The National Party escalated its war on koalas by threatening to bring down the government if new laws protecting the species aren't scrapped ('Koalition in crisis', Newcastle Herald 11/9).
Koalas are on track to become extinct by 2050 if we don't stop cutting down their trees and destroying their forests. If the Nationals got their way, that could happen in the next decade. Arguing against protection for koalas is an extraordinary hill for the Nationals to want to die on, but here we are. The National Party, under leader John Barilaro, has dictated environmental policy to the Liberal Party and the whole state for the past decade.
They've ramped up land clearing, defended feral pests, bungled water management, and intensified logging after the bushfires. They have also promoted extremist fringe ideas that have been debunked decades ago, like uranium and coal seam gas mining. Now they want to tear down the koala planning policy, one of the government's few positive environmental initiatives.
This policy is one small measure to ensure koalas don't become extinct in NSW, and it actually gives landholders more certainty and more information about critical habitat on their properties. People who have lived on the land for generations love the bush and share our goal of ensuring koalas survive and thrive into the future.
Mr Barilaro says he's for farmers and the bush, but in my opinion all of his actions show he is the mouthpiece of the minerals industry, multinational irrigation corporations and big agribusinesses.
John L Hayes, Mayfield
Another tidbit of history repeating
BROWSING through an old copy of the Herald from 1991, I discovered a quote from Napoleon Bonaparte could apply in any number of countries at this particular time. "In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap".
David Stuart, Merewether
Outdated model creates right state
FORMER Senator Dr John Tierney ('Why some state lines border on the absurd', Herald 9/9) points out the issues surrounding the locations and alignments of our state borders, but his solution proposing a new state of Capricornia on the top end of the continent misses the point entirely.
The current crisis and closed borders is yet another illustration of the absurdity of the outmoded federation model of Australia. All of Dr Tierney's objections, and many other issues, could be resolved by simply abolishing the states altogether.
Imagine how much more efficient and effective our government would be if we removed the thousands of politicians and their constant pointless twaddle. Why on earth does our small country need so many levels of government? It's a 19th century structure no longer relevant in the 21st.
Sam Reich, Merewether
Catch carbon before it's released
I SINCERELY wish Professor Ajayan Vinu at the University of Newcastle every success with the new carbon capture technology, ('Carbon capture nanotechnology invented in Newcastle to help the world', Herald 4/9).
While the article was a fascinating read, and claimed a potential huge impact there were no numbers.
We're producing carbon dioxide so fast that we need a carbon capture deployment rate of more than double the growth of the oil industry during the last century, so we'd better get cracking.
Far better I think to remove the source of carbon dioxide by accelerating fossil-fuel phase out and embracing renewable energy.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn
Accidents tend to be unpredictable
TYPICALLY politicians have had a look at the huge ammonium nitrate stockpile at Kooragang and said it's OK, all safety procedures are in place ('MP's 'explosive' claim', Herald 21/8). Excellent.
Funny thing though, no one can ever predict an accident, they always come as a surprise. Remember the bushfire on Kooragang last summer? That wasn't predicted either. Big surprise. The toxic leaks from Orica into the Hunter River a couple of years ago, too.
Yes, it's handy having it so close to the harbour but I believe the truth is they really can't be bothered to tackle this huge problem of having to find somewhere away from Newcastle. Here's an idea: give everyone a free bucket of the stuff for their gardens. Marvellous fertiliser.
In my opinion the mines will never need that much of the stuff now as most of them are getting too old and running out of coal.
Pauline McCarthy, Salamander Bay
It's a service to nation's economy
JEFF Corbett ('That real empty feeling', Opinion 22/8), you are right. We left school with little hoo-ha and went to Vietnam. That was the way it was and some of us have no regrets at all. The voting age at that time was 21 so you did as requested or faced jail time. Now at 18 let's see the national service regime return for those who would benefit. No overseas service, but 12 months of training may change the minds and attitudes of participants. Our economy would benefit.
