At last, we say farewell to the CEO who, in 2011, stranded 60,000 Qantas passengers worldwide to settle a stoush with a union (“‘Best thing I can do’: Alan Joyce to leave Qantas early”, smh.com.au, September 5). And we thought the mess Scott Morrison left behind for others to clean up was unsurpassable.
Those who nominated Joyce in 2017 for Australia’s highest honour (an AC) “for eminent service to the aviation transport industry” seem to be keeping their heads down. I wonder why. Steve Cornelius, Brookvale
The announcement of Joyce’s resignation from Qantas effective immediately begs the question: will he retain the latest round of bonuses and share allocations so recently granted to him by Qantas board? Was his decision to get out early based on the potential for all the largesse visited upon him by the board and the Australian taxpayer being reversed at or before the next Qantas AGM in November? Chris Rivers, Port Macquarie
I finally agree with a Joyce decision. Just check that as he approaches the departure lounge with $10.8 million in shares, a $4.3 million short-term bonus and $8 million in long-term share bonus, his bags may be seriously overweight. Mark Paskal, Austinmer
It’s not often a Qantas departure is early, and with quite so much carry on. Peter Fyfe, Enmore
Joyce may disappear with the big bikkies, but perhaps we will see an upgrade from Milk Arrowroots in the Qantas lounge. John Burman, Port Macquarie
Right to the end, Joyce puts the Qantas bottom line first. Let’s hope his replacement is ready to put customers at the head of the queue, for once. Philip Cooney, Wentworth Falls
Qantas, same old story. The bloke at the top stuffs up and a woman takes over to sort things out.
Jacqui Keats, Black Head
The Qantas board should follow Joyce to the exit. Ingrid Radford, Waverton
Suggestion for the Qantas board in the post-Joyce era – make all executive incentive payments only in frequent flyer points. Maybe that would make them easier to use for the rest of us. Seppo Ranki, Glenhaven
I remember back in the 70s a great fuss was made of an announced executive salary of one million dollars (Letters, September 9). Many questioned how anyone could be worth such a sum. How things have changed. We now live in a society where the shareholder is the undisputed king. The worker and consumer no more than vassals. Companies get away with sacking staff only to outsource jobs to labour hire companies. Some engage in alleged activities that are tantamount to extortion with no compunction, no respect for the consumer, and so far they have managed to get away with it. In my view Joyce’s $10m share bonus could be reduced to about two bob and that would still be too much. Donna Wiemann, Balmain
No-one has ever satisfactorily explained to me how high-powered executives, already highly motivated and well paid, need bonuses to do their job better. Corporations are bound by a social contract to their workers, customers and society. Many corporations are trashing this because they can in a very anti-competitive business environment. Executive, self-titled geniuses think these huge profits are entirely their own success. They are not. Business loves certainty, security and conformity. Australia provides all of this. Because the certainty, security and conformity in Australia allows businesses to be successful, they ought to be morally obliged to give back to their societies. But only a minority do so.
Thirty years ago Qantas was a beloved Australian icon. Not anymore as federal Labor has discovered to its shock. Under Joyce, Qantas has trashed its workers and the paying public.
It no longer deserves protection status. The flying public want a fair price, not being ripped off by a government protected species. Bruce Sheekey, Randwick
Do flying kangaroos come home to roost or is it just chickens? Phillip Moore, Bonnet Bay
Pharmacies no longer the family businesses we once knew
As a GP, we almost always give patients the maximum repeats for a medicine (“Question time pharmacists swear heckle in parliament”, September 5). For common ones, this will mean six months supply. A patient may then only need to see us every six months, so it is poor business but a good service to the patient. When patients have multiple scripts they need to go often to the pharmacy, especially when they could only get a month’s supply of each medicine and the medications often run out at different times. So many car trips and lots of fuel, and lots of emissions. “Big chain” pharmacy is no longer the “family business” it was and nearly all of their income comes from sales of non-script items. Greg Lewin, Tumbi Umbi
If unionists wanting better IR laws for their members had pulled that stunt in Question Time, the opposition would be rending their garments in mock outrage at the militancy, the effrontery and the outright rudeness of the perpetrators. But when it’s by those in the so-called professional class, then far from any rebuke, their public hissy-fit is applauded and encouraged. Hypocrisy and opportunism writ large. Adrian Connelly, Springwood
Are pharmacists really saying to the sick and elderly “be damned”, we want to continue to lean on you to ensure the profitability of our businesses? Are they saying; “We fear we can’t run a profitable business without exploiting you and taking all the benefits of technological and scientific advances in the pharmaceutical industry to ourselves? The measure of a society is how well it protects its least advantaged members, generally the sick and elderly. Have pharmacists not heard of structural change? Every industry constantly adapts to change, but no, pharmacists think they should be exempt from the impact of structural change. It’s an interesting response from a “profession” to improvements in efficiency and economic development that should benefit us all. Margaret Shanahan, Northbridge
It seems the federal government is mollycoddling pharmacists for their apparent loss of income when other small businesses go into liquidation and no-one comes to their rescue. The hundreds of chemists sitting in the gallery during Question Time are only able to take part in the protest because they have plenty of time and money on their hands. No other profession could afford this type of antics on a working day. Get over it, chemists, and come down to earth. Taxpayers do not owe you anything. Mukul Desai Hunters Hill
Wasn’t there a rationalisation of chemist shops in the late 1900s? Perhaps the numbers (especially those of the rude, noisy owners) need culling again.
