Letters to the editor

CHANGING LIVES

THE story of Brisbane burns survivor Doug Herrington is an example of how donating to St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland’s annual fundraising appeals can change lives.

After a house fire nearly claimed his life in 2011 and left him with third degree burns to more than 50 per cent of his body, Doug faced a long road to recovery which included more than 200 operations.

When Doug first got out of hospital he was a recluse, concerned about how others would react to his burns. Our dedicated volunteers arranged a special hospital bed at a South Brisbane hostel to help in his recovery and brought meals up to his room.

Slowly, through the helping hand and friendly ear of Vinnies volunteers, Doug regained his confidence and when he wanted to become a Uber driver to help support himself, we were able to help again with some of his vehicle costs.

St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland has been there for Doug from his extended stay in hospital, until this day.

Doug is now a motivational speaker who conveys a message of hope at corporate events and most importantly when speaking with other burns victims. Doug’s positive outlook and message of hope was instilled in him through the support of organisations like ours.

The St Vincent de Paul Society runs appeals which help us to raise funds to continue changing lives.

Our Autumn Appeal runs until May.

- P. Maher, St Vincent de Paul Society 

A GREAT ACHIEVEMENT

ON the evening of April 25, 1918, the Australian 15th brigade commanded by General H.E. “Pompey,” Elliott, led the counter-attack on the German-held town of Villers Bretoneux.

Although outnumbered, the Australians, in one of their greatest wartime achievements, ousted the German occupiers.

This action is seen by many as the turning point in the war and the beginning of the end of the German offensive.

- G. Plowman, Cleveland

MAKING A MESS

SEVEN governments have made a mess of Australia’s electricity industry. The federal government now plans to add more toxins to the mess – five-year targets to cut emissions.

There was a lesson from the 20th century – coercive central planning always fails.

Look at the costs of the grand plans of Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba and Pol Pot’s Cambodia.

The International Tin Council almost destroyed the tin industry. Australia’s failed wool board delivered unearned profits to our overseas competitors.

Australia has had egg boards, milk boards and grain boards and all produced sinecures for board members, reduced markets for producers and higher prices for consumers.

Even OPEC’s grand plan to maintain high prices for crude oil were destroyed by US shale oil entrepreneurs.

Outcomes are better when markets reflect the wishes of consumers and producers and are free of selective subsidies, discriminatory taxes and interfering politicians.

Australia’s electricity market is jerked in one direction by a climate commissar in Canberra who is second-guessed by state premiers who wanna-be engineers. Rules change with every election. The result is high-priced electricity.

The winners are bureaucrats and academics who are paid to dream up plans. The losers are industry, electricity consumers and tax payers.

No more five-year power plans. Politicians who subsidise some technologies and tax or ban others will never get it right. Let coal, oil, gas, nuclear, hydro, wind and solar compete with no subsidies or market mandates and no guaranteed return on investment, just a few regulations to prevent real pollution and protect public safety. Finally, cease the myth of man-made global warming.

- V. Forbes, Washpool