Tall tales and history: Let’s avoid triumph of the shrill

It is difficult not to see this debacle as a further example of very poor transport infrastructure selection by the current government, made even worse by incompatibility between the tram sets on the eastern suburbs and inner west lines. Ross Butler, Rodd Point

In the long run, it would probably be advantageous to junk the faulty trams outright and acquire new ones compatible with the city system. Meanwhile, we should be utilising the available time to rectify infrastructure incompatibilities on the Dulwich Hill line. Then we would have the ability to run trams between Dulwich Hill and Circular Quay, as well as the sports grounds and UNSW, rather than be stuck with the existing isolation.

Premier Perrottet, here is your big chance to show leadership and initiative, which would go some way to righting some of the recent transport purchasing bungles. John Brownscombe, Galston

So we now have trams that can’t be replaced with trams from other parts of the network because the standards are different. The metro is in danger of the same massive failure as its rolling stock is incompatible with the vast suburban train network. Its tunnels can’t take double-deck trains as they are too small. The Bankstown line will be closed for possibly years while they rip up the platforms to fit the metro. The Parramatta ferries don’t fit under the bridges and can’t run at night. Is Australian made the answer? Ronald Smith, Waterloo

Fortunately, I am not a user of these trams that are now out of action for at least 18 months. Who is going to pay for repairs and additional cost of running another bus fleet for regular travellers? Being relatively new, are these covered by manufacturer warranty or is it the long-suffering NSW taxpayers coughing up? Another botched decision by NSW Treasury and transport departments. Who is responsible? Greg Preston, Cherrybrook

Money bends the rules of sport

Selling sport to private equity is another tedious example of long-term damage for short-term gain (“Cricket body must play straight bat with private equity”, November 6-7). You can be sure that the major benefactors of this “sale” will be senior executives and elite players and definitely not the more marginal, including the vast grassroots. Any incoming “owner” will obviously expect a profit, which will probably come from that money currently spent on the lower echelons. Surely, the idea that sports such as cricket and rugby are somehow “owned” and can be “sold” by administrators flies in the face of the fact that they were developed and nurtured by generations of mostly unpaid players, coaches, managers and everyday supporters. Tony Mitchell, Hillsdale

Kean eye for modern life

While both the PM and Opposition Leader are traipsing around wooing male workers for the upcoming election, how good is it to see NSW Treasurer Matt Kean recognise the value of women in the 21st century with a plan to expand childcare, allowing greater female participation in the workforce (“Treasurer flags new boost for childcare”, November 6-7)?

Thank you, Treasurer, for showing the way forward with your energy and understanding of the modern world. We desperately need more modern leadership like this. Esther Scholem, Macquarie Park

Why do we continue to throw more taxpayer funds at childcare? Surely if the childcare industry wasn’t already highly profitable, then it wouldn’t attract the slurry of equity investors and corporate empire builders it does. What we should be asking is where all those billions of dollars in profits are going. Certainly not into lowering childcare fees or paying childcare workers. To suggest the government is ensuring “women do not get penalised” is a rort. Prue Foster, Coogee

Coal needs to go, PM

While the world is considering the fate of our planet at COP26 in Glasgow, we are preoccupied with the shabby, ineffectual behaviour of our Prime Minister on the global stage (“Was it worth it?”, November 6-7). It’s a sad reflection on the state of our political priorities. The coal industry clearly needs to go and the communities it supports should have their futures assured by guaranteed, planned capital investment. If that means tax increases, so be it. It’s about political guts, not rocket science. Peter Thomas, Rose Bay

After years as a climate change denier, Scott Morrison is still the quintessential do-nothing man, full of plans, promises and fancy-sounding words but no action (“The dizzying spin in Morrison’s plan to reach net zero”, November 6-7). After years of ridiculing climate change and renewable energy, the Coalition still has no credible zero emissions target. When future generations find themselves with crippling temperatures, rising water levels and catastrophic droughts and floods, they will remember that Australia was governed by reckless opportunists who chose corporate self-interest at the expense of the future. Bruce Spence, Balmain

