SCOTT Morrison yesterday outlined the government's gas plan ('PM's Hunter power play', Newcastle Herald 15/9). Billions in public money should not be spent lining the pockets of multinational gas companies which pay very little tax and royalties.
The government should stop trying to prop up struggling multinational gas companies, which are already uneconomic, and who create very few jobs.
The government is trying to force through controversial new fracking projects against the wishes of traditional owners, farmers and local communities, who have made it clear they do not want fracking, with its significant risks to their land and water.
Entrenching a reliance on gas will only worsen the impacts of climate change.
The government should instead invest in clean energy and help manufacturers transition away from a reliance on dirty, expensive gas. New wind and solar energy production, backed by batteries, is best placed to provide cheap power prices, tackle climate change and create the long-term jobs Australia so desperately needs.
Modelling by the Australian Energy Market Operator shows Australia can rapidly transition to a renewable-powered grid without the need for any new gas.
Gas is a fossil fuel which is driving worsening climate change. When you count fugitive emissions and the emissions from producing, liquefying gas for export, transporting and burning gas, gas is no better for the climate than coal.
John L Hayes, Mayfield East
It's a test of our compassion
AS a special needs dentist for three decades, there has been no greater joy in my work than caring for children with autism and their families. I have many long standing families that remember initial dental visits where their child only accepted a quick look at their dentitions in the waiting room or in some instances, in the car park.
Recently, one of my young patients was restrained in his car seat for what is a very uncomfortable COVID test and he was inconsolable for hours after the swab. Another mother described the procedure as so distressing that the difficult alternative of not sending him to school for a week would be the only option.
Does a child with autism, with a sniffle, in a community with no known new COVID cases need to be physically restrained for a procedure that will affect their willingness to accept other dental and medical procedures for a lifetime? That may sound like an exaggeration, but I assure you I have many phobic dental adult patients that are in tears in the waiting room with fear as a result of one incident that occurred in a dental chair in their childhood.
Let's ensure our children with autism don't feel like they are being assaulted for a medical procedure and instead build some clarity about the additional needs of children with autism.
Peter King, The Hill
Division isn't helping state of mind
LATELY I believe it has become very obvious that certain media organisations and some politicians are more concerned with peddling their message and sticking the boot in to others rather than uniting the nation. The border closures have caused problems, no doubt. All the states have shown compassion and support for their people. Everyone is frustrated and fed up, however it's not the Australian thing to kick someone when they are down.
Open everything and no doubt we will lose more lives. Hospitals will be overcome and businesses will have to close because people are too sick to work.
It is quite obvious that certain people and organisations in our country are more concerned with their money-making abilities even in this terrible time. Tasmania and South Australia closed their borders and achieved great results. Western Australia and Queensland did the same, yet they cop a constant barrage of abuse and ridicule for looking after their people. Victoria unfortunately has been affected badly, so who's to blame? Obviously the infection was introduced from overseas, as with the Ruby Princess fiasco.
One would like to think that in such a tragedy we would have politicians that supported each other and the constituents of each state, keeping any political agenda out of this. This goes all the way to the Prime Minister. Australians stick together in tough times and help each other. I find it sad we don't have a government and certain media organisations that portray the same message.
Shaun Goss, Swansea
Costs of war on virus are mounting
IF we were at war, our government would not be saying those who work in munitions factories cannot go to work because there is a chance the factory may be bombed.
They also would not be paying these people to stay at home. I believe this coronavirus is the same as being at war where a percentage of casualties have to be accepted as collateral damage.
The onus, or responsibility of risk, should be up to each individual whether they attend work or wear masks unless their employer says otherwise.
The way we are heading, this virus will cost taxpayers $500 billion and, with around 10 million taxpayers, leaves each with a debt amounting to $50,000 to be repaid. This is more than most would save in a lifetime.
The GFC money giveaway was bad enough, which I believe is still owing. This coronavirus debt will be ten times as much.
I am not one of these nutters saying the whole thing is a conspiracy, because it is real. I am saying it's up to the individual to accept responsibility for their own safety and welfare. Yes, some won't wear a mask, but at the end of the day if you feel threatened, wear a mask and stay away from these people because the financial cost has a number that's acceptable as collateral damage.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
Citizenship carries responsibilities
I WOULD like to ask a question which your readers may be able to answer for me: are people who claim "sovereign rights" still to be considered to be citizens of Australia? If not, do they need a passport and/or visa to remain here?
I am in the age group considered to be at risk from COVID-19, and while my health is very good, I do not want to be put at risk by the actions or omissions of others. I'm hoping for some positive information.
Karen Thurtell, Shortland
Closing in on what's too close
IS it appropriate for the prime minister of Australia to have such a cosy familiar and matey relationship with Sydney's premier shock jock? Surely journalists and the media should be kept at an arm's length rather than behave like old footy mates down at the pub? No wonder most of our media seems like a propaganda arm of the government at the moment!
Mac Maguire, Charlestown
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.
TO Joel Dark's family ('Heartbreak', Newcastle Herald 11/9), I cannot imagine the sorrow you must be feeling, but please remember when Joel reaches heaven he will still be able to kick the ball with another central legend Graeme 'Dyke' Dunn, both taken too early. RIP to both.
Bob Cecil, Elermore Vale
AN attempt at humour from Scott Hillard falls flat (Letters, 11/9). The only joke is that he thinks he knows better than the Victorian health experts advising Dan Andrews.
Michael Hinchey, New Lambton
BRAD Hill (Short Takes, 11/9), so many get really crook, for so long, it hammers the economy; it took Boris Johnson four weeks to get back. For many, it's much longer, plus the damage to organs, circulation and heart people are hit with. Aussie leaders are not running these risks. It's not an easy time.
Graeme Tychsen, Rankin Park
DR Brian Roach, the coronavirus isn't an army overtaking our country. I believe along with many that we have been led a merry dance and it has got to the stage whereas people have to stand up for their freedom and liberties before all is lost. It however may be too late.
Brad Hill, Singleton
I WONDER if it ever dawns on the climate change sceptics, many of who claim to be very intelligent individuals, that they are disagreeing with the vast majority of scientists who crunch numbers and publish results and gain nothing whatever they report, but are in fact believing and preaching what businesses and governments with vested interests in fossil fuels feed them.
Dan Kirkpatrick, Karuah
I'M amazed at the lines of people waiting to get into local pubs, clubs and restaurants every weekend in Port Stephens, people lined up like sheep for over an hour or more if they get in at all. This October long weekend is going to be interesting with an extra 30,000 tourists in town. It's bound to be COVIDSafe, and should include fines if the police do their job. So far they have turned a blind eye in my opinion.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
IT was great to read that a project has been approved in NSW that will create 2 long term jobs after construction is completed. We just need another 130 Maxwell Solar Projects or 16,500,000 solar panels to replace Liddells generating capacity based on the numbers provided. Oh yeah that's only when the sun is shining, after dark electricity users need to go elsewhere.
Chris Smith, Singleton
EDDIE Boards (Short Takes, 12/9) fails to mention one instance Mr Morrison got it wrong. Labor voters can't get over last year's election loss. One can only imagine what a complete mess Shorten would have made of our current situation. I believe he would have been a worse PM than Gillard was.
Don Fraser, Belmont
DO you agree with cancelling New Year fireworks in Newcastle?