AUKUS deal good for Washington, not us

The celebrations around the AUKUS deal insult thoughtful Australians (“One for the ages: Albanese meets his moment on the world stage”, March 14). The “inevitability of war” with our principal trading partner, China, is fuelled by US-led propaganda. That benefits their familiar ambitions, not ours. Meanwhile, there is every reason for Australia to be a leader in our region of peace achieved through education, health and trade, and also via cooperative, innovative climate action. We had the choice to be a non-partisan force for good. Why are we not taking it? Stephanie Dowrick, Balmain

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden and Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Point Loma naval base in San Diego, US, on Monday.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden and Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Point Loma naval base in San Diego, US, on Monday.AP

Scott Morrison introduced this wild card to try and wedge Labor and win another election. Unfortunately Labor, reeling from Shorten’s loss, agreed to it. Now Australia is stuck with this poison chalice. Giving a blank cheque to the United States, forfeiting our independence and buying WW2 ideology that will easily be located with underwater drones. The ultimate twist of the knife is that we paid all that money to France who offer nuclear-powered submarines off the shelf. Stephen Gee, Strathfield

So the subs deal is done at eye-watering cost, but Australia sadly doesn’t even have a power grid that serves its needs in the renewable transition, nor an infrastructure plan for flooding due to climate change. This is so wrong that responding to climate change, the main threat to our future, gets a few billion but submarines in twenty years gets a mountain of gold. Barry Laing, Castle Cove

A sixth question to be added (“Five questions to determine if subs plan holds water”, March14), does AUKUS have a “used car” type market or trade -in policy for disposal of our second hand Collins class diesels? If not are we expected to take them quietly well out to sea and pull the plug? Terry O’Brien, North Parramatta.

Wouldn’t it be funny if China suddenly says in relation to Taiwan, “Oh, stuff it. Go your own way. We no longer care.” What would we do with eight redundant submarines? Turn them into cruise ships? Dear God. International relations has to be the most futile and juvenile thing the human race has ever got itself involved in. Brian Haisman, Winmalee

Understandably, coastal residents near Port Kembla are not keen to become part of the nuclear-sub wall of steel. Why not move a little further north? Just extend the Garden Island naval facilities into Rushcutters Bay and Double Bay. Yacht-owners, harbourside residents and park users will gladly make way for a transnational mega-billion safety net. Penelope Nelson, Randwick

So when can we expect the kickoff of the navy marketing (recruitment) campaign aimed at the young and impressionable trying to convince them on the unrestrained joys of spending months at a time cooped up in a tin can? “Do what you love”. Indeed. Kieran Aylward, Camperdown

Remember a former Defence Minister saying he wouldn’t build a canoe in South Australia (Australian Submarine Corporation). There were major quality control and maintenance issues with Collins and Oberon boats. With this sort of history, it would hopefully make our politicians think twice before trying to build the far more complex, and massively more expensive, nuclear boats locally. Rad Lewis, Moss Vale

Liberals abandon small government principals

So much for the idea of Liberals being the home of “small government” (“Grandparents invited to tip future funds into kids’ kitty”, March 14). Rather than focus on what children need now, education and timely access to both physical and mental healthcare for starters, the NSW Coalition’s proposal to pay children (future voters) via a complex new “future fund” is divisive, tokenistic and paternalistic. Governments need to focus on building the community structures that all families need to thrive. Once basic needs are properly met individuals then have a stable base from which to choose how to live in, and contribute to, their community. Sharon Warner, North Turramurra

Beware the Premier bearing gifts – especially at the eleventh hour. As the saying goes, “The difference between a bribe and a gift is timing. Edward Loong, Milsons Point

Let’s make a deal

Chris Minns vows that he will not ‘cut a deal with crossbenchers’ if elected on March 25. (“Labor ’won’t do crossbench deals”, March 14). Come on Chris, we’ve all heard that story many times before. We know that if you need to save your backside of course you will do a deal. Like most politicians, you will manufacture an excuse to cover your tracks. Most of the electorate are well aware of the tricks employed in gaining and retaining political power. Derrick Mason, Boorowa

After countless gut-wrenching stories related to the devastating effect of poker machine addiction, it seems that Chris Minns has recently been living on another planet. For the Labor party to do a “test trial” on a mere 500 per machines, and then ” review the situation” is such a limp approach. After the ’s “State of Addiction” stories and this week’s 4 Corners revelations, Labor’s head in the sand approach is just impossible to comprehend. This problem needs to be solved right now, with a bulldozer, not a bucket and spade. Greg Vale, Kiama

Perry Duffin’s article (“I was trying to win”: The pokies binge that left two people and unborn twins dead”, March 14) is a timely call to arms for action with our coming state election. So much crime and tragedy has been hidden behind the flashing pokies’ lights. If Labor wins, please show enough gumption to stand up to the Club’s lobbying. Do not waste more time of 500 machine “trials” and pretend action. Stop the tragedy, stop the money laundering. Be a leader, Mr Minns. Rhyan Andrews, Faulconbridge

Another maintenance failure in a system of critical infrastructure (“Obsolete equipment crippled rail network”, March 14). A risk management calculation within Sydney Trains that must have decided ‘obsolete’ and ‘priority’ could wait a while longer. And that there was a good chance any problem with vital digital communications might occur at midnight, wouldn’t cause actual physical damage and could be rectified before too many people noticed or were inconvenienced. Top managers too often dismiss the concerns of engineers and other experts because they are focused on their political masters and the budget bottom line. And because they lack the technical expertise that should alert them to real and present dangers. Margaret Johnston, Paddington

