I know you’re from the Left, Minister Stokes, but why can you not just say it out loud? Stokes refers obliquely to certain federal policy options which also contribute to high house prices. I think he clearly means negative leverage and capital gains tax concessions.
At the last federal election, Labor had the right to propose changes to these specific measures and was monstered for it by Libs. Stokes, you have to call it what it is, and damn politics. Russ Couch, Woonona
Fowler may not shoo-in with or without Keneally
Implicit in the controversy over skydiving by Kristina Keneally at the expense of local candidate, Tu Le, for Fowler’s seat is the presumption that Labor will frolic at home (“Outsider’s election splits locals in a locked Cabramatta”, September 15). This is despite the fact that public opinion and the views expressed publicly by some Labor MPs are against the move. It would be interesting to test this assumption if a strong local candidate like the prominent Fairfield councilor, Dai Le, is running as an independent. Alternatively, the Liberal Party could invite her into its fold as its candidate for the seat. Thiam Ang, Børoft
I agree with Paul Keating; Keneally is a fantastic candidate for Fowler’s seat (“Keating supports Keneally as MP for Fowler”, September 15). She’s one of a small group of ALP MPs who can really take it up to the government – she’s passionate and she’s cutting through. The left hates her, which means she has to be good. She also has a genuine social conscience, essential for a Labor MP. Tu Le is only 30 years old, which is very young to get into Parliament. She has many years ahead of her, and if Keneally retires at 65, Tu Le will still be only 43 years old – a perfect age to enter parliament and with so much more experience. Patricia McCudden, Oatley
If Keneally is half as good as Paul Keating says she is, she would be a shoe-in to the seat that includes her home on Scotland Island. So much for the value of local branches and their supporters in both Labor and Liberal. It really is the one you know in Australian politics. Tony Tucker, Leichhardt
Much of the negative comment about the rather problematic parachute jump of Keneally in the western Sydney seat simply reflects Liberal supporters’ anxiety about her effectiveness. Greg Thompson, Commit
I look forward to analyzing the results of the latest census to see how many American immigrants live in Fowler’s hometown. Riley Brown, Bondi Strand
Labor should not focus on what to do with Keneally, but on what to do with Anthony Albanese. Mustafa Erem, Terrigal
Far from being an “inspiration”, Gough Whitlam always lived in his constituents (Letters, September 15). When he was elected a member of Werriwa in 1952, the family lived in Cronulla; Cronulla was part of Werriwa, as was Cabramatta. For the 1955 election, there was a redistribution, Cronulla became part of the new voters in Hughes. Whitlam immediately moved his family to Cabramatta, which was in the continued constituencies of Werriwa. Nicholas Whitlam, Scarborough
Porter sows distrust in polls
Cabinet Minister Christian Porter will not reveal who was behind the blind trust fund that partially paid for his litigation costs in his defamation case against ABC (“Unknown donors helped pay litigation costs”, September 15). He states that through “an abundance of transparency” the arrangements were made “in a personal capacity”. No, Minister, it is not transparent. It’s a typical political fudge that ends up with people like me wanting to know more. When we pay your salary, we need to know if you are not fascinated by unknown powers, whether they are foreign, criminal or otherwise. What is there to hide? Peter Neufeld, Mosman
A politician, a lawyer, a bag of money and an anonymous donor. Everything legal and compatible apparently. But is it moral or ethical? No wonder citizens are looking at the political classes with such suspicious concerns. Bernard Stever, Richmond
Let’s see action now
Vigilance is the key at all levels. Matt Kean has the opportunity to persuade his fellow ministers with a whole government strategic plan, which the court has ordered (“Kean still has a long way to go when it comes to wildlife issues”, September 15). We hope to see fewer projects such as raising the dam wall and arbitrary soil cleaning to promote unfavorable interests. These projects adapt the environmental portfolio space. The Minister has promised to abide by the order to address climate change, which will encourage all ministers to address its challenges. Perhaps he could go as far as a powerful chief scientist and protect river systems and aquifers from dehydration. Vigilance would be preventative action, rather than after the event. Anne Eagar, Epping
Milestone on a long road
Yes Premier, I agree that 70 per cent is as good a point to start the way out as anyone, provided the 70 per cent includes 100 per cent First Nations, 100 per cent in elderly care and their workers, 100 per cent disabled and their carers, all health workers and all front-line workers (“MPs’ requests for relief shot down by experts”, 15 September). Mitch McTavish, Cootamundra
