Selfishness of communities contributing to problem

The selfishness of wealthy suburban communities and the people who run them is unfortunately a reality (“Tell NIMBY mayor they’re dreamin” ’, June 22). In an ideal world, these communities might act fairly and improve housing affordability by allowing high-rise development around their major transport hubs. Then the local burghers might get their lattes because all their cafés in their main streets are not closed.

Illustration: John Shakespeare

Illustration: John ShakespeareCredit:

But we don’t live in an ideal or a fair world. Many wealthy suburban residents who own rental properties, sanctimoniously say, “I’m alright, but it’s a pity about others.” Geoff Black, Caves Beach

An immediate re-run of The Castle could be helpful in providing a clearer picture of present-day housing problems, one that could lead to the creation of practical solutions. Joy Cooksey, Harrington

While we’re discussing affordable housing and building heights can we also have a basic contractual variation, such as deleting all references to “private certifier” and inserting in lieu thereof “fully qualified and accredited building inspector employed by local council” (Letters, June 22).
Ah, those halcyon days. Paul Barnes, Wollongong

Your article regarding housing prices says: “The thing that’s underpinned growth has been the lack of supply” (“House prices were set to fall 20 per cent. Now there’s talk of record highs”, June 22).

At the same time, people are calling for a reduction in interest rates. If rates come down, there are more people able to borrow money, hence more demand for the same number of houses. In fact, there may be less supply as people currently under financial stress will not have to sell. House prices go up. In addition, if rates come down, the chance of inflation increases which drives food, electricity and everything else up and reduces the ability to pay the mortgage or rent.


I don’t have an answer but when people suggest pulling one end of the thread, they should think through what else might come unravelled. Neville Turbit, Russell Lea

And as the housing arguments rage on, no one dares speak of the overpopulation of our planet earth. Tim Schroder, Gordon

Make no mistake, the Albanese government’s housing push is not so much about compassion as about finding the easiest (although unsustainable) way out of Australia’s economic difficulties. Facilitating the “sugar hit” of a boost to the population may stave off the risk of an impending recession, but the problems of inequitable wealth distribution, inadequate infrastructure and environmental degradation will only be exacerbated. We need a government that will start dealing with these problems now, not just make them worse for short-term economic gain. John Croker, Woonona

The gender pay gap in Australia is currently about 20 per cent in favour of men, so the fact that daughters receive less help from their parents to buy into the property market than their brothers is outrageous (“Bank of mum and dad favours sons”, June 22). Male entitlement alive and well and encouraged by their parents.Elfriede Sangkuhl, Summer Hill,

If the majority of first time home buyers are couples, wouldn’t the favouring of sons even out? Heather Johnson, West Pennant Hills

Uber-wealthy explorers should instead finance ways to save the planet

As tragic as this missing submersible is, perhaps it is now time to curb this strange obsession that some humans have to inject themselves into places that they just shouldn’t be (“Well-heeled Titaniacs find the allure of fabled shipwreck easy to fathom”, June 22).

From Mount Everest and the world’s highest rubbish dump to the depths of the ocean, and even reaching into space to be on Mars, what good or long-term benefit can really come to help Earth survive the carbon imbalance that will alter life in the very near future.

Those with money to burn should focus on real and present issues that need addressing. John Kingsmill, Fairlight

A submarine on a tourism expedition to explore the wreckage of the Titanic has gone missing off the coast of south-eastern Canada.

A submarine on a tourism expedition to explore the wreckage of the Titanic has gone missing off the coast of south-eastern Canada.

