Australia must follow the example of climate action
No points on mandates
I’m a big proponent of mask-wearing, and my mask won’t come off anytime soon. I want everyone to be sensible and mask up, physically distance, stay home if they even have a little sniffle, but I don’t see the point of the government imposing anything. There would be widespread non-compliance – when the 2021 lockdown ended, many people were flouting the rules. Rules that worked for two years no longer enjoy broad public support, so a strong recommendation is better than mandates that turn half the population into violators. We all have to make our own decisions.
Louise Kloot, Doncaster
There is a light
Every day we are reminded of the disastrous effects of COVID. The number of daily cases and deaths is distressing. However, I have seen and experienced how people have adapted and moved forward. An example is that a neighbor created a street Whatsapp platform to keep us in touch and help the most vulnerable neighbors. I am in iso after being tested positive. I was overwhelmed with the thoughts, kindness and generosity of family, friends and neighbors who cared about my well-being. I received delicious meals, soups, cakes, books to read and other entertainment and even a hot white dish to take away. Thank you all. We will achieve this by all working together for each other.
Kay Gregory, Glenhuntly
Close the lobby
While lobbying is part of our democratic political process, can anyone tell me why we paid political lobbyists? Surely, as soon as we start paying either a professional lobbyist or a party for an audience with our politicians, we are corrupting our democratic system.
Mick Leeming, Pigeon Ponds
The power of irony
How ironic is it that previous governments have sold public services, such as electricity, to private companies and that current governments are giving taxpayers a $250 rebate to navigate their way through the myriad of ‘price offers from these companies in order to find the deal that does not fit snatch them.
Ian Harvey, Barwon Heads
Train young people
I fully support Julie Szego (Commentary, 7/14) in reviving the idea of a life-skills program for teenagers, giving them opportunities for personal growth. My experience of military national service training in the 1950s was generally positive in fostering a sense of discipline and responsibility as well as relating to people from different backgrounds. Forms of adventure groups such as scouts and guides have also been able to provide life skills training. Many people I spoke to agreed that while they do not currently support military service, some form of community service, including learning adult life skills, would be desirable training for young people.
Peter Le Get, Heathmont
Caught in the headlights
How wonderful to see the intricately patterned Plains Wanderer atop the main letter column (14/7). Recent reports (″Little Feet Sticking Out: Breeding Boom for Rare Plains Wanderers″, 9/7) suggest a hopeful increase in breeding, but the species remains critically endangered .
Unfortunately, it looks like quail, especially in low light. There is no test to see if quail shooters can distinguish between species or even shoot accurately. Anecdotal reports suggest that hunters are increasingly targeting quail rather than ducks, to evade wildlife activists and government officials.
Until recently, former Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas presided over this destruction. I’ve seen her look like a rabbit caught in the headlights when asked about hunting. As the new Minister of Health, she exudes a similar aura when asked about our COVID health response.
Joan Reilly, Surrey Hills
Shades of diversity
Osman Faruqi (Commentary, 7/14) adds much-needed nuance to the goal of achieving greater diversity in representative bodies such as parliament. It’s naive to assume that someone like you will share your opinions or advocate on your behalf. A person’s ideological and political beliefs are produced by many influences that extend far beyond their race, gender, or sexuality. For example, two 50-year-old white men in well-tailored suits may have very different worldviews. It is impossible to detect this by looking at them.
To achieve true diversity, it is not enough to tick a box to guarantee a required number of representatives from a prescribed range of groups. Diversity of opinion is far more important than diversity of appearance.
Rod Wise, Surrey Hills
sands of time
One of the most fascinating things about the NASA photos is that looking back in time, the universe was much smaller. And to conceptualize what we’re looking at, you have to think of the universe just as it appeared, when there was no time or space or anything. So everything in the universe now, including time and space, and ourselves, was contained in what was then like a grain of sand. And that’s the only way it makes sense.
Henry Herzog, St Kilda East
Seal of approval
In a past life, I shared a house in London with several friends, one of whom received a letter from Australia every Thursday. It was posted in Adelaide on Sunday afternoon and if delayed, as was sometimes the case, it would be delivered on Friday. Occasionally, he actually arrived on Wednesdays.
Sixty years later, this regular delivery pattern looks like an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. I recently airmailed a book to a friend in Wellington, New Zealand. It took four weeks to get there and thanks to Australia Post tracking, I was able to follow his daily progress with increasing amusement. A weekly magazine I subscribe to from the UK is delivered anywhere from nine to 23 days later. Interstate letters often take a week or more to reach their destination.
Despite this poor performance by various postal authorities, there is one constant: my local Australia Post franchise remains a friendly, always helpful place.
John Tidey, Middle Park
Bring back the whistle
Now that Australia Post is migrating to eco-friendly e-bikes, we’ve lost that little boost of excitement that came from hearing the postman nearby. As children, we knew the postman, on a bicycle, was on his way because he would whistle as he blew things up in nearby mailboxes. For decades, we knew the job was coming because we heard the hum of the motorcycle. After completing a complete “cycle”, can our postal workers receive whistles again?
Claire Merry, Wantirna
AND SOMETHING ELSE
Are any of us trying to wash our hands of responsibility trying to defeat the COVID virus rather than washing our hands meticulously?
Elinor Morison, Box Hill South
There’s an old joke among mushroom pickers: ″All mushrooms are edible. Just a lot of them just once.″ Masks keep you from getting deadly stuff in your nose and mouth. Your choice, your odds, your Russian roulette.
Chris Waters, Ormond
Spot on Myra Fisher (14/7). Billions of dollars obscenely wasted on indulgent space travel while millions face starvation and homelessness right here on our own planet.
Tris Raouf, Hadfield
As we look back in time to the birth of the universe, I remember the anthem How Great Thou Art.
Doug Whitbourn, Kilmore
I hope every student learns the importance of the James Webb Telescope. It really is the ″moon landing″ for the current young generation.
How can the United States prosecute Julian Assange and not Donald Trump?
Gary Sayer, Warrnambool
The task of mending international relations left by Scott Morrison was enormous. Anthony Albanese and Penny Wong have made big inroads.
John Walsh, Watsonia
Is Pacific Island influence for sale to the highest bidder?
Malcolm McDonald, Burwood
Sri Lankan citizens overthrew a corrupt regime, without resorting to arms or violence: the pool and gym were appreciated. What happens next is another huge challenge.
Mary Cole, Richmond
Onion Bunnings sausage, still cheap on Saturday mornings at $3.50.
Reg Murray, Glen Iris