It’s a struggleJuly 3, 2021
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It’s a struggle
Jon Faine (“Good, the bad and COVID”, The Sunday Age, 27/6) struck a chord with me, and I struggle to not let my “bad Jon” show too much, too often.
I have always proudly identified myself as an Australian, but during 2020 and 2021 I now increasingly see myself as a Victorian. This change has been driven by our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and ministers Josh Frydenberg and Greg Hunt, who took every opportunity to pour scorn on Victoria and its actions in going into lockdown early to contain the virus.
I am proud Victoria is served well by those who stand at daily press conferences and answer all questions until the journalists have exhausted all avenues to get their gotcha moment.
It was inevitable that COVID-19 would reappear in NSW. The NSW press conferences are such a contrast, with an aggressive health minister, a premier who cuts the conference short, and with the rhetoric taken to another level, from being gold standard to now being “best in the world”. This level of self-belief, and their delay in acting, has placed all of Australia in jeopardy.
Doug Shaw, Sunbury
The job is her right
The debate among members of the Labor Party ranks about the return of Clare Burns to her position as party boss begins to immediately tread the fine line of discrimination (“Labor riven over return of party boss”, The Age, 1/7).
Receiving endorsement from Adem Somyurek is not grounds to form an argument to question her return, in fact it’s a feeble and perfunctory basis for questioning her.
Also irrelevant is the fact that in her absence planning for the next state and federal elections is “well advanced”. Clare Burns is entitled to the position she held prior to her maternity leave, with internal politicking being a precarious reason to deny her her rights of employment without genuine legal standing.
Sexism and discrimination is something that will turn my vote away from Labor, and I assume many more would feel the same. The ALP needs to show leadership and maturity on this and get it right for the sake of public confidence.
Julian Roberts, Burwood
Gearing up from neutral
On Friday Scott Morrison proclaimed “we need to change gears for the road ahead”, but during this whole pandemic he has been in neutral and has recoiled from any responsibility or accountability.
Perhaps now he could just try to get into first gear.
Frank Stipic, Mentone
He put it on the table
I write in response to the article “Pascoe’s Dark Emu series likely to still go ahead” (The Age, 2/7).
Bruce Pascoe is a champion of First Nations people, who has posited a case that Indigenous people prior to European settlement were not exclusively nomadic.
What Professor Pascoe has done is set out one set of hypotheses, while Peter Sutton and Keryn Walshe, in their book Farmers or Hunter Gatherers – the Dark Emu Debate have set out their arguments to refute these claims.
Any hypothesis may be supported or refuted (and the truth is probably in between), but the critical point of this particular debate is that the conversation about pre-colonial Indigenous society is on the table ready to be reinvigorated.
Sandra Fordyce-Voorham, Black Rock
Not a good look
It’s good to see clearly set out our federal government’s funding priorities. Car parks at stations in a marginal Liberal seat held by Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar, $42 million up front. Funding to preserve some of our national archive, $67.7 million over four years.
Not enough to preserve all of the endangered archives, but it will have to do. I’m sorry, Senator Amanda Stoker, no matter how you spin it, it is not a good look to allow the permanent loss of some of our national archive because of a lack of funding.
Anne Maki, Alphington
Scott Morrison’s press conference on Friday was a perfect example of a lot of words informing the audience of something they already knew.
He announced a plan that sounded like a political solution to a problem, full of vague, unenforceable waffle.
No responsibility was taken, vague timelines were set, no numbers were provided. A plan without stated timelines or KPIs is not a plan, it’s political salesman waffle.
Peter Roche, Carlton
An irrelevant statement
It’s true, more people may die climbing stairs than die from a blood clot following vaccination. But the statement is irrelevant. Why add to the first risk by taking a second risk?
One should compare alternative risks: deaths after infection if not vaccinated with deaths from clotting if vaccinated.
Alan Gunther, Carlton
Sheeting home blame
Many thanks to George Megalogenis for his excellent article exposing how the Morrison government politicised the allocation of COVID funding to schools and universities (“Learning to live without”, The Sunday Age, 27/6).
However, he did not include another egregious use of JobKeeper. This was to allow private universities (but not public ones) to access JobKeeper payments, a disgraceful discounting of our public higher educational institutions. The loss of so many teaching positions in our public universities can therefore be directly attributed to the Morrison government.
Valerie Gerrand, West Melbourne
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