Fear for children now, not just grandchildren


Credit:Illustration: Jim Pavlidis

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Fear for children now, not just grandchildren

I generally try to be optimistic about matters but the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (The Age, 6/4) leaves me in a state of despair. Acknowledging my own contribution to global warming, I fear that the predictions of the Kyoto Protocol of, wait for it, 30years ago, have reached fruition.

While I hesitate to use the term “natural disasters” – because natural they are not – a quick glance at the disasters over the past few years verifies the predictions made then.

On a small scale, individuals can and do make a contribution to limiting carbon dioxide emissions, but the real push must come from governments, most of which are scared witless of not being re-elected. Much has been said with great sincerity about the future for our grandchildren. My fear is as much for our own children who are already facing a hostile planet. Ask anyone in Lismore.
David Rees, Coburg

We’re seeing governments’ neglect every day

It is no surprise that the federal government has refused to release the five-yearly snapshot report on Australia’s worsening environment (The Age, 7/4). We out here, working in the bush, see the effects of our governments’ (of all levels) negligence every day. In my own little area, we are seeing fewer and fewer regent honeyeaters and arboreal marsupials (gliders and tuans) every year .

Australia’s parks departments are expected to do more and more on shrinking funding, and ageing volunteers like myself are expected to fill the gaps. Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley should be ashamed of herself, and I am afraid Victoria’s environment department is not much better.
Mick Webster, Chiltern

The people are calling for action on climate change

While Sussan Ley lies low with Australia’s scorecard on the state of our environment, Australians rise up to demand action on climate change now. Nationally, 65 per cent of 15,000 voters polled by YouGov last month said Labor’s and the Coalition’s plans for climate action would influence their vote at the election.

Locally, more than 4000 Geelong residents have joined forces to oppose the Viva Energy gas terminal development, one part of the Coalition’s supposed “gas-led recovery”.

Ley’s delay in tabling this five-yearly report – which, according to your article, is “expected to show the environment is continuing to deteriorate and biodiversity is declining” – continues the Coalition’s disregard for both its constituents and our environment.
Karen Campbell, Geelong

The ALP’s plan for yet more talk and little action

The Labor Party has committed to hosting a United Nations global climate change summit, in partnership with other Pacific nations, if it wins the federal election (The Age, 6/4). Just what the world needs. Another international gabfest full of good intentions, huge amounts of hot air and air miles, much sound and fury but eventually signifying nothing. We know what the problem is (mostly us), we know what we need to do and we need to do it now.
April Baragwanath, Geelong

Ley is deliberately holding back critical report

You have to admire Sussan Ley’s consistency. She is stonewalling on the publication of the five-yearly State of the Environment report. This is the same minister who attempted last year to subvert Professor Graeme Samuel’s review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act by introducing two bills that weakened the act.

You can be sure that if the government’s scorecard for protecting the environment had been impressive, Ms Ley would have released the report when she received it last December. Now she is taking advantage of the scarcity of parliamentary sitting days to hold it back. It does not take much of a nose to smell a rat.
Tom Knowles, Parkville


Thank you, all

We are about to end our seven-day isolation after contracting COVID-19. We are both 67, and our symptoms merely mimicked those of a dose of the flu.We were both triple vaxxed, and only required regular doses of paracetamol. Just two years ago a COVID-19 diagnosis could have meant weeks in ICU, or have been fatal.

Thank you to all the amazing people, and organisations, that brought about this amazing turnaround. Scientists, health care workers, doctors, nurses and medical support workers. Politicians and public servants worked hard to get us to our current position. In retrospect, an incredible result. Well done to the wonderful COVID-19 soldiers.
Allan Stephenson and Sonya Mitchell, Aireys Inlet

Surely a political act

Shane Wright expresses concern with some actions of the Reserve Bank – “Patience finally running out for an RBA trying to avoid election” (The Age, 6/4). He is being kind. The rate rise should have started this month, April, and not been postponed.

To delay it is a poorly disguised political act to protect the government. Has the bank failed in its duty? Will Australians be able to trust it to do what it is supposed to do, which is not to protect the powerful and affluent?
Adrian Tabor, Point Lonsdale

Less fortunate Boomers

As a Baby Boomer, I can confidently say that not all of us fall into the categories described by your correspondent (Letters, 6/4), especially if we were working women. I am not sure what “a good percentage” of Boomers is. The tax breaks discussed were not something most of the working class had access to.

