LETTERS News Weekly
, November 8, 2014
In view of the outstanding performance of Victoria Police at Melbourne’s March for the Babies on October 11 this year, it would be remiss of us participants not to be as generous with our thanks and praise as we were loud with our complaints in 2013.
The police officers assigned to accompany the march far outnumbered the noisy, obscene and often violent protestors who blocked and blighted the progress of the march last year, and the strategies employed by those in charge frustrated their every attempt this time.
Our gratitude is due to Police Minister Kim Wells, Chief Commissioner Ken Lay, the inspector in charge on the day, and the whole contingent of police officers who were deployed.
I witnessed many of the participants in the march thanking individual police during the event, and the organisers could not have been more pleased and relieved.
The police estimated the numbers present at about 7,000, making the 2014 march the most successful and inspiring yet. Financial contributions more than covered the expenses involved, and Bernie Finn MP should be very proud of the whole outcome.
In my 11 years in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, I served six Australian prime ministers — Menzies, Holt, McEwen, Gorton, McMahon and Whitlam.
Gough Whitlam was fair. He defended my right, as a European-born Australian, to equal treatment, and his secretary, John Menadue, whom I actively opposed when he was a Labor candidate in the NSW seat of Hume, was similarly straight-dealing.
However, Whitlam was an incorrigible centralist and wished to abolish state governments. Soon after becoming Prime Minister in 1972, he asked the department to seek to make Brisbane City Council, run by his mate Clem Jones, the seventh state of Australia, as the municipality had over a million people, more than Tasmania.
Later, he asked the department to offer to purchase Westmead Hospital from the New South Wales government. The plan was that the federal government would do this, state hospital by state hospital, until all hospitals, as well as the repatriation hospitals, would be owned by the Commonwealth, thereby giving Canberra total control of hospitals without amending the Constitution.
John R. Barich,
I would like to draw attention to Ian Plimer’s cover-story, “Greens’ silence on folly of wind and solar power” (News Weekly, October 25, 2014).
In my opinion the facts published in this article do not back up the apparent conclusion. They do not add up.
Professor Plimer says that wind farms operate at 20 per cent capacity. There is no evidence in the article to back up this fact.
I would ask the following questions:
• Why do wind farms need to drain electricity from the grid in cold weather?
• What is the cost of electric energy produced per dollar invested plus running cost?
• How much carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced in the construction of a conventional 1,000-megawatt coal-fired power station?
• How much CO2 is produced in the construction of a 1,000-MW wind-power generator?
• How much CO2 is produced by maintenance vehicles of conventional power stations?
• How much CO2 is produced by the transport of coal?
• Where is the scientifically-collected data on the decline of “residents’ mental and physical health” in the vicinity of wind farms in rural areas?
• What is the breakdown of cause of death for “the 35,000 additional deaths” during the UK winter of 2012-2013, supposedly caused by renewable energy costs?
• A coal-fired power station may occupy only 60 hectares of cleared land. How much farm land is rendered unusable by coal mines and rail corridors?
• I have never seen figures on bird and bat mortalities caused by wind turbines. Where is this published?
I too am sceptical that human activity is driving climate change.
• For a 1,000-MW solar-power facility, how much CO2 is produced in the construction?
• How much CO2 is produced by maintenance vehicles servicing a solar power station?
• Where is the evidence that solar power is only 10 per cent efficient? Is this relevant, when the important fact is electric energy produced per dollar invested plus running cost?
• Is there any difference in the CO2 produced by wood-burning and coal-burning? Is not coal fossilised wood?
• Very few jurisdictions have reliable regulations to recover the lands used for coal mines. There is no difference, except that wind towers may be more visible.
• Solar-collection banks on every house would remove a lot of the need for “poles and wire”.
Professor Plimer’s article does nothing to convince me whether sun, wind, coal or gas is the preferred method of production of electricity.
Peter Lynch, BVSc, MACVSc,
If a medical practice in the small country town of Bellingen, New South Wales, has identified the rare condition of premature ovarian failure in no fewer than three teenage girls, all of whom received Gardasil vaccinations (News Weekly, October 25, 2014), shouldn’t alarm bells be ringing loud and clear in our health departments and the Australian Medical Association?
Let’s not forget, of course, that these vaccinations have been rolled out for young boys as well.