Warner right to reject ‘lazy’ public hearing

Credit:Illustration: Jim Pavlidis

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Cricket captaincy
I may have had some questions about David Warner’s style over the years but I am right in his camp on this latest development regarding the “sandpaper-gate” scandal of 2018 (“‘Dirty laundry’: Warner rejects public hearing”, The Age, 8/12).

There is no reason why Cricket Australia cannot resolve its position on David Warner’s potential return to a leadership role in-house. There is a propensity in many organisations these days to push off difficult questions to outsiders to advise upon or even resolve, usually under the confected cover of public interest.

The very idea of setting up a so-called independent panel – along with counsel assisting would you believe – to conduct public hearings into what is essentially an internal housekeeping matter is risible. It is also an insult to Warner.

Any other person in his position would also tell Cricket Australia what to do with its panel.
The board of Cricket Australia should do what it is paid to do. The question before them is straightforward and they are in possession of the relevant facts. Just make the decision and move on.
Garry Ringwood, Kew

Cheating not taken lightly
David Warner has learned that cheating is not taken lightly by Cricket Australia, and that behaving better and playing well in recent years does not exempt him from his life leadership ban. His behaviour in South Africa in 2018 was egregious and ought to have seen him banned from international cricket for life.

His presence in the Australian team is one of the reasons that so many cricket fans have no time for the Australian team, and want to see him removed.

Fortunately, because of his age, his days in the team are numbered.
George Houlder, Cambrian Hill

Punishment lacks fairness
I agree with Ian Chappell, who questions the fairness of the punishment handed out to the players involved in the Australian cricket team cheating incident.

While Cricket Australia says the plan was Warner’s, Steve Smith, as the captain, should have been the upholder of the team’s integrity.

Now we have Smith returning to captain the Australian Test side, and a disgruntled David Warner having to play under him (“‘Do what I need to do’: Smith to mind captaincy reins”).

Surely both should have received the same penalty?
Trish Young, Hampton

No hiding from past
David Warner’s lifetime captaincy ban has generated a lot of regrettable fallout, but that ball-tampering incident couldn’t just be sandpapered over.
Lawrie Bradly, Surrey Hills

Decision stands
David Warner withdrawing his application to overturn his lifetime ban from captaincy is a relief for the majority of fair-minded people who support the view that he cheated and does not have leadership qualities.

The reasons for his withdrawal simply reinforced the original decision. Correct result. Umpire’s decision stands.
Geoff Warren, Anglesea

Disappointed
David Warner has expressed disappointment with the difficulty in gaining a leadership role in Australian cricket.

Nothing can compare to the disappointment and shame for Australian cricket fans at the exploits of our national team in South Africa in 2018.
Peter Jephcott, Noorinbee

THE FORUM

Share the windfall
The federal government’s request that the states cut the coal price to less than half the market rate is a valiant effort to support households (The Age, 8/12). However, that will affect the ability of the states to provide services to us. It would be more effective to charge a super profits tax on the coal and gas providers, which ultimately enables taxes to flow through to Treasury, and by default the taxpayer/consumer.
Denise Stevens, Healesville

Value in resources
We are constantly being told that coal and gas are “on the way out”. However, solid coal and gas prices have reduced the budget deficit by some $70 billion. Obviously, there are countries that want our coal to fire up their economies and they are prepared to pay top price.
Coke Tomyn, Camberwell

War profits
In all the heated discussion about excessive gas and electricity prices to be paid by households and businesses, the source of the price increases must be recognised. Chief among these is the war being waged by Russia in Ukraine and the resultant global restriction of energy supplies. The effect on Australian fossil fuel producers has been a massive increase in selling prices, with no associated increase in their production costs. This does wonders for their bottom line, but could be described as war profiteering.
Our government, acting on behalf of the vast majority of Australia’s citizens and businesses, should be taking control of these prices.
Peter Moore, Clifton Hill

