Letters – February 2019
TAKING THE MYSTERY OUT OF SPOTTING SHARKS
Without a doubt, one way to deal with the sharp rise in shark attacks around Australia is to increase sur- veillance (Local Shark Sightings Fail to Overturn Drone Trial Snub, The Beast, January 2019).
To this end, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has joined forces with Australian drone company The Ripper Group to develop an award-winning drone that does the job autonomously with 90 per cent accuracy (http://newsroom.uts.edu.au/news/2018/09/sharkspotter-combines-ai-and-drone-technology-spot-sharks-and-aid-swimmers-australian).
Autonomous detection and wireless reporting takes the pressure off drone pilots while allowing trained personnel such as lifesavers (and lifeguards) to decide between threat and non-threat from the comfort of their tower or clubhouse.
SharkSpotter is a smart Aussie invention from an innovative, local, public university working hand- in-hand with an Aussie company to solve a quintessential Aussie problem with global reach. Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and affected councils, take note.
David Beins, Randwick
GLAD GRACIE’S NOT RUNNING THE SHOW
Dear Editor – I must say it is a huge relief we don’t have the likes of Gracie Otto running our country, following her comments in last month’s Beast on immigration.
Unfortunately there is an abundance of like-minded, pink-haired, nebulous people out there with a similar, idealistic, warped view of the world.
James Hutton: “What about people coming here whose lives aren’t f**ked and they just want to come here anyway?”
Gracie Otto: “Yeah, but why not? We can go wherever we want as well.”
Since when, Gracie? Australian citizens certainly cannot pack their bags and permanently emigrate to Canada, the US or any EU country without going through a strict legal application process. We are not permitted to simply turn up and stay indefinitely.
Gracie Otto: “We’ve got so much room here. When you think about how big our country is, there’s so much room for everyone.”
There may be a lot of room here, Gracie, but have you heard of anyone living off ‘space’? People live off their work. In addition to work, you need housing, transport, hospitals and schools. This infra- structure cannot be built overnight to accommodate millions of arrivals. Just look at how long that piece of shit South East Light Rail is taking to build. Should give you an idea.
The continent of Africa has a population of over 1.2 billion, most of whom are extremely impoverished. If we were to open our borders suddenly, a conservative estimate of at least a million people would arrive in the first year. In 2015, over a million migrants arrived in Europe. Germany was so overwhelmed it had to create makeshift housing out of shipping containers. Sweden had to rent passenger cruise ships to house the vast migration wave.
Even here in Australia, we have already experienced a ‘lite’ version of open borders with the former 457 visa, and what happened? In just eight years, property prices doubled, yet salaries remained totally stagnant in the same period, with zero growth. Do you really think such a situation is sustain- able, for both locals and new migrants?
It is far more prudent to maintain this country as a stable, wealthy country, with the ability to not only share wealth with new, legal migrants and donations to less fortunate countries, but also provide technical assistance and economic know-how to enable developing countries and their people to eventually stand on their own merits.
Australia and every other country is not just a piece of land, it is a business. And you don’t just hire anyone for your business, you need to be selective about who you let into the company. That selection process is what has made this country the economic success it is today, and it is the lack of that selection process which is currently causing the economic and leftist political downfall of Western Europe.
WHY SO MANY ACTORS?
Hello friends at The Beast – Thanks for creating a quality magazine for the Eastern Suburbs each month. I often get lots of good ideas from the information shared in it!
One aspect of the magazine I have grown weary of is the use of actresses and actors as the cover models and the use of them as main interviews for most of your issues. Out of all the members of society who make up the fabric of the Eastern Suburbs, why is so much attention paid to people who read a script and act out fantasy scenarios?
I once did an ‘acting for fun’ course at my local college to distract me from a challenging time in my life and I found acting to be the most inane thing I’ve ever done. The teacher actually got angry at me because I wasn’t trying hard enough to act angry! I had a discussion with her to remind her this was all make-believe, but she was so intent on the script and the importance of the fantasy she lost sight of what matters in this world.
To me, the most important aspect of a successful life is developing your mind in a skilful way that leads to more peace and love. Acting is certainly fun and entertaining, but to have actors constantly on the cover makes me feel like The Beast cares mainly about people in TV and films.
The “I just moved from LA to Bondi and I love the vibe” interviews are starting to get a little repetitive. Go find a local hero who does something for the community and is not famous and put them on the cover. Cheers!
THE GREENING OF NOTLEY-SMITH
Perhaps rattled by the fact that his very own Liberal Party has not won an election since 2015, that recently the seat the Liberal Party had owned for decades – Went- worth – was so spectacularly lost, that his party got hammered in Victoria, and that some federal polls give Labor a 10-point lead, Bruce Notley-Smith seems to feel the pinch. His strategy appears to be to green himself through bicycle lane ways (Freedom and Joy is but a Bicycle Away, The Beast, Decem- ber 2018) and renewable energy (NSW Won’t Be Left out in the Coal’d, The Beast, January 2019).
Notley-Smith writes: “Canberra should be providing the leadership but has proven itself incapable for 10 years now”. This is a remarkable statement. Firstly, behind the euphemism “Canberra” lurks his own party, currently in power in Canberra – the Liberal Party with ScoMo at the helm. Before that it was Turnbull and before that Tony Abbott. Secondly, global warming is much older than Notley-Smith’s “10 years”. The Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1992. Soon thereafter, Notley-Smith’s party mate, John Howard, sabotaged the global agreement for more than a decade from 1996 to 2007. Tony Abbott continued this.
