Credit:Illustration: Andrew Dyson
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Why are virus-free areas being unfairly penalised?
My wife, 81, with terminal cancer, underwent serious surgery three weeks ago in a Geelong hospital, and has since been confined to her bed. She has been receiving visitors in pairs on a daily basis, yet from yesterday all visitors are banned as per state government regulations. I hate to think of the mental stress and anxiety she will undergo, not to mention myself and her immediate family, who she loves dearly.
Given that there is no COVID-19 case within many kilometres from the Geelong area, why are Geelong hospitals subject to the same treatment as those in close proximity to cases? Surely a less blunt tool should be used. And people wonder why regional areas are getting increasingly angry.
Innes Hutchison, Highton
Trying to making sense of the building costs
So we are about to spend $200million on a quarantine facility for 500 beds (The Age, 4/6). Assuming there will be at least two beds per cabin, that works out at $800,000 per cabin. Of course there will be a lot of expenditure on infrastructure, but the overall sum seems a bit much when an estate with 250 four-bedroom houses could be established for that money, including land costs, and the developers would still reap a profit. No doubt the breakdown of costs of this new facility will remain “commercial in confidence”.
Robert Scopes, Hurstbridge
Good savers will miss out on assistance
It is great that Scott Morrison has finally agreed to provide some financial support for people who have been forced out of work through the lockdowns. But if you were silly enough to have started to have a go and had saved a measly $10,000 for a house deposit: no support for you. Say bye-bye to a hefty chunk of your deposit and enjoy spending another couple of years rebuilding your savings.
Andy Stewart, Coburg
Oh silly me, I left my mobile phone at home
While I was buying supplies in a smallish grocer yesterday, the checkout person politely asked three people to use the QR system which was prominently displayed. Without hesitation, all three immediately replied: “No phone”. I realised that a definitive trend had evolved.
Susie Holt, South Yarra
Overall, we’re doing a good job checking in
As usual, criticism of Melbourne’s compliance has been rife, but my experience has been otherwise. In recent months, in Melbourne and Victoria, I have been to restaurants, pubs, theatres, a cinema, a concert, a book launch, markets, a massage place, tourist sites, weekly gatherings of my choir at a hall, my mum’s aged care home, a hospital … and I have had to check in everywhere.
Stephanie Jaehrling, Carnegie
Words are fine, but will they pay the rent?
Can Scott Morrison explain how his preaching – “Resilience, strength, character, determination. That’s what beats a virus, never fear” – is meant to encourage and support Australians and how such optimism can meet this week’s rent bill?
Peter Rickard, Surrey Hills
For some of us, the health risk is very real
To people critical of us over-50s who are not anti-vaxxers but are apprehensive about the one in 100,000 chance of a clot from the AstraZeneca vaccine, imagine this: About 100,000 people are to attend an event at the MCG and beforehand there is an announcement that one person will be shot and be at risk of death or serious life-long injury. How many people do you think would take the risk?
Robyn Lovell, Epping
As usual, the well-off continue to flourish
The old saying, “privatise the profits, socialise the losses”, has never been more appropriate. The calls for more assistance to those workers susceptible to lockdowns coincides with Stock Exchange record levels and the federal Treasurer extolling how well the economy is going for the wealthy. Do we learn nothing?
Alan Duncan, Frankston South
Step up, Senator Colbeck
My mum is in aged care where she is looked after very well by the staff. Richard Colbeck has again faced questions in Senate estimates. Again, he could not answer valid questions about aged care and vaccination.
This is his portfolio for which the taxpayers pay his extremely large salary. Is he totally uninterested or not across his portfolio? I would suggest both. Senator Colbeck does not engender any confidence that this portfolio is being handled well or even adequately. I would remind him that he is a servant of the people and is not immune from scrutiny or accountability.
Pam Kershaw, Kew
At last, some progress
Scott Morrison, it is great to see you grasp the hose (needle) at last and to hear that you and state and territory leaders are “leaning heavily” towards making vaccinations mandatory for your front-line aged care workers (The Age, 4/6). Better late than never.
Kay Moulton, Surrey Hills
Try a caravan park
A dedicated quarantine centre comprising numerous, individual, self-contained cabins, all with a balcony, sounds to me a lot like a modern caravan park. If we can take over a hotel for quarantine purposes, why can’t we commandeer a local caravan park? It would be a lot cheaper and quicker than building something new near Avalon Airport.
John Tait, Airport West
Our right to grants too
It is not a great look for the Victorian government to be less generous than the federal government to struggling tiny businesses, is it? Those of us who are not registered for GST because our income is so low are excluded from Victoria’s small business grants. Not even the feds did that with JobKeeper – an ABN and a loss of business was required. Why not the same standard from the state government?
Deb Campbell, Deans Marsh
If the Prime Minister and state premiers have not begun to lay down the guidelines for our future living with COVID-19, they need to get onto it pronto. What will be the requirements for entry into the country? What about prerequisites for working with people, in Customs, hospitals, hospitality, Centrelink, education? To enter many aged care centres, you need to show evidence of having received a current flu vaccination. “No COVID vax, no entry” seems the logical rule to apply everywhere.
David Marshall, West Brunswick
Lack of basics records
“Federal health authorities are not keeping any records of how many Australians returning from overseas have been vaccinated and whether they develop COVID-19” (The Age, 4/6). I give up.
David Hamilton, Hampton
An impossible ask
I am attempting to comply with recently announced QR code rules, only to be thwarted by the convoluted, drawn out-procedure required to bring this about. I want to “do the right thing” but cannot – without continually seeking help from those around me – until this rigmarole is simplified.
