While others faltered, we acted decisively

Credit:llustration: Cathy Wilcox

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While others faltered, we acted decisively

Chris Uhlmann says: ″⁣Lockdowns have already exacted a price that cannot be measured in dollars or over the short term and the yo-yo imprisonment of cities will eventually cripple communities economically and psychologically.″⁣ (Opinion, 3/2) Recently, my friend wrote to me from Germany: ″⁣I have corona blues, like many here. The European politicians know from Australia, New Zealand etc how to handle the pandemic. But they are not acting.″⁣

Australia’s response is seen by many as much better than half-hearted attempts to deal with the virus which have led to more deaths and, on top of this, crippled economies, and with citizens worn out as well. All credit to our state and territory leaders, not our Prime Minister who has been critical of some lockdowns and border closures, for achieving our current success.
Peter Ross, Port Melbourne

Surely, an outbreak from the tennis was inevitable

So after allowing tennis players and their entourages from all over the world, including countries where the coronavirus is running rampant, into Australia, the virus has reappeared in Melbourne. Who could have ever predicted this would happen?
John Howes, Rowville

It is unfair to blame the Australian Open

This may be a rather simplistic view but in response to those attacking the staging of the Australian Open due to the danger posed by a hotel worker testing positive to COVID-19: Isn’t there an equal chance that if the hotel were full of returning Australians, the same might have happened? The coronavirus surely has not just fancied a tennis holiday.
Wendy Hinson, Wantirna

We need purpose-built quarantine facilities

This is becoming too stupid. We know that hotels are unsuitable for quarantine. Once again, in Victoria this time, we have a breakout. The building of purpose-built quarantine facilities (such as Darwin’s), is the way to go. There is plenty of land near the airport, close to freeways and hospitals. Plus, COVID-19 will be with us for years and who knows when the next pandemic will arrive? So why not build a quarantine facility now, and quickly? Economically, it makes sense.
Alan Williams, Port Melbourne

Take a leaf from China’s book and start building

I could not agree more with readers calling for dedicated quarantine facilities instead of so-called hotel quarantine. These facilities should be staffed by suitably trained professionals. If China is able to build hospitals in a matter of days to cope with the number of COVID-19 victims, why are we unable to come up with a better quarantine system?
Betty Cardwell, Chirnside Park

Next step: compulsory masks and daily tests

It is highly transmissible, and it is in the air. Not love, but a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 in hotel quarantine. Will this mean that international travellers in hotel quarantine will now wear masks and will they get daily tests? According to the Health Department’s website, international travellers do not have to wear masks in quarantine and they are tested twice, on days three and 11. International travellers in hotel quarantine who have COVID-19, whether symptomatic or not, need to be identified promptly, and transferred to a ″⁣health hotel″⁣ for isolation and medical care.
Andrew Baird, Elwood

If you wear a mask, please wear it correctly

In my travels, I have observed many people wearing masks either under their chins or with their noses exposed. I am in hospital recovering from major surgery, and notice that some of the nurses are wearing their masks in the fashion described above. Why do these people bother to wear a mask, since the manner in which they wear it defeats the purpose?
Michael Higgins, Erica


Case study in sexism

Alex Ellinghausen’s excellent photos (The Age, 4/2) tell a story familiar to most women and experienced by many on a daily basis, often in their workplace: everyday sexism. Craig Kelly is the typical overbearing man, oblivious of his own condescension and aggressive demeanour.

Tanya Plibersek responds in the way women are conditioned to from childhood: rebuke but in a way that is de-escalating; use humour to ensure that his ego is protected as a protection against increasing aggression; and never be so strident that you are labelled shrill, hysterical or unhinged.

I have only admiration for her: the skill and deftness she demonstrates in managing this man and the situation is outstanding. But this should not be required of her. The current culture of toxic masculinity that exists in our highest institution must be addressed.
Maxine Hardinge, Clunes

Why is Kelly protected?

I do not understand how the federal government can continue to defend the indefensible, that is Craig Kelly. Despite the rebuke from the Prime Minister, he seems to have protected species status. A dangerous fool indeed.
Ann Maginness, Cheltenham

When will the penny drop?

