While we all have rights and can choose whether to get vaccinated against COVID-19, these rights could be reasonably curtailed if our decisions endanger the freedoms and economic stability of the vast majority of Australians. We need to empower workplaces to strongly encourage workers to get vaccinated and prevent the unvaccinated from entering enclosed premises.
Dr Marie Pirotta, Carlton
Saying no to any more ‘anti-lockdown’ ads
I write to add my support to Adam Bandt and other federal crossbench MPs and request that The Age stops accepting ads from Clive Palmer (Letters, 13/8). While the ads are not anti-vaccination (as your Editor’s Note points out), they undermine public health messages about lockdown rules, all the while claiming to have concerns about people’s jobs and mental health. It is harmful and opportunistic advertising and there is no place for it in a reputable publication.
Maryanne Barclay, Frankston South
Clive Palmer’s right to not trust the big parties
I applaud the entry of independents into Parliament – the more we have the better. But they are somewhat off-beam in criticising The Age for putting Clive Palmer’s diatribes on the front page. I regularly hear the major parties stating in Parliament that “you can’t trust Labor” or “you can’t trust the Liberals”. I don’t see why Palmer cannot say it too. I regularly hear complaints about lockdowns, and I have made them myself. Scott Morrison was against them last year. Why not Palmer too? As a shareholder in The Age, I thank him for his contribution to my retirement, but his comments are wasted on me.
John Pinniger, Fairfield
Come on, Mr Palmer, have you had the jab?
It never ceases to amaze me when public figures lampoon COVID-19 vaccinations yet refuse to disclose if they have been vaccinated themselves, citing “privacy”. Clive Palmer is the latest one to do this (The Age, 13/8). Talk about not being seen to practise what you preach.
Russell Brims, Bentleigh East
Getting around the rules
Can I suggest Dan Andrews creates a “ring of steel” between metropolitan Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula? I am aware of a half dozen families who have travelled to and from holiday houses in Rye, Blairgowrie and Sorrento during lockdowns.
How do they get away with it? Firstly, the lack of police presence checking. Secondly, by misusing their status as “essential workers’ – eg. doctor, magistrate (and their families), creating false reasons for roaming around. Not because they have work commitments but because they think they are too special for the rules to apply to them.
Mary Hahn-Thomsen, Camberwell
Students before players
Instead of devoting effort and money to how Victoria can host the footy finals, maybe the Premier could focus on a plan to get the poor VCE students back to school to complete their studies and have the best chance of success.
Lenore Neath, Richmond
Surviving the lockdowns
Recently, while reading an article about my late father, I was surprised to learn that “In 1936 Bill (age 12) was home schooled as many schools were closed due to a polio epidemic”.
He would have been supervised by his mother, who only completed primary school. He went on to successfully manage both a tuberculosis hospital during the 1950s, and the chest X-ray program to test for TB. Hang in there, everyone, we will get through it, especially if we follow the rules.
Linda O’Brien, Heatherton
The culture must change
As a recent graduate of St Kevin’s (2018) I am appalled at the moral panic displayed by some parents and boys at a legitimate and, importantly, anonymous student survey (The Age, 12/8). It is incredibly encouraging to see the leadership team showing a real commitment to tackle the serious problems the school faces, but this will amount to nothing if out of touch parents fight positive change.
Yes, the survey tackles uncomfortable topics, but not a single question covers an issue that was not talked about by myself or other students during my time at St Kevin’s.
If parents are more concerned about an anonymous survey asking boys about their experiences with sex, drugs, and misogyny, than they are about their sons participating in sex, drugs, and misogyny (which they are) then they need to have a good, hard look at themselves.
Simon Cosgrave, Murrumbeena
Religion and teachers
Your editorial – “Laws must curb the right to discriminate” (The Age, 12/8 – is an attack on the right of religious organisations to employ staff of the same religion. Perhaps it’s based on a view that religious schools do no more than supply a commodity. Some might conduct themselves in that way. However all of them were created for the purpose of forming practising believers.
In Victorian government schools as well as religious ones, teachers are expected to be positive role models in education settings and in the community.
While often a teacher’s private beliefs or activities outside of work will not compromise a religious school’s mission, and many religious schools employ non-believers, there will be instances where student awareness of statements or actions by staff has the potential to detract from the school’s goal.
In such cases it is the school, rather than the courts or legislature, that is best equipped to determine what the doctrines of its religion are, and whether hiring a person who rejects those doctrines could compromise their mission.
Patrick Kelly, Coburg
Ludicrous lack of plan
Waleed Aly – “Coalition making a meal of climate policy” (Opinion, 13/8) – is right to label Barnaby Joyce’s refusal to indulge any meaningful talk of net-zero emissions targets as absurd. If another country declared war on, and attacked, Australia, would Mr Joyce insist on a comprehensive, fully costed plan being developed before taking any action?
