Renewables will power the economy better than gas


If the Prime Minister is serious about “adjusting the way Australia does business” he would do well to instruct his COVID commission to consult a wider range of experts (“PM puts gas at forefront of recovery plan”, August 8-9). World-leading experts in climate science, economics, business and technology are proposing larger scale projects in renewable energy that will produce good and secure jobs to reboot our economy and reduce our carbon emissions at the same time. Many countries now make substantial investments in climate-smart recovery approaches.

Is a gas-led plan that will saddle us and our young people with a backward-looking recovery and worsening climate change really what we want? Maree Nutt, Newport

Scott Morrison needs his head read if he chooses to back polluting gas to rebuild the economy. New gas projects are expensive and duds for job-creation. Solar and wind are cheaper, cleaner and now the educated choice of governments around the world. Alison Orme , Marrickville

This is such a short-term fix. Continuing to depend on fossil fuels, such as gas or even coal, is wrong.


Depending on fossil fuels leads to economic contraction, because aside from destabilising the climate, they are depleting non–renewable resources: what’s left of them will be increasingly expensive to get. Meanwhile renewable energy from wind, solar and hydro is cleaner and already more affordable and more immediate than gas or coal. None of this is rocket science, so why do the politicians keep looking the other way? Peter Foster-Bunch, Avalon Beach

Nothing should alert us to corruption in our democracy more than the PM’s gas-led recovery plan . However he spins it, a recovery led by renewables would be cheaper, cleaner, more employment-intensive and more popular with the electorate. But, hey, the influential National COVID Co-ordination Commission is top-heavy with hand-picked fossil fuel company executives. Need I say more? Thea Ormerod, Kingsgrove

If you ask fossil fuel executives what to spend money on, what answer would you expect? The “energy challenges” should have been a factor in running the economy for the past seven years, but the Coalition hasn’t had an energy policy since Tony Abbott scrapped the carbon tax. Chief among those energy challenges is scrapping our reliance on carbon-producing fossil fuels in a rapidly warming climate. Our future cannot lie with new gas extraction or burning. Angela Michaelis, Balmain

You would think the government had woken up to the need to follow advice from science and other experts, but no. Science says gas is worse than coal for climate change impacts; economists say there are more jobs in expansion of renewable energy; renewable energy is cheaper and faster to implement than fossil fuel systems, and Australia could become an exporter of renewable energy instead of contributing to the pollution of the atmosphere and climate. Richard Swinton , Clunes

Should we trust the Prime Minister’s conflation of pumping billions of dollars into the gas industry, another non-renewable fossil fuel, and a “COVID-safe” future? No. It’s camouflage, not co-dependence. More than ever, the world needs to look to the future, not the unsustainable past. Andrew Scott, Pymble

The Coalition is to be renamed the Gasolition. Ian Catt, Surry Hills

Treasurer’s head must roll for icare travesty

It appears icare executives have little apparent concern for anything except money (”Perrottet’s icare staffer joined US trade trip”, August 8-9). But the revelation that the minister had two political advisers in his office paid for by icare, including a US Republican, is really quite beyond the pale.

Icare’s premiums were collected to help injured NSW workers. The minister has a whole department to advise him but he used icare’s money to dispatch his minder to the US. The minister should resign and the matter should be referred to the DPP. Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, Woolwich

Couldn’t agree more strongly with Dr Simon Longstaff (”Superb job at icare? No, Minister”, August 8-9). COVID-19 can’t be an excuse for sloppy politics. NSW lost one Premier who didn’t declare a bottle of red. Now we have the office of the Treasurer in Dominic Perrottet that has allegedly transgressed much more significantly refusing to resign, or at least step down pending investigation, and a Premier who continues to refuse to do anything about it. We are all in this together — except those with the power to say they are not. Yes, Dr Longstaff, hypocrisy at its most blatant. Barry French, Cronulla

It’s time, Dominic Perrottet. Your judgment and ministerial leadership has been found to be seriously deficient with respect to administration of icare and your own office staff. We, the voters, have lost confidence. Resign your ministry now before you are pushed. Shane Nunan, Finley

It has been evident for some time that “conflict of interest” is a phrase unknown to the federal Coalition, now it seems we have it in the state Treasury at the expense of the people this scheme was meant to protect. Resignation is the only appropriate action. Jock Webb, Narromine

Leadership is about having a vision and a strategy to execute on that vision, with the ability to communicate this in a clear and understandable way. Leaders have to set an example and be role models.

Perrottet is no leader and no role model. The Premier, by keeping him in his role as Treasurer, is failing the leadership test as well. The inability of both the Treasurer and the Premier to do the right thing undermines our faith in democracy and respect for our elected representatives. It is not too late to act, but that window of opportunity is closing rapidly. Voters have long memories. John Whiteing, Willoughby

Clamp down now before virus gets loose in NSW

I am under indefinite house arrest. My only crime is being in a vulnerable category for COVID. It is unsafe for me to leave home. The sentence has been imposed by the Premier (“Experts on edge as cases begin to slip through the cracks”, August 8-9).

The state was so close to eradicating the virus, but rather than push on to a quick conclusion like New Zealand, the Premier prematurely allowed people to return to more or less normal life, acknowledging at the time that her decision would result in more cases.

Now we are seeing the consequences, and despite having the example and threat of Victoria on our doorstep she refuses to take strong, proactive steps to tackle a deteriorating situation, such as properly sealing our borders and shutting down non-essential services, particularly notorious incubators like pubs, restaurants and places of worship. Make 1.5 metres social distancing an enforceable regulation, not a request.

