Stephen Mayne writes: Re. “Mayne: Mark Vaile turns $14m into $1m but claims coal’s future is rosy” (yesterday). Whitehaven Coal has been a shocker for investors, but my maths was a digit out yesterday. Mark Vaile’s $14m stake in Whitehaven Coal is down to $1m, not $100,000. Apologies.

On asylum seekers

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Offshore processing has come off the rails” (yesterday). So, the Prime Minister will not give one skerrick of encouragement to those criminals, the people smugglers who are preying on vulnerable people, etc., etc. Translated from Politicoenglish into plain English, it says: “Seeing that I have no control over those criminals, the people smugglers, I pressure the vulnerable people, the victims, instead.”It has not incurred to Tony Turnbull that there are other ways of handling this heart rending problem.

By increasing the asylum seeker intake to, say, 40,000 people per annum (which is still only a fraction of total immigrant intake) and assuring them by waiting  a maximum of two years in their original, overseas holding camps safe from prosecution, their individual cases will be treated with sympathy, Australia will return to humanity (our own native demagogue and his ugly gutter press/ shock jocks puppets will not be able to do a thing against overwhelming public opinion), the people smugglers will be put out of business by lack of demand and we, the tax payers, will be saved uncounted billions of dollars, because the subsidy of overseas humane holding camps and the extra infrastructure expense will amount to only a fraction of what we are paying for the current horror situation.

Peter Fray

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