On raising the terror threat level

Allen Kavanagh writes: Re. “Abbott has made Australia less safe — so he’s right to raise the threat level” (Friday). Whenever I go to the beach, I cover myself in eucalyptus oil. It is quite cheap and you can get it from Woolworths. I do this to prevent shark attack. I have been doing this for years. Do you know not once have I ever been attacked by a shark in Australia, in all the time I have been using eucalyptus oil? That is how effective the oil is. With the “medium high alert” of a terrorist attack in Australia as announced by the Australian government, the Australian Federal Police, the New South Wales Police and ASIO are the “eucalyptus oil” for the Australian public. When nothing happens, we will all say how effective they were.

Army rankings explained

Steve Wright writes: Re. “Morrison’s got big plans” (Friday). Stuart Robert did not leave the Army as a “senior Army officer” but rather as a Captain. I would describe this rank (second from the bottom of officer ranks) as low/mid level management — at best managing a force up to around 100 soldiers (to provide perspective, there are over 1000 Captains in the Army currently serving). To describe someone as a senior Army officer, I would suggest they would need to be at least a Colonel.  As an example would probably be apt to describe Andrew Nikolic as a former senior Army officer having reached the rank of Brigadier and certainly being involved in relatively high level decision making in the organisation. I can’t see how Robert could hope to use his limited former army career as some sort of springboard into the Defence ministry. Having said that, I think his performance as the assistant has been positive from a personnel policy and veterans affairs perspective.

Lost in translation

Russell Raggatt writes: Re. “Prepare to question everything you thought you knew about Australian English” (Friday). I heard years ago that Moomba (as in the Melbourne festival) did not mean “lets get together and have fun” — it means “piss off”.

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