former premier’s case shows why Commission needed

Nearly three years for the Ministry of the Bleeding Obvious to reach a conclusion that the average person arrived at back in the mists of antiquity (“In the end, the beloved premier failed the people”, June 29). This is just one instance of shonky government dealings and one wonders how many others have not made it into the public domain. There’s a sulphurous stench hanging over the recent years of Coalition rulership, both at state and federal levels. There has rightly been a push for a federal level public integrity commission. If we are to be serious about this stuff we should be adequately resourcing and funding such bodies, and be ruthless in ensuring that those responsible are prosecuted. No wonder so many have lost faith in the machinery of government. Shirley Whybrow, Balmain

Illustration: Cathy Wilcox

Illustration: Cathy WilcoxCredit:

ICAC’s findings against Berejiklian should be a reminder to us all that just because someone is talented, competent and likeable doesn’t mean they don’t warrant scrutiny. Corruption and competence, or corruption and likeability, are not mutually exclusive. Nor does doing the vast majority of your job well balance out a tiny bit of corruption. Prue Nelson, Cremorne Point

Premier Chris Minns is incorrect to suggest that elected officials should not step aside when under investigation by the ICAC. Stepping aside is not the equivalent of resigning (“Premier says MPs shouldn’t ‘automatically resign’ amid an ICAC inquiry”, June 29).

The public has a right to demand the highest standard of honesty and transparency of elected officials, including that their decisions not potentially be impacted by a conflict of interest. Elected officials’ generosity is not from their own pocket but is a dispensation of funds belonging to all taxpayers. We must not allow it to become normalised behaviour that elected officials continue in their role while under the cloud of an ICAC investigation. Bill Bowman, Rhodes

While the findings against Maguire, and Berejiklian, seem warranted, as an ex- resident of Wagga Wagga I believe the funding of the Conservatorium of Music should not be part of the corrupt findings (“Berejiklian acted on a ‘desire to maintain’ her relationship with Maguire, ICAC finds”, June 29). This centre serves the Riverina well and can boast wonderful contributions to the well-being of its many students. With large country centres fighting for their survival and funding compared with the metropolitan areas, perhaps ICAC members need some country visits. Lesley Forbes, Kew

ICAC has found that while Berejiklian “acted corruptly”, she was not “corrupt”. That may well be the case, but to have acted as she did was at the very least “unwise”. Neither quality is desirable in a leader. Gary Dennison, Glebe


There’s only one thing more disturbing than being told Berejiklian was “seriously corrupt” — that ICAC recommends she not be prosecuted. Rob Mills, Riverview

Those criticising the ICAC for “hounding” the former premier out of office should remember that it was created by a conservative government to investigate union corruption; in other words, they did their job. Now, all we need is a functional federal counterpart. Dave Horsfall, North Gosford

It’s laughable how both the Coalition and Labor are complaining about the delay in ICAC presenting its findings. These are the same people that have been stripping that office of funding for years. If they want more timely investigations, they need to provide the resources. Patrick McMahon, Paddington

The findings of corruption against Berejiklian show that no-one is beyond the reach of ICAC. It is heartening that ICAC is fulfilling its function without fear or favour. The decision also debunks any perceptions that corruption involves cash stuffed into carry bags or a personal financial benefit. Tony Re, Georges Hall

Labor is no better than the Coalition’s climate deniers

To plan to import other countries’ pollution when we can’t look after our own is idiocy beyond belief and stands up there with the continued approval of new fossil fuel projects as decisions that fly in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence (“Carbon pollution set to be imported”, June 29). Labor is no better than the outright denialists in the Coalition. Graeme Finn, Summer Hill

Has our government gonemad? They now want to import other countries’ carbon pollution to be buried here. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) does not work effectively, is expensive, and the CO2 will eventually escape back into the atmosphere. The only way to reduce CO2 pollution and global warming is to stop burning fossil fuels. Why is that so difficult to understand? This tinkering merely shuffles the inevitable further along the timeline. Shane Nunan, Finley

