ATTACK ON DEMOCRACY
While our government was quick to endorse the federal police raids conducted on the Canberra home of highly respected journalist Annika Smethurst and the Sydney offices of the ABC in recent days.
The Australian people should be concerned with effect those raids may have upon the freedom of the press! In the Annika Smethurst case she, our "spooks" have deemed, should not have revealed information about an issue of public interest involving: Australian security agencies, proposing to covertly monitor the lives of individual Australian citizens.
The ABC reporters Dan Oakes and Sam Clark have drawn similar ire from the federal police, with the 2017 ABC TV expose The Afghan Files which raised the possibility of Australian forces having committed war crimes. The subject matter and timing of the raids has more than a whiff of political influence to them. What appears to be occurring in Australia today, is an attack upon our democracy. Freedom of the Press being a pillar of any democracy. Without a "cast iron "guarantee of Freedom of the Press, any concept of democracy in Australia will become merely a facade.
Barry Swan, Balgownie
JUST GET ON WITH IT
I refer to the Mercury Article of May 30 'UOW Staff pen their Ramsay Centre deal objections' where the continually changing bleating of staff are portrayed. At this stage they ought to realise that three Professors trumps three Drs. Professor Wellings is paid to advance the interests, reputation and future of the University.
Senior Professor Hutto is responsible for the curriculum. It is wrong to suggest that staff could not have contributed because the course documents are public, I could have made a contribution. I worked in HR for some years and I gladly considered those with BA degrees for HR positions because I consider the BA in Humanities to be a far superior degree than a degree in Human Resource Management! Just get on with supporting Professor Hutto. I would suggest that the three amigos have not consulted with the community to get their view.
Peter Corkish, Wollongong
NEED TO THINK BIG
On return from Japan I was interested to see BHP promoting the use of steel in press and TV ads featuring a Japanese Bullet Train. In 1964 Japan with a population of 98 million introduced its first bullet train. Australia with a population of 11 million had an extensive rail network of electrified Intercity trains supplemented with steam and diesel electric rural connections.
Today Japan with a population of 127 million has an intercity network of bullet trains running on average every 15 to 20 minutes coupled to an extensive inter urban electrified rail system. Australia population 25 million today has a hodgepodge of electrified and diesel trains running on ageing infrastructure and hampered by differences between States. Rural lines have been progressively decommissioned in favour of road transport.
Of course the comparison with Japan is skewed by population and distances involved but the mantra of BHP to "Think Big" doesn't feature in our Governing Father's agenda. Maybe we need another Christopher Skase or Allan Bond to kick start a rail transport revolution.
Eric Davies, Keiraville