Donald Hawes, Peel
Ensuring the pizza delivery boy gets a slice of the pie
It’s an interesting argument to put that someone should work below the poverty line and/or under dangerous conditions so that I can have my pizza delivered, or my coffee served, as cheaply as possible (“Gig’s up: $1 billion wage hike for sector”, September 5). The gig economy is worth supposedly over $10 billion. Surely if people don’t wish to get/make the food themselves it is not unreasonable that the deliverer can eat as well. Brenton McGeachie, Queanbeyan West
There is no simple solution to “youth gangs” and a Police “strike force” working alone cannot resolve the problem of young offenders (“Police blitz on teen gangs in cars”, September 5). Our work starts from birth. Child and family health centres should be located in, or near, primary schools to support parents. The school curriculum must be inclusive of all students and ensure that they leave school with the skills and experiences that might land them their first job. Councils, the Department of Communities and Justice, and organisations such as Police Citizens Youth Clubs should be collaborating to provide meaningful and fun programs for youth to keep them off the street. Positive role models are essential. Collaboration is the key, and the belief that all children have the potential to achieve success and contribute to their community. Elizabeth Starr, Abbotsford
The cross-party delegation of politicians travelling to America to lobby the US House of Representatives and Senate on behalf of Julian Assange is truly inspiring (“Politicians to fly to US for Assange”, September 5). As Barnaby Joyce rightly points out, a group of MPs containing followers of the Right, the Left and various positions in between would normally disagree on just about everything, which makes their united front for Assange all the more powerful. They’re a wonderful example to their fellow MPs, and I reckon many voters would like to see more of the same on other great issues of our times, rather than the negative nit-picking which too often consumes too much of the daily political discourse. Nick Franklin, Katoomba
Thankfully, gone are the ignorant days of “acclimatisation societies”, the aim of which was to deliberately introduce non-native species to Australia in the hope they would adapt and establish themselves (“Australia on the frontline of war on invasive species,” September 5). Yet, when politicians simply announce that “tackling feral cats, foxes and other invasives is a priority for the government”, we all know that the brumby has well and truly bolted. What we can do is support the efforts of groups like the Wild Deserts project which seek to “rewild” small areas so that native species like the crest-tailed mulgara and the golden bandicoot have a feral-free haven in which they can survive. We could also make sure the currently inadequate quarantining strategies are beefed up so that they may be somewhat effective, because the recent invasion by the Varroa destructor which is now spreading through our apiary industry has shown how slack we still are. Andrew Brown, Bowling Alley Point
NSW Environment Minister Penny Sharpe cannot put a figure on the cost of extending the life of the Eraring coal-fired power station (“Minister disputes Kean claim on Eraring cost”, September 5). No matter the exact amount, it will cost taxpayers money. And for what? In 2022, forced blackouts due to the unreliability of our old coal-fired power stations left the grid short of capacity for months. On top of that, we are already seeing the cost of natural disasters intensified by global warming. An example is flood damage, which cost the economy around $5 billion last year according to economic modelling. Investment could be directed to renewables via batteries and rooftop solar and grid upgrades, rather than taxpayers’ money being wasted on propping up an outmoded and polluting source of power. The Australian Energy Market Operator has revealed that with an effective and timely response, the closure can be done on time. All it takes is the political will. Anne O’Hara, Wanniassa (ACT)
Warren Mundine to replace Marise Payne in the evolving Liberal Party (“Mundine emerges as the front runner for Liberal Senate spot”, September 5)? Sounds like a case of two steps backwards then four steps backwards. Brilliant forward-thinking down yet another Dutton rabbit hole. Barry Ffrench, Cronulla
Nick Bryant’s article on John Farnham and the Voice is written from a Yes voter’s point of view (“Making Yes a vote for national pride”, September 5). He asserts that the emotional impact of the song will push up the Yes vote. This is just what we don’t need – more emotion! Any change to our Constitution needs to be examined without emotion and should be looked at by fact. There is no doubt in my mind that to put a racial division in our founding document is the wrong thing to do for our multicultural country. Pamela Shepherd, Balgowlah
When the Wests Tigers inevitably make the finals next year I hope they will be allowed to play at the eighth wonder of the world, also known as Leichhardt Oval (“Only in the NRL: Fans in cold as shiny stadiums left idle”, September 5). Simon Squires, Hornsby
The answer to the supersonic mark up on the price of oats between the farm and the supermarket is as plain as porridge (Letters, September 4). To avoid the $6 per kilo variety simply cast your eyes down to the bottom shelf where a 750 gram, unboxed, plastic bag of rolled oats can be had for less than $2. Phil Rodwell, Redfern
The article about a new production of The Importance of Being Earnest included one of my favourite Oscar Wilde quotes: “To win back my youth … there is nothing I wouldn’t do, except take exercise, get up early, or be a useful member of the community” (“The importance of performing Oscar”, September 5). Pam Ayling, West Pennant Hills
Is music the solution to our classroom woes?
The uplifting ACO music classes story, following hard on the heels of the continued debate over unruly classroom behaviour, brings to mind the saying “music has charms to soothe the savage breast” (Letters, September 5). William Congreve’s statement regarding the calming effect of rhythm and sounds in music has stood the test of time and may be well worth consideration by our educators as a student management strategy. Joy Nason, Mona Vale
As a long-time former resident of St Marys (65-plus years) I was delighted by the article on the music program being run at North St Marys Public. The part of the story that captured the spirit of the community and brought a laugh from me was the comment by student Lachlan Martin, “You guys (ACO) are sounding great. You sound just like us now.” Allan Jones, Glenmore Park
The story about music infusing St Marys North Primary and readers’ responses was truly heart warming. But music education is not just for the young. At the age of 71 with little previous experience, I started clarinet lessons. My weekly music lessons and daily practice have given me great joy and ongoing post career purpose and when unable to play I miss it dearly. The clarinet is a physically demanding instrument to play, so as insurance against physical decline I have taken up the recorder; at the other end of the blowing spectrum. David Mackintosh, Berkeley Vale
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