What will it take to make Canberra act?
Credit:Illustration: Andrew Dyson
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What will it take to make Canberra act?
After at least 20 years of denial of climate change, world leaders gathered in Paris in 2015 and agreed to keep global heating to a maximum of 1.5 degrees. While it is admirable there has been such a huge effort to stop COVID-19, why have global heating and climate change, by comparison, been neglected until now?
We seem to be headed towards the same level of complacency that led to our over-consumption of the Earth’s resources before the pandemic. I have noticed that jet airliners are now flying the skies that were silent not so long ago, and the travel sections of our newspapers are once again awash with ads for ocean cruises. Big jets and floating hotel ocean liners use large amounts of fossil fuel. What has been done to address this?
In the lead up to the 26th meeting of world leaders to discuss once again the issue of climate action, they know they must be decisive and agree on a realistic target that will save life on our planet. And yet, while Extinction Rebellion protesters shame our leaders in Canberra by reminding them they have a “duty of care” to us and future generations, the Coalition is still not committing to strong enough action. What kind of climate disaster will it take to wake up the government?
Trevor Scott, Castlemaine
Basically a plan designed to avoid any real action
The “plan” for reaching net zero by 2050 typifies this government’s mantra and track record. It plans to do nothing itself but instead it will rely on the actions and work of individuals, companies and state governments for which it will ultimately claim credit. Truly a free lift on the wings of others.
Furthermore, its reliance on unproven and carbon intensive technology (soil carbon capture, green (sic) hydrogen), a 15per cent offset for yet to be developed technologies, and gaining “credits” for helping Pacific Nations, does nothing to reduce carbon emissions.
Its “plan” is ideologically driven to avoid taking any real action on cutting carbon emissions or mitigating the coming impacts of climate change. It reflects the government’s leadership vacuum and calls out to Scott Morrison’s own words, “So where the bloody hell are you?“
Stephen Cranby, Ashburton
It’s so easy to make commitments for 30 years on
It will not matter to Scott Morrison if Australia’s undertaking for 2050 is dishonoured as he knows he will not be prime minister then. Presumably he is cautious about undertaking anything for 2030 because he hopes he will still be in power and can say that climate change will be dealt with in the following 20years.
Penelope Buckley, Kew East
Prime Minister, this is nowhere near good enough
Once again our Prime Minister reveals himself as the emperor with no clothes. We see his nakedness and his “government’s” policy emptiness. Far from being reassured about Australia’s representation at Glasgow, we cringe in shame before the eyes of the world. Not good enough, Scott Morrison.
Lynda Campbell, Ascot Vale
How Labor can avoid another electoral drubbing
Labor needs to be clear on how and when regional people will find surety in life when coal jobs disappear. It needs to be more attentive to the needs of farmers, the ones who give us food security, and around whom the economy of the bush is based, and move to stop the environmental damage being done by the fossil fuel mob (whom the Nationals represent) in terms of fracking on arable land.
Labor also needs to curb the movement of tree-changers to the bush, which is changing its nature and making housing unaffordable. Without that, people will be left no alternative but to follow the maxim, “better the devil you know …“
Graeme Foley, Werribee
NSW has a real plan
Our Prime Minister has shown us a shiny new brochure which we are told is a plan. A hastily drawn up list of intentions, hopes and preferences does not constitute a plan. We have to look no further than the “lost” aged care pandemic plan, the laudable list of vaccination priorities which was largely ignored or forgotten, or the botched vaccine rollout (particularly inadequate vaccine acquisition; and did someone mention the national energy guarantee?) to see that the federal government is incapable of creating/executing a plan.
The Prime Minister has to look no further than over his back fence to see what fellow Liberal, Matt Kean, has implemented in NSW. Now that’s a plan.
Grant Hawthorne, Golden Square
Shaming us at Glasgow
Is there a medical practitioner somewhere who will write a sick certificate for Scott Morrison so that he does not have to go to Glasgow? Hearing him speak about strategies to address climate change for even a few minutes at a press conference is enough to demonstrate that he is definitely not an appropriate person to represent us there. And if a sick certificate is not possible, perhaps somebody could steal his lapel badge and any other items that mark him as being from Australia.
