We want to hear Tim Wilson’s own viewsDecember 13, 2021
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We want to hear the MP’s own views
Tim Wilson (“Independents’ surprising impact”, The Age, 13/12) misses the point of the “Voices of” movement. “Voices of” reflect the community frustration with the major political parties, the lack of focus on issues many people are concerned about and the “dumbing down” of the messaging to each party’s daily talking points.
Instead of hearing his views on why Zoe Daniel isn’t an appropriate candidate for Goldstein, I’d prefer to hear Wilson’s views on a federal ICAC, hear him push for a stronger position on addressing climate change and hear him stand up against the appalling treatment of female parliamentarians and staff.
David Brophy, Beaumaris
Don’t be mistaken, this is a Liberal revolt
The Liberal Party has two major hurdles to overcome in seeking its return to office. The first is its dismal record on climate change and its lack of a coherent plan in dealing with it. The second is its “women problem”, that being, the perception that it is indifferent to the treatment of women, and the fact that it has too few women in Parliament.
Tim Wilson has missed one thing in his analysis of the surge of independent candidates. He has completely overlooked the fact that the candidates are women. His conclusion, that it will be Labor and Green voters who will be voting for these candidates, is preposterous. Why would these voters turn to candidates who would score equally well on gender equity and climate as their own parties, but whose policies on economics, equality, cost-of-living etc are unknown? Time for a reality check, Tim. This is a Liberal revolt, and it will only be solved by reform within the Liberal Party.
Margaret Brennan, Yarraville
Labor, Greens the losers with rise of independents
As Tim Wilson suggests, high-profile independent candidates will probably take more votes from Labor and the Greens than the Liberal Party. In seats such as Goldstein and Kooyong, the next election has already become a two-candidate contest between the sitting Liberal MP and an independent challenger. Labor and Greens candidates will struggle to make much impact.
Labor and the Greens are likely to run low-key campaigns in quite a few electorates, realising that their best interests now lie with an electable independent candidate, rather than their own unelectable ones.
Rod Wise, Surrey Hills
Precarious position for incumbent revealed
Tim Wilson attacked independents, using a series of half truths and logical fallacies. As a Goldstein constituent, what I see, every time Tim Wilson attacks Zoe Daniel, is his panic. For the first time in his political career, Mr Wilson has a serious challenger. He does not, however, have a positive record of success to show for his six years in Parliament. Mr Wilson’s conduct suggests he is well aware of his precarious position.
Yaron Gottlieb, Elsternwick
Independent candidates actually listen
Having just read Tim Wilson’s piece I am not sure where to start in critiquing it. It is an article based on twisted truths and appealing to voters’ fears. Independents do come from grassroots community support and there is no secret agenda. The agenda of independents is more about what they are for, rather than what they are against. They are for increasing action on climate change, transparency in government (getting a federal integrity commission which seems so hard for our PM), equality and integrity generally. The base of the “Voices of” movement in Goldstein is made up of people from many different backgrounds including some disenchanted Liberals.
They will vote on the issues according to the wishes of the electorate. This is different from the major parties who vote, pretty much always, along party lines. This is fine if you are a voter who believes every single one of your party’s positions. Independent candidates listen to their community and this will be such a refreshing change.
Jan Marshall, Brighton
We must help Afghans …
Dr Phoebe Wynn-Pope’s article (“We must not hinder aid to starving Afghans”, The Age, 13/12) is tragic in its description of the relentless plight of so many Afghans. As she articulates, it is women and children whose suffering is unimaginable. Afghanistan is being strangled. Australia’s participation in the war means we have a responsibility to act, contributing to aid, especially as winter and starvation are causing unspeakable human misery and death.
Judith Morrison, Nunawading
… sorry, not our problem
United Nations agencies and various NGOs are crying out for money to help starving and freezing citizens of Afghanistan. How is it the responsibility of anyone other than the country’s defacto government? If the Taliban are serious about helping their own people, surely they should reach out to the other Islamic states. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia, Iran, Brunei and Indonesia to start with. Sorry, Afghanistan is not my problem.
