Take one step at a time – and make progress

Take one step at a time – and make progress

Credit:Illustration: Cathy Wilcox

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Take one step at a time – and make progress

Ross Gittins – “Albanese is just pretending to be tough on emissions” (Business, 27/3) – misses the point. The Albanese opposition, now the government, achieved broad consensus across industry, business, unions, conservation groups and the community generally about a way to at least slow the growth in carbon emissions. Gittins is demanding that the government risk shattering that consensus, as were the Greens until reaching an eleventh-hour compromise – “Greens to back Labor’s climate bill after Bandt does deal on safeguard mechanism” (The Age, 27/3).

Most of us know that more is needed as quickly as possible, but can’t we cut the politics, take one step at a time and actually make some progress? There is no reason why limits or bans on future oil and gas projects had to be dealt with in the current legislation. Just accept the gain and keep advocating for more.
David Withington, Berwick

The Greens have seen sense and compromised

Thank goodness the Greens have not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good by deciding to support the government’s safeguard mechanism in parliament. There is no doubt the proposed legislation warrants improvement, but that is preferable to no legislated caps on greenhouse gas emissions. Those opposing the legislation will be on the wrong side of history and humanity.
Juliet Flesch, Kew

Despite deal, this is not the end of the climate wars

So the Greens’ negotiations on climate have stopped only half of the planned new coal and gas projects. Labor still seems to be more concerned about the coal and gas industry than the devastating impact of climate change. Adam Bandt has won only a small tactical victory. The climate wars must still go on until we are all safe.
Bob Muntz, Ascot Vale

The harsh facts about carbon capture and storage

Re the deal between Labor and the Greens. There is a way to achieve carbon capture and storage on an effective scale for a safety mechanism to lower net CO2 emissions without creative accounting, selective data or magical thinking. Plant a huge, carboniferous coastal forrest. As sea levels rise and the forest sinks, it will cover with silt and water, compressing the plant matter into a large seam of solid carbon and gaseous or oily hydrocarbons. Leave them there.
Benedict Clark, Ryanston

The danger of ’all or nothing tactics’

Geoff Cousins, a former Australian Conservation Foundation president (The Age, 27/3), acknowledges warnings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s scientists that Australia has not done enough to reduce emissions. However, he ignores the urgency in their message. Let’s face it, the government along with the coal and gas industry are the ones using “all or nothing tactics”, willing to tolerate enormous risks and losses rather than address the urgency of the escalating climate crisis.
Brenda Tait, Kensington

Imperfect, but a huge advance on what we’ve had

Thank heavens the Greens have rejected the absolutism of Bob Brown and Christine Milne to prevent a repeat of the blunder of 2009 when the pursuit of the perfect set the fight against global warming back a decade. The safeguard mechanism is far from perfect but it is a good deal better than the nothing we have seen for the past nine years.
Ken Rivett, Ferntree Gully

Why aren’t we making the environment our priority?

We do not need to wait for a foreign power to destroy our assets, we are doing a great job ourselves. Just look at the massive fish kill in the Darling River at Menindee, NSW – largely a result of poor water management, overextraction and CO2-induced climate extremes. Our environment is our lifeline and has to be our priority.
Jennie Epstein, Little River


Doubling led to chaos

I am a retired pharmacist and I remember what happened back in the 1980s when the government doubled the quantity of certain PBS medicines to be dispensed at one time (The Age, 27/3).

It led to: hoarding and stockpiling, patients “losing” or misplacing the second package and coming back for more anyway, confusion when some patients took tablets from both containers instead of just one, and a lot of wastage when medication had to be discarded when the doctor changed it. It was chaos.

The doubling was ceased when these problems came to light. One month at a time, and everybody knows where they stand. Why not increase the number of repeats that doctors are allowed to prescribe? Instead of one month’s supply and five repeats, make it 11 repeats. To be dispensed one at a time.
Noela Bull, Diamond Creek

Fight to regain centre

Moira Deeming was not excommunicated from the Liberal Party’s broad church, which probably prevented her from becoming a martyr for free speech and association. Although John Pesutto did not achieve the outcome he wanted, he has started to distinguish the difference between his Liberal faith and those preaching heresy. His fight to regain the centre is just beginning and may produce a martyr or two.
Peter Thomas, Pascoe Vale

