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Your views: on electric bikes and cars, almonds, JobKeeper payback and state laws

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on the popularity of e-bikes compared to EVs, a nut crop’s water use, Govt handouts versus profits and the lucky dip of state jurisdictions.

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Commenting on the story: Boomers supercharge electric bike boom

I now ride much more often thanks to an e-bike. Previously, I rode to work at Parliament House once or twice a week at best. Now I do the 30km round trip by e-bike most days. I enjoy that bit of extra help up the hills, including a 200m climb to get home.

The e-bike laws are fairly clear, but not so for the next generation of electric personal mobility devices such as e-scooters, where the Government is dragging its feet on regulation and users still risk significant fines.

Only the commercial scooters are currently legal, not the private ones. Fixing these laws will be the next challenge. – Mark Parnell MLC

Commenting on the story: Electric car sales flat in Australia

I think we need to examine some of the relative statistics to see why the general car driver in Australia is hesitant to buy an EV.

I personally believe they will become much more common after the usual adoption time lag we have here behind Europe. Diesel engined cars was a good example of this trend.

Let us examine the much vaunted Norwegian case. Norway is a country that transformed itself from a poor agriculture and fish based economy to an advanced prosperous mixed economy from judicious reinvestment of earnings from the 0il and gas industry.

They also benefit from a small population, high rainfall/snowfall, many lakes and a very farsighted democratic government who are very in tune with their communities.

 I quickly gathered some statistics online comparing Australia with Norway, so please forgive me if these lack precision. I am not a paid researcher with unlimited time to do a detailed investigation  – just a 45 year energy industry professional interested in a good future for my grandchildren.

Ninety per cent of Norway’s power is generated by hydroelectric – last year it exported 20% of its power. Right now it is not exporting, but has high generation due to high snowfall and the desire not to have dams overflow and hence the price of electricity in Norway is zero and in some areas the power companies are paying consumers! Yet here in Australia and particularly South Australia we have the highest electricity prices in the world.

There are many ways to compare the data but the glaring differences are that our electric vehicle are taxed, we pay much more for electricity and there are far fewer charging stations.

I personally will try to buy an EV when the prices are more competitive and there are more charging stations particularly on main rural routes. In Uk and Europe there are rapid charging stations at every motorway service station. – George Hobbs

Commenting on the story: Dry argument: The trouble with almonds

Richard Beasley SC is misinformed regarding how much water it takes to grow an almond.

Based on publicly available Australian industry data of 12-14 megalitre of irrigation water per hectare, an average yield of 3,500 kilograms per hectare or more and an average almond kernel weight of 1.2gram, the correct answer is four to five litres litres per almond. – Brett Rosenzweig

The following is a fact check on Richard Beasley’s claim of 35 litres per almond. He has overstated the amount used by more than six times the real figure.

The US being the world leader for almonds measures almond size in almonds per ounce. The average size of an almond kernel is around 22 to the ounce.

There are 35.274 ounces per kilogram. This equals 776 almond kernels per kilogram, or 776,028 almond kernels per tonne.

The industry average tonnage is 3.2 tonnes of kernel per hectare (this is increasing with new varieties, better pollination, improved nutrition etc).

Current average production equates to 2,483,290 kernels per hectare.

Water applied varies between 12 to 14 megalitres per hectare, so the higher figure of 14 will be used. Calculation of almond kernels per litre is 2,483,290/14,000,000=5.64 litres.

There is also no waste from almond production, with around seven tonnes of hull and shell produced per hectare also sold for stockfeed and smaller amounts for compost and power generation.

In a soon to be released study, it is shown almonds contribute $1 to every $1,000 of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product and provide over 9,000 full time equivalent jobs.

Almonds are a product with scientifically based health benefits assisting the prevention of cardiac disease and diabetes among others. These health benefits provide a saving to the nation on health care and to the wellbeing of millions of Australians who regularly consume almonds.

Almond trees are also capturing carbon and producing oxygen on a daily basis. Almonds are also an efficient means of producing protein, particularly important for those people averse to animal husbandry.

All food whether it be fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs etc requires water to produce and almonds are no different. It is true that almonds are at the higher end in terms of water per hectare, but when considered in terms of crop and value produced per megalitre of water, almonds are an efficient water user producing a healthy, in demand product that has a much lower risk of crop failure and wasted inputs than many farming pursuits.

Water use efficiency is a much more complex topic than is being given coverage. Ross Skinner, CEO Almond Board of Australia

Interesting that the panel did not seem to have a representative from the almond and/or horticultural industry.

Another biased and unbalanced session by people with no skin in the game. – Trevor Ranford

Commenting on the story: Online shopping pushed Myer pandemic profit boost

“…helped along by $51 million in JobKeeper payments” to present a profit of $43m. What a joke! And not just Myer. A 13% fall in revenue is not what the Government stated as a requirement – it must be paid back.

Harvey Norman is another on the wrong side of ethics and history here. – Alex Newton

Commenting on the story: Abortion decriminalised in SA

I support this move, but why is such an important matter governed according to where you live?

Why are Tasmanians subject to abortion conditions different from Western Australians? The same applies to euthanasia, adoption, managing pandemics and a host of issues.

The overarching question is, of course: Why does Australia need eight sets of legislation for 25 million people? ‘Because it’s in a document drafted by a handful of men 120 years ago and rarely updated’ isn’t a sensible answer. – Alan Strickland

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