Craig Kelly has highlighted the almost accepted practice by politicians to be able to spruik half-truths, unsubstantiated claims or straight out lies to Parliament and Australians without any obvious consequences. A dressing down by the Prime Minister after the damage has been done is ineffective and does not deal with the issue of politicians being ″⁣permitted″⁣ to mislead the public.

All political statements should be subjected to rigorous fact-checking and recidivists like Kelly should be fined or suspended from Parliament. They need to be accountable for what they say, especially given the influence their statements can exert. I am gob smacked we have to raise these issues, especially when we have witnessed the recent events in the US on the back of lies.
David Conolly, Brighton

Accessibility for all

The $800 million upgrade of Australia’s amphibious army fleet (The Age, 4/2) will be used for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. I hope the Defence Minister remembers that the LARC vehicles used in the Mallacoota evacuation during the 2019-20 bushfires could not accept people in wheelchairs.
Cathy Wheel, Castlemaine

Dangerous cost-cutting

With the catastrophic fires and destruction in the west and heavy rain in the east of Australia, why didn’t our Prime Minister dispatch four or five of the brand new, large, aerial fire-fighting tanker aircraft his government purchased after our last disastrous summer fire season? Oh, that’s right. He saved money and did not buy any. Great budgeting, Scott Morrison.
Doug Steley, Heyfield

It’s time to act, PM

No Australian should have been surprised by the photos of the horrific fires which are devastating the Perth Hills. Similar imagery confronted us one year ago with our east coast fires. This is no longer exceptional, but the new normal with climate change.

Scott Morrison has declared that “our goal is to reach net zero emissions as soon as possible, and preferably by 2050” (The Age, 2/2). As prime minister since August 2018, he has had ample time to formulate detailed policy on this critical issue. If he really wants change, he must offer incentives for change now, especially if he hopes for an early re-election. Voters prefer leaders to laggards.
Neil Wilkinson, Mont Albert

The inhumanity continues

Jan Stewart (Letters, 4/2) correctly states that farming practices for some meat products are now humane. The issue is the mass transportation and slaughter conditions.
Vicki Jordan, Lower Plenty

Fictitious ‘town planning’

When Tullamarine (now Melbourne) Airport opened in 1970, it was then in the country, to mitigate noise pollution and allow for expansion as the population increased. Unfortunately the non-existent planning has allowed the construction of residential suburbs so close to the airport that a curfew is being proposed (The Age, 4/2). This means it will have seriously curtailed operating hours. This again demonstrates a total failure of the town planning process in Melbourne.
Mike Francis, Fitzroy

An obsession with ’growth’

When I was a little boy in the 1970’s and 1980’s and we came into the city, mum and dad would point out the cranes. I remember responding, more than once, “They still haven’t finished building it”. It is 2021 and I am still saying that. Growth, for the sake of growth, is the ideology of the cancer cell.
Michael Neighbour, Beaconsfield Upper

The right to childcare

Angus McLeod (Letters, 4/2) says that while he sympathises with parents about the cost of childcare, he would like a government subsidy “for a decision which is, effectively, a lifestyle choice” – a Maclaren 675LT Spider supercar. His trite and contemptible analogy emphasises the problem faced by younger women (and men) in choosing to use childcare where costs sometimes outweigh the benefits of a second income.

Our decision makers are out of touch, and ultimately sexist, about a woman’s right to work and have children, and to have the right to access affordable childcare. How much longer will this situation remain? The benefits of affordable childcare far outweigh the costs.
Sue Anson, Mount Macedon

Lack of financial literacy

It is galling to again read about Tim Wilson’s campaign, which aims to let first-home buyers access their funds for a housing deposit before being required to save it as superannuation (The Age, 4/2). Why is he ″⁣advising″⁣ people on one of the largest investments of their lives to the detriment of their retirement funds, their second largest investment?

In contrast, when the governor of the Reserve Bank, Philip Lowe, suggests that a permanent increase to JobSeeker should be implemented as a “measure of fairness” to the unemployed, Mr Wilson accuses him of “exceeding his mandate” (The Age, 4/2). He appeals to people’s greed and ignores the great need in our communities. This is shameful and very short-sighted.
Caitriona Prendergast, Black Rock

Subjective ’free speech”

With respect, Tim Wilson, Philip Lowe has more right to state the obvious, that JobSeeker is too low, than Craig Kelly has to spread his mindless drivel. As usual you are being selective in your defence of free speech.
John Everett, Eltham

Eddie’s stayed too long

As a Collingwood member for 24 years, and a supporter for much longer, the last few days have been shameful. They come on top of many years of other shameful incidents that have been well discussed again this week.

