Mining permission would bring us closer to climate catastrophe

Illustration: John Shakespeare

Illustration: John ShakespeareCredit:

I never thought I would be writing in support of the NSW Liberal Government and I am far from being a ‘Conservative Catholic’ or religious in any way but it is a matter of ethics (‘Pokies lobby aims on Premier from”, 31 January). Landis doesn’t seem to understand that gambling is having a devastating impact on Australian families and that money laundering must stop. ClubsNSW’s reforms are unenforceable. Governments have created this problem over the years and now need to solve it. Jane Lodge, North Narrabeen

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

Would it be so bad if the Prime Minister’s gambling reforms were partly influenced by his religion? When politicians are asked broadly, they usually acknowledge the role of their beliefs in shaping their values, which inform their policies. Matthew Flattery, Middle Cove

The Prime Minister makes wise decisions about poker machines, not because he’s a Catholic, but because he’s concerned about lives being destroyed by poker machine addiction. Sure, it’s a Christian response, but many others are equally concerned about tackling a destructive issue of whether or not they share his Catholic faith. michael payne, West Pymble

While a mandatory cashless gambling card is badly needed to address both money laundering and problem gambling problems, the Prime Minister’s proposal has not yet garnered the support of his peers. We cannot trust Dominic Perrottet on this issue until it is confirmed as policy by his party and the NSW Nationals. NSW Labor has been much clearer in its intentions but Chris Minns also needs to be held accountable as his policies are insufficiently reasoned and intentional. It’s not too late for a bipartisan approach to real slots reform. Peter Moore, Newport

Indigenous peoples 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 Voice to Parliament (“Mundine’s migrant pitch for no vote a ‘distraction tactic,” January 31). But I have to risk it. As leader of the “No” campaign, he says migrants will vote no because they see it as elitist and critical of Australia. How is it elitist? Because they deserve special treatment? Then maybe it is like this; and long overdue. The fact is that they are our first people – the oldest enduring living culture on earth – and were sacrificed to suit British imperialism and the need for a prison far away. Terra nullius thought they didn’t exist. Do migrants share this story? 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 of their welfare – because they have been systematically, almost, wiped out. There’s a lot of catching up to do. jennifer fergus, Croydon

It is clear that Mundine wholeheartedly embraced John Howard’s script for stalling a proposal for a national referendum. Like so many of us, we despaired at the success of Howard’s divisive campaign for the 1999 republic referendum and the Machiavellian formulation of the question posed to the nation at the time. Voice’s ‘Yes’ campaign this year must overcome such tactics – not just for migrants, but for all – and deal effectively with Mundine and his ilk and their deception.
Russ Couch, Woonona Why do migrants need special recognition in the constitution? Migrants and children of migrants did in fact write the constitution (specifically excluding Aborigines). It’s time to include the First Nations voice. ainslie lamb, East Corrimal

Church, State and Taxes

I agree with our prime minister on the separation of church and state (“Perrottet Defends Religious Choice,” January 31). I agree that being a Catholic is not a crime and that parents should have choices in education. What I disagree with is why my taxes need to support this election. Likewise, taking a taxi instead of public transport is an option, but I don’t expect the government to subsidize my fare. Sally Shepherd, Nelson Bay

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

level of hypocrisy

Local residents’ objections to the 24-inch increase in height of the Fort Street Public School seem a bit strong (“Increasing Drama About School’s Potential Skyline Dominance,” January 31). People object to the fact that the school is 56 meters high. Meanwhile, the Crown Casino towers 271 meters above the entirety of Barangaroo and Observatory Hill. I don’t think the proposed school building will be visible from the outer suburbs like the casino. I think ensuring gambling revenue is a “higher” priority than an elevator to allow fair access to a public school. Peter Mitchell, Glebe

Speechless about rentals in Sydney

We are aware that Sydney rental prices are high, but $729 a week for a studio, $569 a week for a room stuns me – “outrageous” and “exploitative” are insufficient (“Returning Chinese students to face Sydney rentalcrisis”, January 31). Certainly the government could provide these students with student public transport cards, allowing them to rent in cheaper suburbs, maybe even private apartments, and travel 30-40 minutes to their places of study, like generations of domestic students. Heather Johnson, Western Pennant Hill

Moral conscience lost

Unfortunately, the coalition seems to have forgotten what it means to govern for the people; all they can do is resist and rant (Cost of Living Inquiry Holds Labor Accountable Over ‘Broken Promises’, 31 January). Why doesn’t the coalition take a positive step and encourage its big business friends to pay living wages with fair working conditions so workers have the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. Some leaders need a reality check, an awakening of their moral conscience, and the courage 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 place where it can be respected and appreciated through the men’s and women’s games (“Smith and Mooney Receive Top Honors at the Australian Cricket Awards”, 31 January). One by one, women have built their profile on and off the pitch and, together with women’s football, built our reputation around the world. An interesting sidelight for men’s cricket is the recognition of former captain Steve Smith as the best of the game for 2022. No defensive narratives or pity from Smith after his fall in 2018. Just stay balanced and grounded, play the game well on the right mind and a better place beckons. This formula would even work in tennis. brian jones, Leura

Congratulations to Steve Smith on his fourth Allan Border medal. Looking at his still boyish face, one thing comes to mind: 30 centuries of testing. Bernie Bourke, Niagara Park

The comedy of AI corrected mistakes

The AI-written US Ambassador’s Ode to the Cat is impressive, but if I were a teacher, I’d expect a kid smart enough to write faux Shakespeare to be smart enough to write a sonnet writing that rhymes and its scandal isn’t quite such a mess (“Time running out to subdue AI,” Jan. 31). Well before we have Robot and Juliet, I think. Alastair McKean, Greenwich

I have often pondered the connection between the stunning increase in the use of technology in our nation’s classrooms and the measured decline in literacy and numeracy skills. Perhaps it’s time to follow Jeff Bleich’s remedies and ring that ChatGPT cat before a rapid and inevitable societal descent down a very dark and ominous rabbit hole begins. James Laukka, Eppen

A colorful character

Most people my age can quote Diana Fisher’s constant question, “Are there other colors?” the inventors, But who knew she’d been a magician’s assistant and a stewardess who stripped down 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

poles apart

Some comments from your correspondents about buying Blue Bars reflect what you would expect from real estate developers without valuing the asset we hold in our possession only for what it might be sold (Letters, January 31). I refer you to the portrait of the Mona Lisa on display in the Louvre and its usefulness for art and tourism lovers. Ted Jarrett, Berry

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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 afford a house with walls to hang it on. Kay Abrahams, Freshwater

Too hot to trot

I wanted to hit the sauna to shed a few Christmas pounds, but with all the humidity, I decided to just go to the mailbox and back (“Humidity on par with tropics a huge damper on the city,” January 31). Michael Deeth, Como West

The digital gaze

Commenting online on one of the stories that got the most reader feedback on yesterday
More interest rate issues on the way as country’s AAA credit rating confirmed
from Simon: ″⁣We as a nation have continued to encourage spending unabated. At some point, reality has to come into play. Interest rates are returning to historical norms, so that money, and therefore spending, is valued.”″⁣

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Callan Tansill

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