Extraction costs
So the billionaires are lining up to make mega profits from decarbonisation, which makes it hopeful we can solve our climate problem (“‘On fire’ Forrest takes a big swing at renewables sector”, 8/12). Climate is just one of the planetary boundaries our global economy is exceeding at present. How does extractive capitalism solve biodiversity loss, extinctions, chemical pollution etc? The wondrous web of life on our planet remains in dire trouble.
Jenny Smithers, Ashburton

Managing expectations
As a busy obstetrician I feel disappointed in the way the recent study “Dehumanised, Violated, and Powerless: An Australian Survey of Women’s Experiences of Obstetric Violence in the Past 5 Years” was reported (The Age, 6/12). I don’t wish to trivialise the heartfelt comments made by women who made comments about their experiences. We are beginning to understand birth trauma as a real but very personal phenomenon. How individuals react to certain circumstances can vary widely, and after 30 years in practice I see that much of this can be attributed to a lack of preparation for the realities of childbirth.

Simple statistics about numbers of caesareans or rates of episiotomies (without comparing to the number of bowel-related tears avoided by such cuts) is too simplistic a way to approach this important issue.

Continuity of antenatal care is held up as the best model and this, I believe, is based on building a relationship of trust with the appropriate health professional (obstetrician, midwife or GP). Good preparation and education about possible outcomes of childbirth can overcome unrealistic expectations that may lead to later disappointments.
Dr Jenny Dowd, Parkville

Stress reaction
Dr Samari Jayarajah makes a sensible point about avoiding overdiagnosis of mental disorders in children (“Yes, lockdown was tough on kids”, The Age, 8/12). Her argument extends to adult patients whom I treat as a psychiatrist. In the past two decades, we have seen a doubling of the use of antidepressants in Australia. Some of this increase in antidepressant use relates to the medicalisation of normal emotions (i.e. sadness, worry, disappointment, grief and sorrow are now relabelled as depression or anxiety).

It’s important to remember that all medications have side effects and there is good scientific evidence to suggest that a large portion of patients taking antidepressants don’t actually require them.

Psychiatrists and general practitioners would do well to heed the advice of Dr Jayarajah and consider the possibility of a normal reaction to a stressful life event rather than giving a diagnosis and reaching for the script pad in the first instance.
Dr Malcolm Forbes, Ascot Vale

Danger in labels
Well said, Samari Jayarajah. Labelling can be useful but it can also be misleading and possibly harmful. Disappointment, nervousness and distraction are all quite understandable in a pandemic. They may not be mental health problems. And they may also pass. Depression and anxiety are real and need qualified assistance but we need to be careful about casual labelling, which denies the capacity of human beings to be resilient and to recover as circumstances also change.
Alison Fraser, Ascot Vale

Unlocking strengths
It was refreshing to read Samari Jayarajah’s article in which she questioned the value of labelling and diagnosing reactions and behaviours associated with COVID-19. A label can have a long-term impact. In my experience there is potential for labels to become an unshakeable part of an identity.

As a profession, social work has always used a framework that centres on the impact of the environment on wellbeing. Social workers endeavour to focus not on what’s wrong with a person, but what has happened to them. Individuals are helped to identify what can be controlled and what can be worked through. Strengths are identified in adults and children and individuals can be led to identify their hidden inner capacity and resilience to overcome adversity.

COVID-19 has highlighted the impact of the social determinants of health, including relationships and connection, on wellbeing, which cannot be fixed with a pill.
Cathie Hutchinson, mental health social worker

Cancel culture
I read with interest “Claims of a cancelled Christmas” about the Moonee Valley Council (CBD, 8/12). Stonnington Council has also apparently taken the path of cancelling Christmas, as many of its signs merely state “Make Merry” with no mention of Christmas. Then again they have erected a Christmas tree complete with a star on top in Rockley Gardens, so perhaps there is still some hope that Christmas is not completely cancelled.
Keith Alfredson, South Yarra

Difficult questions
Kelly Eng (“Toughest question for any parent at Christmas”, 7/12), when a child is old enough to ask a question, it is old enough to receive a truthful answer. It is not as tough as you think.
Lesley Black, Frankston