If we can import and store carbon, surely we can do that and better with our own pollution. Depleted gas reservoirs are ideal for carbon storage; their ability to store gas for millions of years has been proven, and they have very considerable infrastructure. So, where viable build the power stations at the gas fields, extract the carbon where it’s to be stored and transmit the power, not the gas. Eliminating long pipelines would also greatly reduce the risk of fugitive methane emissions. Peter Lane, Margaret River (WA)


Is a commercial operator about to build specialist tanker fleet and/or a pipeline to import, capture and store carbon emissions off Australia’s coast, from Japan, South Korea and the Philippines? The mind boggles. Are Australia’s federal MPs serious? Can international law on CCS technology be that bizarre that it rewards Australia for this importation in terms of carbon credits? The idea is a bad one, for two reasons. Admittedly, some CCS has been done successfully in the emptied undersea gas fields of the North Sea. But an Australian scheme that utilises Australia’s emptied gas undersea fields is unlikely to be commercially viable. The introduction of CCS would prolong the life of fossil fuels and delay the introduction of renewables. Geoff Black, Caves Beach

Given our unrelenting determination to export fossil fuels, it does seem justifiable to import emissions pollution for sequestration in return. However, the huge financial investment involved in, as yet, unproven capability on a large scale would be far better directed at more environmentally acceptable alternatives. It may not be an unreasonable assumption that, in the timeframe required to adequately enable sequestration, Australia could develop substantial exports of green fuels, such as hydrogen and ammonia. These, while reducing the need for our nation to export fossil fuels and accept the consequential waste products, could make a significant advancement towards net-zero carbon emissions. Roger Epps, Armidale

Truth, ethics would elevate Libs

If my cusp Millennial/Generation Z daughter had her way, the Liberal Party would fail to win a single seat at a future election (“Coalition could lose 35 seats as Millennials, Gen Z reshape politics”, June 29). The party must not content itself that hard focus on home ownership and nuanced superannuation will be the sum of the issues that will speak to those generations. There is palpable distrust of a party that would drag its feet on ethical issues. Failure to prioritise the environment, acknowledge government corruption, and gender mismanagement lead their disapproval. June Scott, Beecroft

When frontbencher Dan Tehan claims that “the Liberal Party is the party of home ownership”, yet his 10 years in government refute this, we can see why so many young people are disillusioned with conservative politics. The truth matters. Mark Paskal, Austinmer

Take the high road

Niki Savva, and other commentators, have suggested that a victory for the No case in the Voice referendum would be deleterious to Anthony Albanese (“Wicked dilemma for Albanese”, June 29).
I think it can be viewed differently. Albanese has argued his position without malice or spite. His belief in the Voice is clear. If the referendum is defeated, and especially if it wins a numerical majority only, Albanese can say he gave it his best shot but he is not a dictator and respects the result of a constitutional mechanism – in other words, take the high road.
The loss of the Voice referendum should not be seen as a serious blow to Albanese, who has done what he promised to in bringing on a referendum. Wayne Duncombe, Lilyfield

Illustration by Dionne Gain.

Illustration by Dionne Gain.Credit:

Energy discrepancy

Apart from the fact electricity is too expensive for poor people to use in the way we previously used that service, AGL and, we presume, other billing companies are ripping off some customers to give others an advantage (“More fall into energy debts as bills set to rise”, June 29). AGL offers discount “contracts” to users who go through the time-consuming and frustratingly long process of contacting the company. Obviously, those who cannot afford to negotiate through the complexities of these processes are subsidising the advantaged users who are usually the well-off anyway. Oh, for the days when utilities were owned and controlled by the people (through our government) instead of private, profit-making oligarchs. Rod Lander, Stanwell Park

Where there’s smoke

For those of us who remember, the reaction of the gambling lobby to a potential ban on advertising is just like that of the tobacco lobby when confronted with the same – there must be a better way (“Wagering, TV bodies slam proposed gambling ads ban; AFL wary of impact”, June 28). Of course, they can’t convincingly tell us what that “better way” is. They list off all those who will be detrimentally affected, ignoring those most affected (themselves) and those who will benefit. They should be thankful that the whole industry isn’t shut down. David Rush, Lawson

