Youth vote promises Labor long term in government

Collecting villas is not helping the homeless

Too bad the Atlassian duo’s love of Sydney real estate doesn’t translate into a legacy they can be truly proud of (“Mansion Moguls: Atlassian duo’s $523m Portfolio,” December 29). With money like this they could work alongside the Government to shelter and support our homeless population both in Sydney and beyond. Wouldn’t that be an amazing legacy? Kerrie Wehbe, Blacktown

Although the multi-billion dollar Atlassian owners invest in prime historic real estate, they have a good approach to business and their products are known around the world. They describe themselves as random billionaires but still have a humble approach to business and their personal lives. We should be very proud of these Australians. Susan Chan, St Ives

The homeless and those who can’t afford to buy a home must be wondering why two people need numerous homes worth over half a billion dollars when they obviously can’t live in all of them. With Vaitsas, Ashbury

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Credit:John Shakespeare

I find the coverage of the Atlassian duo’s investments intrusive. You and your families deserve some privacy. Please be considerate. Alison Stewart, Waitara

What are the Atlassian founders doing with all this wealth? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if maybe their real estate portfolio could include affordable housing for those people who don’t have a home at all. Jane Howland, Cameray

Mike Cannon-Brookes, a family, more than 20 huge mansions. I thought Mike believed in fighting climate change? Isn’t he aware that mass overconsumption is destroying the planet? Richard Abraham, Bexley

As a fan of Mike Cannon-Brookes and his push into renewable energy, I was disappointed when I read about his portfolio of homes. Isn’t our problem that people invest in real estate and not in business, innovation and science? How can we encourage investment if this is the example? Rosslyn Jeffery, Schlossberg

The next time I see a guy in a hoodie, I wonder how much money he’s spent on real estate lately. Angela Miller, Bondi Junction

The Republican Question

Your correspondent (Letters, December 29) asked questions about how a republic would work before advocating the removal of the apron strings. But each of these issues — nomination/election process, powers, tenure, and oversight — could equally apply to the current process. John Pick, Cremorne

Regional centers also need to be transformed

Rob Stokes makes a lot of sense (“The CBD is dead. Long live the Central Social District,” December 29), but please don’t stop at Sydney’s CBD. Unfortunately, there is a lack of activity in the central district of Wollongong, and a social, upbeat heart would lift the spirits of our town. I’m sure many other regional areas could be lifted up both business and spiritually alike. As long as alcohol and other social ills are monitored, a rebirth of regional cities could be a solid outcome. Janice Creenaune, Austinmer

Wollongong the Brave

Wollongong the Brave

Rob Stokes is looking forward to a fun 2023 with improved, relaxed inner city planning. This is based on the changes and impact of COVID-19 on our work and leisure habits. Stokes forgets that COVID-inspired lockdowns were preceded by his party’s lockouts. The latter has had almost as severe an impact on business closures — sucking out the lives and livelihoods of our CBDs — as COVID ever has. What we are witnessing now is not the emergence of new trends, as he claims, but rather the delayed development of what would have emerged were it not for the infamous half decade and more of lockout laws. Fred Jansohn, Rose Bay

Cross has the lot

Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write: If you’re looking for a real high street in suburban Sydney, come to Kings Cross (Letters, 29 December). With Coles at one end, Woolies at the other, and Harris Farm in the middle, we have, in no particular order: a post office, a library, two banks, two pubs, several chemists and a medical center, two newsagents, a bookstore, a row from women’s clothing stores, countless barber and barber shops, a picture frame shop, a couple of florists, a toy store and an antiques center. To be hungry? Yes, we have Maccas and KFC, but also several upscale restaurants, an ice cream shop, two sushi shops, and a whole host of al fresco restaurants. Finally, there’s a community store, too many gyms — and, oh yes, a leftover strip shop. Something for everyone I think. Hugh O’Keefe, Elizabeth Bay

