Claw back booty,at any cost

Alan Moir

Why doesn’t the government pass legislation to liquidate all the Obeid family assets,pay the outstanding tax and keep the rest (“Eddie bailed,ATO to tax proceeds of coal deal”,October 22).Peter Hughes,Macquarie Fields

Serving time at about $10 million a year is nice work if you can get it.William Lloyd,Denistone

Why does the Crown not have the power and will to confiscate this money,which is clearly the proceeds of crime,as proved? This is a huge and disturbing anomaly in our criminal system. What goes?Richard Hambly,Potts Point

Who says crime doesn’t pay?Mark Dean,Loftus

Spending a few years in jail for $30million (minus tax) seems a good deal. The wages of sin are obviously well above the minimum.Graham Lum,North Rocks

I understand that there is tax evasion and unpaid bills to pursue,but what a message for the crooks out there. Make an illegal motza,go to jail for a few years but keep your ill-gotten gains:so,on balance,it’s all worth it. That $30million should be ripped back,whatever the cost to the taxpayer.Rosslyn Jeffery,Castle Hill

If the $30 million received by the Obeid family were the proceeds of criminal action,why is the total sum not confiscated,rather than relying on the tax department to remove only a portion? Is this leniency offered to other criminals?Peter Wotton,Pyrmont

So,there is a long trail of failed attempts to get the Obeid criminals who won illegal millions from various corrupt deals to pay anything back. The solution could be to sic the robodebt collectors onto them.Barry Laing,Castle Cove

Net zero risks being worth precisely that

What will we actually achieve with this belated,grudging net zero by 2050 target (“Nats name price for net zero support”,October 22)? Let’s see:ScoMo can go to Glasgow and not get howled out of court and he won’t be too embarrassed the next time he gets to meet the Queen or Prince Charles.
All sorts of eye-watering amounts have been promised in the regions. Meanwhile,Australia is still near last on the world league tables. We aren’t likely to get up off the floor during the next crucial decade unless the states and business community take matters into their own hands. Those Nats know how to make hay while the sun shines. About solar power,not so much.Margaret Johnston,Paddington

What on earth is Barnaby Joyce thinking? Twiggy Forrest,among others,is leading Australia out of coal and into more profitable job creation via green hydrogen and other renewables. Our world has changed and most people get the message. It has nothing to do with country versus city. Most farmers are on the same page as Mr Forrest and want something done to mitigate climate change. Most miners see the writing on the wall as mining becomes ever more computerised and jobs are lost. Green hydrogen is the future for them. I truly doubt the sanity of some politicians.Joanna van Kool,Crows Nest

Scott Morrison should move with the times and stop his reliance on road maps and start using GPS for his climate change navigation.Rod Tuck,Katoomba

This is the most outrageous farce. Not only did Tony Abbott sign us up to net zero by 2050 in the Paris Agreement of 2015;most Coalition constituents,including industry,mining and those on the land,are already willingly working towards achieving those goals. Barnaby Joyce knows only one way to negotiate and that’s to bully. Morrison is fearful of those within his own mob who think climate change is some kind of voodoo magic. When will these people provide an outcome that the populace actually want?Bruce Hulbert,Lilyfield

As it is possible for an Australian prime minister to commit the country to go to war,as then prime minister John Howard did in 2003,can it really be the case that Morrison cannot commit the country to reducing emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 and to zero by 2050,knowing that if he doesn’t do so,the country will suffer fierce international trade sanctions as well as the continuing ravages of an overheating planet?Penny Rosier,North Epping

Dearly beloved

Regarding Epicurus (Letters,October 22),perhaps your correspondent might like to contemplate the possibility that his and my infinitesimally small bits of grey matter in a vast universe may not be quite up to the task of deciding. The only way to have any confidence in such matters would be if God were to reveal truths about himself,which many believe he has done.David Morrison,Springwood