Tackle the government

John Pesutto has made a clown of himself over his unsuccessful attempt to expel Moira Deeming from the Victorian Liberal Party. It is disappointing that he does not focus his time and energy on exposing the shenanigans of the sneaky and opaque Andrews government.
Dennis Walker, North Melbourne

Duty to constituents

Can the Liberal Party suspend Moira Deeming for nine months? Is she not an MP and employed not by the party but by the parliament itself? Are her constituents now unrepresented? I believe the Liberal Party has overstepped the mark and shown contempt for parliament. Suspend her from any party activity perhaps, but from her parliamentary duty and responsibilities, I don’t think so.
Rod Mackenzie, Marshall

Why not a suspension?

The Victorian Liberals have wimped it. If you can’t sort out something so simple as the Moira Deeming matter, don’t bother turning up for the next election.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill

Party is too hard-right

There has been much navel gazing as to the reasons why there is now only one state in the country that the Liberal Party governs. The primary problem is it is no longer seen by the majority to be liberal. It claims to be a “broad church” but on the evidence, its ethos has become progressively modified by the hard-right, conservative, Pentecostal wing of its “religion”. And recent election results nationwide speak for themselves.
Kevin Bailey, Croydon

Dismissive and evasive

The premier’s dismissive answer to the reasonable question about why he did not invite members of the Australian media to report on his trip to China (The Age, 27/3) was indefensible. Importantly, it does not allay reasonable concerns about transparency.

Daniel Andrews’ remarks, suggesting media contingents on state visits are essentially photo opportunities, trivialise the vital role of journalists. Whatever one’s political leanings, Andrews’ comments do not serve a justifiably anxious and fatigued Australian and international community in unprecedented geopolitically, socially and economically fraught times.
Anna Ridgway, Abbotsford

Our right to the gardens

If trams do not return to Domain Road, South Yarra (Sunday Age, 26/3), I will be forced to drive to the Botanic Gardens at a cost to the environment and an inhibitive cost to myself as a pensioner. I used to be able to take public transport into the city and the tram out along Domain Road. From there it was an easy walk to our magnificent gardens.

Now in my eighties, I cannot both climb up or around the Shrine and have energy left for walking in the gardens. With many well-placed seats around the gardens, the natural environment and clean air, it has been an important factor in maintaining my health. It is not just about the shopkeepers, please. Wasn’t the tram meant to be for access to the Botanic Gardens?
Katherine Thirkell, Sunshine

Health benefits of parks

Outdoor exercise was a salve during lockdowns, but I have noticed our local parks and trails have largely emptied of walkers and bikers on weekends. Given the importance of exercise to mental health and its myriad other wellness benefits, are we largely ignoring our biggest public health challenge? We saw the value in spending billions on lockdowns. Should we now be spending far more to urge people to get out of their homes for their own good?
Gordon McNenney, Prahran

Stand up to ableist abuse

The AFL is to be commended for its position over not tolerating racial abuse (Sport, 27/3). I would like this stance and action to also be taken regarding ableist abuse.

Many words that are used to degrade others involved in football are ableist slurs – particularly those used in an attempt to mock someone’s intelligence. These terms are discriminatory, harmful and deeply offensive.

Many people use more direct terms which refer to disability and think it is humorous or OK to degrade or abuse someone. None of this behaviour is acceptable, and this also needs to be heard loudly and clearly in discussions and actions regarding integrity and diversity in the AFL.
Stephanie Gotlib, disability advocate, Collingwood

Turn down the volume

What Ron Reynolds described at the MCG on Saturday (Letters, 27/3) was my exact experience at the Docklands stadium the following day. “Loud music and commentary” fills every minute.

Although conversation was difficult, I said to my friend that the problem continues year after year, despite complaints from the AFL Fans Association and the inevitable letters to the editor in newspapers. (And there was such a letter yesterday.)