Shops on Willoughby Rd

Shops on Willoughby RdCredit:Nick Moir

Like so many local shopping streets, Willoughby Road is a thoroughfare under the control and management of the State Government. It is unfriendly and dangerous due to the 60km/h speed limit and heavy vehicle traffic, with restricted parking at peak times – a very unfriendly area. If the government is serious about eliminating vacant shops on high streets, it could start restricting traffic to 40km/h and giving grants to local councils to beautify these centers and provide adequate safe pedestrian crossings and facilities for visitors to get around to meet, sit and gather. Brian McDonald, Willoughby

Let litterbugs clean up

The litter slobs editorial (“Litter slobs must clean up their act or pay the price,” December 29) reminds me of my childhood in the 1960s, when I had to be taught about litter in elementary school and my mother for that Throwing away garbage got carts. She stopped doing that. Education of children is an important part of the answer. Another part of the answer may be that instead of being fined, offenders spend time cleaning up the trash under council supervision as a form of community service. The sight of litter-strewn beaches, parks and streets is a sad reflection of a selfish society that does not take individual responsibility for its actions. Gordon Stenning, Seaforth

Christmas litter left on Bronte Beach

Christmas litter left on Bronte Beach

If Christmas Day revelers had come to a Bronte Beach dump instead of leaving it, I’m sure the prevailing attitude toward littering would have been different. The idea that someone else will clean up afterwards is outdated. After decades of anti-litter campaigning, it’s time people owned their litter like other possessions. The same goes for backpackers who come here to share the great weather and beautiful beaches and then throw away the very thing they traveled halfway across the world to get. Cleaning up after yourself should be as automatic as buckle up by now – we don’t expect anyone else to buckle us up. Viv Munter, Pennant Hill

Increased police presence on beaches because of the mess (Letters, December 29)? What a rubbish idea. Friendly people walking around with garbage bags are a treat at the domain’s outdoor concerts. Maggie Ramsay, Woolloomooloo

Torpedo nuclear submarines

A working life devoted to the operation and maintenance of nuclear submarines would be the choice of a few Australian scientists and engineers (“Scientists split over Nuclear Skills Support,” December 29). The relatively small number of Physics graduates look forward to more exciting careers in basic or applied research in areas of benefit to Australia and humanity. The impossibly long lead time for the delivery of the nuclear submarines is hardly an incentive to pursue this technology, and it is possible that the projected delivery time and costs will make the entire project a disaster. Surely it’s not too late to reconsider this type of submarine? If the government goes ahead with this purchase, it should hire the supplier to provide some or all of the nuclear engineers and technicians at the time of delivery. Geoff Harding, Chatswood

Small talk for Marxists

Considering recent correspondence on common courtesy or pro forma expressions, Groucho Marx once said, “I had a wonderful evening, but that was not it.” I yearn for the opportunity to seize it. Lindsay Smith, Linden

Amazing amazing

To the war of words (Letters, 29 December) I add the cricket commentators who are keen to let us know that the batsman has just made an excellent cricket shot. Robyn Lewis, Raglan

Don’t start with “Don’t start me with…” George Manojlovic, Mangerton

On the observation that respondents rarely respond with “That’s a stupid question,” I’m sure many of us vividly remember Bob Hawke’s answer to Richard Carlton’s “blood on your hands” question using those exact words, after Hawke Bill Hayden as the leader of the opposition. I don’t think Bob stopped there. David Corry, Como West

Perhaps now is the time to remember the words of Zaphod Beeblebrox The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “We will not be great. We won’t be great. We’re going to be incredibly awesome!” Mark Westwood, Narooma

Christmas turkey

When it's Christmas time again...

When it’s Christmas time again…Credit:Taronga Conservation Society

Brush turkeys seem to be taking over and becoming an even bigger nuisance than garbage hens. Isn’t it time to take her off the protected species list and suggest that people put one on the barbie for next year’s Christmas dinner? Rob Mills, River View

The digital gaze
Commenting online on one of the stories that received the most reader feedback yesterday smh.com.au
Room with feud: Apartment residents want neighbors to ban smoking on balconies
Of Diana D:″⁣Although quitting smoking is difficult, priority must be given to those who do not want to smoke and want to take care of their health. It’s also about the unpleasant smell. I am someone who has never smoked, but I have lung damage from passive smoking from the days when smoking was legal in the workplace.″⁣

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Callan Tansill

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