The government hotline and website were contradictory: you must apply online for a permit to enter Victoria versus you are ineligible to enter if you are in Sydney and not employed in the freight industry. Several of us were detained for five hours, including two hours in a locked bus, at heightened risk of infection, before we were admitted to hotel quarantine at 1.15am the next day. An interview as to suitability for self-isolation was on January 7. I was released to quarantine at home after a second negative test result five days later. An Orwellian experience.
Angela Munro, Carlton North
Overestimating our understanding of science
Australian governments have done a great job in following the advice of scientists in making policy decisions. However, they may have overestimated the population’s capacity to cope with diversity of opinion in the scientific community. It seems we expect ‘‘science’’ to be an agreed set of opinions. It is not. And when the scientists start arguing (which they are supposed to do), many people cannot follow the technical debate and fall back on strongly held ‘‘simple solutions’’. Which are invariably wrong.
Harry Onsman, Elsternwick
Prime Minister, stand up to Craig Kelly
It is ridiculous that our Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly, should have to waste his time explaining that the latest medical studies have not found drugs like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine (advocated by Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly) to be useful in preventing or treating COVID-19 (The Age, 14/1). It is Scott Morrison’s job to call out dangerous fools like Craig Kelly. It is called leadership.
Gail Macrae, Ocean Grove
Australian Open may ruin all our hard work
I am not an epidemiologist, but I possess a modicum of common sense. The coronavirus and highly infectious mutations have escaped quarantine. Given human frailties, it will most likely escape again. The Victorian government and health advisers have placed Victorians, indeed the whole country, at unnecessary risk by allowing egocentric tennis players and their entourages into the state. The hard work put in by Victorians to stem the spread of the virus is undermined by this reckless and unwarranted pursuit of a dollar.
Sue Bennett, Sunbury
Trusting that all precautions have been seen to
I have decided – with some trepidation – that, yes, we should have the tennis here in Melbourne. My reasoning is that life, albeit not as we knew it, must go on. The world has to have something to look forward to. Yes, there are risks but I am certain all precautions have been seen to. I know that does not indemnify Tennis Australia or my man, Dan Andrews, from cases surfacing. I love my tennis. Fingers and everything possible crossed.
Tricia Wenlock, Tarneit
Surely the city needs all the workers it can get
Why is there a scheduled return of up to 50per cent of private sector and 25per cent of public sector staff to their offices from next week (The Age, 15/1)? Both will travel to the CBD and a large number of both work in multi-level buildings.
Daniel Andrews said the government had capped the return of public servants at a lower setting to give the private sector more capacity to bring workers back. Surely all workers should be treated equally. And don’t city retailers and cafes need as many customers as possible? More confusion.
Murray McInnis, Coburg
When Victoria closed its border to NSW, thousands of families along the Murray River packed up and went home. For the NSW traders, sales revenue dropped by more than 95 per cent and many hospitality and tourism businesses just closed. For Victorian traders, revenue fell 30 per cent and the only option was to lay off staff and cut costs.
However, traders still have to pay the invoices for stock which sits on their shelves and rent on empty shops and cafes. Caravan Parks in NSW are empty, tourism business in Victoria are barely ticking over.
The response from our ministers who initiated the devastation? Nothing. Obviously border communities are not important and the families who invest, work incredibly long hours and employ people in the small businesses along the border are sacrificial lambs, yet again. We deserve better from our representatives.
Stephen Luke, Kyabram
System is available…
Responding to Patrick Hennessy (Letters, 15/1) the Victorian QR check-in system is available. We used it to check in to a restaurant in Northcote on Wednesday evening. It can be accessed through the Service Victoria app.
Anne McDonald, Malvern
…and it’s being used
I used the government QR check-in system on Thursday night to check in at Chapel Off Chapel for its reopening performance of the superb singer, Max Riebl. It worked just fine and it was wonderful to be in a theatre at a live performance.
Chris Cocklin, Gisborne
Residents come second
So, Premier Daniel Andrews, the money and kudos of keeping the big-ticket Australian Open in Melbourne is more important to you than the well-being of ordinary Victorians who are stranded both interstate and overseas. Your priorities are astounding.
Josephine Bant, Collingwood
It’s a family name…
Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water, the forces of stupidity-motivated political correctness have attacked and killed off the name of the family-named cheese, Coon (The Age, 14/1). My sympathy to the Coon family.
Michael McNeill, Bendigo
…with a racist meaning
The name in question is now clearly a slur or put down. If Adolf Hitler’s father had invented a cheese and named it after himself, do you think we would be eating Hitler cheese? Or would we have found a more appropriate name for our times?
Graeme Gardner, Reservoir
Ducks doomed to die
Michael Puck (Letters, 15/1) is right to draw attention to the terminal state of the Murray-Darling river system. This waterway is critical for so many species, and historically has provided both nursery and habitat for our native waterbirds. While the ‘‘watery’’ tug of wars between states, farmers and environmentalists continue, surely we could at least cancel the discretionary, recreational slaughter of native ducks in Victoria. Yet the priorities of the Andrews government seem clear. It is working towards another duck shooting season in autumn.
