I can’t speak for all letter writers, but it wasn’t until I retired that I had time to put into words years of pent-up cynicism, literally “announcing” my transition to grumpy old man status. I’m also not sure if anyone under 40, who is part of a generation accustomed to getting a medal for surfacing, can handle the rejection of non-publication. Col Burns, Lugarno
I agree with your correspondents who complain about the lack of female letter writers. With five smart ladies in my family, I can attest to the reason: they say they have other things to do. Obviously, of course, the same is not true of us pontifying patriarchs. Eric Hunter, Cook (ACT)
As a frequent letter writer and an even more regular reader of the letters to the editor, I have a game I play with myself. I obscure each writer’s name as I read their contribution and try to extract their gender from the content. My success rate is definitely below one in three, whatever that means. Andrew McPherson, Kalaru
Save forest critters from your dog
Dog owners may also need to be educated about the effects of their dogs in bushland (“Dog Owners: Control or Chase Pets,” 24 October). They are not banned in national parks for nothing. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service says, “The sights, sounds and smells of dogs and other pets cause great stress on native animals and can even cause them to leave their homes and their young unprotected.” In the Blue Mountains, dogs are allowed in council-controlled forest areas on a leash, so during the recent school holidays, almost everyone I encountered on a forest walk through the council had taken their dogs, and many were let loose. It should be clear to people that bush is the same whether it is managed by the national park or by the municipality. Native wildlife don’t know the difference. Dogs may be let out on the street. Leave the bush for our dwindling numbers of native wildlife. Please. Mary Marlow, Blackheath
Thanks to Vivienne Pearson for bringing attention to the bad behavior of so many dog owners. In these parts we have a lot of off-leash parks, but they are pretty pointless. Why? Because so many dog owners consider all outdoor areas to be off-leash. And be careful when pointing out the error of their ways. You might get the usual “he’s just friendly,” or maybe an unkind comment that equates their dog’s rights with my young child’s – that’s another favorite. Dog owners, please be better. David Mansford, Concord
With summer and beach life just around the corner, you might think that most dog owners are following local government regulations on leash-only dog beaches. But many believe that their dogs have the right to move around at will, chasing sticks, Frisbees, tennis balls, etc. This is all good until an untrained pet decides to take a chunk out of a child’s leg, poop on a picnic blanket, or even attack native animals. Unfortunately, it is up to municipalities to enforce these rules and many do not have the resources or the ability to do so. Maybe it should be the owners who are on a leash. Bob Harris, Sawtell
I’ve had kelpies for about 63 years and live in towns and small towns all over NSW. With or without a leash, they were more popular than me. Reluctantly, I have to agree with the saying, “Dirty dogs usually have nasty owners.” Bob Hall, Wyoming
A scandal-ridden backseat of the Conservative government heading to the Caribbean for another holiday as his senior colleagues fueled worsening economic and political distress across Britain quickly returned to raise his hand for leadership, which heightened the chaos and fear (“Boris Johnson withdraws, Rishi Sunak poised to become Britain’s next prime minister,” smh.com.au, October 24). The rest of the world recognizes a dead Norwegian Blue Parrot when they see one (thanks, Alan Moir), but Boris Johnson has now decided he’s just “resting”. Sue Dyer, Downer (ACT)
Given the political chaos in Britain, what value does the monarchy have in providing “stability” to that country? Rob Phillips, North Epping
Reports of flooding in NSW and the ensuing tragedies and widespread hardships have focused on La Nina weather systems, climate change and in some cases planning errors such as building in flood-prone areas, but not so much the widespread silting of rivers. Current generations may not know it, but coastal steamers once docked at wharves in inland towns such as Casino and Morpeth. This would be unheard of today as the rivers are too shallow due to silting caused by the clearing of the forests that lined many rivers in NSW. These forests stabilized riverbanks, so that rivers became deeper and therefore carried more water to the sea during heavy rainfall. This generation needs to start rehabilitating the Australian countryside in order to better approximate what was there before colonization. Norman Carter, Roseville Chase
Better than most
To me, the brilliance has certainly not faded from our current government (Letters, October 24), populated with members who are competent, moderate and willing to take a stand against corruption.
I would go beyond your correspondent and mention far too many other current governments around the world that I would rather not live under, such as Russia, Hungary, China, Brazil, Italy, Iran, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Sri Lanka, just to name a few. Anne Ring, Coogee
Not all disadvantage
The value of houses falls (“RBA tips 20 percent fall in house value,” October 24), but if you then buy another property in the same market, you have the advantage that you have to borrow less to buy the new property. Whoever buys for the first time also benefits from lower real estate prices and therefore a lower loan. So other than having less monetary value of your property on paper, it’s all relative. Instead of doom and gloom, there are benefits to falling house prices. Joy Paterson, Mount Annan
Bag full of tricks
It amazes me that we have people manually filling sandbags when sandbag machines are available and produced in Australia. This would free up many volunteers for other important work. All LGAs in flood-prone areas, aided by their state government, should invest in these machines to be available in times of flooding. They can be used at other times to collect wood chips or mulch, etc. As these climate events become more frequent, we must use the best resources available to protect people’s homes. Greg Thomas, Annandale
The solution to the problem (Letters, October 24) of buses that don’t stop because you don’t signal them because you can’t see their route numbers because of billboards: signal every bus. ‘Where are you going, mate? … Sorry I’m not.” In less than the fullness of time, the signs will disappear. Ross Drynan, Lindfield
Right side of the ledger
My name has appeared twice on the obituary page (Letters, October 24); albeit as a byline. Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook
Like your correspondent, I enjoy reading the many informative, loving and sometimes even funny obituaries, funeral letters and tributes from families. I’m even happier when I realize they’re not mine. Merilyn McClung, Forestville
I once knew a man who aspired for more in life. He ended up making $200,000 a year, but then they abandoned the phase three tax cuts. John Christie, Oatley
Now that’s busy
I think, given the expression on Jim Chalmers’ face in the photo, he’s not looking at his phone: he’s doing Wordle and only one line left (“600 million dollars to get further aid for climate disasters”, the 24th of October). Peter Thornton, Killara
The digital display
Online commentary from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday smh.com.au
Real estate prices fall to 20 percent: RBA
From listener: The whole real estate price debate is unspoken to be about interest rates. Do you want affordable housing? Demand real wage increases and more supply.
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