Letters to the editor Wednesday May 16 2018

I AM so tired of the anti-Chinese hysteria currently being kicked up in Australia. 

The latest episode has to do with the Confucius Institute. 

Evidently teaching Mandarin, having children learn the Chinese anthem and providing them with flags is evidence of a devious plot by the Chinese Communist Party to gradually take over Australia. Yet the same type of thing promoted by the Alliance Francais and the Goethe Institute’ is never questioned. 

I believe the current growing hysteria concerning China was originally stirred up by Professor Clive Hamilton using incendiary emotive language. China is a threat, we are told, to the “rules-based order in South East Asia”. That ‘order’, which has been greatly led by the U.S, has in my lifetime seen an illegal war in Vietnam based on specious premises leading to atrocities in Cambodia and Laos, dictatorships in South Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, as well as 200,000 deaths in East Timor. Some ‘rules-based order!’ 

China is continually accused of aggression, ignoring the historical fact that in terms of invasion and in contrast to other superpowers, China has been far more sinned against than sinner. Think of the Opium Wars, the Boxer Rebellion and Japan in WWII.

John Queripel, Kotara

BLOOM IS DESPITE OUR GLOOM

WILTON Ainsworth (Letters 10/5), while you may believe that Newcastle became more prosperous after the introduction of the lockout laws, many would argue that these laws are not only unnecessary and ineffective, but extremely counterproductive.

There is lots of evidence to suggest that conditions have worsened for patrons and pubs alike. There also seems to be a lot of evidence to suggest that the small number of boutique bars and restaurants that have emerged in Newcastle in the last decade did not emerge as a result of the lockout laws, and would have sprouted up anyway. There is simply no proof that these venues magically appeared as a result of these laws. In my opinion, without them we would actually have more.

While some may also be quick to declare that pubs and clubs in Newcastle became better off after the implementation of the lockout laws, I think even more people would say the laws have had an adverse effect on business, which have seen many suffer terrible downturns in trade, as well as a number of people forced into receivership.

Adz Carter, Newcastle

TRUE BOMB BEYOND BUDGET

WHILE some may applaud the astuteness and cleverness of Scott Morrison, just as some take Mr Shorten's reply as being a just response (loaded with zingers), the comments of non-partisan commentators have much to say about the shortcomings of the Treasurer's plans.

Everyone says this is an election budget, meaning that its full of sweetness and light rather than good economic sense. The key problem is the "time bomb" in the tax cut - set to explode in 5 years when the tax cuts extend to the top 5% of tax payers.

And of course the Treasurer, as is his strategy, has written the Bill to include all tax cuts so that the immediate reduction cannot go ahead without the bomb end.

The tax cut bill will cost our economy dearly and create a structural deficit that will ensure we cannot ever reach a surplus because our revenue will be so reduced that expenses will exceed income. 

By that time it is pretty certain that Labor will be in office - so the deficit will be all their fault and not the Liberals.

I think that’s the real plan. 

This budget is more about the re-election prospects of the Lib/Nat coalition in 2022 and make it a certainty by 2025, than it is about economic management.

Scott Bell-Ellercamp, Clarence Town

HARNESS WINDS OF CHANGE

REGARDING Nathan Vass’s opinion piece (“Liddell bid can help families and business”, Opinion 11/5), I am thinking that there is so much uncertainty in power generation that it is hard to foresee how it is all going to play out. 

First we have uncertainty whether the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is going to be implemented, as well what the states will demand from the new set-up. We have opposing ideas about how many renewables will end up in the NEG since that may change if there is a change of government in the future. 

We also have a great amount of renewables under construction that will be part of power generation in the near future, meaning some coal-fired power stations will have to reduce their input to the grid. There is a great uptake of home and business solar systems, and it is expected that many of these will eventually have battery storage. Also, we are seeing big businesses buying power output from renewable generation under private purchase agreements (PPAs). 

These renewable generators are also organising a firming of their power output so that when the sun does not shine or the wind does not blow there is still power generation happening for the PPA.

Most expect that greater action will eventually have to be taken on global warming, making it necessary to put a price on carbon that will affect costs on coal fired power generation.

Let us not forget that there will be electric vehicles that need to be charged. A great deal to think about, but it is a certainty that we will see change.

Agner Sorensen, Teralba

A GENTLEMAN OF THE GAME

IT WAS announced just a short time ago that the Queensland and Australian rugby league captain Cameron Smith has announced his retirement from representative duty, effective immediately. What a wonderful person he has been on and off the football fields here in Australia and also overseas in England, France and New Zealand. I truly hope that he becomes an Immortal eventually.

It is sad that he was suspended for his tackle on Gold Coast’s Kevin Proctor, but the committee has a thankless task set before them each round of the competition. In hindsight, Smithy wasn’t needed. There were already two others committed to the tackle, and they could not overlook his involvement simply because of who he is.

Move on Cameron, you are an inspiration to all our young blokes aged seven and up. Reflect with pride on the enjoyment you have given others over numerous years.

David Crich, Tenambit

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