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Canberra Today 2°/5° | Sunday, May 22, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Anxiety, panic and a big burst of chromophobia 

HERMAN SAFRANSKY, a visitor from the US, says he’s noticed a recent outbreak of the pandemic, medically referred to as chromophobia (fear of colours). Here’s his letter:

AS a visitor from the US, I’ve noticed a recent outbreak of the pandemic, medically referred to as chromophobia (fear of colours).

Write to

A chromatophobe cannot stand specific colours, such as green (prasinophobia), while some sufferers may be afraid of only certain shades of colours, such as teal (cyanophobia).

For such individuals, day-to-day life can be extremely difficult as the sight and presence of the specific colours can induce anxiety or panic attacks. 

People with the fear of colours tend to suffer from many debilitating symptoms; going outdoors can become a difficult task for them, for fear of encountering the hated colour, especially on corflutes.

Another symptom is an inability to speak or formulate coherent sentences in letters to the editor, as seen in the April 28 issue of your illustrious “CityNews” (“Why ‘sanctimonious’ Greens are dangerous”). I trust you have sternly rebuked the letter writer (Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla), as impressionable children (my daughter) have used the headline as proof that spinach can kill.

Herman Safransky, via email

Come clean, Greens, on energy numbers

A “Why to vote Greens” flyer received in letterboxes from spells out its policies for the federal election, including those on climate action. 

It claims (under “Climate Action”): “100 per cent renewables by 2030” and “replace fossil fuels with renewables by 2030”.

Based on figures from the Australian government publications “Australian Energy Updates” of September, 2019 for 2017/18 and of September, 2021 for 2019/20, and as extrapolated for 2021/22, renewable energy in Australia could account for 30 per cent of the electricity generation and 8 per cent of total energy consumption.

By 2029/30, renewables could conceivably account for 96 per cent of electricity consumption if current trends are maintained, but that is yet to be seen. 

After all, there are limitations to the sustainability of renewable sources. However, at best by 2030, renewables could account for only 25.4 per cent of total energy consumption in Australia, a long way from the current 8 per cent and a very long way from the claimed 100 per cent.

These claims by the Greens may be seen by discerning readers as false advertising.

The Greens should make it clear to voters on how it expects to meet these ambitious and most likely impossible targets. People tempted to vote Greens should be wary of the validity of its policies.

Max Flint, via email

The Planning Bill’s a ‘complete failure’

SPOT on, Paul Costigan (“Planning reform’s just shifting around the rules”, “Canberra Matters”, CN April 28), particularly in contrasting the “performance indicators” the current chief planner set himself in 2017, when he attained the top job, with his performance since. 

And the new Planning Bill not only ignores these “performance indicators” but also the key, consistent “feedback themes” from the planning authority’s consultation with community and industry “stakeholders” last year, ie:

  •  the need to provide confidence, certainly and clarity;
  • restore trust and transparency, in the planning system, and 
  1. to provide for effective community engagement. 

In my assessment, based on a long-term involvement in statutory town planning, the Planning Bill is a complete failure in these terms.

Richard Johnston, Kingston

Clear and telling message to Elizabeth

I WISH to congratulate Ian Meikle for his “Seven Days” column (“Only 906 sleeps, Elizabeth, it’s time to step up”, CN April 28). I think it sent a very clear and telling message to Elizabeth Lee and the Canberra Liberals.

Furthermore, I believe that the message equally applies to her colleagues, some of whom I believe have not been working anywhere near hard enough to hold the government to account. 

They have been missing in action for far too long. The woeful number of sitting days of the Assembly does not make their job any easier, of course.

Colin Lyons, Weetangera 

Local Libs lack ‘purpose and determination’

I AGREE with columnist Ian Meikle’s comments (“Seven Days”, CN April 28) re the Liberal opposition. They seem to lack purpose and the determination necessary to analyse effectively the opportunities Barr creates. 

Possibly, because they do not have the capability to collate, evaluate, assess and present the information necessary to sustain a prolonged attack on the faults in many of those policies. 

There have been plenty of opportunities but, to our cost, the Liberals failed to exploit them successfully notwithstanding the change in leadership.

Michael Boyle, via email

Why not Brisbane’s trackless tram?