Kate Puls, Eltham
Vote 1 for independents
If the government’s statement on climate change does not stir people to act, I doubt anything will. The “plan” was an empty, insulting, measly offering. To wrest power back from people who treat us with such disdain will require voting for independents with good skills and values. Naive maybe, but to keep voting for politicians who work tirelessly to stay in power at any cost will ruin this country.
Hazel Scott, Hawthorn East
Subsidising the polluters
Angus Taylor said in his pantomime power point presentation that “we have an opportunity to be a world leader” in regard to production of hydrogen. He has missed the boat by about 20years. Not only that, the Coalition spoiled an opportunity when it abolished the carbon tax. In those days we taxed the polluters, now we collect funds from the taxpayer and pay the polluters. “Technology not taxes” indeed.
Greg Oates, Huon Creek
End Crown’s dominance
Crown Resorts (The Age, 27/10) has been found unfit to hold a licence to run the casino, which will be no surprise to anybody, yet it is allowed to continue to operate on the “too big to fail” principle. We all saw how well that principle worked out in the global financial crisis – the poor were beggared and the rich got richer.
The same will continue to happen while we have a casino in anything like its current form. Any interim solution must result in the casino being made small enough so that it can be allowed to fail, whether by dividing it up into smaller units or by vastly reducing its size and turnover.
Only then, when whoever is running it know that they can be hung out to dry properly, will we see any hope of compliance. It is clear that the casino has been ignoring or thumbing its nose at regulators. It could do this because of the lack of any really effective regulation or sanction.
Andrew Watkins, Olinda
The new ‘Crown’ argument
If I ever commit enough serious and “disgraceful” driving offences to warrant immediate cancellation of my licence, I will ask the court if it will give me a two-year good behaviour bond instead. No longer being able to drive would have a devastating effect on the family economy.
Ross Duncan, Potts Point
Repay all taxes owed
While thousands of Victorians are struggling after losing all income due to the pandemic and lockdowns, with no support from the government except the paltry JobSeeker payment, we now hear that Crown Casino does not have to repay $220million in taxes that it owes. This amount could offer relief in the form of start-up funds. Why isn’t the government forcing it to repay this money?
Sarah Gully, Glen Iris
The rich get even richer
Commissioner Ray Finkelstein has recommended that major shareholder James Packer be forced to sell down his 37 per cent stake in Crown to 5 per cent or less by September 2024. As Packer sails off into the sunset in his multi-million dollar yacht with his ill-gotten gains, and Crown keeps its licence despite egregious corporate malfeasance, it goes to show that there is one rule for the rich and powerful and another for us ordinary plebs.
David O’Reilly, Park Orchards
A dangerous proposal
If punters have to give up cash to gamble at Crown, they might find other places to bet, undermining the good work of the royal commission. Punters love physical notes and coins, not because we are criminals but simply because it is the best way to set a budget limit. Plus winning cash is extra special.
You cannot go over your limit without leaving the gaming area, having a rethink, then deciding if you want to find an ATM to risk losing more money.
So what is the point of removing cash, the gambler’s best harm minimisation tool of all? Losing all your cold hard cash is real. Seeing your online account balance decline is almost painless. This could be one of those well-intentioned laws that backfire spectacularly if punters decide they like cash more than Crown.
Jason Bryce, Newport
The power of boycotts
Despite its unethical and illegal behaviour, Crown casino has not been shut down. We can not only boycott it but also put pressure on all the sporting clubs, companies, organisations and individuals which hold functions there to take their business elsewhere.
Rosemary Kiss, Rippleside
Too serious to be rushed
Regulations, genuinely in the public interest, well-considered, and transparently explained, should not require the threat of a $90,000 fine and a two-year jail sentence to achieve compliance (The Age, 27/10). The proposed Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021 should not be rushed through state Parliament. The public should be given time to consider its ramifications, including how it might be used by a premier less benign than Dan Andrews.
Peter Fenwick, East Melbourne
Anyone who is worried about the severity of the Victorian government’s new pandemic laws will be relieved to know that if they can somehow claim a connection to Crown Resorts, then all will be forgiven.
