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Short Takes August 3: readers have their say on the day’s news

YES, Dennis Crampton (Short Takes1/8) a scary nightmare:Bill Shortstop in the Lodge. You, sir, nailed it. The country will be broke again in under 12 months.
Nanjing Night Net

Tony Cooper,BelmontCONTRARYto Alan Metcalfe’s beliefs (Letters1/8) the population bomb is a myth.Poverty has never been lower,both locally and globally. Food prices are at the lowest levels in recorded history, with food consuming the smallest portion of Australian household spending since ABS records began.We’re back to where we were in the 1970s, when hysterical predictions of imminent starvation and depletion of oil, gold, iron and other resources were rampant. None of that came to pass, and we now have greater known reserves of all than we did at that time. We produce enough food to feed the entire global population several times over. In the past few decades hundreds of millions of people have escaped poverty to live a middle-class lifestyle.Australia is a big country, and Earth is a big planet. With the population density of Manhattan, the entire global population can be accommodated in a space the size of Texas.I suppose that no matter how full, the glass will always appear half-empty to some.

Scott Hillard,New Lambton THEphoto of the Frederick Ash Ltd building (Letters1/8) gave me the idea that a gallery could feature some tools of trade. As kids my sister and I would make the train trip from Gosford to Newcastle in the ‘50s so Dad, a carpenter by trade, could visit Fred Ash and stock up with new tools. Our reward was lunch in Scott’s dining room, linen tablecloths and napkins along with a full setting of cutlery. The presence of the lady maître d’ added to the class. Meanwhile, 60 years on, some of Dad’s tools lie silent in a wooden fruit box in my garage.

Allan Gibson,CherrybrookI BELIEVE there is a disarmingly simple solution to the secret Newcastle container fee(Herald, 1/8). The Port of Newcastle was leased for the unauthorisedpurpose of charging the fee. Either the fee is declared invalid or the leaseis declared invalid.

Greg Cameron,WamboinTHE federal government has created a scheme whereby millionaires can get permanent residency in Australia if they invest $5 million in land or shares (“Rich investors buying $5 million visas”, Canberra Times 26/3/2013). Sky News’ Peta Credlin saidthat up to date 2000 Chinese people had taken up this scheme.Most had bought shares, acquiring residence status and then reselling their shares back to the stock exchange. Some have profited and some have lost money, but they have all gained permanent status here in Australia, potentially with their families.I believeit makes a mockery of Minister Dutton saying everything is done by the book.I haven’t heard of this scheme before, does it sound right?

John Matthews,Belmont NorthIF BRAD Hill and Colin Fordham are unavailable for half-time entertainment (Short Takes 2/8), I bet the Bay Bandit would prove popular. Then again, Steve “Butcher” Barnett may find the steakstoo high.

Charles Farley,Adamstown Heights

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