So much for leadership. Notley-Smith’s current leader in Canberra is ScoMo. Not only has ScoMo stabbed a sitting prime minister (Malcolm Turnbull) in the back to get the job, he is also famous for bringing coal into the parliament to show us that “coal is harmless”. If that is the leadership Mr Notley-Smith is pining for, perhaps some would say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” What we are facing goes much beyond what Mr Notley-Smith tries to pretend in his Beast articles.
Just three little snippets will show this. Firstly, there is Wallace-Well’s New York Magazine piece on ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’. Then there is Brooke Jarvis’ New York Times article ‘The Insect Apocalypse is Here’, and finally, for the more scientifically inclined reader, there is John F. McLaughlin’s ‘Climate Change Hastens Population Extinctions’. These, the global consensus of the scientific com- munity, and his own studies have led Sir David Attenborough to the conclusion that climate change is our greatest threat. Set against this are Mr Notley-Smith’s Mickey Mouse initiatives on bicycle lanes (December) and his comments on Canberra leadership by coal-carrying and Adani-supporting ScoMo.
Despite the desperate attempt to green himself, perhaps the sticker that one can see on many cars on the Northern Beaches – Time’s Up Tony – applies here as well. Time is up for outdated environmental policies, Mickey Mouse initiatives, sabotaging of global agreements, for people with coal in their hands, for a prime minister and a party that supports Adani’s coalmine, and perhaps even for local politicians craving for a leadership nobody wants while pretending to be green.
The state government has the responsibility to ensure that we have sufficient energy to meet our domestic and industrial require- ments reliably and at affordable and competitive prices. NSW generated 66,066 gigawatt hours of electricity in 2014 of which coal contributed 82.3 per cent, gas 6.9 per cent and renewables (including Snowy Scheme) 10.8 per cent.
Presently NSW meets about 90 per cent of local demand, the rest supplied mainly by Victoria and Queensland. The 2015 demand-supply balance outlook was that NSW should only be able to meet demand for between 6 and 8 years, which is not surprising since all NSW coal-fired power stations
are nearing the end of their design capabilities. We would be unwise to rely upon electricity from those politically unreliable states into the future.
Bruce Notley-Smith, our local state member, seems to think that somehow our requirements will be met should we not build new coal- fired generators (NSW Won’t Be Left out in the Coal’d, The Beast, January 2019). His fantasies seem to assume that renewable energy sources and battery technology will miraculously provide the huge looming shortfall between coal- generated power and demand.
Ludicrously, he pins his hopes upon planned projects that may never come to fruition, let alone be as efficient as theorised. In any event, they would provide nothing like the 66,066 gigawatt hours currently being generated in NSW.
Strange it is that China is forg- ing ahead with the construction of coal-fired power stations in the face of the Notley-Smith assertion that they are a bad investment. But then the Chinese, who develop the technology, know full well the limitations of existing and pre- dicted renewable energy options.
Perhaps our local member might give the CEO of Tomago Aluminium a call in order to learn the adverse effect upon industry and jobs of fantasy-based meddling with energy supplies. A dose of reality for Mr Notley-Smith would seem necessary.
I accept that the climate is changing and has since the Earth was formed. However, as our chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel accepts that if the carbon emissions of the world were reduced by 1.3 per cent (i.e. approximately Australia’s emissions) the impact on the changing climate of the world would be “virtually nothing”, it would be absurd to be impetuous. Yes, utilise renewables, but don’t abandon existing reliable systems until developing technologies provide – in actuality as opposed to blind faith – comparable output and reliability.
I would prefer Mr Notley-Smith to direct his energies towards rein- stating the direct bus link between Bronte and Central Railway.
Greg Maidment, Bronte
THROWN UNDER THE BUS
Dear Editors – I trust that perhaps you could assist and take up the baton to help the residents in Sandridge Street, Fletcher Street (lower end) and Kenneth Street, Tamarama. Not all residents down here are self-made millionaires driving Porsches or Mercedes-Benzes.
For the past 50 to 60 years (as far as I can remember), there has always been a bus service covering this area. Even when the tram service was in operation there was a bus service along Tamarama and Bronte, as the trams couldn’t make it up the hill at Fletcher Street. It has been tweaked over the years, but it generally covered transport to Bondi Junction.
My vested interest in this is that my mother, Carmela Parrelli, who is 87 years of age, has resided in Fletcher Street for 60 years and is losing confidence in being able to get to Bondi Junction to socialise with friends.
Since the bus service ‘changes’ were announced in September 2018, the 361 has been cancelled and changes to the 381 service have resulted in no service stop for this area. For elderly and mobility- impaired local residents who are unable to walk up or down a 30-degree incline of 200 metres up Fletcher Street (between Dellview and Alexander Streets), they now need to walk over to Bondi Road (Hunter Park) to catch the bus service to Bondi Junction.
Last week, the bus stop and bus shelter at Hunter Park were removed and replaced with vehicle parking. This has only made the situation worse.
The rights of and respect for the residents have been ignored. I guess the elderly and mobility-impaired residents are a minority who do not interest the government or the local member.
I have tried to communicate this concern with our local member but to no avail. Perhaps you may have a better chance or idea to address this matter, or suggest the next ‘Bruce’s Banter’ article may address local issues rather than talking/shift- ing blame regarding energy policy (NSW Won’t Be Left out in the Coal’d, The Beast, January 2019) on to the federal government.
By the way, wasn’t it the state Liberal government that ‘sold’ coal-fired power stations in the first place?
Anthony Parrelli, Tamarama
State Transit has been contacted for comment. We will publish their response next month. Thanks again for all of your letters.
Dan and James, Publishers