Thank you, Peter Hercher, for giving us such a poignant and apt phrase.A once cowardly nation becomes a bully”, December 17). For too long, various governments, like many bullies, have been frightened in the face of threats from resources and the club industry that will collapse if confronted. Joan Brown, Orange
Peter Hartcher sums up the whole shameful mess of mining ‘rights’ in Australia. For too long, mining companies have taken liberties with what rightfully belongs to all Australians.
The mining and gas industries have persuaded too many cowardly and docile governments and citizens. Anything in the ground can only be owned and used for the benefit of mining companies. If someone disagrees, it’s “socialism” or “communism.” Calculated accusatory words that make no sense. Billionaires are never satisfied. Common sense and justice, of course, teach that people should be rewarded for discovering important minerals, but the discoverers did not create them or put them there. You can’t really “own” them or fool us with “royalties” claiming to be sufficient concessions. They do not accept that the wealth derived from the exploitation of natural resources should enrich all Australians in health, welfare, education, construction and defense. It’s too early to put an end to it. Nora Tucker, Kiama
Hartcher’s article on energy industry setbacks on gas prices to be followed soon by article on food industry retreating resistance to sugar tax and more effective government requirements for labeling processed food contents I hope Henry Harrison, Paddington
Poor little petals. His three largest gas producers in Australia, Woodside, Santos and Beach Energy, claim to face a “Soviet-style” crisis. crisis? Stocks surged sharply following the ‘windfall profits from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’? Must be. Kathleen Hollins, Northmead
“Bullyed” is the perfect word. This is how you deal with bullies. I’m glad Hartcher didn’t limit his comments to the resources department. Let’s hope others show their backbone and don’t give in. David Rush, Lawson
Robo-debt, a public service shame
Misissued robo-debt cost the federal government $1.2 billion in reparations, so it’s not surprising that no one has admitted responsibility (“Seeking outspoken and fearless advice”, December 17). Officials knew robo-debt was legally problematic, but the question is how widely this knowledge is shared. Advice to ministers is now provided by public officials, private sector officials and consultants, and there is often an element of competition between candidates.
Cabinet minutes must be signed by the relevant minister. Scott Morrison told the Royal Commission it was inconceivable that a public official could have been hiding such matters from him, but it happened. It should provide an interesting commentary on what Although this system has moved on from the Protocols of the Jesus Ministers, competition between civil servants and the private staff of ministers is still alive and well. What has changed is that department heads no longer have the comfort of tenure and rely on ministerial approval. James Moore, Kogarah
The report suggests that repression of civil servants in Canberra is largely a phenomenon of the past decade or so. Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison’s Liberal National Party may have reached the pinnacle of this kind of misgovernment, but it’s nothing new. Unfortunately, the Menzies-era “seven dwarfs” and their men’s willingness to give a minister some blunt, fearless advice did not exist in his 1980s, when I last worked as a civil servant. It was not rigorously practiced. I was once asked for my view on a legal matter by a very senior official. I recently sat in that same minister’s office and gave him advice that I knew he might not like, and I repeated my views on the law to the ire of a senior official. His reaction to my unfavorable view of the law was: Now I can make decisions based on all the facts. ” Paul Fergus, Croydon
Why was the director dismissed?
I personally don’t know Shane Fitzsimmons (“Removed Perrotet, Hero of Black Summer, Dec. 17), but from his public profile during extreme weather events, he appeared calm, well-informed, trustworthy, and trustworthy. Can you tell me more about why the man you thought would be ideal for this job was fired?December 17th) seems to come closest to that mark to suggest that he is a “sacrificial lamb”. Megwenya Matthews, North Taramura
Dominic Perrottet makes Fitzsimmons a scapegoat and fires him because he says he supports recommendations to improve “disaster response.” We can think of another kind of recommendation to ‘improve’ the state government’s response to ‘disasters’. That is, voters will dismiss his Perrottet government next March. Fred Janson, Rose Bay
Shane Fitzsimmons, thank you for your service. I remember your empathy, determination and skill. As usual, like teachers and general practitioners, you get a fall and flak for the government’s failed policy of prioritizing gloss and catchphrases over meaningful action. , no wonder some of your staff were in tears. I doubt you’ll get the same reaction when you see Perrottet and his mob from behind. We will support you from now on. Marie Healy, Hurlstone Park
What’s the fuss about having a Citizenship Ceremony on January 26 instead of the one that Congress does a few times a year (“Ruddock Asks ALP to Change Date”, December 17)?
I remember my citizenship some 40 years ago was in the Conclave Hall. I don’t remember the exact day, but he certainly wasn’t January 26th. It wasn’t until 1994 that he made January 26 a national holiday. The Citizenship Ceremony on January 26th isn’t patriotic, but unlike me, at least you’ll remember the date. Mukul Desai, Hunters Hill
Indeed, if an immigrant wishes to become an Australian citizen, all that is required is the issuance of a certificate. The date of submission does not matter. Ruddock thinks he knew all of this more than getting upset about the date his citizenship certificate was issued. Doug Crawford, Cheltenham
walk in history
Ask your correspondent (letter, Dec. 17). I was teaching a course similar to yours, and I remember showing my students his 1972 Year 9 Australian History Workbook.
In that entire year the only mention of Indigenous involvement in our history was a dot point in a sentence copied from the chalkboard. It read, “The natives were not hostile.” Things are changing, but we have a long way to go. Educating all Australians about the full history of our land and respecting all perspectives is essential to moving forward together and building a nation we can be proud of. Pam Timms, Suffolk Park
Luckily, the H&M show has ended (“Harry’s War with Royalty in No Return”, December 17). We continue, as the general public does. The rest of the royal family continues as they normally do, but Sussex laughs all the way to the bank. who won? who cares? Barbara Fahey, Grafton
I don’t understand why Harry and Meghan can’t understand why the royal family should protect the establishment. In that case, the staff member will either leave the organization or be asked to “work out” by the organization. Susan Chang, St Ives
In the future, after Australia becomes a republic, people will shake their heads and wonder how the former head of state came from such a disjointed and shambolic family.Meghan and Harry’s Circus It’s fun entertainment, but it epitomizes everything Australians do wrong in the way they choose people to represent themselves at the highest level. Tony Le, Georges Hall
Harry’s war with royalty? yawn. Peter Miniutti, Ashbury
Online comments from one of the stories that garnered the most reader feedback yesterday smh.com.au
Australia ‘vulnerable’ to electricity price shocks until it cuts gas habit
from Dom: Australia is one of the richest countries in the world when it comes to natural resources (solar, wind, coal, gas, uranium) but is facing an ‘energy crisis’. Another example of politicians not planning and only worrying about the next election.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/labor-legislating-for-the-nation-ahead-of-business-20221218-p5c778.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw Labor legislation for the country prior to business