On Greens preferences

Victorian Convenor of the Animal Justice Party Bruce Poon writes: Re. “A soy latte and preferences please” (yesterday). Crikey has reported today the widely held but completely false belief that the AJP cost the Greens a seat in the ACT at the last federal election. This is despite me pointing out to your journalist the clear error in that view. If you took the time to look up the AEC website, you would clearly see that the Greens went down by a fair margin, unrelated to our preferences.

Leave the ABC alone

Laurie Forde writes: Re. “Beecher: we must ask tough questions about the ABC” (yesterday). The main reason the ABC must continue to be funded by the taxpayer is because it is funded by the taxpayer. It is not funded by multi-billionaire owners or corporations with vested interests that corrupt the democratic process by supplying false or limited information favourable to their own agenda. That is why Rupert Murdoch is happy to run his newspapers at a loss. They give him political power far in excess of his right as a voter in a one person, one vote democratic system. As part of the “mainstream” media, the ABC theoretically performs a vital role of providing alternative views to those of Murdoch et al, and quite often it does, in fact.

Douglas Stewart writes:  There really is no debate about the future of the ABC. The debate exists only in the minds of its enemies and in the forums available to them. The Australian public wants the ABC — simple as that. By and large they like it more or less as it is. And that includes the vast majority of Coalition voters as well. The far Right and those with vested interests like the Murdoch press can thrash about all they wish, but they well know they can only make a small difference round the edges.

And pious concern about the ABC’s tax funded status is also a non-debate. Some don’t use the ABC yet have to contribute to it … so what? I’m not a pensioner, unemployed or a single mother but I don’t begrudge the recipients a cent of my taxes. That’s the nature of a society. And the ABC is biased? Don’t just assert it, prove it! No one has yet. Let’s stop futilely storming the ABC castle and devote our energies to examining the worst parts of our nation — not the best.

No happy returns for a Farrell comeback

Jonas Ball writes: Re. “Is Barry O’Farrell eyeing Canberra?” (yesterday). Many of Ku-ring-gai’s electors can’t wait to see to the back of Barry. While he might have been a good local member for many years, his recent actions (or inaction) will be the legacy for which he will be remembered — namely allowing an unfiltered ventilation stack from one the world’s largest road tunnels (ie. NorthConnex) to be placed in the middle of his electorate in a residential area with over 9300 school children within close proximity to the stack.  This is the stack that the NSW Health department in its submission on the NorthConnex Environmental Impact Statement has said “the external air quality impact for residents around the Northern and Southern Stacks demonstrates a non-negligible risk in terms of long term health impacts.”  and the NSW EPA said “the project is predicted to significantly contribute to the overall ground level concentrations (of NO2 and PM2.5) at some sensitive receptors”. So while Barry contemplates his navel and new career options, the electors of Ku-ring-gai are basically left unrepresented and facing 4 years of 24 hours a day 7 days week construction noise with a promise of “non-negligible” health impacts when the tunnel is opened.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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