Letters to the editor: Ootober 19, 2017

Nationals ‘on the nose’

As they say, "None so blind as those who do not wish to see".

It's amazing that the National Party continues to exist and that is more a statement on the lack of alternatives and the patient perseverance of farmers and regional communities than anything the politicians achieve. But stick your nose in the trough too long and forget who you work for and you will pay the price.

No matter how much local Nats try to water down the pathetic results in the by-elections, the fact is that they're on the nose in the bush.

And if they think their usual tactic of throwing a few bones out come election time to keep up their privileged life will succeed, they're in for a nasty shock.

What the bush needs now is the old Country Party to truly represent them, not cop the scraps from the Liberals.

It's time to show the anger behind the by-election results to make these self-obsessed yobboes wake up to reality and earn that privileged pay packet that doesn't depend on the weather.

Bert Candy

Glenvale, Queensland

The real gas crisis

Where to begin on this latest scare tactic being pushed in the media, with the gas cartels and the Federal Government on the manufactured gas crisis? 

We are being told there will be a gas shortage (we are told this every few years) but this has been heightened now to try to avoid current regulations in place and open up new gasfields without the scrutiny they should have. The reality is we have way to much gas in the gas network that over 2/3rds are exported overseas. Gas is travelling from VIC, through NSW and out to the QLD LNG terminals. And gas usage in Australia is in a steady decline, so why would we want to increase drilling up more of Australian farmlands?

We are even being threatened to take away GST raised money used for schools and hospitals if we don’t frack our farms and forests! To top it off, Former PM Tony Abbott has suggested we use Australian soldiers to invade the states and remove each states rights to the gas resources!

The real gas crisis is price. Once they connected to world markets, the price sharply rose, and now all our cheap gas is sold to overseas markets. Its even inflated our local electricity prices. Did you know it’s cheaper to buy Australian gas in Japan than it is in Australia? Our overseas gas has to be piped all the way to the LNG terminal, then get liquefied, then shipped across sea, then put into their network! And to take it straight from the pipe here it costs us more! This is because the entire gas market is controlled by a gas cartel of multinational companies, intent on maximum profit, no matter that it hurts our industries and communities through ridiculous price increases.

What is worse is the Federal Govt working hand in hand with these companies. No amount of new gasfields, including the stage 1 Narrabri Gas Project, will reduce price. This coal seam gas is one of the most expensive types of gas to mine. Also you can’t flood a market with more gas to push prices down with a massive vacuum sucking out through export. They also can cap wells at anytime to restrict gas to keep prices inflated.

So what is the Federal Govt solution? It’s to make the taxpayers buy the gas at Australian prices that was destined for export, so even if the over exaggerated prediction of gas usage doesn’t get used, the gas companies don’t lose out at all. Actually they benefit no matter what happens! If you weren’t angry before, you should be now.

Peter Small

Coonabarabran

Citizenship debate

The idiocies surrounding the current citizenship questions assailing our politicians has seen many loose statements about the ease with which such citizenships can be renounced.

I decided to see if I was not the certificated Australian citizen I have always believed myself to be since 2 January 1976, when I swore my oath of allegiance to Australia in Armidale before the mayor and numerous other people in the council chambers.

I have spent most of the weekend putting together the various documents the UK government require. I was lucky to have a certificate of Australian citizenship; without it I could not have passed stage one. Many hours have been consumed.

It was also fortunate for me that while in England, on an Australian passport, doing research for a book on British-Indian trade in the seventeenth century, I managed to get a birth certificate. The only “proof” of my birth until then had been tattered scrap of paper typed by an orderly in the British military hospital in Palestine in which I was born. Another fortunate decision, without which I would have been stymied.

Everything I could gather had to be sent to England for consideration. A substantial cost in time and money.

Then I found that I would have to pay a “fee” for my “application” to be processed, most of which would not be returned to me if I was refused.

The sum demanded is £321 pounds, or A$427.66 in real money. Sod that for a game of soldiers!

I decided not to proceed with this idiotic renunciation of something I inherited, that has never mattered to me, and I have never in the last 41 years even thought about. The waste of time and effort, and the sheer cost of it all beggars the imagination.

All those happy little Vegemites who argue that renunciation is easy and straightforward might like to reconsider their simple-minded understandings about the convoluted and costly process.

Bruce Watson

Kentucky NSW

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