Mine approval would march us closer to climate disaster

Mine approval would march us closer to climate disaster

Illustration: John ShakespeareCredit:

I never thought I’d be writing in support of the NSW Liberal government, and I’m far from being a “conservative Catholic” or religious in any way, but it’s a matter of ethics (“Pokies lobby target prime minister”, 31 January). Landis doesn’t seem to realize that gambling has a devastating effect on Australian families and money laundering needs to be stopped. ClubsNSW’s reforms are unenforceable. Governments have created this problem over the years and must now solve it. Jane Lodge, North Narrabeen

Landis should take two lessons from Debate 101: Don’t resort to argumentum ad hominem (attacking the person instead of breaking down their argument); and use credible evidence. Catholics in Australia have a long tradition of fundraising through bingo, licensed clubs, arts unions, 100 clubs and lotteries. Kim Crawford, Springwood

Would it be so bad if the Prime Minister’s gaming reforms were partially informed by his religion? When asked in broad terms, politicians usually acknowledge the role of their faith in shaping their values ​​that inform their policies. Matthew Flattery, Middle Cove

The Prime Minister makes wise decisions about poker machines, not because he is a Catholic, but because he is concerned about lives being destroyed by poker machine addiction. Sure, it’s a Christian response, but many others are equally concerned about addressing a devastating problem, whether they share his Catholic faith or not. Michael Payne, West Pymble

While a mandatory cashless gambling card is desperately needed to address both money laundering and problem gambling issues, the Prime Minister’s proposal has yet to gain the support of his colleagues. We cannot trust Dominic Perrottet on this issue until it is confirmed as a policy by his party and the NSW Nationals. NSW Labor have been much clearer in their intentions, but Chris Minns must also be called to account, as his policies are inadequate in merit and intent. It’s not too late for a multi-party approach to true pokie reform. Peter Moore, Newport

Indigenous people who deserve special treatment

As a non-Indigenous woman, descended from Irish and New Zealand boat people, I hesitate to question Warren Mundine’s position on migrants and the Vote to Parliament (“Mundine’s migrant pitch for no vote a ‘diversion tactic'”, 31 January). But I have to risk it. As the “no” campaign’s leader, he says migrants will vote no because they see it as elitist and critical of Australia. How is that elitist? Because they deserve special treatment? Then maybe it is; and well overdue. The fact is, they are our First People – the world’s oldest, continuing, living culture – and were sacrificed to accommodate British imperialism and need for a far-flung prison. Terra nullius deemed them non-existent. Do migrants share this history? No. I wonder what Mundine’s take on this is? By voting yes, nothing is denied or taken away from the rest of us. And no other Australian group can deserve such constitutional recognition – and have an advisory voice to parliament on matters concerning their welfare – because they have been systematically, almost annihilated. There is a lot to make up. Jennifer Fergus, Croydon

It is clear that Mundine wholeheartedly embraced the John Howard playbook on how to kill a national referendum proposal. How so many of us were disheartened by the success of Howard’s divisive 1999 republic referendum campaign and the Machiavellian phrasing of the question then put to the nation. This year’s Vote “yes” campaign must overcome such tactics – not just for migrants, but for everyone – and effectively counter Mundine and his ilk and their misdirection.
Russ Couch, Woonona Why would migrants need special recognition in the Constitution? Migrants, and children of migrants, actually wrote the Constitution (expressly excluding Aboriginal people). It is time to include the First Nations Voice. Ainslie Lamb, East Corrimal

Church, State and Taxation

I agree with our prime minister on the separation of church and state (“Perrottet defends religious choice”, January 31). I agree that it is not a crime to be Catholic and that parents should have a choice in education. What I don’t agree with is why my taxes should support this choice. Similarly, taking a taxi instead of public transport is a choice, but I don’t expect the government to subsidize my fare. Sally Shepard, Nelson Bay

I raised an eyebrow at Denis Fitzgerald’s comment that religious schools are “incapable of teaching things that are scientifically untrue”. Really? What about Greek myths? Aboriginal dreamtime stories? The miracles recorded in the Bible? James Cartwright, Ingleburn

