We can’t escape that hatred towards Meghan is due to race

Baird points out that to allow threats of violence to be aired unchecked regardless of the person to whom it is aimed should be condemned. This is the season of peace and good will to all. We must all try to stop this hatred towards others whenever we hear it expressed. Josephine Piper, Miranda

Time for Chris Minns to back cashless gaming cards

Past politicians lured by easy money venally set aside the interests of people and should be ashamed. They must have known that gambling impoverishes the most disadvantaged, enables money laundering and destroys families (“Don’t muddy the debate, Mr Minns: cashless pokies will work with the right model”, December 22). This craven neglect has empowered the gambling industry who say they will target politicians in favour of gambling reform. Arguments that gambling creates jobs and supports charities are disingenuous. Massive profits come from the pockets of the people and the “charities” supported frequently benefit clubs and their friends. Dominic Perrottet is right to begin the discussion, but the proof will come after the election. Chris Minns must move away from the misleading “trials” favoured by the clubs if he wants to be an ethical leader. Alison Stewart, Riverview

Charles Livingstone provides a significant distinction between two forms of cashless gambling. To combat money laundering, the pre-commitment model involving secure IDs and transfers from bank accounts needs to be implemented in order to trace funds.

While the premier has community support and, importantly, justification based on the NSW Crime Commission report to stop proceeds of crime being laundered, a separate review was conducted by Justice Robert Gotterson on Queensland casinos. One recommendation was that cashless gambling be introduced. This might rely on a similar system to that advocated by Livingstone. The premier needs to establish the same for Star’s Sydney casino which, as implied by the Crime Commission report, is a major cleaning venue for dirty money. John Kempler, Rose Bay

Not knowing that poker machine-owning registered clubs can donate to political parties from their winnings’ tray is a very powerful lever against real gambling reform (“End clubs’ donation loophole: minister”, December 22). Not surprisingly our political elite, on all sides, have kept this very quiet while loudly condemning the defenceless poker machines, and we fell for it. Chris Hornsby, Bayview Beach

Illustration: John ShakespeareCredit:

The Herald reports that Clubs NSW has contributed about $400,000 to the Labor Party and $200,000 to the Coalition over the years. It highlights the financial influence on our politicians and why this needs serious reform. Gary Barnes, Mosman

Minns has finally taken a positive stance with his recent commitment to keeping a proper proportion of NSW resources in gas and coal power reserved for the use of Australians. Hopefully, now he has taken this sensible stance he will revisit his decision on the cashless gaming card and start looking at positive actions for his party instead of standing back or being anti-everything. Joy Paterson, Mount Annan

Tolls to keep coming

One can only admire the business model devised by Transurban (“Tolls on M7 to be extended for three years … to 2051”, December 22). Widen M7, generate additional revenue from increased traffic and three years tolling extension. Propose building a new interchange and connect arterial route near to new airport. Government accepts proposal. Discover increased traffic is generated by new freeways and propose widening of toll-road. Repeat. Repeat. Catherine Turner, Cremorne

The only way travellers will be able to access the proposed toll-free M12 to the new Sydney Airport, is via the M7 tollway, now to be granted a three-year toll extension. What use is it promoting a road as toll-free, when you can’t get to it, except by several overpriced Transurban tollways? This, combined with the 65 B-doubles clogging the roads every day delivering jet fuel to the airport, as it has no fuel pipeline infrastructure constructed on site, will be a nightmare for travellers. Mark Berg, Caringbah South

Neighbour also a hero

This week’s farewell to the two police officers tragically killed in last week’s shocking incident in Queensland was a fitting tribute with the prime minister and premier in attendance and posthumous medals awarded (“Mourners pay moving tribute to officers lost in line of duty”, December 22). We will remember their names long into the future. But let’s not forget that there was a third victim in this terrible crime. Neighbour, Alan Dare, who selflessly and unwittingly rushed to assist his neighbours when he heard shots and realised a bushfire had started, was heartlessly killed for his trouble. He, too, deserves credit for his bravery and sacrifice. Donna Wiemann, Balmain

