Letters to the editor, October 9, 2017

Flower power: A shot of busy bees in the garden by Tina Luis. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post on our Facebook page.
Flower power: A shot of busy bees in the garden by Tina Luis. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post on our Facebook page.

Poles and wires sell-off

To our detriment, between June 2015 and May 2017, the government sold three, poles and wires businesses, on 99-year leasing arrangements.

Transgrid sold to a Canadian pension fund, Australian fund Management Company, Abu Dhabi investment company, Kuwaiti Investment Company and a Hong Kong Investment company.

The next to go Ausgrid, 50.4 per cent sold for the sole purpose of financing Australian superannuation funds.

And finally Endeavour Energy, 50.4 per cent sold to a Canadian investment corporation, a Qatar investment authority and an Australian infrastructure fund.

The year prior to privatisation – 2014, the daily “supply charge” (grid) for households was 20.35 cents. By contrast this year 2017 the daily rate has risen 450 per cent to 89.12 cents. To extrapolate and take things to a higher level in 2014 the cost for connection to the power grid was $74.30 per annum, this year its $325.30.

To expand further: Transgrid has over 3 million households connected to the grid across NSW and the ACT. Things being equal the 2014 gross yearly profit Transgrid (government owned) totalled $222.9 million by contrast in 2017 (privately owned) much higher $976.9 million.

The NSW government’s Essential Energy Corporation holds shares in two transmission companies. Funding details for the period 2014-17 can be found at the Essential Energy website.

John Macleod, Berry

It’s all terrorism

The article by Julie Szego, (Mercury, October 6) argues that the recent Las Vegas massacre does not really meet the definition of ‘’terrorism’’.

She claims that terrorism should be limited to ‘’violence in the service of a political cause’’. The tenor of her article however, suggests to me that she really means ‘’violence in the service of a political cause with which we disagree’’, otherwise all the politically motivated violence being perpetrated by all parties in all the conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere are  ‘’terrorism’’.

I am happy to go along with the extended definition. Based on this definition ‘’anti-terrorism measures’’ take on a completely different meaning and illustrate the futility of trying to defeat terrorism with more terrorism. There has to be a better way.

John Martin, Woonona

Global warming debate

I would like to believe in global warming and the approach of reducing it by cutting CO2 emissions. I have been asking these questions of all the stakeholders in the global warming debate. 

How many solar panels and wind turbines do we need to generate the base load and peak demand. Given their life span of only 25 years how will this effect energy costs.

If  batteries are the answer to base load backup how many do we need and how big will they need to be. Given a max life of 12 years how will this effect energy costs.

What effects on pollution will this massive extraction of lithium compared to coal extraction and the chemical pollution of the massive numbers of solar cells needed.

The world has at least 2700 coal fired power stations. In light of this what is the total effect on the reduction of global warming will closing Liddel power station make.

India and China are building at least 50 more coal fired power stations of which many will run on Australian coal because it has excellent thermal properties.

Japan is buying Australian coal for their higher efficiency power stations.

How does this relate to closing Australian power stations and the rising cost of our power. How will these rising power costs effect our global trade position.

These are just some of the many questions to be answered by proponents of the brave new solar world. I eagerly await answers backed by proper data not ideolgy.  

Mick Hort Barrack Heights