More roads, more cars
Peter Matters writes: Re. “Three myths about the East West Link” (yesterday). Davies’ submission about the financing of the East West Link makes some interesting academic points, but seeing it won’t work if built, the financing arrangements really are not relevant. Cars and trucks breed like rabbits, and like rabbits, they will occupy any space they are given very quickly — moreso on metropolitan freeways. There is not a shadow of doubt that all those billions would be wasted, because were the East West Link built, it would be jam packed with traffic within very few years. There is only one way to achieve reasonable traffic conditions: provide sufficient long distance — as well as local — affordable public transport to persuade people to leave their cars home.
Reshuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic
David Hardie writes: Re. “Keane: reshuffle the key to a better 2015 for the Coalition” (yesterday). Bernard Keane’s view that a reshuffle will fix a lot of the government’s problems is akin to, and I apologise for resorting to cliche, shifting the deckchairs on the Titanic. Keane ignores that the government has shown a disdain for negotiation with those who may have differing views from themselves. This is the very currency of politics and no amount of complaining about an obstructionist senate will alter their legislative record. The other part of this is policy content. They have not been able to present legislation of a nature that is acceptable to the Australian parliament as it is currently comprised due to some form of ideological puritanism. As Keane and Crikey have pointed out, this is compounded by an at times woeful ability to communicate with the wider Australian populace. A reshuffle will fix little of this.
Setting the record straight
Will Field writes: Re. “The bridge-building Nationals MP trying to save his party” (yesterday). I’m a bit sick of this “Troy Grant is the first person to speak an indigenous language in the NSW Parliament” rubbish. Linda Burney was the first person to do that, more than ten years ago. See this, in her inaugural speech. And she’s been a tireless advocate for the Indigenous community her entire life. I’d like to see a correction issued. For goodness’ sake, Burney is the only indigenous member of the parliament, let’s show her some respect.