This has resulted in an unprecedented and exponential spread of the virus, a lockdown with no end in sight, and a far greater negative impact on the NSW economy than a two-week lockdown would have caused.
Barrington Salter, Neutral Bay
When a natural disaster (such as flood or fire) occurs, authorities pull no punches. The word “please” is used infrequently. The police message is “You must leave your house immediately.” COVID-19 deserves a similar unvarnished response.
Berejiklian’s repeated use of the phrase “please be advised” is an indication that she does not want to offend anyone in case she loses their vote. Daniel Andrews, Mark McGowan, Steven Marshall, Andrew Barr, Jacinda Ardern and Annastasia Palaszczuk do not pull their punches. They are not afraid to say “you must stay at home”. That is why their infection figures are in double digits, not hundreds. COVID-19 is a formidable adversary and it will only be defeated by leaders brave enough to use every weapon in their arsenal.
Mike Reddy, Vincentia
And still we don’t go to level 4 restrictions? Anything to protect her original mistake from being proven to be the major cause of this outbreak. Get out of the way, Gladys, and let an intelligent leader take over so we can get back to normal life in some meaningful timeframe.
Gary Bigelow, Teralba
Stop the sale of public assets before there’s nothing left
The desire by governments to privatise our assets thereby creating monopolies continues to amaze (“Corporate roads plan a budget bomb,” August 19). Likewise, the obsession that public transport needs to be profitable. Why should there be “tension between safety and turning a profit”? There are many examples of our taxes being spent without concern on non-profitable assets – government schools, libraries, parks and beaches, hospitals, war memorials, state and national art galleries and, dare it be mentioned, even the state and federal governments.
Miles Harvey, Newtown
Once again, the NSW Coalition’s dirty DNA is revealed – privatising public assets while furiously shopping around the big firms for an accountancy trick to hide the true cost from their constituents. Can we please show these spivs and self-righteous hypocrites the door before there is nothing left to sell.
Phil Bradshaw, Naremburn
The Berejiklian government has apparently resorted to hiding its finances under tricky accounting, offering splendid results every budget day. Unfortunately, the laws have changed, so that accounting has become more transparent and hiding under shells is now not so clever. It is surprising that the government’s Transport Asset Holding Entity (don’t you love that waffly name?) isn’t registered in the Cayman Islands.
Donald Hawes, Peel
Government plans to privatise the state’s transport system would only benefit the buyer at the expense of the public, through rising fares and reduced services. When I studied economics it was believed public transport had to be run by governments as it could not be successfully run on a profit basis. This is even more so these days with the disparity of incomes in the Australian economy. If one has never lived in poverty or on a low income they cannot understand the many problems caused by privatisation of essential services.
Barry O’Connell, Old Toongabbie
Our young, ambitious NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, clearly enjoys his high profile and is beginning to fancy himself as one of Ms Berejiklian’s successors. If this latest exposure of semantic trickery (ie. your setting up the Transport Asset Holding Entity) to help “balance” the state’s books is how you sleep well at night, then you’re clearly too clever for your own boots, let alone those of a future premier.
Nathan English, Lilyfield
Successive governments’ obsession with restructuring and gutting once great organisations that provided high-level technical and operational advice in favour of softer, commercially based operational advice, leaves us in a potentially risky position in terms of maintenance costs v bottom line results, as one expert opinion suggests. Where once good technical advice came from the likes of SRA, RTA/RMS, PWD, MSB, we are now reliant on such advice from PWC, KPMG, EY etc. My concern is that we will be left with SFA.
David Corry, Como West
PM’s reply again found wanting
Scott Morrison’s return to demonising genuine refugees arriving on our shores by boat demonstrates that his ego is the impediment to action. He, and the relevant ministers, are spouting figures going back years of our generous acceptance of Afghan refugees while simultaneously saying other countries aren’t doing any better. Our treatment of Afghan temporary visa holders, our exclusion of Afghan refugees in Indonesia from applying to come to Australia and our chaotic scramble to rescue Australian citizens and workers in Afghanistan is heartbreaking. Morrison does not seek to unite Australians but to divide us. His response now, as on so many occasions is too little and too late.
Jennifer Raines, Newtown
After reading Garth Callender’s article suggesting that there were four positives in our participation in the invasion and subsequent 20-year occupation of Afghanistan (“Four reasons going into Afghanistan wasn’t a waste”, August 19). The first three points he raised were all about the improvement in the ADF. I ask, is it OK to take military action against a country and its people, who have done nothing to us, to improve the quality of our guns, personnel and tactics? His fourth point about Afghans experiencing democracy and treatment of women is part of the Australian government’s embellishment of why we went there. Time will tell the effectiveness of this claim.
Ron Brown, Wallsend
There were 128 seats on an Australian plane leaving Afghanistan, and we only took 26 Afghans. I think when I watched the news this week there were plenty of people desperate to leave. Shame on us. We can’t leave anyone behind especially those who helped the Australian and allied forces. Their lives are at risk and this is the thanks we give them.
