Thank you, Jacqueline Maley, for giving me a better insight into how James Packer rammed through his Barangaroo “shining jewel” (“Packer wanted a casino, so Jones set up a lunch with the premier”, February 14). Ms Maley has also tapped into my anger: “We weren’t talking about a Guggenheim or an Opera House – it was a private gambling space with some fancy accommodation thrown in.”
Now that the current Premier and her loyal deputy have blithely admitted that spending public money is all about harvesting votes, let’s just lie back and await the next “unique”, closed door deal. Mark Paskal, Clovelly
It seems that in Sydney’s version of Animal Farm, as in Orwell’s, some animals are more equal than others. Paul Doyle, Glenbrook
We must be different (“NSW state of mind: we’re different from the rest”, February 14) if we identify as Australians first instead of as Sydneysiders, unlike Victoria and Queensland. During the pandemic, I have been so angry about the Queensland Premier with her “Queensland” and “Queenslanders” that I have been known to yell at the TV: “Aren’t they Australians?”
Personally I have always thought that the other two big states are parochial in their insistence on state-identification. I am Australian first, Sydneysider second – from the state with the longest history, the most beautiful harbour, an ideal climate, the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, etc. It says it all. Is that why the other states have to be so parochial? Gloria Healey, Neutral Bay
I’ll be dammed
The dud Dungowan Dam is not “all too hard”, Minister Pavey (“Dam in doubt as ‘ridiculous’ cost blows out”, February 14). The dam proposal is too expensive for the predicted outcome. Public funding could be better used on a range of diverse options to secure Tamworth’s water supply at much less cost. Bev Smiles, Inland Rivers Network president, Wollar
A bit risky
It’s rather unnerving to read that a 15-year-old is “investing” his money in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies “in his father’s name” (“Teen trader’s $10,000 boon from bitcoin”, February 14). This is a teenager being groomed to gamble. You may as well give him a fistful of coins and point him towards the pokies or the TAB.
By all means teach children about the complexities of the sharemarket but cryptocurrency trading is high risk with unregulated platforms. He might be flying high now but when the losses mount, the “thrill-seeking” element may result in more impetuous gambling and a sad end to the story. Alison Stewart, Riverview
I find it peculiar that Zali Steggall’s proposal to provide equal access to parental leave for fathers is primarily discussed in terms of the economic benefits it would bring to women (“Dad’s the word in parental leave”, February 14). What about highlighting the benefits for fathers in providing them greater opportunity to connect with their newborn children? Walter Lee, Ashfield
Let me be frank
Mr Albanese and his frontbench are right to forget about dabbling with franking credits (“Labor to flip over negative gearing”, February 14). It’s been a well-perpetuated myth that some retirees receive those credits without having paid any tax and of course that premise is entirely erroneous.
What do people think a “franking credit” is? The answer is that it represents the tax paid by dividend-paying companies on behalf of those owners/shareholders – including the subject retirees. The system is fair, it treats every shareholder the same, and each shareholder receiving the dividend with franking credits then includes both on their personal income tax returns and gets taxed on the respective rates that apply. The fact that some are on a non-tax paying scale has nothing to do with the franking credit system. The concern people have about wealthy superannuants not paying tax could be salved by introducing a scaled tax rate according to the level of earnings, or a fixed rate down to a certain level. Russell Fredericks, Kiama
Jenna Price overstates the extent of racism in Australia (“The ugly truth about our racism”, February 14). Her article perpetuates the myth than Australians are inherently racist. Allegations of racism need perspective. Price says 5 per cent of Australians claim Asian ancestry. Australia’s population is more than 25 million. That means there are 1.25 million Asian Australians. Yet Price quotes findings from a progressive think tank survey that recorded 500 incidents of anti-Asian racism. Compare this with Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing 454,900 incidents of physical assault in 2016-17. Surely violence is a greater problem in Australia than racism? Riley Brown, Bondi Beach
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