Surely protecting human life must be the primary duty of care for a government, rather than pandering to vested interests? Paul Cunningham, Frenchs Forest

Premier, if ever there was a time, it is now. Come in hard and fast with pub and similar venue closures and masks for all and reap the rewards later for a good job done. Bruce Auld, Borenore

If the Premier is so concerned with what is happening in pubs and clubs, why is she not worried about what is happening on public transport? On the 3.15pm Central to Newcastle train last week most of the passengers were not wearing masks. Impossible to keep social distancing in a fairly crowded space. The man opposite me who wasn’t wearing a mask coughed into his hands and did not use a hand sanitiser. What did he touch on his way out of the carriage? Judy Hooworth, Morisset

Me-first culture

Scott Morrison’s comment that any country to find and not share a vaccine “would be judged terribly by history” is a legitimate view. The world today is short of leaders with vision and the realities of the political climate lead to more job keeping than legacy seeking (“Building a vaccine”, August 8-9). The movement is clearly towards “me first” and the winners will be those with money or influence. Best to focus on a favourable place in line. Robert Caraian, Crows Nest

Misogyny alive and well

Jacqueline Maley’s analysis of NSW State parliamentarian Brad Hazzard’s recent derogatory comments to Opposition Leader Jodi McKay indicates that misogyny is alive and well in Australian society (“Hazardous territory a too-easy trip of the tongue”, August 8-9). How sad that one of our paid leaders continues with this ugly mindset. What a poor example he is setting for others to follow. Karen Eldridge, Leichhardt

No apology or excuse could ever expunge what was revealed by Hazzard’s vitriolic and personal attack on Jodi McKay. Any victims of bullying in the workplace would recognise this effort at intimidation. The veneer of civility removed and a full-on psychological assault. Even more disturbing to read of the guffaws of his colleagues. The Premier must take some action. Louise Dolan, Birchgrove

The way politicians answer (or not) questions in Parliament is a good indication of their maturity. The infantile, sexist way Hazzard responded to a perfectly valid question on the availability of masks in NSW by the leader of the State Opposition shows a few things. Firstly, that there are not enough masks available and he is reluctant to admit that. Secondly, having been shown up as having failed to provide sufficient masks, he tries to bluster his way out by a rude, crude avalanche of abuse that only goes to emphasise his failings. If I ever had any trust or confidence in his capabilities as Minister for Health, that has totally evaporated. He should resign or be sacked. John Greenway, Wentworth Falls

Simple truth about jobs

As expected, Ross Gittins tells it as it really is, unlike like those who tell it as they falsely think it is (“People on the dole don’t want a job? Don’t believe it”, August 8-9). Anyone with even a fundamental understanding of arithmetic division can see that the 1.8 million on JobSeeker and youth allowance won’t go in to the 129,000 job vacancies. Col Shephard, Yamba

Bad example to students

“Scandal-plagued”, “rebellion”, “aggressive and disrespectful”, “staggering”, “unconscionable and reckless”, “entitled, defamatory and deceptive”: this is how a student representative body is described for wanting to be involved in decision-making at their college (“St Paul’s warden clashes with students, agitates status quo”, August 8-9). Surely there could have been a better way for these communications to be managed. Listening and respecting would be a starting point, and equipping young adults about to embark on their own career paths with positive negotiation skills, rather than the poor communication skills they go on to emulate. There is a possibility some of these students will hold roles in public life and leadership. I hope they’ve just learned how not to respond when someone comes to them with concerns. Elizabeth Forrest, Balgowlah Heights

Adopt a dog

What a shame it is to see that “designer puppies” are selling in great numbers and at such cost (“It’s a breeder’s life as cost for fancy furry friends soars”, August 8-9). There are tens of thousands of deserving dogs languishing in pounds while people opt for an expensive animal bred specifically for this demand. In the meantime, many dogs crying out for a home will invariably be put down. Judy Hungerford, North Curl Curl

Sad news for diners

It is sad news indeed to hear that BBQ King is closing after 40 years in Chinatown (“City chefs in shock as industry favourite closes”, August 8-9). I wonder how many readers remember another eating favourite, Eric’s Seafood Cafe, Pacific Highway, Crows Nest. To the best of my knowledge the cafe operated for more than 70 years, first by the founder then by his son Tony. Laminate tables, plastic flowers in vases on the wall, no water views but food second to none at very reasonable prices, take your own drinks with no corkage, all delivered by friendly staff. The cafe was a favourite of ABC employees from Gore Hill studios, politicians, bookmakers, publicans and many other colourful characters. Paul Totman, Mittagong

Golden days of the silver screen

Such affluence in the 1950s (Letters, August, 8-9). In Wollongong in the late-40s it was sixpence for a Saturday arvo movie. Three pence for the front stalls, a penny each way in the bus and a tooth-testing creamy toffee at interval. Paul Wand, Wollongong

As a lolly boy at the Astra Theatre in Parramatta I would position myself at the front of the stalls 10 minutes before interval with a tray of sweets and ice cream tubs. With my back to the screen its illumination afforded me an excellent view of the audience and I did witness some interesting activities. Rod Allan, Kelso

I do not miss the old picture show days. At the Gladesville theatre the ushers made you stand while Liz rode around on her horse, as the screen was being pelted with Jaffas from the front row. Paul Keys, Clouds Creek

In an early display of my republican leanings at the Palace Cinema in Maitland I once remained seated during the national anthem and for my insolence got a whack on the head with the usherette’s torch.
Rick Johnston, Potts Point

How many of those reviving memories of the movies in later years were among the dozens of people standing outside shop windows at night gawping at a tiny black and white TV? Joan Brown, Orange

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