Research and ignore

A letter writer says Australian universities are perhaps the only organisations that conduct research on how they can do better, and then ignore it (Letters, June 28).
I think they have learnt that trick from governments, both state and federal, with their constant hiring of consultants whose findings are cast aside. A good example of this is the Gonski report.
Sandra Burke, Cremorne

Power failure

Samantha Crompvoets has certainly been punished by the conservative government who employed her (Letters, June 29) – a government consisting of both male and female MPs and departmental heads. Abundant evidence exists over many years and in many contexts to demonstrate that whistle-blowers are nearly always treated poorly, no matter by whom and despite legislation to protect and encourage them. To suggest, without evidence, that this latest result was a consequence of “patriarchal power” only redirects the focus away from what really causes negative reactions to whistle-blowers. We need to be more constructive in seeking solutions to this problem. Paul Gannon, Coopers Shoot

Crompvoets’ treatment should be condemned in the strongest possible way. It is particularly troublesome that she was shut out by the very agency that engaged her to find the truth. A common perception in today’s public service is that frank and fearless advice can be damaging to your career, and the previous governments must share the blame for this state of affairs. I urge the defence minister to rectify this grave injustice and help undo the damage done to her. We all owe her our gratitude for the tireless work towards upholding the honour of our soldiers who decided to stand up for justice. Pramil Agrawal, Kellyville

Virtue is its own reward in the best of all possible worlds but, in this particular time, in this particular world, it won’t pay the bills for an all but unemployable Crompvoets.
An impartial tribunal should exist to, in retrospect, provide justice to whistle-blowers and not just medals. And where are the brave hearts of industry who might champion her plight, the captains of industry? Surely, there’s more than one out there? Joe Whitcombe, Bronte

Mass distraction

The leaders of the US, UK and Australia did not act on the “weight of evidence” – quite the contrary (Letters, 29 June). There was no credible evidence suggesting Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The evidence that was available – a search of Iraq by UN weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix – found none.
The WMD were a lie, created by the Bush administration to justify the war and leapt upon by its allies for what could only have been political reasons. That was as evident at the time as it is now. Clive Cox, Port Macquarie

Simon Crean was not acting on a “gut feeling” when he opposed our involvement in the Iraq War. Like the tens of thousands of us who marched against the war, he knew that its legality was questionable. He also, no doubt, took into account our unhappy experience of supporting the USA in the long, failed war in Vietnam. He would also have considered the role of an American president intent on finding any excuse to finish the job his father had started in the 1991 Gulf War; the noteworthy opposition to the war by war-savvy European countries; and the role of a sycophantic Australian PM who would use any tactic, war included, to boost his chances of winning an election.
No, it was not a gut feeling. Crean’s stance was based on experience, knowledge and integrity. I’ve never been prouder of an Australian statesman. Pam Timms, Suffolk Park

You can’t have FOMO if you’re not a Swiftie

I’m glad I’m not a Swiftie (“Eras message:Millions strain to nab Swift tickets online”, June 29). The FOMO would be excruciating. Lisa Clarke, Watsons Bay

Illustration: Matt Golding

Illustration: Matt GoldingCredit:

Financial problems? When people are prepared to pay up to $1250 just so they can be entertained by a pop star, then you should be confident the economy is not in trouble, unless people are overstating their woes. Dimitris Langadinos, Concord West

Sunlight tips

Your correspondent points out that the sun visor in a car is useless when the sun is low in the sky (Letters, June 29). That’s why I keep a peaked cap or a hat with a brim in the car. Put it on when the sun’s rays are low. You can adjust the hat to shade your eyes, right on the level of your eyebrows rather than at the height of the windscreen. This movement can be made easily and lightly, literally in the blink of an eye. Therese Weiss, Maroubra

I raise my car seat in winter so as to make the sun visor more effective in the early morning and late afternoon. I can see better and no other vehicle has yet crashed into me from the newly created blind spot above my car. Peter Butler, Wyongah

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on
‘Are you joking?’ Former players slam England over ‘friendly’ approach to Australia
From AtomicNirvana: ″⁣I actually found it refreshing to see players on both teams chatting and having a laugh. Yes, it is the Ashes, but so what?″⁣

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Justin Scaccy

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