David Dean, Caulfield
Time to stand up to Crown
I have been a supporter of the Andrews government in its handling of the pandemic. We all know that mistakes were made, that is always the burden of those that do. B-plus. More transparency and a higher mark could have easily been achieved.
Now we move onto Crown. How does the Andrews government check the organisation that contributes so much tax to its coffers? How does the government curtail the blatant disregard it has shown for any need to comply? Can anyone from the government please explain how Crown can keep its licence? The “festering sore” that Crown has become needs to be lanced. Is the government up to the challenge?
David Conolly, Brighton
No exemption for players
Once again, a group of elite sportspeople are pushing for and expecting to be granted exemption from COVID-19 vaccination rules that apply to less exalted human beings, including the thousands of fans who will pay to see them play.
Some players are boastfully unvaccinated, others so self-important they will not reveal their status. Meanwhile we know the vaccination status of the royal family, presidents, prime ministers, premiers and countless more responsible celebrities around the world. Perhaps these arrogant, too precious ball-hitters should study the Greek tragedies, with particular attention to the theme of hubris.
Gaye Boswell, Wantirna South
Risk of the unvaccinated
Only a very small number of Australians are unable to be vaccinated. The rest should turn their attention away from themselves and think of the medical staff who are working in full personal protective equipment for long hours and under intense stress tending to patients’ needs, particularly those with COVID-19 and who have not been vaccinated.
Far from being “second-class” citizens as your correspondent (Letters, 27/10) claims, they are selfish and ill-informed. They have caused the lockdown to be longer than necessary and continue to pose a risk to their fellow citizens.
Marie Martin, Malvern
Your editorial (The Age, 25/10) ignores that it is not just those who are unvaccinated who are “not getting in”. It is also those who find the current segregation and demonisation of the unvaccinated repugnant and refuse to participate in the vaccinated economy through choice. I am fully vaccinated and, on so-called “freedom day”, I felt sick at those rejoicing this horrid segregation. Personally I will not be going anywhere that demands to see my vaccination certificate.
Marissa White, Vermont
Our country, our laws
They are not gods, they are not immune. Novak Djokovic may be vaccinated and could just be keeping quiet but whatever his situation, he is not above Australian law. The recent figure quoted that about a third of tennis players are unvaccinated is incredible. It is their choice but so is it ours to demand vaccination status for all travellers to our country, whether they are tennis players, cricketers, Formula One drivers or tourists. Not one rule for some and different rules for others.
Lesley McCarthy, Sunbury
AND ANOTHER THING
Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding
How can Crown be found guilty of so many willful failures of governance and dodgy dealings and keep its licence?
Anthony Hitchman, St Andrews
Too big to fail, too big to jail.
Bob Evans, Melbourne
Filthy lucre eclipses all else.
Tris Raouf, Hadfield
Legislate to cut back in scale any business that is too big and lucrative to fail. Crown is at the top of the list.
Peter Thomas, Pascoe Vale
ScoMo’s PLAN: Please Look Away Now.
Liz Jovanovic, Moonee Ponds
ScoMo’s at it again with the old pea and thimble trick.
Bob Whiteside, North Warrandyte
In place of action, we have a plan. Instead of a plan, we have spin.
Wendy Knight, Little River
Another day of shame for Australia. The do-nothing Libs and Nats make a deal so they can do what they do best – nothing.
Theo Richter, Bentleigh East
So the ″plan″ is ″the Australian way″? Oh, I know – she’ll be right, mate.
Wal Close, Surrey Hills
Hey Albo, it might be time to pinch Matt Kean’s homework.
Simon Costello, Melbourne
Morrison should remember an old saying: Any fool can spend money.
Keith Graham, Ringwood
Morrison’s “how to” plan lacks specifics – eg, EVs are missing.
Barbara Fraser, Burwood
Net zero. The mice who roared, and twisted the tail of the tiger.
Vince Corbett, Essendon
Morrison has lots of plans. It’s the delivery he has a problem with.
Andrew Ferguson, Richmond
And if AustPost staff don’t like their massive bonuses, they can go, Mr Speaker.
Paul Sands, Sunbury
Re unvaccinated players. Will ball kids be able to demand danger money?
Paul Custance, Hightett
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