we might think of this little gem of a judgement.
Dallas Stow, O'Connor
Once bitten, twice shy?
If, as seems likely, the ACT will soon have two new senators former ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja may raise his hand again.
Mr Seselja was rejected in favour of the independent and clear-thinking David Pocock for the second ACT Senate seat in May 2022, and was recently rejected in favour of the sensibly moderate Liberal, Dave Sharma, for the NSW Senate seat vacated by Marise Payne.
Surely Zed will not risk another humiliation back in the ACT. Despite this, I dare say he will have plenty of supporters.
Dr Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
That Senate push
The federal opposition has railed formally and widely against the ACT having a couple more senators.
While the federal Coalition parties are stuck in an ever-deepening rut of negativism it would be helpful to know what the ACT branch of the Liberal Party and its leader think about this recommendation from the joint parliamentary inquiry into the last federal election and matters arising.
Would they actively support Senator Pocock's call for the Labor government to get a wriggle on about implementing the recommendation.
Sue Dyer, Downer
Koels are brood parasites
Like Gordon Fyfe I have a long-standing hatred for the eastern koel.
This is not only because of their incessant and unmelodious calls which used to start at about 4am every morning. It is mainly because they lay their eggs in the nests of other species, in our area wattlebirds.
In all the time we've lived in Broulee we had never seen wattle bird chicks because of the koels. This year, no noisy wake up calls and three beautiful wattlebird chicks are making themselves at home in our leafy backyard.
Hopefully the parasitic koels have gone for good, never to return, and we will see a proliferation of wattle birds in the future.
Alex Wallensky, Broulee, NSW
A to Zed is black and white
It's hard not to have a good chuckle at the absurd mish-mash of concepts that John Smith puts together in defence of Zed Seselja's far-right politics.
Mr Smith (Letters, November 24) frets over "radical progressivism", "wokeness", "iterations of Marxism", and "violence" at the core of support for "oppressed minorities".
Zed's world is apparently a simple dichotomy between "good and evil, right and wrong and beauty and ugliness".
Let's look at "ugliness". Zed, along with his party is a great proponent of neoliberalism. It's underlying ethos of greed, dressed up as economics, has elevated the maximisation of profit above all else.
It's gutted our manufacturing, destroyed job security, turned much of our public sector over to rent seekers, favoured monopolies, turned housing into an investment option and undermined our public health system.
It's also saddled students with swingeing debt, concentrated media ownership and generally undermined social cohesion and equity.
All that is very, very ugly.
Yet here the loony right is, in 2023, getting hot and sweaty about gender diversity over 50 years since The Kinks sang Lola and Lou Reed sang Walk On The Wild Side.
Spare me Lord from those dastardly Marxists.
David Perkins, Reid
Stop persecuting McBride
The recent decision by Justice Mossop to reject David McBride's public interest defence in his whistle blower trial is worrying. I thought that the Nuremburg Trials established that obeying orders did not exempt you from a war crime.
The decision in this case was that military orders must be obeyed. This was upheld on appeal.
So David's defence was eliminated and he pleaded guilty.
The result of his public interest exposure was the Brereton Report which found there is credible information of 23 instances in which non-combatants were killed unlawfully by Australian Special Forces in Afghanistan.
For McBride, the Attorney-General does not think that there are "exceptional circumstances" to withdraw the security charges, much as he terminated Bernard Collaery's Timor Leste case.
Julian Assange's unfairness case of public exposure also comes to mind.
The government has been tardy in not acting on the Brereton Report and the Attorney-General should terminate proceedings against McBride.
Geoff Henkel, Farrer
Is McBride misunderstood?
It would be good to have The Canberra Times clarify why David McBride gave documents to reporters.
The Age reported and Wikipedia states that he was dissatisfied with Defence's investigation of alleged war crimes by Australian soldiers.
Contrary to Jack Waterford's Saturday article ("The Attorney who chooses his battles, too rarely", November 26) he does not appear to have been drawing "attention to war crimes being committed in our name" as such.
Rather that the reporters he gave information to used it contrary to his intentions. Is he as Jack states a hero to those supporting him or just misunderstood?
Graeme Trickett, Forrest
Matters of fact
Christopher Wren's letter re Japanese war crimes (Letters, November 28) needs some correction.
Firstly the ship was the Montevideo Maru. Secondly, the massacre he refers to took place on Tol Plantation (Lombok is an island in Indonesia).
