The Quad is a disparate gathering of democratic countries trying to counter a juggernaut.
Its formulation of a coherent strategy to counter Chinese influence will eventually be hampered by its internal dynamics and conflicting ambitions and goals.
The governments of these countries are elected at regular intervals, with each government having its own political and strategic agenda.
The US will continue to be distracted by its domestic political machinations as its power and influence wanes, and India’s commitment is questionable as it only looks over its shoulder at big neighbor China. , only with resentment and fear, while depending on its ally Russia.
Essentially what is needed is a larger coalition of countries – including perhaps like-minded countries like South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia and, of course, Taiwan – to counter the Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific.
Roy Clogstoun, North Maleny, Qld
All parties should stop playing war games
Ordinary people’s lives are being lost in Ukraine. Refugees are pouring in from their homeland, which is increasingly becoming cement rubble. Lives of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers were lost in this war. And why?
I understand the complex arguments behind Vladimir Putin’s war and also his reasons for trying to turn back time and create a more unified Russia. I also understand Putin’s criticism of the West, mainly his perception of its moral and spiritual decline.
No one has yet criticized the “heroic” Volodymyr Zelensky, whose whole deed and defense of Ukraine has become an ironic comedy of errors.
What happened to the peace talks? The boys need to stop playing war games and come to a compromise over which land belongs to Ukraine and which areas Russia can occupy, as it has apparently done in the past. Otherwise there will be nothing left.
Both Ukraine and Russia are committing war crimes – and perhaps so is the West by continuing to support the Ukrainian effort.
The West – including the US, UK and Australia – must stop funding and supplying weapons to Ukraine at the cost of billions of dollars. I mean, who is actually paying for all of this – I’m assuming the taxpayer?
Don’t Western governments understand that by supporting Ukraine to such an extent, they are only prolonging the conflict, ensuring that there will be no more infrastructure and contributing to the loss of civilian lives?
The West should only be involved as a mediator in peace.
Christine Velde, Buderim, Queensland
Abandoned by the Reserve Bank
The Reserve Bank’s view that households can withstand sharp interest rate hikes may be correct overall, but wrong for many families and businesses that have borrowed recently.
Many of them did so on the basis of the RBA’s forecast that rates would not rise until 2024. Further increases will cause businesses to fail and mortgage holders to default, and affect the property market (“Reserve Bank slaps down the property doomsayers”, July 21).
But inflation must be fought. The official interest rate is one way to achieve this, but the government also has tax and other measures. Changing the now obsolete and cumbersome tax structure would help, as would limiting government spending.
Frankly speaking, the RBA let us down in this case. Fortunately, the government has started to play its part in easing some of the pressures caused by inflation and rising interest rates. The bank review is a good start, but more is needed.
Michael Schilling, Millswood, SA
Turn an old submarine into a museum
The Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Otama was once one of Australia’s largest submarines, used for surveillance and intelligence gathering on Soviet and Chinese shipping in the Pacific during the Cold War. It also played a vital role for the Navy in the Indian Ocean during the 1980s.
HMAS Otama was decommissioned in 2000 and left to rust despite several attempts to find a place for her in a maritime museum.
With the support of the Federal and Victorian Governments, let’s eliminate all red tape, restore HMAS Otama to its former glory and turn it into a museum. It could be permanently berthed in Geelong and prove to be a hugely popular tourist attraction for Australians of all ages as the public can explore what is an important part of our naval history.
Malcolm Webster, Boronia, Vic
Solar and wind risky amid weather chaos
Your CSIRO correspondent (Letters, July 21) says Australia has a natural competitive advantage in solar and wind as alternative energy sources, compared to nuclear power. Presumably, the chaotic and unpredictable weather events associated with climate change will not impact Australian solar and wind farms, or these farms will have the capacity to withstand whatever Mother Nature might throw at them.
If not, mitigation strategies to maintain energy supply may require more thought, including interconnected transmission and distribution systems, storage, and weather-independent energy sources. .
Joanna Wriedt, Eaglemont, Vic
Well done, Bubs – can you give us our money back?
Carrie LaFrenz’s report ‘Bubs posts record sales boosted by US Operation Fly Formula’ (July 20) is not only very good news for the company, it is also a tribute to the magnanimity of Australian taxpayers who dipped into their pockets to help Bubs. Australia in its hour of need.
Now that the company is recovering rapidly from its pandemic chaos, it is hoped that it will do the right thing and return the JobKeeper payments it has received.
This will, it is hoped, serve to set an example for the big companies that have put their snouts in the public trough to benefit from JobKeeper payments, to the tune of $40 billion, as reported. The Australian Financial Review.Some companies have made no effort to return these funds to help repair our national budget, which is currently in a precarious state.
It is also time for the government to develop a “name and shame” registry of these companies.
Kaz Kazim, Randwick, New South Wales