Stanley R. Burgess, Healesville
We need to be reminded of the stuff-ups with the original COVID-19 vaccine rollout as the federal government has now announced an extra 150 million shots available. Remember, this is for a population of 25 million of whom 90 per cent are double vaccinated. So what happens to the remaining 125 million shots when they go out of date? Another example of poor planning and a waste of our taxes.
Melvin Furd, Armadale
Life beyond the limit
The devastating tornadoes in the US midwest and south are out of season, reminiscent of our bushfires of unprecedented intensity that started in the spring of 2019. While the Coalition and Labor bicker over their hopelessly inadequate emissions-reduction targets for 2030, it is only the Greens that have a goal of a 75 per cent reduction that is in synch with the urgent call of climate scientists to limit temperature rises to 1.5 degrees. We are already seeing glimpses of what a world beyond this limit would be like.
Peter McCarthy, Mentone
Fill it up, please
Why do cereal manufacturers only half fill the boxes? They could fit twice as many in the delivery vans and save money and space on the supermarket shelves. Other items do the same, all to deceive the buyer into thinking they are buying a larger quantity than the true amount.
Lance Ross, Kooyong
Don’t forget carers
My husband had a stroke eight years ago. Thanks to an aged care package, he has been able to stay at home. Over the years, the healthcare workers who have attended my husband have been numerous; all have been cheerful and wanting to assist.
Their work is absolutely necessary and they are not given due recognition or payment.
So, too, the carer, often a family member who lives 24 hours a day with a disabled loved one. We get paid under $90 a week. If there is to be a pay increase, please include us, too.
Pauline Duncan, Maffra
Time to stand up
If Australia’s body politic allows the United States to have Julian Assange tried before US courts, it will irrevocably diminish Australia. The cynicism in Asian nations towards our view that we are independent of the US in our foreign affairs policies will affect trade, investment and multilateral relations in the Indo-Pacific region. Put colloquially, we will be taken for a ride by the Americans in those areas if we don’t stand up for ourselves over Julian Assange.
Des Files, Brunswick
Nurses in pole position
Nurses were redeployed to fill a shortage in our intensive care unit early in the pandemic. At least one would like to do the ICU course but cannot afford the $15,000 cost. If the government can contribute $81.6 million in one year for a grand prix (that didn’t eventuate) then surely, it should at least give equal funds to enable nurses who want to upskill. These nurses, and indeed other essential workers, would provide more “value for money” than an annual four-day sporting event.
Joan Logan, South Melbourne
Reform the only choice
Stephen Duckett and Hal Swerissen are quite right to continue to reiterate the complexities of aged care reform (“Why home care sector needs overhaul”, The Age, 13/12). The aged care royal commission’s report provides full details of why the federal government should stop following the easier trajectory of giving more money to the existing system. Instead, the government should begin the task of establishing a new system of high-quality care, delivered by workers who have undertaken high-quality training courses.
The aged care system is like an old property which is unsuitable for renovation – the sought-after end result is obtained by clearing the land and building a new construction fit for purpose. Reform would provide what is needed and consequently be the soundest financial choice as well.
Ruth Farr, Blackburn South
Look closer to home
After 33 years as a loyal member of the Australian Education Union, I exited the union and spent the past three years taking a risk by not being affiliated. Why? Because the union had become ineffectual in fighting for the issues for which it once stood. Smaller classes, better wages and conditions. It’s fine to raise money for schools in poorer countries, but it’s not what the union’s purpose is. I wanted my $800 to ensure improved student outcomes, here in Victoria.
Frank Flynn, Cape Paterson
I find it deeply disturbing that people compare the Holocaust and Nazi Germany to the Australian quarantine facilities and lockdown rules. To suggest that they are even remotely similar to a Nazi concentration camp is both ignorant of the atrocities performed in these camps, and disrespectful of all who suffered at the hands of the Nazis. People need to study history. They should be grossly embarrassed at their lack of awareness.
Debra Rhodes, Armadale
Safety net for all
I am repelled by anti-vaccine sentiment, folk that seem to have no sense of civic duty or care for others beyond themselves – particularly our healthcare system – through their selfishness and wilful ignorance.
However, our healthcare system, and its foundation – Medicare – must be above this. Medicare is designed to support all Australians and is a safety net to collect us all up, to care for us all, equally. All of us. No matter what. No matter how repellent.