ATAR smoke and mirrors

The smoke and mirrors of releasing an ATAR minimum cut off only hides the fact that the majority of students who end up studying that course have a much lower ATAR (“ATARs revealed for uni courses as 34,500 receive offers”, December 22). Not only do universities throw bonus points at students, but the reality is that only one student actually needs to reach the cut-off mark to justify the (usually high) published score. Universities then market themselves based on that score and perpetuate the process. It is time to force universities to use other selection criteria, tailored to the skill set of the course that they are offering. Michael Blissenden, Dural

Baird’s power blunder

According to your editorial “premier Mike Baird sold off the electricity grid in NSW and put the money into rail lines, toll roads and schools” (“Minns goes back to the future on NSW energy policy”, December 22). Without this “investment” we may have had a functioning power system, a transport system that worked and a school system that was not failing our children. Keith Platt, North Narrabeen

Insurance omission

The ABS review of spending seems to have omitted insurance as a category that should be included in its CPI calculations (“COVID spending habits hard to break”, December 22). I have just received my home insurance and it has shot up by 32.6 per cent. It is, unfortunately, a discretionary spend, but this may be an indication of why fewer of us are insuring our homes. Tom Meakin, Port Macquarie

Rudd repulsed by Rupert

Despite your correspondents’ misgivings (Letters, December 22), we’ll be far better served by an ambassador to the USA who’s uncompromised by his party’s fervid embrace of the world’s most malignly reactionary media magnate, as were Kevin Rudd’s two predecessors. Jeffrey Mellefont, Coogee

Flares on the banned list

Your correspondent asks why flares are even allowed into soccer matches (Letters, December 22). They’re not. As one official pointed out in the days following last week’s events, spectators go to great lengths to conceal these items when they enter the ground. He went on to say that the only sure method to abolish them would be a full-body pat down of everyone entering a match. I can hear the civil libertarians from here. Ross MacPherson, Seaforth

Nimble legs Lionel

I disagree with the opinion that Messi wouldn’t last five minutes in a footy game (Letters, December 22). He’s that quick and nimble he’d run rings around them and they’d be left standing gobsmacked and dizzy. Dave Cliff Coopers Gully

Brethren must leave

I don’t care if the Brethren move out of Windsor (“Why has low-profile church moved from region?”, December 21). What I care about is why is a supposed church that disenfranchises its members by telling them not to vote in elections, against the laws of the land, still receiving tax-free status? The church needs excommunicating from the Commonwealth purse. Denis Sullivan, Greystanes

Stop covering Trump

This sad old narcissist suffering from relevance deprivation has nothing satisfying in his life so he keeps fuelling the fire to keep himself germane. We should stop writing about him (“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger: Trump”, December 22). Lyn Savage, Coogee

Indigenous centre a missed opportunity

For visitors to Sydney, it’s mostly about the waterfront (Letters, December 22). Most days there are streams of visitors walking through the Botanical Gardens, past the Opera House, around Circular Quay to The Rocks, through to Barangaroo. There are many places of interest to explore along the way depending on how much time you have. How wonderful to be able to finish up at an Indigenous Cultural Centre in Barangaroo. Your correspondent is right to say museums don’t need a view. I recently noticed an advertisement for The Cutaway being promoted as a function centre. Museums may not need a view but a view certainly gives a function an edge. However, The Cutaway with its high ceiling could create a unique atmosphere for Indigenous performances and exhibitions.
Judith Rostron, Killarney Heights

Silence is golden

Our beautiful big Himalayan ash tree is covered in its annual froth of filigree blossoms. Next it usually hums loudly. But it is silent. No bees. Lorna MacKellar, Bensville

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
‘Very different countries’: Wong bridges great divide in high-stakes Beijing meeting
From jonsuffolk: ″⁣We can only hope there may be progress on the Australia-China relationship after years of clumsy diplomacy from the previous government.″⁣

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