And not only is the noise level intolerable, much of the music is hardly inappropriate. Maybe the AFL and ground administrators should leave their insulated – and insular – boxes and experience what the paying public has to endure.
Phillip Burnham, Collingwood

Punish the ’chargers’

The AFL needs to introduce a send-off rule to stop the head-high charging (bumping) by players not going for the ball. Off for 10minutes with no replacement. Plus go to the AFL Tribunal. It is the only way to introduce sportsmanship into the game.
Dan Drummond, Leongatha

Many talents of Lear

William McArthur may have invented the combined fork/knife/spoon utensil, known as a splayd (SuperQuiz, 27/3). However, Edward Lear’s poem, The Owl and the Pussycat poem, first published in 1871, makes reference to “a runcible spoon”, which has exactly the same design principles as McArthur’s splayd. It seems a combination utensil was “on the table” long before 1946.
Gina Brotchie, Soldiers Hill

Voice’s lack of details

I have spent more than 50 years involved with public policy variously from academic, business and government perspectives. Politicians will penny (and policy) pinch over a few dollars on a worthwhile project but give them a big “nation-building” project and scrutiny goes out of the window.

The Voice is a major public policy initiative with nation-changing intentions, but is yet to receive the scrutiny it deserves. We are unadvised of the costs, financial and otherwise, and have been provided with minimal advice about the benefits beyond a set of platitudes.

What different/better outcomes will the Voice deliver and how? Where is the cost/benefit analysis for such expenditure of national capital? Or is this another nation-building project so elevated in political intent that citizens are deemed unable to grasp the political vision and are thereby deemed unworthy of being informed?
Barry Ferguson, Parkdale

Imagine a new scenario

Maybe Peter Dutton and David Littleproud would have a better understanding of the Voice if they could imagine the history of Australia having the opposite outcome to what we have. What if it were the Aboriginal nations in charge and they had denied us all the rights that we have denied them over the centuries? I think they would support the campaign for the Voice. Unfortunately I do not think Dutton and Littleproud have the imagination.
Jane Dubsky, Glen Iris

Clamp down on scammers

Jon Faine’s latest article – “The scam merry-go-round” (Sunday Age, 26/3) – makes some very good points about inaction by authorities and banks. If the 100-point identification process is followed rigorously by banks when people open accounts, it should be possible to identify local perpetrators of scams. There are so many fake accounts that they cannot all be based on stolen identities.
Graham Bull, McKinnon

Listen to the people

Come on, Anthony Albanese, get cracking on the issues that matter to Australians – climate, tax reform, integrity, education and housing. The people are the only lobbyists you need to listen to.
Belinda Burke, Hawthorn

Cats aren’t so complex

Why do people assign human motivations to cats – “When the printed word gives pause” (Sunday Age, 26/3)? Cats are no more “bloody-minded”, “attention seeking” or possessors of “sheer malevolence” than they are furry children. Felines come loaded with unique motivations and often, simply do what works. The cat that rambled across the 17th-century book was quite possibly taking the shortest route to the other side.
Debbie Lustig, Elsternwick


Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding


Deeming, another failed exorcism from the Liberals’ broad church.
Paul Custance, Highett

It looks like the Liberal kindergarten knows how to handle a dissident: send them to the naughty corner for a spell.
Francis Bainbridge, Fitzroy North

The “broad church” seems to be missing a few parishioners.
Tim Douglas, Blairgowrie

Henceforth, when we suggest someone has extreme right-wing views, are we “deeming” them?
John Skaro, Malvern

There seems to be a typo in your headline, “Trump goes apocalyptic at Waco rally” (27/3). Shouldn’t it read “wacko rally”?
Deborah Morrison, Malvern East

Is Dan following a red “yellow brick road”, cap in hand, to pay for his Big Builds?
Noel Mavric, Moonlight Flat

It’s almost like Australians aren’t buying what the Coalition has for sale.
Pete Sands, Monbulk


More coaches need to denounce the sling tackle – loudly and right away.
David Cayzer, Clifton Hill

No King, Membrey or Steele, plus three other senior players with long-term injuries…no problem. Go Saints.
Will Muskens, Bardon, Qld

As the mainland turns red, Tasmania will be feted by both sides of politics offering the ultimate inducement – an AFL team.
Greg Curtin, Blackburn South


Interesting that GPs are happy for pharmacists to forgo income, but not the other way round (27/3).
Peter Baddeley, Portland

Two big unions, the Australian Medical Association and the Pharmacy Guild, in a demarcation dispute over healthcare dollars
George Reed, Wheelers Hill

Cat paw prints were found on pages of a 1605 book by Philip Sidney (26/3). Was the cat upset by some doggerel verse in the book?
Robin Jensen, Castlemaine

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