Dawn Evans, Highton
When Victorians matter
The federal election is coming. The Prime Minister has rediscovered Victoria, providing help for workers and a new quarantine centre. Next he will visit our state and lay hands upon us.
George Reed, Wheelers Hill
Danger in being smug
Oh the irony. Just days after Gladys Berejiklian felt the need (again) to spruik the superiority of New South Wales’ COVID-19 response in relation to Victoria’s, we read “COVID check-ins impacted by outage in NSW” (The Age, 3/6).
And only last week it was reported that NSW authorities were alarmed by a plunge in the number of people checking in to venues, with Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello saying “the Victorian outbreak is a powerful reminder that we cannot drop out guard”. A little more empathy and a little less competition would be helpful.
Peter Morris, Connewarre
Bring the children home
There are now 209 children stuck in India without their parents (The Age, 4/6). Am I missing something? Why not allow the parents to fly to India on the condition that they stay onboard. Load their children on the plane and fly the families back to Australia where they can spend two weeks in quarantine. Or is that too easy?
John Adler, Hampton
Protecting all creatures
Incomprehensibly, as the state government exerts enormous energy to control the spread of COVID-19, it condones the bloody carnage of thousands of peaceful, defenceless ducks. Well over 80per cent of Victorians are outraged by this slaughter and demand duck shooting be stopped. Ducks experience the same pain and terror that you or I would if blasted by a shotgun. A society is greatly diminished if its compassion extends only to its human population.
Jennifer Joseph, South Yarra
Follow US and NZ lead
It is deeply shaming that Australia does not take more of its share of refugees. Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews is negotiating a settlement deal for refugees in detention here and in Nauru and Papua New Guinea to go to New Zealand (The Age, 3/6). The federal government clings to the myth that asylum seekers arriving by boat are ‴illegal”. Any persecuted person has a right to seek asylum and the method of transport is not relevant according to the UN.
The offer from NZ to take 150 refugees has been “repeatedly rebuffed”. Peter Dutton perpetuates the myth that letting them go there will encourage more boat arrivals to Australia. This shows zero compassion and empathy. Joe Biden has increased the annual humanitarian intake to 62,500. If the US and NZ can assimilate refugees, why can’t we?
Jan Marshall, Brighton
More human, less toxic
The huge volumes of poison being spread in crop fields being sown (due to the mouse plague) is horrendous. Apart from the collateral poisoning (ie. slow, painful deaths) of native animals and birds, do we really want this in our food chain? It is beyond belief that we do not have a safe, effective, less toxic, more humane method to control pests and plagues. We have research capability. Why don’t we use it?
Catherine Miller, Chewton
Offences against women
At last Pope Francis has made revision to canon law to address the sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults (World, 3/5) but he also includes reinforcing the ban on ordaining women. It is ironic that the revision was put under a new section entitled “Offences against human life and dignity and liberty”, recognising the injustice done to minors in the church but not to women in the church. Sadly the church continues to be irrelevant in a changing world.
Julie Ottobre, Forest Hill
It’s a two-way street
So Xi Jinping wants to create a “credible, loveable and respectable image of China” (The Age, /6). How about China showing more love and respect for the Uighurs, Tibetans and the democratic aspirations of the people of Hong Kong?
Barry Lizmore, Ocean Grove
What else do we expect?
Vicki Myers (Letters, 3/6) expresses wonder and dismay about Matthias Cormann’s apparent epiphany on climate issues (The Age, 2/6). Hey, he is a politician. He changes his socks. He changes his undies. He changes his mind. It is simple, routine self-interest. Along with the leopard, however, his spots are unchanged.
David Allen, Bayswater North
Osaka’s brave stand
My hearty congratulations to Naomi Osaka for standing up for her principles. She is, by all accounts and appearances, a quiet, introverted and sincere person, and it seems a very heavy-handed way for authorities to handle her situation given that they appear to need her more than she needs them.
Chris Wilson, Poowing
AND ANOTHER THING
Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding
Hearing about the two false positives leave me feeling rather negative.
Greg Oates, Huon Creek
Why couldn’t ScoMo and Josh have offered to help Victorians before they had their arms twisted?
Mel Green, Glen Waverley
Our PM is active – but pro or re? Kicking and screaming comes to mind. Are the premiers running the country?
Des Crowle, Casterton
Can we name the new quarantine centre Smoke and Mirrors and have Dutton cut the ribbon to open it?
Darryl Annett, Northcote
Well done, James, but beware. ScoMo’s MOU probably means My Own Understanding.
Patricia Rivett, Ferntree Gully
The latest fashion craze in Melbourne. Wearing your face mask as a bracelet.
Chris Brown, Melbourne
Aged care. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Meg McPherson, Brighton
The state government panics because of its inadequate contact tracing and organisation. Victorians pay for its ineptness.
Rita Reid, Port Melbourne
Jackie Burgess (3/6), details of your vaccination can be found on your myGov account.
Heather Murfet, Northcote
Irony is a great basis for comedy but I’d never pictured Xi (3/6) as a stand-up comedian.
Bryan Lewis, St Helena
Matters in the public interest involving taxpayer-funded representatives should be investigated. Simple as ABC.
Annie Wilson, Inverloch
When Michael Kroger was on the ABC board, did he object to satire aimed at Labor and the left?
Graham Williams, Glen Waverley
Beware, Collingwood (3/5). Jeff Browne may be Eddie McGuire’s Trojan Horse.
Chris Del Prete, Pascoe Vale South
Our diminished mail service is causing me grief: after 77 years, I am now compelled to buy rubber bands.
Brian Millane, Healesville
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