Peter Neuhold, Elsternwick
Need to act immediately
I completely understand where Miki Perkins is coming from – “Coming to grips with climate distress” (The Age, 12/8). About three years ago I heard on the radio that an Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change report said the world had only 10years to avert the worst of the climate crisis. I fell into a deep depressive state that I still tackle to this day. It is infuriating that the world leaders have not done enough in the past 40 years to tackle the crisis. Did they think that the next generation would solve their problems? While there is no outright cure to despair, the best therapy is to take action and find like-minded people to talk to.
Sarah Brennan, Hawthorn East
Quick action, sometimes
It is amazing that the Coalition government could make a “plan” for car park rorts in a matter of days before the last election, but after more than 10 years has still not been able to make a plan for dealing with climate change.
Anne Wood, Birregurra
Self-interest comes first
The Nationals insist on a separate party room meeting to consider the cost of government commitment to the Liberals’ endorsement of greater carbon reduction targets. It seems to be OK to act like a third chamber of the house when it suits their self-interest.
Denis Fielding, Geelong
Why the punishment?
I attempt to live on my age pension, but still I chose to install solar panels despite the pitiful feed-in tariff (it was a fair price two decades ago when I first went solar), because I wanted to contribute to clean energy in Australia. Now I learn the Australian Energy Market Commission has ruled that I can be charged for contributing my clean energy to the grid – and a grid that occasionally needs all the extra contributions it can get. How can this be justified? It is not remotely fair. The only sensible action is to encourage and incentivise people who take the trouble to install solar, not penalise them.
Janet Blagg, Warrnambool
Show us the evidence
I would like to have seen the energy networks’ submission to the Australian Energy Market Commission justifying their need to charge for surplus household solar panel feed-in to the network. Is there not enough profit on the price differential they pay for the feed-in and then charge for supplying to the customer? Is this another example of gold plating?
Ross Crawford, Korumburra
An unChristian Christian
Niki Savva’s article – “A cranky man in need of a plan” (Opinion, 12/8) – refers to the Prime Minister’s belligerent behaviour, use of expletives and an aggressive streak, described by others as bullying. These examples again highlight one of the strange anomalies about him. How can someone who has so publicly committed himself to the Christian faith, and professes to have done so since the age of 12, seemingly not exhibit those Christian values in practice? A man whose behaviour is instead characterised by aggression, misrepresentation, blame shifting, a lack of compassion, and a modus operandi often based on the opportunistic promotion and exploitation of division.
David Gregory, Toorak
Are you kidding me?
I think there was a typo in the article about cleaning – “How to ease grit of a pandemic” (Living, 12/8). It says vacuuming can be done “once every three days or so”, but I am sure you meant it to read vacuuming can be done once every three weeks.
Elizabeth Long, Collingwood
Please explain, Aunty
Re “ABC journalist agrees to pay Liberal MP $79,000 over tweets” (The Age, 12/8). The ABC has indicated that it will cover Louise Milligan’s costs, citing “particular and exceptional circumstances”. It owes all taxpayers an explanation as to what the “particular and exceptional circumstances” are.
Bill Holmes, Kew
AND ANOTHER THING
It’s time to send Michael O’Brien to NSW to help Gladys.
Peter Smullen, Ardmona
I’m horrified that Clive Palmer’s divisive opinions continue to appear on the front page of The Age.
Tracey Lamb, Montmorency
Victoria to Gladys: You call that a lockdown? This is a lockdown.
Kate Wilkinson, Elsternwick
A tale of two cities, at a time when Australia is screaming out for national unity.
Gary Bryfman, Brighton
Sydney’s gold standard has turned to kryptonite for the rest of the country.
Ken Foxall, Mount Eliza
For heaven’s sake, Gina, tell Barnaby what the plan is.
Steve Dixon, North Melbourne
The PM points to the dust mote in China’s eye while ignoring the log in his own. Know thy Bible, Scott.
Marie-Louise Drew, Fairfield
Who will rid us of this fossilised government?
Rod Cripps, Parkdale
The Royal Melbourne Show has been cancelled but showbags are on sale, online. I hope they’re paper, not plastic.
Pauline Mackenzie, Marshall
How many times a day will I have to boil the kettle to avoid being charged for sending “surplus” energy to the grid from my 18 solar panels?
Elizabeth Pearce, Hawthorn
The Sikh volunteers (13/8) are heroes. Heart-warming stuff among the gloom.
Nola Cormick, Albert Park
Bravo, Peter Baume (12/8). We cannot heal our societies without integration and respect for country. A treaty now.
Johee Not, Heathcote
Alex Hawke, show some compassion. Allow the Biloela family to return there.
Lou Ferrari, Richmond
The Biloela family: why does the government not listen to the will of the people on this matter?
Elizabeth Chipman, Seaford
Welcome to The Age, Niki Savva. Clear, concise and informative.
Lindsay Donahoo, Wattle Glen
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