We were late to get superannuation, especially in the casual workforce where so many females worked as they had to balance family responsibilities with childcare and employment. Franking credits or negative gearing is not universally spread through my generation.

This letter, and others like it, are looking at this topic through a privileged view. This is not reflected in the statistics which show that many older Boomers, especially women, live below or near poverty levels and in insecure housing. I believe that my contributions, via my taxes paid throughout a long working life, are a valid contribution to any care I may need before I shuffle off.
Julie Carrick, Leopold

Expanding our weapons

It looks like Australia is joining the arms race. Money does not seem to be an issue and billions of dollars are being spent. Nuclear submarines and advanced long-range missiles are on order. So much for the denuclearisation agreements we once supported.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton is a man to whom the pursuit of diplomacy is a dirty word. Rather than setting an example to the world, we are joining nations that are aggressively expanding their weapons of destruction.
Ron Reynolds, Templestowe

Make peace, not war

The terrible human tragedy in Ukraine highlights the stupidity of our Defence (War) Minister in buying tanks. Give highly mobile, individual, dedicated soldiers anti-tank shoulder missiles, supported by drones, and the tanks are relegated to battle history. Instead of wasting billions on ponderous tanks (similarly submarines), a novel idea for Peter Dutton would be to invest in peace.
Roy Olliff, Mont Albert North

Melbourne in disgrace

Agreed, Wendy Daniels (Letters, 7/4), our freeway verges are a disgrace. I have just arrived back from visiting bright and clean Brisbane and Hobart and their surrounds. To see the rubbish and graffiti on the sides of our freeways was confronting and disappointing. VicRoads, where are you?
Julie Chandler, Blairgowrie

The pain of racism

It is a tragedy that the football career of superstar Cyril Rioli was cut short by ugly, racist behaviour. If any good comes out of this, it is that we have learnt racism demeans us all.
Matthew Hamilton, Kew

Tarnishing club’s image

Having called out the racism experienced by Cyril Rioli and his wife Shannyn, this gifted footballer and proud Indigenous man puts a lie to “we’re a happy team at Hawthorn”. The “family club” is no more.
George Djoneff, Mitcham

The dismissive doctors

Luke Hilakari correctly identifies faults in WorkCover (Opinion, 7/4). Another problem arises when company doctors fail in their duty. I have an acquaintance who worked for one of the big miners. A workplace accident caused a deep cut on one of his legs.

Infection set in, he visited two company doctors (as he was told to do) who were dismissive in their treatment. One told him to “stop being a drama queen”.

Sepsis set in. This man ended up in isolated, hospital care in order to save his leg. He finally contacted his union who are pursuing this matter on his behalf. He still has his foot, but will not have the same use of it as before. He is a young man and it is questionable whether he will be able to return to his job.
Carmel Boyle, Alfredton

Shameful spinelessness

The idea that India’s stance on Russia can be chalked up to a mere “difference in position” (The Age, 6/4) is absurd. Australia’s high commissioner to India, Barry O’Farrell, believes that supporting different football teams is equivalent to supporting a nation that is engaged in an invasion of its neighbour and is suspected of indiscriminately killing civilians.

I believe the murder of civilians rises above the level of which footy team we barrack for, and would hope that our government would have a bit more of a spine when condemning our allies.
Owen Hiscock, Brighton

What good mates do

Our latest trade deal with India (The Age, 7/4), which will replace some markets lost to China, will be met with joy by many in the agricultural and mining sectors.

However, we should also remember that India has refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine and is still Russia’s largest customer for its oil. The money paid for this oil allows Vladimir Putin’s regime to continue to inflict untold terror on the Ukrainian people.