Joan Reilly, Surrey Hills
Over a number of years I have worked for government departments. We were constantly told that if our opinions were different from the government of the day, we could not speak them in public. The threat was that if we did, we would lose our jobs. We got a reminder about this before elections, both federal and state. We were forbidden to hand out ‘‘how to vote’’ cards. Now the Morrison government spouts ‘‘freedom of speech’’. Where was mine? Pure hypocrisy. Thank you, social media platforms.
Leonie Munro, Murtoa
Lend me your ears
The Ides of January fell on the 13th day so how fitting it was that Donald Trump should have been impeached on that day. I cannot wait for some latter day Mark Antony to rise up and, substituting Trump for Caesar, lay out Trump’s gentler qualities, urging people to remember how he stood up for truth and the downtrodden and the dispossessed…and how he wept when the poor were unhappy. I am weeping already.
Claude Miller, Hawthorn
Sorry, a zero star review
In reviewing Donald Trump’s production of Making America Great Again, it has proven to provide a dark interpretation of The Wizard of Oz with homages to both Pulp Fiction and Fatal Attraction. Whilst it has been damned by critics, the production has still found a strong audience at the box office.
Michael Cowan, Wheelers Hill
Put what’s right first
Iris Owen (Letters, 13/1) suggests Australia should ‘‘watch, listen, learn but not follow’’ the United States. However, it is already too late when we have leading politicians afraid to stand up to their parliamentary colleagues who deliberately promote misinformation and lies.
This is exactly what has happened in the US, and too many Republicans are still afraid to cross Donald Trump. He would have been stopped years ago if politicians had stood up for what was right rather than worrying about how he could damage them. They are spineless, as are our Coalition leaders.
Elizabeth Morris, Kennington
Lessons for democracies
The abysmal, chaotic and dangerous display of Donald Trump demonstrates how a powerful nation can be undermined and sabotaged by a president elected by people who have been influenced to believe in alternative facts.
While much of our political structure has been adopted from the US (Senate and House of Representatives), it is fortunate that we have not adopted an elected presidency. Our system of a nominated figurehead, governor-general, works just fine. When we move to republican status, a president nominated by Parliament would ensure no populist narcissist would rise to that position. We can thank the Americans for showing us what not to do.
Roger Cook, Richmond
Tale of three presidents
The history books will tell our descendants that George Washington could not tell a lie, Richard Nixon could not tell the truth, and Donald Trump could not tell the difference.
Bill Dunstan, Eltham
Why Hillary ‘lost’ in 2016
Alex Langsam (Letters 15/1) is wrong when he says the ‘‘elites’’ (whoever they are) brought about the defeat of Hillary Clinton and election of Donald Trump. It was the US electoral system. Clinton received about 3 million more votes than Trump.
Mick O’Mara, Winchelsea
Storming the tower
Eventually, even the slowest of Donald Trump’s shock troops will realise they have been conned by the unscrupulous flim-flam man. What then? Perhaps an assault on Trump Tower on their way to a siege of Wall Street.
Peter McCarthy, Mentone
Don’t dare get it wrong
The number of readers condemning the behaviour of players in the Australian cricket team exemplifies our ‘‘call out’’ culture where vigilance to reporting the slip-up takes priority over the majority good. I doubt, like all of us, these writers live mistake-free lives. We send mixed messages to our children and young people: mistakes and failures are important for learning and growth but do not stuff up in the process as you will be outed.
Peter McIntosh, Ballarat
The party always rules
Recent letters commenting on unequal state representation in the Senate, citing Tasmania’s smaller population as being over-represented, would appear to be academic. No senator, Liberal, National or Labor, would be game to vote other than the way their party dictates. Doing so would mean losing their spot on the Senate voting ticket next time and being ostracised by the party. So much for them being representatives of their respective states.
Mike Trickett, Geelong West
AND ANOTHER THING
Having trashed the office of president, I’d be surprised if Trump gets his bond back.
Richard Opat, Elsternwick
Trump should be glad his wall isn’t finished. He’ll have to head for the border to escape prosecution.
Bill Trestrail, St Kilda
I’m looking forward to Trump lambasting Biden: ‘‘We had COVID under control and cases numbers were plummeting’’.
Graham Fetherstonhaugh, Carlton North
Loved Golding’s fruity cartoon of an orange impeached (15/1). A great relief to see this mango.
Helen Tsoutsouvas, Balwyn North
Will Trump claim Biden’s inauguration crowd won’t be as big as his was?
Rosie Elsass, Brighton
Trump deserves to be impeached again but it’s dismaying his Republican enablers continue to support his undemocratic actions.
Michael Slocum, Ascot Vale
After Trump’s lies and disinformation, I hope newspapers call out this behaviour from our politicians.
Jane Spier, Seaford
Democrats must be praising Trump for splitting the Republican party, sending it into the wilderness.
Jeffrey Kelson, Prahran
If the Coalition wants McCormack to be acting PM, it must restrict Morrison’s time away from the office.
Hugh McCaig, Blackburn
As an added precaution, Andrews could issue Victorians with tin foil hats.
Rod Matthews, Fairfield
Australia to be a republic? Yes. Australia to have a president elected by the people? No.
Bill Holmes, Kew
A vaccine might be needed for Frydenberg’s struggling economy.
Greg Lee, Red Hill
Ali Moore, I’ll miss you filling on the ABC’s morning show. You make my day. Please come back soon.
Sue Lisbon, Mount Waverley
Good to see some of the The Age in Thursday’s The Advertisement.
Richard Sykes, Bell Park
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