Once the uber wealthy were patrons of the arts. They supported painters, sculptors, poets, scientists and philosophers so they could create works that enhanced life for all. Now they behave like overgrown jaded children, spending vast sums on greater and greater novelty for themselves alone. Personal risk and the existential threats their hobbies create for the planet are of no consequence. A fourth yacht, Rupert? Outer space, Jeff? Any sane person would have realised even having untold wealth would be no protection at the bottom of the ocean in a tiny submersible. Ah, the hubris. Elisabeth Goodsall, Wahroonga

Many times we heard our mother tell of being a 10-year-old in a group of Belfast schoolchildren taken by the nuns to see the “unsinkable Titanic” set off on its maiden voyage. She recalled the nuns saying it “had a curse on every nail”. Was that said as the ship sailed, or after it met its fate? It is sincerely hoped the Titanic will not lay claim to more lives. Kathleen Hollins, Northmead

If only overcrowded, unseaworthy vessels crammed with men, women and children seeking a better life warranted internationally co-ordinated search and rescue missions regardless of cost. Mary Anne Brophy, Potts Point


Hundreds drown in an overcrowded boat ignored by authorities trying to escape to a better life. Five die in a bucket list vanity expedition. Even in drownings and death inequality prevails. Peter Hull, Hat Head

A hundred and 11 years ago a supposedly unsinkable ship with the best technology of the time sank. The story has captivated millions ever since. Now a submersible with the best technology of the time, carrying five people who have been irresistibly lured to view the unsinkable ship are lost. The myth and legend of the Titanic will grow. Lyn Savage, Coogee

Politicians must take some blame for PwC scandal

Well may the Labor and Liberal members of the senate slam PwC for unethical behaviour, but it is the lack of political will of the two major parties to reform their donation rules that results in slam dunks for such corporates (“‘Lying scoundrels’: MPs slam PwC”, June 22). The “big four” – PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY – donated a few hundred thousand to them in 2021-22. This translated into more than $750 million in published federal contracts alone. Not a bad investment, but at its heart is a dishonest system that taints the spending of public money and has the political beneficiaries feigning dismay when any rorting is made public. Marie Healy, Hurlstone Park

Without question, the actions of some PWC employees in recent times have been reprehensible. But surely I can’t be the only person who thinks it’s more than a bit rich for any politician to pontificate and smear one cohort of people about behaviour, without nary a backwards glance at the past behaviour of their own cohort. “They were voracious, greedy, lying scoundrels, and they thought they could get away with it.” Ahem. Shall we compile a list of former right honourable members? Where to start? Nick Crowley, Seaforth

PwC’s acting head has said the company “allowed for profit to be placed over purpose”. Here’s a suggestion for PwC while awaiting the outcome of the various investigations. Why not add the “profit” they enjoyed to the equivalent of the taxes avoided by their clients and gift this amount to state and territory governments for the sole “purpose” of building affordable housing. Judith Fleming, Sawtell

Illustration: Matt Golding

Illustration: Matt GoldingCredit: .

So the government employs a company charged with ensuring that it worked against its own financial interests, so that it and all of its corporate clients would pay more tax. Seriously, who thought that would be a good idea, and who is seriously surprised that it didn’t? Benjamin Rushton, Birchgrove

I seem to have read reams about the PwC scandal, including the parliamentary report, but nowhere have I seen a reference to the penalty for breaking a government confidentiality agreement. If no penalty exists, then the agreement wasn’t worth the paper it was written on in the first place. Surely if this is the case, the government of the day is largely responsible. Maureen Partridge, Baulkham Hills

Genuine time

Two years ago, an enormous outpouring of community turned up to block all three entrances to the $1 billion plus Parramatta Powerhouse “convention centre” site to try to protect 1890s Willow Grove after the NSW government sent in a demolition crew. If Chris Minns wants to leave Melbourne eating his dust (“Climate keeps rival a step ahead despite sunny solstice”, June 22) then he must scrap this unpopular “place making” approach ripping down our proud city and instead embrace “place keeping”. The most popular tourist sites around the world are places to celebrate the human story. Time to be genuine, not gauche. Suzette Meade, Toongabbie

Not independent

Am I the only one to be a little cynical about the makeup of the soon-to-be-announced “independent panel” to study the potential impact of cashless pokies (“Cashless pokies trial delayed by indecision”, June 22)? Including representatives of “the industry” surely negates the independence of the panel. Lobby groups win again, and the minister demonstrates that procrastination and pandering to interest groups makes for poor decisions. Aidan Cuddington, Umina Beach