Jackie Smith, North Fitzroy
It is great news indeed that the Australian Energy Market Operator has unexpectedly announced it has a draft plan indicating it will be possible to phase out the use of coal for producing Australia’s electricity by 2043. If this news does become a reality, it will enable Australia to hold its head high in relation to dealing with climate change in a positive manner and on a global scale.
Brian Measday, Myrtle Bank, SA
Don’t test asymptomatic
Can anyone see the point in constant queues for tests? The expense and inconvenience is considerable. We are constantly told COVID-19 is not going away, we must live with it, and vaccination is effective protection against severe illness. So why not simply test people who have symptoms. As we do with the flu. Isolating healthy people seems futile when the experts maintain that exposure to some form of coronavirus is inevitable.
Lesley Black, Frankston
Labor will get things done
Sean Kelly is a little unfair (“Is Albanese simply all at sea?”, The Age, 13/2). At the last election, Labor did exactly what Kelly suggests and presented detailed, well thought-out and much-needed policies, but lost. Now the party is a bit more cautious, knowing they will still again be dealing with a largely hostile press, the pernicious influence of mining and fossil-fuel donors, as well as lies from their opponents … all perfectly legal. Labor has already announced policies to address some of the real challenges that face this nation and the world. Some of these were listed by Kelly. More will follow. Unlike the Coalition, which is immobilised, Labor will get things done if they are elected as they will enjoy the support of the Greens and possibly a merry band of independents.
Peter Barry, Marysville
Not everyone can reunite
The emotional scenes at airports and borders of families reuniting after less than two years apart are moving. Hopefully, those reunions will enable all of us to think of refugees in Australia, both those incarcerated and those in the limbo of temporary visas and community detention, both now and when we vote. Reunions with family or even friends are a dream beyond possible realisation while we in Australia allow our governments to continue their cruel treatment of those forced to leave their families.
Jenni King, Camberwell
Time to go, Tim
Dear Tim: Thanks so much for your input (The Age, 13/12) regarding independents in the coming election and your seemingly lucid explanation of their strategic allegiances.
All supposition on your part, however, as the voters will be hoping that any independent elected will be a voice for the community in which they live and not just someone who is constrained and dictated to by adhering to a party line, but a truly independent thinker.
Electorates have been constantly changing in their make-up and so results are not as easily predicted, despite your hopeful explanations. The article should have been attributed to the “soon to depart” federal Liberal Member for Goldstein.
John Paine, Kew East
AND ANOTHER THING …
O joy! Tax cuts. Sooo much better than spending money on the NDIS or aged care.
Evert de Graauw, Wantirna
Careful with those tax cuts, Josh! Make sure there is enough in the kitty for “selective” funding of car parks, “regional” swimming pools, women’s changing rooms …
Greg Curtin, Blackburn South
Delay tax cuts to the wealthy until the economy proves that it can afford them.
Malcolm McDonald, Burwood
How apt! According to the quiz (The Age, 13/12), naughty children get a lump of coal in their stockings. Think of how many lumps will be needed for the Coalition’s stockings.
Doris LeRoy, Altona
All I want for Christmas is a Commonwealth ICAC with teeth.
Brian Marshall, Ashburton
PM, it doesn’t matter what Big Thing you want to put on a stick. What interests voters is what you do with the stick.
Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale
Re the letter H (Letters, 13/12), most dictionaries tell you how to pronounce it. It is aitch.
Judy Trinham, Surrey Hills
At last … the “face-lift industry” is to get a face lift. Those “doctors” may now get a few worry wrinkles!
Myra Fisher, Brighton East
Who else remembers when yes and move was said instead of absolutely and transition?
Peter O’Brien, Newport
I must have been absent when the new brief declared wearing masks on trams is now optional.
Susie Holt, South Yarra
Mr Albanese, your “enough is enough” is not enough. Time is running out for Julian Assange, our courageous Australian citizen.
Andrew and Jan Viney, Blairgowrie
The premise of harvest is to regrow. The moonscapes left two to three years after VicForests’ native forest logging activity indicate otherwise.
Cherie Forrester, Gembrook
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