Your correspondent cites “repent,believe,obey”. The Synoptic Gospels tell us that the Pharisees and Scribes condemned Jesus for disobeying the religious laws of their time and accused him of blasphemy rather than belief. Gandhi and Martin Luther King believed in civil disobedience rather than obeying,when there are unjust laws in place. I’ll have what they are having.Joseph Fernandez,Mosman

The answer was given to Moses when he asked what he should tell the people of Israel,God answered:“I am that I am” (KJV,Exodus 3:14).Vivienne Parsons,Thornleigh

On the subject of heaven,which form of me gets in? The young and fit one,or the old,tired,incontinent,demented one? I’d like to know before I sign up;eternity is a long time.Angus McLeod,Cremorne

No heaven? Phooey! It exists. See my address.Mike Bush,Port Macquarie

Funny money goes around but doesn’t come around

One cranky and insulted teacher here (“Parents to get $250 for efforts when schools closed”,October 22). First,the term home-schooling used by the Premier is incorrect. Let’s try “learning from home”. Second,what about a thank you to all the teachers out there who have persevered for the past three to four months with daily lesson preparation,Zoom lessons,endless online marking and phone calls each day to parents and students to check on their wellbeing,discussing work progress or assisting with problems? Most parents have been very supportive during lockdown,but being called by the Premier “the cornerstone of our success”? I think not. What about the parents who have not supported their children with learning during lockdown? Do they still get their $250 for contributing nothing?Julie Graham,Berrilee

Are grandmothers eligible for the $250 voucher? I had my two grandchildren with me every weekday for 16 weeks (school holidays included) and was teaching the seven-year-old all day. The 10-year-old was more self-motivated (I am a retired teacher). Breakfasts,lunches and snacks added to my food expenditure immensely. I do feel blessed,but exhausted,to have had them here.Joy Reddy,Bundeena

No significant pay rise for teachers,but the government gives taxpayer-funded $250 vouchers to families for “home-schooling” students. For the most part,home-schooling meant,at best,parents supervised lessons prepared and distributed by teachers. No wonder we face teacher shortages. The government refuses to acknowledge and reward the essential service they provide.Sue Martin,Clareville

I didn’t have a school-aged child at home,but I did have a husband working (still do). What assistance do I get for organising and supervising him every day?Jenny Greenwood,Hunters Hill

Help however you can

Individuals might misguidedly model their arguments against making expensive personal changes to “help halt the crisis” of climate change on our recalcitrant politicians’ claims Australia’s efforts to reduce emissions are minuscule against global emissions output (“Don’t leave it to leaders:these steps can help halt crisis”,October 22). Suggestions to “invest in an electric car” and “ditch gas appliances” might be unaffordable to many. I have recently installed a convection cooktop and a heat-pump hot water system,at a cost of several thousand dollars. These personal actions should be backed by national incentives,rebates and policies for the change to green gear. Where is the visionary leadership on this?Robyn Dalziell,Kellyville

Henrietta Cook makes some good points about how individuals and households can reduce their pollution footprints. One important step missing is changing to rechargeable gardening equipment. There are electric chainsaws,lawn mowers,ride-on lawn mowers,tractors,whipper-snippers,leaf blowers,hedge trimmers etc. Getting rid of fossil fuel equipment in the garden (and on the farm) would do a lot to reduce pollution.Dennis O’Hara,Wanniassa (ACT)

Conspiracy at the Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates should be congratulated for donating $159million to make a new anti-COVID treatment in the form of a pill available to developing poor countries (“Gates pledges millions to help get pills to poor”,October 22). Unfortunately,though,we should also be prepared for new conspiracy theories to be bombarding social media platforms,accusing the Gates of further trying to control people.Con Vaitsas,Ashbury