WHY, why, why do Barr and co persist with this 19th century technology when Brisbane is embracing what can be done with “trackless” tram technology that would preserve London Circuit, Commonwealth and Adelaide Avenues and have a much more flexible system. 

Colin Smeal, via email

Sonnet oozes true love

IN my view, recent TV programs presenting some approaches to the possibility of marriage, virtually at first sight, left love out in the cold. 

In contrast the following sonnet (author not shown) oozes true love:

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. 

I love you simply – without problems or pride: 

I love you in this way because – I do not know any other way of loving but this – in which there is no I or you – so intimate, that your hand upon my chest is my hand – so intimate, that when I… fall asleep – your eyes close.

Colliss Parrett, Barton

Time to weaponise against ‘weaponise’

IS it just me or do others find the overuse of the term “weaponise” has

reached farcical heights, especially when hurling accusations of

“weaponising national security”?

If anything should be armed and dangerous, then surely it should be the sharp end of the national security establishment? Definitely not our political media hacks – they’d probably shoot themselves in the foot as they aim for maximum effect – sorry, impact (yet another overused word


Michael A Crowe, Hawker 

Casualty is not just the truth

COLUMNIST Michael Moore notes that Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton are trying hard to make national security a key election issue but are bending the truth (“Truth the casualty as fear mongering begins”, CN April 28).

And, as Moore points out, their lack of diplomatic skills is making the relationship with China and the Solomon Islands worse. 

The failure of the Foreign Minister Marise Payne to visit the Solomon Islands in three years has enabled China to sign a deal, catching Australia napping. The Morrison government then added insult to injury by dispatching junior minister Zed Seselja. 

When the Solomon Islands High Commissioner was asked on RN Breakfast what it would take to restore relationships, Robert Sisilo’s first response was: “Climate change is our biggest threat to our security and our position on that is well known.”

The Liberals like to paint themselves as better on security than Labor but as Moore says, “It is hard to imagine any government doing much worse.” 

And with Australia ranked last out of 60 countries in Glasgow on the Climate Change Performance Index, the same can be said about climate change. Sadly, the casualty is not just truth, it is also the Solomon Islands. The incoming government must do better.

Ray Peck, Hawthorn, Victoria

Raise taxes for a better Australia!

TREASURER Josh Frydenberg claimed in his Budget Speech in March that “a strong economy requires lower taxes”. The Labor Party also thinks that tax cuts for people earning more than $90,000 a year be brought forward.

“Evidence is rarely provided to support the assertion that lower taxes lead to a stronger economy and that higher taxes lead to a weaker economy”, says “The Nordic Edge: Policy Possibilities for Australia” (2021).

Higher-taxed countries such as Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, do not mean that their economies are weaker. 

“On the contrary, multiple measures of economic and social well-being show a correlation that works in the opposite direction,” says the report.

“Higher levels of taxation are more likely to show higher levels of economic performance and social wellbeing.”

Our government is unwilling to acknowledge that thousands of people live in poverty, without shelter and the struggle that charities and non-government organisations experience while trying to help needy people. 

The government should be taxing corporations and multinational companies to pay for the social wellbeing of our nation. 

Increasing taxes should provide better social, educational and employment opportunities that Labor has always stood for, but now looks very like the Morrison government. 

Let us hope that our nation’s problems can finally be reversed with a policy change on taxes at this election. We need social justice, higher taxes and more benefits. 

Jenny Holmes, Weston

 Liberals are running on empty  

GIVEN how the Coalition’s “women problem” always seems to be bubbling away beneath the surface of its male-centric operations, even the Liberal Party’s dirty tricks department, misnamed as Advance Australia, would have realised that it could not emblazon Canberra’s roadsides with unrestrained images of Kim Rubenstein ripping apart her clothing to reveal some confected logo that does not belong to her campaign  (“The election ‘scream test’ gets louder”, CN May 4).   

David Pocock will no doubt remain the ACT Liberals’ prime target until May 21 as they seek to further undermine and disrespect the independents’ right to stand for election.       

Having already resorted to playing the man, Senator Zed Seselja, his party headquarters and their rat-bag sidekicks have shown, they have nothing to offer ACT voters on the key policy matters developed by the independent Senate candidates in response to significant community engagement, demands and hopes.

Sue Dyer, Downer

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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

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