The attacks on Rabaul and Kavieng took place in January 1942 and the first Japanese records of the occupants of this ship were discovered by the Occupying Forces in 1945.
Whilst this handwritten record was subsequently "misplaced", several copies had been made. So we knew of the names of those aboard the Montevideo Maru well before 2012.
There is no doubting the brutality of the Japanese invaders but it was nearly 80 years ago, and a different generation. The same could be said of the Germans of that time, but they, also, are our allies today.
I lived in Rabaul in the 1960s and the aftermath of that horrific invasion was still felt by the local population, Indigenous, Chinese and Australian.
We should never forget, but we have to move on.
Michael White, Ngunnawal
Stop the war
I am neither Jewish nor Palestinian. In this matter I share the sentiment of Shakespeare's Prince Escalus. I don't care if they don't like each other. This outrage has gone on far too long. We don't need a ceasefire we need a resolution. Is it to be ethnic cleansing or co-existence?
Our role is not to pick sides but to end a conflict which has inflicted enormous harm well beyond its immediate region.
Sadly, our political class is either committed to the status quo or too cowardly to say anything.
As was the case in the 1960s it's being left to the students to say that this slaughter is not okay. And once again the adults are telling them that it is too complex for them to understand.
Well, you'll get their answer on social media.
Mike Buckley, Barton
Zed lost his seat
Helen Ferguson (Letters, November 28) erroneously suggests Zed's job was "taken from him". Not true. He was sacked by Canberra's voters for failing to meet basic KPIs. His bad, not theirs. That's the way it is in politics. Like it or leave it.
N Ellis, Belconnen
TO THE POINT
AND PEZZULLO'S AO?
With the sacking of Mike Pezzullo for multiple breaches of the APS Code of Conduct for incidents as far back as 2016, should his Officer of the Order of Australia, which was bestowed in 2020 for "distinguished service to public administration", now be removed?
Graeme Rankin, Holder
PEZZULLO A TRAILBLAZER
Having seen many departmental secretaries come and go during my time in the public service, normally because "they weren't a good fit with the Minister", I cannot recall any ever having been sacked for code of conduct breaches.
Malcolm Paterson, Greenleigh, NSW
HOW TOUGH IS TOUGH?
I was gobsmacked by a comment in the Insider Readers Panel (November 25) that tough times involved "no overseas travel or eating out regularly". I would consider tough times as not being able to afford to buy food from a supermarket or a roof over one's head.
Felicity Chivas, Ainslie
Will Zed now not be serving NSW like he didn't serve the ACT?
Ian Jannaway, Monash
1948 ON REPEAT
Not my words but so true: "In 1948 Palestinians owned 94 per cent of the land. Through violence, occupation and ethnic cleansing Israelis now own 82 per cent of the land. This is done with the support of the US. We are now seeing in Gaza a repeat of the 1948 Nakba, the Catastrophe".
Roderick Holesgrove, Crace
WHO TO VOTE FOR NOW?
The now gleefully anticipated (by confidential sources of course) removal of conservative influence from the ACT Liberal Party, as it seeks to move wishy-washy to Labor Lite leaves me in a quandary about voting intentions in the 2024 ACT elections. Is the "sun-ripened warm tomato party" still around?
John McKeough, Page
SHE MUST BE JOKING
Michele Bullock seems to suggest people might consider giving up dental and hair care in order to help bring down the inflation rate. As the character portrayed by Julia Roberts says, in the film, Pretty Woman: "Big mistake, big. Huge".
Annie Lang, Canberra
TOO CYNICAL FOR WORDS
Is there no level of cynicism to which Netanyahu's IDF propaganda machine won't stoop. Photographs of soldiers carrying boxes labelled "baby food" and "medical supplies" into Al-Shifa Hospital while shooting it up and terrifying patients is their nadir.
Albert M White, Queanbeyan, NSW
TAX THE SPENDERS
If, as the RBA has indicated, much of Australia's high inflation is due to the excessive spending of wealthy Australians why doesn't the RBA recommend the federal government increase their tax in order to curb their expenditure rather than increasing, yet again, the interest rate?
Ian Crick, Hughes
LESSON IN COMPASSION
LNP MPs should see the film One Life about Nicholas Winton's efforts to save refugees at the outbreak of World War II. It is an instructive lesson in compassion.
Philip Worth, Melba
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