John Bradford, Beresfield
Higher priorities than petty snipes
SOMEWHAT predictably, Peter Dolan (Letters, 10/9) misses, or chooses, to misinterpret the point I was making about Trump's behaviour in respect to the criticism of him by a town mayor.
I was simply pointing out that despite all the catastrophes that should be occupying his full attention - COVID-19, the US economy, hurricanes - Trump chose to spend three hours or more tweeting offensive comments about the mayor.
I do agree Hillary Clinton did herself a disservice by branding so many Americans "deplorables", but calling Trump supporters who parade around brandishing firearms, and who attempt to intimidate public officials and peaceful protesters, "trigger-happy" is specific and accurate. I am surprised that Mr Dolan is prepared to speak for Donald Trump. I would have thought that the Christian values that he has been so keen to promote over the years would preclude him from supporting a man who seems to be the antithesis of a good Christian.
John Ure, Mount Hutton
Focus on detail is best for debate
GREG Hunt (Letters 10/9) denounces the effect "over-stressed catastrophists" have on the welfare of children when discussing a heating world. Personally, I would be a lot less stressed when climate denialists finally learn the difference between the climate and the weather. It may provide a platform for discussion to everyone's benefit.
Milo Kei, Mayfield
SHARE YOUR OPINION
Email email@example.com or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.
MY first job as a psychologist was at Stockton Centre in 1979. I had intended to stay only as long as necessary to find a job in community mental health. Twenty two years later I retired with Stockton being my last full time job as a clinical psychologist. In one sense the closure is the end of an era. In another sense what Stockton stood for was listening to and advocating for those largely unable to speak for themselves. That unique caring lives on in those fortunate enough to train and learn at Stockton.
Mark Porter, New Lambton
IF only the world had more people like Wendy Cuneo ('Stockton Centre: sound of silence', Newcastle Herald, 7/9) we would all be better off. Wendy should be nominated for Citizen of the Year.
Tracey Mahady, Nelson Bay
SO the Prime Minister who implored us all to go to the footy on the weekend the states commenced lockdowns, and whose farcical border security troops let the Ruby Princess into Sydney Harbour, now wants Victoria to ease restrictions. In my opinion he's a self-proclaimed league fan who has no idea what hard yards are all about.
Rick Frost, Mallabula
I BELIEVE that John Barilaro and the other Nationals who want open slather on what's left of our koalas ('Koalition in crisis', Herald 11/9) should be known for posterity as the "honourable killers of our national wildlife". Sussan Ley do you want to join this group ('Quarry decision delayed', Herald 8/9)? For the sake of some gravel I'm sure we could dig somewhere else less harmful.
Chris Peters, Newcastle
BUSHFIRES reduction in habitat, speeding motor vehicles: come on, Mr Barilaro, how much more can a koala bear?
Tony Bennett, Broke
ARE we living in China, Iran, Nazi Germany? Australians are being arrested in the open air; chased through parks and police are even handcuffing a pregnant woman in her own home in front of her kids. All this over a pandemic that isn't in the top 30 causes of deaths in Australia. Please vote the premiers out of office in Victoria, Queensland and WA and let Australia open up and return to some type of normal life.
Don Fraser, Belmont
DON Fraser (Short Takes, 7/9), you are right when you say ex PM's are hypocrites, but you omitted the word 'all'. As for the worst PM, Scomo has got it wrong so many times in this pandemic it's a bad joke.
Eddie Boards, Kilaben Bay
OUR Prime Minister needs to be in complete charge of all states and premiers in such crucial times, so we can get out of this hellhole of lockdowns and insane border closures ('Dying man left to wait for border decision', Herald 11/9). We can't win this COVID war and get the economy back to normality with incompetence. If we don't wake up soon I fear we'll all be wearing straight jackets as well as masks.
Alan Harrison, Glendale
DO you support the National's push to change NSW koala protection policy?