[News] Public had a right to know what Assange exposed

At that price, the solid gold flagpole will be standing long after the rest of the bridge has rusted away. Peter Kamenyitzky, Castle Hill

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Credit:Anna Kucera

Why can’t we just replace the NSW state flag with the Aboriginal flag? I’ll accept a cheque for my share of the $25 million saved. Randi Svensen, Wyong

I like a money tree with the best of them, so I would like to know where Dominic Perrottet has his planted. Over the past week or so, he has promised hundreds of millions of dollars, albeit for good and noble causes, but where is the money coming from? The NSW Coalition has sold off almost every state asset, so they are no longer available to generate a source of revenue. Many of the projects currently under way or completed are over budget. The premier’s caveat of federal funding assistance is pie in the sky thinking. The federal government has a huge job to balance its budget. I doubt if it will be happy to help fund $25million for one flagpole. It does not bode well for the state’s coffers or the premier’s ability to deliver on his promises and not waste whatever money he has. Susan Durman, Pyrmont

I am sure Hoges could quickly knock up a flagpole on the bridge for a lot less money if we chuck in some tinnies. Diane Erickson, West Ryde

Primary effort can fix GP crisis

Einstein’s words that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” applies to the “perilous state” of primary care services across NSW towns and regions (“GP exodus puts regions at risk”, June 20). There have been many failed attempts. An innovative approach now would be to get some selected medical schools to run a new accelerated stream of training dedicated to graduating only primary care clinicians, as has been done in New York and some other creative institutions. This should comprise less elitist recruitment of candidates, with possibly some health background and academic success, and perhaps an interest in re-training. Real innovative solutions must challenge the tired status quo. Robyn Dalziell, Kellyville

It is surprising that there is a shortage of GPs in the cities and more so in the country areas when we now have over 100,000 GPs and universities are producing hundreds of doctors every year.
Not long ago, it was difficult for the fresh medical graduates to get an internship in hospitals.
Yes, we have a problem with COVID-19, but the population hasn’t increased by 30 per cent in the past six years and the GPs crisis has been overblown today. It seems more like a management issue than a resource issue. Mukul Desai, Hunters Hill

House of generosity

How very generous of Wendy Whiteley to donate her collection of Brett Whiteley’s paintings to the NSW Art Gallery (“A priceless cultural gift to the state”, June 20). In return, would it not be fitting for the state or a benefactor to purchase her Lavender Bay house with its famous “secret garden” as an adjunct to the Art Gallery? The property is doubly worthy of heritage listing; its position at Lavender Bay provides much-needed Sydney parkland and its connection with the Whiteley family is a reflection of the historical and artistic value of one of Australia’s most famous couples. Nola Tucker, Kiama

Wendy Whiteley

Wendy WhiteleyCredit:Louie Douvis

Development fatigue

Am I the only one who is suffering major development fatigue in this city (“New ferry wharves, ‘New York-style’ high line slated for Circular Quay”, smh.com.au, June 19)? This disruptive project will take forever, will rip the guts out of a perfectly good road system and the recently refurbished wharves at Circular Quay and line the pockets of the building industry and developers. Do we really need it? Especially when there are more pressing problems, like fixing a broken health system, increasing affordable housing and paying front-line workers a salary commensurate with their vital roles. But obviously, this is all dull stuff compared to announcing extravagant projects. Lyndall Nelson, South Turramurra

The school of life

I am bemused by the reaction to the skirmish at The King’s School over the flight of the headmaster and deputy and their wives to the Henley Royal Regatta, Letters, June 20). As far as I am concerned, if the rich want to spend up to $69,000 sending their boys to the school, let them do it.
State and commonwealth subsidies are supposed to be what the state would have spent educating those boys themselves. But the real issue is education for life. I spent two years at a Sydney boarding school in the early 1960s and concluded after that time that the boys there were privileged brats and that the school, with its extensive sporting facilities, was a holiday camp for rich kids. I spent my primary and early secondary school years at public schools in Dubbo, mixing with children from all walks of life and all socio-economic strata. And as far as I am concerned, dealing with that was a far better education for me than my father paying through the nose for it. They were lessons in life that I carried all through my career as a journalist. Malcolm Brown, Ermington

I was driving past The King’s School the other day and it struck me that if they should ever lose funding, they could always sell a couple of hundred acres of school grounds. Barry Riley, Woy Woy

On election day 2022, the ABC visited an election booth in Grayndler (the PM’s electorate). This school is renowned for its ‘theme’ democracy sausages, where proceeds were earmarked, this year, to upgrade the girl’s toilets. Says it all. Judy Love, North Haven

So far, so good

Miracle or marvel, Anthony Albanese has made an impressive start to his time as prime minister (Letters, June 20). Along with some competent and decisive steps into international relations, domestic affairs and social justice has gone firm foundation-laying for a First Nations “Voice” and for the future development of strong climate policy and action. Our new PM seems genuinely open to innovation, consultation, inclusion and diversity. His government’s first month in office promises a re-setting of how parliamentary democracy is conducted in Australia. Long may it last. Meredith Williams, Northmead

More people, less wildlife

Joanna Howe’s discussion of immigration (“Open the (right) doors to immigrants”, June 20) starts from an assumption that we need skilled migrants to increase our standard of living. As if it’s Australia’s right to let other countries pay for their training and then poach them. And nowhere does pressure on our fragile environment come into consideration. Over the past 50 years, the Australian population has grown from 8 million to 26 million. At the same time, wildlife numbers have decreased by 68 per cent. When will our standard of living be high enough? When there are no more koalas, platypuses or wombats? Mary Marlow, Blackheath

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Credit:Tony Moore

No releaf from puns

No doubt birds and garden pests are destroying lettuce seedlings all over the place, and your correspondent’s experience (Letters, June 20) is just the tip of the iceberg. Doug Walker, Baulkham Hills

Let-tuce pray or lettuce prey? George Zivkovic, Northmead

Fair trade?

I find it hard to understand the need for an inquiry into the appointment of John Barilaro (″⁣Inquiry to investigate Barilaro’s plum post″⁣, June 20). I am sure John looked in the mirror and saw himself as perfect for the job as trade and investment commissioner in New York. Why the fuss? Bill McMahon, Lennox Head

Cold comfort

Vivid, withered, livid, shivered (Letters, June 20). Whatever. Back in the days of plenty, up here on the chilly hilltop, we would set our central heating on 22 to warm the house, then 20 to maintain. Now, it’s 16 and 15, plus four layers by evening news time. You have to be both rugged and rugged.
Brian Jones, Leura

I have off-peak hot water, but I have never seen any reference to households installing batteries which can charge off-peak. This would seem to be a useful option. Michael Harrington, Bonnet Bay

The digital view
smh.com.au
New ferry wharves, ‘New York-style’ high line slated for Circular Quay
From aardvaarkjc: $216 million to do what? Make a 50 metres or so ring around Circular Quay a bit prettier? You’re left with the ugly skyscraper madness stretching for kilometres into the distance. That sort of money would be far more usefully spent in rural NSW.

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