Jane Armitage, Mosman
Too little, too late, the Prime Minister states that at least 3000 Afghan refugees will be able to come to Australia in the next 10 months. Now he just needs to organise Taliban-Uber to drive them to the airport.
Graham Cochrane, Balmain
If there was such a thing as ProstateScreen NSW for the early detection of prostate cancer, would the health minister now cancel all services because of COVID-19?
Helen Blake, Mortlake
Brad Hazzard dismisses concerns about the closing of BreastScreen during the pandemic. He advises us to “… go to your doctor if you have symptoms”. He doesn’t seem to understand that once you develop symptoms (usually a lump), the cancer is well advanced. Matches his previously displayed attitude to women.
Toni Lorentzen, Fennell Bay
Leading from behind
The PM may be backing Qantas on staff jabs (“PM backs approach by Qantas on staff jabs”, August 19). That’s because he’s leading the nation from the back on this like so many other issues.
Once again, he fails to lead, letting employers like SPC and Qantas go where they need to go, without any government-led framework in which they can operate. He’s letting them take the legal risks while he cheers them on, like a World War I general, from behind the front. His government needs to pass laws, so employers have a sound legal basis on which to establish staff and customer vaccination policies.
Tony Powell, MacMasters Beach
As healthcare organisations and airlines mandate vaccination against COVID-19, it is likely that pressure will increase on all companies to follow suit. Also, it will make life for those unvaccinated more difficult.
Gillian Baldwin, Windradyne
It’s time the federal government stood up. Vaccines reduce sickness, hospitalisation and deaths. For vaccinations to be effective most of us need to be inoculated. Stand up Scott Morrison and make a decision that is good for the country. Legislate so that employers can mandate compulsory vaccination.
David Cahill, Northwood
The “Big Australian” is attempting to obtain environmental credibility by selling its fossil fuel assets and walking away from responsibility for the environmental degradation that it has caused (“Miner’s slick move from oil a nod to the environment”, August 18). One coal mine that BHP is having problems selling, the biggest in NSW, has been revalued from an asset worth $550 million to a liability of $275 million (“Moving the goal posts: BHP drops price to offload mine”, August 19).
Surely BHP must underwrite all rehabilitation costs as part of the sale process even if it ignores all the damage to the world’s environment that it has been party to by the burning of the fossil fuels that have added so much to their profits for decades.
Keith Woodward, Avalon Beach
BHP’s abnegation of its responsibility for the carbon emissions of the business units they are selling off to Woodside is not relieved by or included in that sale. If it were the sale price would be zero – or less. It isn’t opting out of emitting any carbon, just pushing it elsewhere. This transaction will not reduce global carbon emissions by a single tonne.
Andrew Taubman, Queens Park
Give teachers a break
Whether teachers are doing Zoom lessons or using paper packages, they are working (“Principal defends teachers amid ‘free time’ criticism”, August 19). They are the ones preparing the teaching and work packages however they are delivered. No one else will photocopy them and put them together. Teachers do not have personal assistants.
In some schools, it is not possible to teach by Zoom as there are students who cannot access this type of learning. Whatever approach is used, there are those students who do not do the work. The teacher is not the parent/guardian at home with them and is sometimes helpless to do anything under those circumstances.
I know teachers are working hard from observation and conversations with them, some well into the evening as they juggle the home learning/teaching they have to do. Give teachers a break.
Augusta Monro, Dural
No contest of ideas
Like so many informed political insiders, Niki Savva tells us it was Labor’s progressive agenda that lost the last election, when objective observers could tell you it was Bill Shorten (“Albanese steers towards win”, August 19). The Coalition and Clive Palmer had only one message – don’t vote for Bill. It worked. The idea that there was a contest of ideas and Labor lost is wrong.
Phil Bradshaw, Naremburn
I am intrigued by the number of people who are wearing masks with their noses poking out above. Do they not breathe through their nose or are they under the misapprehension that the virus only enters through the mouth?
Bill White, South Grafton
I received an SMS yesterday from the Australian Passport Office telling me to renew my passport to be “travel-ready”. I wish.
Judith Fleming, Sawtell
Dead cat bonce
We plan to delay purchasing implements to enable Ruth to cut Ian’s hair until a photo of Alison Stewart’s husband’s new hairdo appears in the Herald (Letters, August 19).
Ian and Ruth Falconer, Turramurra
There are many and various men’s hairstyles like the crew, the mohawk, rats tail and the mullet. This had me ruminating over the state of my uncontrollably uncut hair, and a suitable name for my over-the-ears-long-COVID-style messy mop. I’m calling it the “earmuff cut”.
Richard Stewart, Pearl Beach
A hosing down
Paul Parramore (Letters, August 19), I think our PM is practising holding a hose. That should help.
Terry Tunkunas, Leura
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