Ominous acronyms

John Poppins writes: Re. “Abbott’s new treaty a win for lawyers, corporations, but a loss for Australia” (yesterday). We face the threat of being signed up for the TPP which includes Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses. These give even greater intimidatory and legal power to overseas corporations. The Australian politicians and trade negotiators who sign away our sovereignty in favour or foreign corporations, thereby reducing our capacity to protect our standards of health, environment and equity, should be considered guilty of treason against the majority of Australian voters and generations to come. We should note their names and consider legal challenge. They are a far greater threat to our welfare than the extremists of IS.

Tony Timmins writes: I’m getting really worried about this obviously flawed trade agreement. Why don’t we start up a petition on to make sure the ISDS provisions are excluded from the deal? Come on Crikey, you have the power to do this.

LNP national conferences

Jock Webb writes: Re. “When it comes to conferences, the ALP should look to the LNP” (yesterday). I would agree with Ken Lambert that there is less public bloodletting at LNP events, but no factions? tell that to the people of NSW who watch the likes of Alex Hawke and co. ruining the party. What utter garbage. The LNP just doesn’t have the guts to admit it, just like they crow about unions funding the ALP. Well we know that and always have, but who funds the LNP? State secret (almost literally in NSW).

Everyone hates speeding fines

Jeff Ash writes: Re. “Is Miranda Devine right? Are speeding fines outrageous?” (yesterday). The problem with non-discretionary speeding low level speeding fines is they are reliant on the speed limits being accurate, and based on the 75th percentile rule which is a global standard. So many roads in WA have arbitrarily low speed limits not set in this manner, thereby nullifying any purported safety benefit.

Paul Hampton-Smith writes:  Is speeding 14 times more common than mobile phone usage while driving; 14 times more dangerous?  I think not, but that is implied by the statistics of infringements, with 200,000 South Australian speeding fines recorded in 2011 versus 14,000 mobile phone offences.  It’s lazy enforcement, because it takes a human being to detect mobile phone usage and other risky driving behaviour, whereas speeding fines can be largely automatic. Evidence-based attention to road safety would focus on offences in proportion to their risk and frequency, and would not bias the detection methods to the cheapest way to collect revenue.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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