HSC masks just too much

The requirement for HSC candidates to wear face masks during written examinations is over the top (“Masks to be compulsory during HSC exams”, November 6-7). This cohort has had enough to contend with during two years of interrupted schooling without the imposition of an extra discomfort while under enormous pressure in three-hour exams. I especially feel for those students who wear glasses, having to see through a fog of condensation while desperately trying to focus. This measure seems to be more about reassuring supervisors, who are largely there by choice, than about assisting students through one of the most traumatic experiences of their lives. Meredith Williams, Northmead

Wrong direction on gas

It is pleasing that Mathias Cormann has finally recognised the damage that continued subsidies for fossil fuels is doing (“Axe fuel subsidies, Cormann tells leaders”, November 6-7). It’s a pity he was part of the government that denied it was giving fossil fuel subsidies. Australia is increasing these subsidies enormously, with billions going to gas companies. Same with methane: while 104 countries will work hard to reduce emissions, Australia will not sign on. Not doing our fair share is bad enough, but neutralising the good of others and taking them backwards is really appalling. ​Peggy Fisher, Killara

Has Albo got it?

Ed Husic’s plea to colleagues that Labor has to be “tougher, stronger and hungrier” to win the election, is spot-on, but he hasn’t addressed the elephant in the room: Anthony Albanese’s leadership (“Labor frontbencher urges his party to fight hard for election”, November 6-7).

Labor’s past two election losses resulted from the unpopularity of its leaders. Albanese, a decent man, lacks impact and the ability to connect with voters. He is unable to be “tougher, stronger and hungrier”. Unfortunately, a “soft” personality affects votes. Though Liberals are on the nose with voters, as Husic said, if Albanese doesn’t step down, he will deliver Labor’s fourth election loss on the trot. It doesn’t need to happen. Gerardine Grace, Leura

Another feeble excuse

Now it’s a journalist’s fault for asking the wrong question of the French President (“Birmingham pins blame on journalists for French spat”, November 6-7). Honestly, this government knows no shame and will try any means of juvenile ducking and weaving to avoid responsibility for anything. I bet they all had a creative list to add to “the dog ate my homework” when they were growing up. And they still haven’t grown up. Judy Finch, Cedar Party

Multi-storeyed monickers

Nuns in a scrum — that’s exactly what the Opera House resembles, in the nicest possible way (“A city in slang, from Packer’s Pecker to Far Kurnell”, November 6-7). Less nice are the nicknames for some buildings developers are whacking up around Sydney. The beefy blockhouse looming over Circular Quay is “Les Patterson’s beer gut”. The monstrosities shooting up in the St Leonards south precinct are “The Dementors”. The Parramatta Powerhouse is “box of nappies in a string bag”. The mansions replacing historic Sydney homes are “concrete selfies”. I’ve also got a nickname or three for the supposed guardians of our heritage and culture. Alison Stewart, Riverview

Bard to get through

Despite years of tertiary study, I still find reading Shakespeare akin to watching paint dry (“Bard to the bone: politics always at play”, November 6-7). To truly enjoy Shakespeare’s plays, they are meant to be watched. Having the plays as specialised reading studies at both secondary and tertiary level is like studying the great composers by looking at the sheet music only. Stephen Kirk, Blackbutt

The next Bay cliche

Real estate agents and others similarly inclined — please refrain from describing places as “the next Byron Bay” (“Search for the next Byron Bay”, November 6-7). It’s a sign of little or no imagination. If and when Byron Bay reinvents itself, it can be the next Byron Bay. Col Shephard, Yamba

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
Voters expect politicians to lie. So why the big deal when they get caught?
From GaryF: “When lying by politicians is normalised and accepted, then dishonesty in all facets of society runs the risk of being normalised.”

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