Crikey readers yesterday reacted to the news of the government’s panicked approval for the Adani coal mine (a panic fuelled by years of failure in Queensland, wrote Bernard Keane). Readers were quick to point out the overwhelming flaws of the plan. Elsewhere, readers chimed in on what Australian politics would look like with fixed election dates and four-year terms for MPs.
John Kotsopoulos writes: Even the claimed 1500 jobs are unlikely given the massively mechanised and remotely controlled systems used in modern mining. And those that will emerge are highly specialised and technically complex ones with skills that are not suitable for or easily acquired by inexperienced job seekers. So it seems locals are going to vote for a project that will place their health and the local environment at significant risk for what amounts to a derisory return. What a catastrophic mistake.
John Brooker writes: On top of that, the mine, apart from making a quid for Adani and maybe the QLD government, will be nothing but a global warming factory. The Carmichael mine will be adding 1700 million tons of CO2 to the earth’s atmosphere every year. How can Australia claim to be meeting its greenhouse emission targets, when it exports its coal to be burnt elsewhere? Any environmental assessment for the approval of greenhouse gas producing industries must now include the effect on the world’s atmosphere and the habitability of our planet.
Steve Blume writes: Your article on parliamentary terms conflated fixed terms with four-year terms. They are separate issues. As this paper from 2008 and others before and since have posited, a simple proposal for fixed three-year terms counters most of the objections to fixed-terms and the extension of the terms to four years and maintain alignment of senate and house of representative elections. First Saturday in November every three years would do, starting in 2022.
Wayne Cusick writes: If there is a fixed term for the House of Reps, there would also need to be some mechanism for the parliament to be dissolved if it became deadlocked/unworkable. I don’t believe there is such a mechanism for the US, though the UK probably has one. I would also expect election campaigns to be longer, as the election date would be known long in advance. In the US this has been taken to the absurd — the president has been pretty much campaigning (with rallies) since he took office.
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