On the Chevron ad in yesterday’s edition

Pamela Rothfield writes: I was rather shocked today when I opened my daily issue of Crikey and saw the large Chevron Energy ad displayed.  Given what we know about climate change and the contribution of fossil fuels, it seems quite puzzling that you would give such an entity as Chevron Energy the prominent advertising space that you have.

Peter Vaughan writes: Just began to notice the Chevron adds that Crikey has now plastered to the head of the daily mail out. Raises questions about the mining industry funding of Crikey, and  whether  in the future we (the reader) can expect full and frank examination by Crikey of issues associated with that industry, and Chevron. The link between advertisers effecting editorial decisions is something Crikey has covered many times over the years and I am very surprised that Crikey has taken such a dangerous step in this direction. Crikey has also covered the “green wash” phenomena so it’s sad to see it now directly participating in such a campaign.

As a long time Crikey subscriber, and someone who has always respected Crikey‘s principles of independence, displaying such an obvious relationship to a major multinational mining company, and an industry that has a long and negative history of buying influence and power in Australia  is a great concern. In the future the reader can’t be sure that Crikey will not ignore issues that might upset the mining industry and risk losing those advertising dollars, so how about reconsidering your ad policy and apply a more ethical measure before accepting dollars from such companies.

Tips for the infrastructure PM

Hank Kingman writes: Re. “Report shows how Abbott can become the real infrastructure PM” (yesterday). Surely we pay a road pricing tariff already in the fuel excise? This quite nicely charges consumers for every kilometre they dare to do on our third world roads. In addition it has the benefit of penalising those who chose to drive big polluting gas guzzlers — not that climate issues rank with this government. The problem is  that the government is not using this pool of money to pay for roads either directly or indirectly to private toll operators.

I for one am sick of private sector benefits and fleecing that goes with tolls, a basic infrastructure that one is given to think one is already paying for and now having rationed or degraded. Why is it that the most expensive roads to build and maintain are interstate highways and they aren’t tolled at all? Could it be that business would have to pay? Personally I would have no problem paying $50 to drive from Sydney to Melbourne . I can hear the freight guys going mad with lobbyists, but isn’t this where tolls and road charging should apply not in the pursuit of employment and local communication? Why does this government support and run at the same time from business commitments? NSW road initiatives are being sold as the roads you have to have but no one is saying that there will be huge tolls on them all and others charged into the bargain.

We also have more road users than ever — and yet no apparent benefits of economies of scale, more cars on the street due to disingenuous planning laws on new builds that encourage more cars to be left on the street. Add that to car parks in cities being removed but never replaced, to make way for empty bike lanes for couriers to profit from without the contribution of a dollar. Tax and rate payers have a huge right to be vocal about what the devil is going on, whilst traffic and transport policy remains in the hands of people who don’t drive, looking at projects singularly and not how they integrate to a whole — we don’t really have a chance. Add to this the necessity of political lies and where do you see a way forward?

Peter Fray

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