India is one of our partners in the Quad alliance and we should be making strong representations to it about what its support for Russia entails. Friends need to tell each other the truth.
Hans Pieterse, Narre Warren North

Please, enough already

I live close to the electorate of Kooyong and am often there. Josh Frydenberg and the United Australia Party are flooding the area with their election advertising. Since the end of February, we have been inundated. Maybe if the large cost of these ads had instead been donated to help the flood victims, I would have taken more notice of the parties’ policies.
Jane Dubsky, Glen Iris

No to noise and pollution

I am sure that many Albert Park residents would be very happy to live without “the piercing sound of Formula One cars” (Editorial, 7/4) ringing out in their neighbourhood for four days, not to mention the increased pollution from all the carbon dioxide pouring into the atmosphere. I do not imagine racing drivers will be converting to electric vehicles any time soon. Shame.
Joy Hayman, Blackburn North

Destroying our park

The Victorian government claims it is aiming for zero emissions, but the Grand Prix is being held in a temporary circuit which has taken three months to erect and will require a further two months to remove and repair the damage to the sports grounds.

This work creates very significant emissions as it requires the transportation of around 40,000 tonnes of race infrastructure from an Altona depot to Albert Park and back again, a total of 6000 heavy truck trips covering 66,000 kilometres.

The state government is well aware that road transport is one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions, but must think that the Grand Prix event couldn’t survive in a permanent circuit without the backdrop of Albert Park’s beautiful lake and parklands.
Peter Gillespie, Balaclava

Parties’ policies and teams

I am becoming concerned about what is tantamount to an obsessive focus by much of the media on the two people who are vying to be our next prime minister. After all, we are not a republic and they will not become all powerful presidents.

There needs to be a broader focus than their character and trustworthiness, not only on policy but also on the calibre of the team of ministers who both support and advise the prime minister. If you want to retain ministers of the calibre of Richard Colbeck, vote for the Coalition. If you do not, vote and/or give your preference in a way that results in a Coalition loss.
Kevin Bailey, Croydon

Too great a sacrifice

War should not be sanitised because it brings a supposed benefit to climate change mitigation (Letters, 7/4). Your correspondents’s comment that “the people of Ukraine, in their suffering and sacrifice, may be unwittingly creating a great gift for the world” is beyond the pale. Perhaps she should try imagining her family and suburb being wiped out and strewn with bodies and see how she feels about sacrifice and suffering.
Joanna Wriedt, Eaglemont

Golden comedy classics

The best comedians and comedy programs that still make us laugh today did not resort to using filthy language: Lucille Ball, Tony Hancock, Mary Tyler-Moore, Peter Sellars, Bob Newhart, Dick Van Dyke, Victor Borge and many others relied upon well-scripted and acted routines with impeccable timing.

Good comedy is based upon the intelligent lampooning of official pomposity and the absurd portrayals of society. It also helps if the comedian looks faintly ridiculous to start with.
Robert Scheffer, Bayswater North


Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding


The maxim for politicians is don’t be photographed with children and animals. Don’t forget angry pensioners.
David Kerr, Geelong

Jen needs to advise Scott to stop going to pubs.
Marg D’Arcy, Rye

It’s disappointing to hear what people are saying about both sides. Surely, we can have a respectful election.
Diana Goetz, Mornington

The federal and Victorian governments are spruiking their mastery of governance. Vladimir Putin’s propaganda unit would be impressed.
Pete Sands Monbulk

I’m sure Christine Holgate remembers how well Scott Morrison “stood up for women”.
Bruce McMillan, Grovedale

I’m eagerly awaiting Morrison’s expulsion from the Liberal Party for damaging its chances of re-election.
Ken Richards, Elwood

The post-election speech I don’t want to hear: “I still believe in miracles.“
Jon Smith, Leongatha


I wonder if Jeff Kennett’s professed love of golliwogs counts as one of the “other incidents” (7/4) for Hawthorn’s board.
Jameela Farouque, Melbourne

Is it time to resurrect Tandberg’s cartoon of Kennett, his mouth wide open, with the caption ″⁣Open 24/7″⁣?
Alan Inchley, Frankston

What’s worse: a racist or someone who is willing to use racism for their own cynical ends?
Jim Burbidge, Dunolly


The ultimate supermarket cynicism: selling Easter buns with a “best by” date two weeks before Easter Sunday.
Anthony Edwards, Glen Waverley

May I suggest we develop defence missiles before attracting too much attention with long-range, attacking ones.
Winston Anderson, Mornington

Spot on, Wendy Daniels (7/4). A trip on Mornington Peninsula freeways was reminiscent of driving through a rubbish tip.
Susie Holt, South Yarra

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