Nick of time
Decades ago, at dinner on my first Christmas Eve with my new family, the seven-year-old told his four-year-old brother that Santa wasn’t real. The four-year-old, a very deep fella, was distraught: “If there’s no Santa, then there’s no Jesus,” he said, crying. A minute later on the ABC news came the announcement: “Santa and his reindeers have been seen travelling over Alice Springs.” The joy, happiness and relief remains with me every 25th of December.
Jennifer Gerrand, Carlton North

Secret spoiled
The best Santa story I heard was that when Shirley Temple was a child star her mother took her to see Santa, who then asked Temple for her autograph. Temple later said that was when she stopped believing in Santa.
John Schmid, Boronia

Troops deal
Surely it should take more than a party of members of parliament – no matter how senior – travelling overseas to announce that more foreign troops and weaponry are to occupy our soil (“Japan joins US and Australia to counter China’s ‘dangerous and coercive actions’”, 7/12). Especially when those troops are from a nation that is expressing animosity towards our greatest trading partner with whom it is in commercial competition. It is even more concerning that the occupying troops are from a country has recently demonstrated instability and irrationality in its own internal governance.
Michael North, Pakenham

Protections for volunteers
Re: “Help wanted in the land of opportunity”, (5/12) – an overriding issue for volunteers is the lack of a voice for volunteers. The state’s 2.3 million volunteers – 42 per cent of Victorians over 15 – have few rights. We volunteers give time, skills and life experience freely to organisations, offering home help, food deliveries, cooking, court support, school support, hospital visits, and much more. Yet we are not covered by the same rights as employees, meaning volunteers can be “stood down” without impunity. The Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Commission only protects volunteers from discrimination in certain circumstances.

Unless an independent volunteers advocacy is established, the lack of volunteers will, sadly, continue to decline.
Geraldine O’Sullivan, Hawthorn

Necessary cull
If roaming cats really do kill that many birds, as some of your correspondents suggest, then we could certainly do with a few marauding moggies out here. Indian mynas, noisy miners and blackbirds are pests in plague proportions and should be culled.
Greg Hardy, Upper Ferntree Gully

Curfew called for
I would like to join with those who want a 24-hour cat curfew. I live in Anglesea next to the wetlands and river. We get migratory birds such as the Latham’s snipe from Asia, and other water birds. Their numbers have decreased markedly over the last few years and yet I still see cats skulking in the bushes and the bush at any hour, day or night.
Margaret Collings, Anglesea

Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding

And another thing

Summer weather
In Game of Thrones “Winter is coming”, in Melbourne “Winter is not going”.
Bryan Fraser, St Kilda West

Indonesia
Twelve years for his part in killing 202 people (“‘Family focus’ for Bali bomb maker who wants to open a restaurant”, 8/12). That’s about three weeks per murder. Yet you get one year if you have sex when not married?
Lance Ross, Kooyong

No sex outside marriage. Leniency for a mass murderer. No more Bali holidays for my family. Graham Cadd, Dromana

The Balinese people are only just beginning to recover from the horrendous economic damage caused by the pandemic. A tourist boycott over matters of the law-makers in far-off Jakarta would achieve little other than further suffering.
Keith Fletcher, Desa Banjar, Bali

Furthermore
Sounds like David Warner should take his bat and ball and go home (“‘Dirty laundry’: Warner rejects public hearing”).
Robyn Stonehouse, Camberwell

Re: “UK and US push nuclear power” (8/12), I’d much rather have my nuclear power plant a safe 150 million kilometres away.
Stuart Gluth, Northcote

I can’t help getting a wry smile when I read about curfews for cats, because they are “roaming predatory animals”. Perhaps it’s about time we considered curfews for the greatest roaming predator of all – humans.
Phil Labrum, Flemington

What a poisoned chalice the Liberal leadership is. Sensible aspirants will have held their fire for at least four years.
Bronwen Bryant, St Kilda West

Vince Rugari. More power to your pen and wit. More please. Robin McRae, Charlton

Re: “Melbourne at epicentre of a new apartment rental model” (The Age, 8/12). Does anyone know what has happened to “centre”?
Kim Lockwood, Eaglemont

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