Do better

Andrew and Nicola Forrest understand the threat of climate change and the importance of children being supported to reach their potential. They use their wealth to help others (“Forrests donate $5b in Fortescue shares”, June 22). Thank you. Often individuals use their wealth to try to impress with their possessions, no empathy for others, and disregard of the environment and the dire challenges of climate change. Politicians have difficult decisions to make when Australia is facing these problems . They need to “do better” about the environment and housing and public education. Bea Hodgson, Gerringong

Yes spokesman

In response to Jenna Price’s call for leadership in the Yes campaign for a Voice to parliament my vote goes to the charismatic, smart, calm and articulate Thomas Mayo (“Yes, the time has come to get this campaign a warrior”, June 22). Since 2018, he has crisscrossed this country with a considered, intelligent and certainly charming persuasiveness. Never rattled and always on point. Leslie Solar, Balmain


Parliamentarians have a Voice. Why are they scared to listen? Steven Jenner, Yamba

On May 28, 2000, my family, along with 250,000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in a momentous show of support for reconciliation.
Would it be too much to suggest, that in each state capitol of Australia, we once again rise up and march across our respective city bridges in support of the proposed Voice to parliament? Nicholas Beauman, Neutral Bay

Vai Italia!

Why tour France when Italy is a much better tourist destination (“Tourist hordes urged to head elsewhere”, June 22)? The Romans, for instance, have been hosting visitors (both invited and un-invited) for thousands of years and know what to do. Pasquale Vartuli, Wahroonga

School revelations

On Wednesday, we found out that the remuneration package of some private school principals has reached $1 million. On Thursday, we found out that Scots College Bellevue Hill has a PR firm (“‘Homophobic’ message adds to Scots’ image woes”, June 22). Gonski, anyone? Margaret Jones, Bathurst

Fireworks stay

While I agree that drones in Vivid were a stunning sight, it would be irresponsible to use them to replace our iconic New Year fireworks, which can be seen and heard from many kilometres across Sydney and attract millions of people to Sydney (Letters, June 22). Greg Khatchigian, Ermington

Well done

More than well-deserved, David Crowe, for winning the Federal Press Gallery Journalist of the Year Award (“Herald’s political chief wins top journalism award”, June 22). I always make time to read his work and am gratified to see the judges praise his scrupulous fairness, balance, and double-checking of sources, and that he is “one of the sharpest analysts in the business”. It seems his aim is to seek as the truth, helping people like me to see and understand it better. Thank you, David Crowe. These days, we need you and other journalists on the same quest more than ever. Jennifer Fergus, Croydon

There’s no stopping the Maroons

NSW Blues supporters have yet again experienced the ruthlessness of a Queensland Maroons team that shows no signs of surrendering its State of Origin domination (“Ironed out early: Fittler’s plan to start well doesn’t”, June 22). That the brilliant Maroons side emphatically defeated the Blues by 32-6 at Lang Park in Brisbane on Wednesday night before 52,433 raucous and jubilant rugby league fans is a testament to its ability to consistently knock the socks off their Blues opponents. One more State of Origin 2023 to go at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, and if the Maroons win again it could be an Origin whitewash of epic proportions. Congratulations to the Maroons for already securing the 2023 State of Origin Shield for the third time in four years. Eric Palm, Gympie (QLD)


Queensland clearly deserved to win, but surely the television match official should be able to rule on forward passes. The refs and touchies don’t seem to see them. Dennis Fardy, Warriewood

For the final Origin game in Sydney I reckon they should dig up the stadium turf and replace it with paper. Everyone says the Blues are the better team on paper. Patrick McGrath, Potts Point

Don’t drop any State of Origin players, but swap coaches. Graham Russell, Clovelly

This is not a defeat, it’s a calamity. Mustafa Erem, Terrigal

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on
Sydney rockets up liveability index but still trails Melbourne
From Tank Engine: ″⁣Great, another list for people to argue about. If you live in Australia you’ve won the lottery and you have many great cities to live in. I love them all.″⁣

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Justin Scaccy

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