Joining the dots on cars Aussies want

Dr Tom Osborn writes: Re. “Road test: does this car and its makers deserve to be saved?” (yesterday). Eight years ago, I did some work for one of the local car manufacturers — about next vehicle purchases by consumers. One very simple linear model: dependent variable was ratio of sales for new small vehicles to sales of new big vehicles (monthly over 36 months), and the independent variable was petrol price. The model fit had r-squared of 0.94 which is like Blind Freddie obvious. It’s been known for a long time that fuel consumption is pretty inelastic, but when fuel prices go up, the next vehicle will be more fuel efficient. Joining the dots can’t be that hard!

Richard Barlow writes: The Abbott government seem obscenely keen to abandon car manufacturing in Australia while resurrecting a tax rort which subsidises the purchase of foreign made cars.

Sydneysider snobbery in Tropfest outrage

David Hardie writes: Re. “Incredibly offensive: Tropfest sex change comedy sparks outrage” As a counter to your article I’ll posit another theory: this is the reaction of the inhabitants of inner-city Sydney — so a film-maker winning their festival who is not from inner-city Sydney (“round here”) and not known to that community, then (mistakenly) if it seems homophobic, it must be. It’s a larger-scale version of the “for I am the only gay in the village” fallacy. As a footnote, I’ll state that Matt Hardie, as far as I know, is not a relative and that I have never met him, etc.

Vet concerns addressed

JCU spokesman Jim O’Brien writes: Re. “Vet concerns in Qld” (Tuesday). The  Veterinary Emergency Centre and Hospital (VECH) is a separate entity to  JCU’s School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. There has been no suggestion anywhere other than by the “concerned veterinarian” that there have been discussions concerning the privatisation of the School.  None are contemplated. None are necessary. None would be contemplated.

 As the “concerned veterinarian”  would know, placements are an important part of the education of our future vets — if this is “privatisation”, then it has been a fact of life in many aspects of tertiary education across all tertiary institutions for many, many years.

The facts remain, as originally stated, that “The University has had discussions with Greencross and consulted other veterinary practices in the region concerning the future of the Veterinary Emergency Centre and Hospital (VECH) on our Douglas campus.”  Repeat, the hospital, not the school

Greencross already provides placements for our students as do other veterinary practices. With its growing network of practices, Greencross  may be able to provide more placements.