They demonstrate what we have known for too long: Eddie McGuire cannot stay and fix the very deep-seated racist culture at Collingwood because he himself is the problem; he simply cannot be the solution. He must go, and go now, before we as a club can begin to rebuild a culture that we can be proud to be associated with, one that is diverse, inclusive and of the 21st century.
Elizabeth Proust, Dawes Point

Don’t pick on Eddie

Our public outrage should be directed towards corporate Australia that demands heads of private organisations defend their stricken business the way Eddie McGuire has done.

We know its modus operandi during a crisis. Say how proud you are of your organisation, talk about how it has addressed concerning issues, add that retrospection is a marvellous thing and that the organisation wants to sit down with the aggrieved parties. Explain that similar issues exist in other sectors and that the critical report is not in the spirit of the organisation. Promise that it will do better. If none of that flies with the public, the head of the corporation should come out 24 hours later and apologise if anyone has been offended.
Dora Houpis, Richmond

Not so independent?

David Syme, the founder of the fair and independent Age newspaper, would turn over in his grave. Last year Nine Entertainment, the owner of The Age, donated $62,906 to the Liberal Party and $27,5000 to Labor – ″⁣Liberals, Nationals lead cash race″⁣ (The Age, 2/2). How can a newspaper justify partisan, political donations? At least now we know where some of our subscriptions go.
David Baker, Parkdale

Are we paying the cost?

When my local ATM closed down, I decided to withdraw money from the local post office as I had done before. However, my bank now charges a $3 transaction fee for these transactions, something I only discovered at the end of the month. I wonder if this is the deal brokered by former CEO of Australia Post Christine Holgate’s executives, with their fabulous new timepieces. If so, it strikes me as being mean spirited for pensioners and others on low incomes who do not have access to an ATM. But, hey, Cartier watches do not come cheap.
David O’Reilly, Park Orchards

The superior species

I spent a glorious hour on Middle Park beach recently, watching a pod of 10 to 15 dolphins cavorting just off shore, complete with juveniles leaping from the water.
The small groups of people on the beach were captivated – but apparently not the jet skier who roared past on a few occasions, oblivious of both the spectacle before him and the threat his chosen “entertainment” was causing. Fortunately, the dolphins were way too clever and easily avoided him. It was fairly clear who was the more intelligent species between delphinus delphis and aquahoon ignoramus.
Bruce McClure, Middle Park


Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding


So it took Plibersek for Morrison to get tough with Kelly.
Tony Haydon, Springvale

Morrison asks Kelly to respect the Chief Medical Officer’s advice. Now can he ask ministers to respect climate scientists’ advice.
Joel Carr, Seddon

Morrison should be more proactive and less reactive. Reprimanding Kelly at this stage is lip service.
Lisa Bishop, Macleod

I want to join the Flat Earth Society. How do I get in touch with Kelly or Christensen?
David Lyall, Mount Eliza

Spot on, Shaun Carney (4/2). We need our light on the hill, we want it to shine brightly and we demand it be powered by renewable energy.
Helen Moss, Croydon

We should award Angela Merkel an Order of Australia and a ″⁣well done″⁣ for her leadership.
John Wilkins, Doncaster East


How many times did Andrews lecture us that no round of golf was worth someone’s life? It seems that a tennis match is.
Ed Veber, Malvern East

Will the virus escape into the community? Quarantine in big cities places us all at risk.
Doris LeRoy, Altona

Hotels. Neither health facilities nor prisons for refugees.
Melanie Lazarow, Brunswick

Coronavirus 15: Tennis Australia 0.
Paul Dockeary, Seddon


″⁣Getting it wrong″⁣ doesn’t cut it, Eddie. The fact that it went this far demonstrates your lack of intelligence and understanding of racism.
Jane Laver, St Kilda

I’m amazed the Premier says Eddie shouldn’t resign. It indicates that Dan has a problem.
Gopal Gupta, Reservoir

Eddie McGuire, the Millionaire in the Hot Seat.
Edward Combes, Wheelers Hill

Who’s a tool now, Nick Kyrgios?
John Mosig, Kew

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