Height of hypocrisy

Residents’ objections to Fort Street Public School getting a 61cm increase in height seem a bit rich (“Raises drama over school’s potential skyline dominance”, January 31). People object that the school is 56 meters high. Meanwhile, the Crown Casino looms over the whole of Barangaroo and Observatory Hill, at a height of 271 metres. I don’t think the proposed school building will be visible from the outskirts, like the casino. I think ensuring gaming revenue is a “higher” priority than having an elevator to provide equitable access to a public school. Peter Mitchell, Glebe

Speechless about renting in Sydney

We are aware that rental prices in Sydney are high, but $729 a week for a studio, $569 a week for a room leaves me speechless – “outrageous” and “exploitative” is insufficient (“Chinese students return to Sydney rental crisis to face”, 31 January). Surely the government could provide these students with student concession passes for public transport that would allow them to rent in cheaper suburbs, perhaps even in private houses, and travel 30-40 minutes to their places of study, just like generations of domestic students. Heather Johnson, West Pennant Hills

Losing moral conscience

Unfortunately, the Coalition seems to have forgotten what it means to govern for the people; all they can do is resist and sneak (“Cost of living inquiry holds Labor to account over ‘broken promise'”, 31 January). Why doesn’t the Coalition take a positive step and encourage their big business partners to pay a living wage, with fair working conditions, so that workers have the chance to look after themselves and their families. Some people in power need a reality check, an awakening of their moral conscience and the guts to act positively, no matter what the perceived (political) cost. Sharon Warner, North Turramurra

No Smith pity party

Australian cricket is being restored to a position where it can be respected and appreciated, via the women’s and men’s games (“Smith and Mooney take top honors at Australian Cricket Awards”, 31 January). The women have gradually built up their profile on and off the pitch, and along with women’s football, our global reputation has broadened. An interesting sidelight for men’s cricket is the recognition of former captain Steve Smith as the best in the game for 2022. No defensive narratives or sorry ms from Smith after his 2018 demise. Just stay balanced and grounded, play the game well in the right spirit and a better place beckons. That formula will even work in tennis. Brian Jones, Leura

Congratulations to Steve Smith on his fourth Allan Border Medal. Looking at his still boyish face, I find one thing hard to wrap my head around: 30 Test centuries. Bernie Bourke, Niagara Park

The comedy of AI-corrected errors

The AI-written ode to the US ambassador’s cat is impressive, but if I were a teacher, I’d expect a kid smart enough to write faux-Shakespeare to also be smart enough to write a sonnet that rhyme and whose scan ‘ It’s such a mess (“Time is running out to suppress AI”, January 31). I think a fair way before we have “Robot and Juliet”. Alastair McKean, Greenwich

I have often pondered the connection between the amazing increase in the use of technology in our nation’s classrooms and the measured decline in literacy and numeracy standards. Maybe it’s time to follow Jeff Bleich’s corrective actions and call this ChatGPT cat before the start of a rapid and inevitable social descent down a very dark and ominous rabbit hole. James Laukka, Epping

A colorful character

Most people my age can quote Diana Fisher’s constant question, “Does this come in any other colors?” on The Inventors, but who knew she was a magician’s assistant and a flight attendant who stripped to her underwear for a quick swim? Farewell to a remarkable lady, who enlivened everything she touched (“‘Bubbles’ floated her way through the high life”, January 31). Joan Brown, Orange

Worlds removed from

Some of your correspondents’ comments about the Whitlam Government’s purchase of Blue Poles reflect what you would expect from property developers, with no appreciation for the asset we held, only for what it could be sold for (Letters, 31 January ). I direct them to the portrait of the Mona Lisa displayed at the Louvre and its benefit to appreciators of art and tourism. Ted Jarrett, Berry

Credit: John Shakespeare

I’m sure there are many people who would like to help artists by buying their work. It’s just that you first have to be able to afford a house with walls to hang it on. Kay Abrahams, Freshwater

Too hot to jog

To lose a few Christmas kilos I was going to take a sauna, but with all this humidity I decided to just walk to the letter box and back (“Humidity on par with tropics a giant dampener on city”, January 31 ). Michael Deeth, Como West

The digital view

Online comments from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback on smh.com.au yesterday
More rate pain on the way as the country’s AAA credit rating confirmed
Van Simon: ″​​We, as a nation, have relentlessly encouraged spending. Reality has to come into play at some point. Rates are going back to historical norms, so there is value for money and in turn spending.″​​

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