The truth is out

World news has a fascinating juxtaposition of two articles with stories about the two people with a substantial responsibility for the two highest known COVID pandemic death tolls. In Brazil,there are significant moves by the senate to prosecute President Bolsonaro’s contribution to the second highest toll as a crime (“Death charge laid at feet of Bolsonaro”,October 22). Meanwhile,in the US,the former president who contributed to the highest toll is let off scot-free and is now launching a ludicrously labelled TRUTH Social app that continues his progress in making a travesty of that word (“Trump launches Twitter rival – TRUTH Social”,October 22).Anne Ring,Coogee

Oh,the irony of Trump labelling his new social media platform TRUTH Social. This from the former president who has been documented by The Washington Post as telling more than 30,000 falsehoods during his term in office. If one has to put the word “truth” in the name,chances are lies are aplenty. Think George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth,and the Soviet propaganda newspaper Pravda,which means truth in Russian. Or take the example of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea:it is neither democratic,nor a republic,and it sure doesn’t belong to the North Korean people.Han Yang,North Turramurra

Vice prod

Human beings have used mind-altering substances since we were living in caves (“Three arrested after 300kg of ice found inside excavator”,October 22). It is a fundamental human need and behaviour,yet we persist in creating opportunities for individuals to become criminals by making some popular substances illegal,thus creating opportunities for criminal syndicates. Meanwhile,we continue to promote and imbibe alcohol in the presence of our children. Let’s listen to the experts and decriminalise these substances and make them available through controlled and reliable sources – just as we do alcohol.Jill Ellen,Ashfield

Flannery’s warning

I beg to differ with your correspondent (Letters,October 22) about Tim Flannery’s article (“Dead last in the race of our lives”,October 21). Dr Flannery mentions mega-fires,deadly heatwaves,monster storms and catastrophic floods. One could add filthy rivers,massive flotillas of plastic in the oceans and covering beaches,melting polar icecaps and rising sea levels,mudslides engulfing whole villages,species extinctions,diseases passing from stressed animal populations to humans,and great swaths of denuded,degraded and unproductive land. All of this is already happening before our eyes and will exponentially increase as global average temperatures rise. It takes little effort of the imagination to envision the implications for society as we currently experience it. Wilful ignorance is no longer a tenable position.Meredith Williams,Northmead

Your correspondent does like to split hairs. Whether anthropogenic global warming is measured in Fahrenheit,Celsius,or Rankine,2.7F or 1.5C is of concern. At 2.7F (1.5C),it is widely accepted there will be increased risks to health,livelihoods,food security,water supply,vector-borne diseases,human security and economic growth. That is not deception,it is fact.Barrington Salter,Neutral Bay


Rage was strong this week. Subjects included Scott Morrison and climate change,Scott Morrison and Christian Porter,voluntary assisted dying and,for no change,the Nationals and climate change.
Letters writers are,with a few regular denialist exceptions,strongly against climate change,think something must be done and are furious at Morrison and,this week,Barnaby Joyce for not just getting on with it. Few have any faith or belief in Morrison’s Road to Glasgow experience of suddenly seeing the (renewable energy powered) light. Then,just as things were quieting down on the Morrison front,along came Christian Porter and the government blocking his ″⁣blind trust″⁣ being examined. The letters poured in,not one defending the action,all considering it shocking that Parliament would do this in broad daylight.
Then came Eddie Obeid and the suggestion he might keep $30 million in proceeds of crime (less tax,of course) and the rage came back in waves.
Most letter writers are for voluntary assisted dying,mostly because it’s my life and none of your business. Also,if you don’t want it,don’t have it,but leave the rest of us alone. They were furious at having the bill before Parliament shoved off to yet another examination,perceiving this as another delaying tactic by religious members.
Yesterday,the letter from Peter Nash of Fairlight should have included ″⁣Our Minister for the Environment,Sussan Ley,has not only recently given permission for three new coal mines but has knocked back a renewable energy hub for creating a green hydrogen manufacturing industry in Western Australia.″⁣

Harriet Veitch,Acting letters editor

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