Premier described 80 per cent of people in NSW who had received a first dose of vaccination as “an incredible milestone given the journey we have all been on”. Do not know about others, but I have not been anywhere lately. Do I have the wrong “driver’s license”? Ross Duncan, Potts Point
Freedom has its limits
The ongoing controversy that the right to participate in certain activities that depend on vaccination is a violation of individual freedom is nonsense (Letters, September 15). So why do we have a law that forces us to comply with speed limits in built-up areas and around schools? So why do we have rules that deny us the “right” to smoke in workplaces and restaurants? Why do we even have a law that forces us to vote in elections? There are a multitude of laws, rules and regulations in society which are obligatory and which have consequences for the individual if they are not complied with. Most are about the welfare of the individual, some are about the effective functioning of society. Being required to vaccinate before you can board a plane, or dine in a restaurant or spectators at a sporting event is no more an infringement of individual freedom than any of the foregoing, claiming to be contradictory gobbledygook. Arthur Cooper, Alstonville
Help must come first
This government’s continued cut in foreign aid lacks both compassion and deception (“Our Neighbors Need an Alms Hit”, September 15). It not only ignores the needs of the most vulnerable people in our world, especially our northern neighbors, but provides an opening for China to increase its influence in our region. Bad policy on both counts. Michael Healy, East Maitland
Strategically dead end
I know Chris Uhlmann has a sideline in writing fiction, but it seems he’s getting his two jobs confused (“Keats’ advice on China unhealthy”, September 15).
He accuses me of saying that China is not to blame for problems in our relationship – that is not at all what I said when Herald readers would find if they checked my article in Australian Financial Review of September 3 for himself. The main purpose of my article, which Uhlmann takes exception to, was not to list areas where I disagree with Beijing, but to clarify the dangers to Australia in Australia’s current approach.
Uhlmann follows Peter Dutton and the Prime Minister in the growing chorus of Australian hawks hearing the drums of war and compares the current situation in East Asia with Europe in the 1930s, where China is portrayed as the equivalent of the furious Nazis (Uhlmann’s reference: “Anschluss” in the South China Sea).
This imagery and the exaggerated language that accompanies it – “Almost all of Beijing’s complaints to Australia are commands that it compromises its security and its democracy” – are only intended to serve one purpose; to normalize in the minds of Australians the idea that China is an existential threat to our country and our way of life, and that military responses will be necessary, because unless China dismantles its entire system, there is no other way to deal with it.
There is no room in Uhlmann’s simplistic analysis for shadow, debate or discussion – Beijing is a one-dimensional villain, and it is. Australia is the immaculate hero.
It may serve as a plot for one of Uhlmann’s thrillers (“Beijing has revealed … its plans for the way the world should be run”), but it is a dangerous fantasy as a recipe for Australian national security policy.
As I said in AFR article, Australia is led by the government and likes Uhlmann into a strategic dead end. And all because of not having a foreign policy that is capable of dealing with China and the United States at the same time. Paul Keating, Potts Point
Confusion in citizenship
Let me see if I understand this correctly: If I am a sportsman representing Australia and kicking goals on the football field, I can get Australian citizenship, but if I came by boat to this country and happened to start a family and work and contribute to community in Biloela, I can not (“Cooper grateful for citizenship victory,” September 15). No, I still do not understand. Graham McWhirter, Shell Cove
“Talented” people, such as rugby player Quade Cooper, gaining citizenship, simply because they are somehow exceptional, must be a new low point for the coalition. Minister Alex Hawke may argue that this is in line with public expectations, but it is certainly not my expectations. I would rather see that we are a more humanitarian nation. Kerrie Wehbe, Blacktown
We should have held out for a victory victory in Bledisloe before we granted Cooper citizenship. Denis Goodwin, Dee Why
How do we know it’s Kim Kardashian who’s behind the black-masked ensemble (“Old school Hollywood is cool again as American prey stars on the Met”, September 15)? Angela Miller, Bondi Junction