Spin and inaction led to rail failure

The crash of Sydney’s rail network is a symptom of a government focus on spin, not substance. Had the issue been addressed when identified, this major disruption could have been avoided. Government needs to invest in multitudes of invisible items to provide a great service, but it appears this government only spends when there’s visibility to win votes. Anne Matheson, Gordon

Weasel words

Proposed changes to Middle Head will be “small and careful” claims Sydney Harbour Federation Trust executive director Janet Carding, (“Headland no longer out on a limb as master plan evolves”, March 14), who follows up with, “We’d like people to be able to stand here on the plateau … and understand that they’re on a promontory … surrounded by water.” Followed by more weasel words like.“Weddings, markets, festivals, concerts, for up to two thousand”. What next? We already know who’ll be first along the new road to “you’ve arrived somewhere special”. Developers, and glitzy apartment blocks with spectacular views of other apartments. What is it with this Sydney mentality, forever lusting to despoil the natural beauty of the harbour with its own ephemeral notion of beauty? Barangaroo is now Barangaruined. Is Middle Head about to become Muddle Head? Kent Mayo, Uralla

View of Middle Head.

View of Middle Head.Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.

Middle Head’s former dormitories for soldiers should be refurbished and repurposed as housing for the homeless. To demolish them as proposed in the Draft Master Plan currently on exhibition would be irresponsible, both socially and economically, and a missed opportunity when the waiting list for the homeless to get accommodation in Sydney is growing rapidly. Adrienne Kabos, Lane Cove

The words ‘small and careful’ seem inappropriate to the scale of change proposed in the Master Plan for Middle Head – much of which will be welcome after decades of neglect. Small and careful would mean renovating/expanding the existing change facilities at Middle Head Oval and NOT demolishing the former Regimental Guardhouse at the entrance to the military precinct, occupied by the very popular Middle Head Café. The Plan leaves room for consultation on this major change. So I hope the Harbour Trust meets its legislative obligation and does just that. Barbara Sullivan, Neutral Bay

BBC captured

The BBC has been finally captured by the right-wing conservative cancel-culture mob (“From beautiful game to ugly shame”, March 13). They have just cancelled the most trusted broadcaster of all, David Attenborough, by refusing to air Attenborough’s sixth and final of a new series about the causes of the decline and destruction of British nature for fear of antagonising Tory politicians and right-wing groups. The program has been sidelined to iPlayer, an amazing slight to the giant of the genre, Attenborough, who makes no secret of his respect for the science of climate change. The ABC in this country needs to be on high alert for such interference. Judy Hungerford, North Curl Curl

Planet sacrificed

Biden has approved a massive oil drilling project in Alaska. Albanese refuses to rule out new coal and gas. And these were supposed to be the good guys. Do we have to accept this planet is going to be sacrificed to the forces of greed and ignorance and there’s nothing we can do about it? Remember that in the next bushfire season, flood event or drought the fossil fuel industries are laughing all the way to the bank. David Mathers, Lidcombe

Parental guidance

Reading about various professional players from different sports saying today that the 15-year-old old should apologise directly to the sportsman for the racial vilification, I totally agree but the parents should be there also (“NRL must act on racial abuse”, March 14). Children learn so much at home, even if they are socialising with other like-minded youth. If they were taught at home that you should respect everyone, no matter the colour, religion and nationally, life would be so much more pleasant for all. Janet Scilly, Wollstonecraft

Jamie Lee Curtis accepts her Oscar.

Jamie Lee Curtis accepts her Oscar.AP, Chris Pizzello

Everything Nowhere

Having watched I can safely say that in my 80-odd years of film-going this is the worst film I have ever seen (“All the Oscars, all at once”, March 14). It’s blatant comic book stuff, with no artistic merit whatsoever. The childish plot, if there is one, is preposterous. As for the Oscar-winning cast, if that is acting I’m a Dutchman. Jamie Lee Curtis, in particular, should be ashamed of herself. In my opinion, this makes a travesty of the Oscars, and damages the credibility of the Academy. Mike Phillips, Mt Coolum, QLD

For many of my cohort the ultimate marker of reaching old age has been the clean sweep of the Oscars by the aptly titled film Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. This meandering, poorly scripted, incoherent mess, adored by many young people and acclaimed for its diversity in casting Asian actors, negates almost everything we knew and loved about film. Let’s hope that, like last year’s slap incident, it is an Oscar aberration. Gillian Appleton, Paddington

Perrottet family pain shouldn’t be poll fodder

It is the worst of politics when MPs use their personal tragedies to gain public sympathy (“Helen Perrottet’s three utterly painful isolating miscarriages”, March 14). On one hand, politicians tell us that families are off-limits when it comes to criticisms. Yet Dominic Perrottet is willing to use his family as a weapon in a political campaign. Of course, as a male I am a sitting duck for daring to use a woman’s awful experience as a cynical exercise. But I say why now? John Rome, Mt Lawley, WA

I sincerely sympathise with Helen Perrottet in regards to her three miscarriages. However, I am appalled by her decision, ten days before the state election, to use the telling of these sad events, combined with the use of her seven children as political props, in what appears to be an embarrassing attempt to improve her husband’s re-election chances. Bill Young, Killcare Heights

Awards night

In keeping with that Drive award to an unuseful ute (Letters, March 14), can we now expect more awards such as Best Australian mammal: diprotodon; Best introduced species: cane toad; or Best Cabinet minister: Stuart Robert? Evan Bailey, Glebe

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on
New fleet of eight nuclear submarines to be built in Australia in $368 billion deal

From “Wow – they sure saw Australia coming. 100% cost blowout and not a single rivet purchased yet. It looks like Washington’s found someone else to pay for the US defense budget.”

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