Letters to the editor 28/09/22

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Dear editor, 

Communities across Australia are reeling from the compounding effects of fires, floods, cyclones and the global pandemic, and there can be no doubt that more challenges will emerge. Australian Red Cross is urging people to act now to prepare for the inevitable disasters ahead. 

Red Cross has long known the value of communities and individuals taking time to plan and prepare for potential disasters. That value has now been underscored by a Curtin University report into the effectiveness of our emergency preparedness programs for people who lived through the devastating 2021 Wooroloo Bushfire in the Perth Hills. 

This month marks our annual campaign to encourage people to prepare ahead for disasters, because preparedness has been found to improve how people experience disasters and how they recover from them. 

Excellent resources on the Red Cross website www.redcross.org.au/prepare include steps to create your own emergency plan, download the Red Cross Get Prepared App, prepare a survival kit, emergency contacts list, and keepsake list, and understand ways to help manage stress. 

With disaster season almost upon us, I urge people to start thinking now about how they will manage.   

Garry Page, 

Director, Australian Red Cross, Queensland.  



Dear Editor, 

Thank you to the people impacted by dementia, community members and healthcare professionals who marked Dementia Action Week 2022 from 19-25 September.  

Across Australia, individuals and organisations supported our campaign, ‘A little support makes a big difference’ to increase understanding about dementia and help eliminate discrimination. 

On behalf of the estimated 487,500 people living with dementia in Australia, we thank everyone for their support.  

While Dementia Action Week is only one week each year, the conversation and action to eliminate discrimination continues year-round. For information and tips on how you can continue to make a difference in your community, please visit discrimination.dementia.org.au

Maree McCabe AM, 

CEO Dementia Australia.  



Dear Editor,  

With 51% of the population female, it behoves politicians to ensure the new consent laws protect both parties in inter-gender relationships, private and public. However, with a representative gender imbalance in the halls of power, women’s legal rights and protection are subject to majority rulings, sometimes not all sympathetic. Our parliament is based on the English system, where male politicians dominate. 

Consent is permission for something to happen, or agreement to do something. It appears to be a vague description of what happens when one party is dominant and/or demanding a response from a second party. Force to comply, using either physical or emotional coercive control, relies on a power imbalance.  Compliance is open to discussion, to negotiation, or simply demanded. Gender inequity in most countries, means women without a voice or advocate, are often forced to comply with a demand, without consultation.  

Any law ruling that both parties must be in agreement to a demand or request, is difficult to enforce, if not impossible to monitor, especially in private. Relationship violence, where one party is less powerful than the other, is rampant, simply because the laws governing consent, are inappropriate, or dismissed in private settings. We seem to have an epidemic of violence against the vulnerable in our society, regardless of progressive laws and institutions. 

Although the “Me Too” movement has highlighted inappropriate and unlawful relations between parties, where one participant is exploited because of a relationship power imbalance, agreement can’t always be guaranteed. Consent is a term that appeases lawmakers, who naively assume relationship violence and power imbalance can simply be eradicated by well-meaning politicians. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. 

E. Rowe,  




Dear Editor,  

It seems we remain a colony and King Charles III is our Head of State. I didn’t vote for him and trust that before his reign ends, we will have ditched the Monarchy and become a Republic.  He appears to be a reasonable fellow and his advocacy for action against climate change is commendable, though it will no longer be possible for him to voice his opinions on the state of our world – political speak being removed from his agenda which does raise the question of what power does he hold?  

Witnessing the spectacle of a bunch of people expressing sorrow and shock at the death of a 96-year-old female, leads me to wonder at their grasp of reality.  Did they not foresee that Her Majesty was on the verge of exiting this world; still in possession of her mental faculties and achieving a dignified death, surrounded by her loved ones, in the comfort of her own bed (I assume). An end not achieved by so many unfortunates whose death is less dignified than that of a well-loved canine, or feline, for that matter.  

Queen Elizabeth II has been the recipient of the devotion and admiration of her subjects, and deservedly so.  But I do not mourn her passing, nor am I sorry and am exasperated at the constant flow of platitudes expressed by politicians, media personalities and the general public.  My sorrow is reserved for the 1300 flood victims in Pakistan, the inhabitants of Gaza, the dead and those fleeing the invasion of Ukraine, I mourn for those who live with the ever-present threat of violent extinction; suffering what we in the West have not experienced and so our mourning is extended to a Royal personage who by any account, lived a fortunate life. 

King Charles III in ascending the throne at the age of 73 will be an inspiration to those of us who are expected to retire into obscurity in our sixties, and he deserves the role that awaits him. 

And its odds on that he won’t meet the same fate as the beheading of Charles I and endure a plague-infested reign as that of Charles II. 

Linese Norrish, 

Coolum Beach. 



Dear Editor, 

As a distraction from the Albanese government getting on with good government, the Dutton LNP Opposition has called for informed debate about nuclear power’s costs and benefits. 

Have they missed the annual reports from the CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator? The reports have consistently found renewables remain the cheapest new-build electricity generation option. 

The LNP are promoting nuclear small modular reactors (SMR), however, the latest CSIRO/AEMO report states that “…The status of nuclear SMR has not changed. Following extensive consultation with the Australian electricity industry, the report findings do not see any prospect of domestic projects this decade, given the technology’s commercial immaturity and high cost. Future cost reductions are possible but depend on its successful commercial deployment overseas…” 

Presently there are no SMR’s commercially operational overseas and none likely before 2030 or maybe even 2040. 

And then there is still the problem of the radioactive waste. According to research from Stanford University and the University of British Columbia, SMR’s will generate more radioactive waste than conventional nuclear plants. 

We need to urgently address climate change and transition to net zero emissions, there is no time to wait for SMR’s or for conventional nuclear power plants to be built. Solar, wind, and hydropower are available now and proven to be safer and cheaper. 

Any politician who proposes going nuclear should declare where in their electorate they would place one. So, if the LNP member for Fairfax thinks we should go nuclear, where would he put one in our region? Or is it a case of “Yes, let’s go nuclear, but not in my backyard?” 

Robyn Deane, 

Bli Bli.  



Dear Editor,  

It’s a source of great shame and intense frustration that there are still people in the West who believe that humans never landed on the moon. Hopefully, the Artemis program will do away with a significant proportion of this belief.  

Whether you believe in climate change or not, surely as a human, it must be understood, at some level, that to damage the environment for any reason whatsoever is wrong. This of course is a problem of stupendous proportions given the current actions of most people on the planet. Introducing gardening in schools at an early age is maybe the most revolutionary development of all time. Gardening teaches a person the fundamentals of life. Without good soil, organisms do not thrive.  

Being contemplative whilst difficult and perhaps to some unnatural is the only way out of human’s current and forever predicaments. Action is great, healthy. Contemplative action brings about the most amazing, even magical results – sometimes beyond comprehension IE: moon landing, Mother Teresa and hopefully peace and prosperity among all humans.  

Dylan White,  

Coolum Beach.  



Dear Editor, 

Scientific intellectuals of the Flat Earth Institute report that solar panels increase the infrared spectrum of freckles; electric vehicles cause haemorrhoids (Ley’s Law), and wind farms will blow the Earth off its planet. Will the proliferation of these dangerous contraptions be stopped? Just asking. 

Margaret Wilkie,  

Peregian Beach. 


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