Australia has a moral duty to help its Pacific neighbors

Politicians have failed to prepare for the winter COVID attack

Image: Matt Golding

Image: Matt GoldingRecognition:

Our Government’s response to the recent wave of COVID-19 makes no sense (“COVID-19 rules relaxed for visitors to NSW retirement homes”, 14 July). Last summer, COVID seemed to be on the wane, leaving our governments complacent. Meanwhile, countries in the northern hemisphere (where it was winter) battled new outbreaks and implemented a fourth round of vaccinations. These events were the writing on the wall, yet our health professionals failed to prepare for the winter onslaught. And at the same time, our politicians bowed to minority interest groups, dropping vaccination and mask mandates. They thought they were doing everyone a favor, but any expected near-term gains have been eroded by longer-term losses from rising infection and death rates. Anyone could have predicted these events, but now they have opened up our aged care facilities to a new wave of deaths. Brilliant. tom orren, Wamberal Heights

Upgrading to 10 free RATs before July 31 for those who qualify appears to be impossible if you haven’t purchased one before this month (Letters, July 14). Since pharmacies are only allowed to process five in a month, anyone who bought a supply earlier when free ones weren’t available and hadn’t collected any beforehand can only have five. This rule should be waived for this month to allow people to claim as testing will be used long into the future. Heather Phillips, Wahroonga

The health of Australia’s economy has been shown to be more important than the COVID health of the population (‘Health vs economy a false choice’, 14 July). Not mandating the wearing of masks will quickly lead to serious labor problems for all businesses and the economy in general, with the consequent loss of government revenue. With another predictable nationwide outbreak of COVID, the economy will take a predictable “hit to growth activity.” To think that the pandemic is over because vaccines are available is a misjudgment. The next six months will be very revealing. Bruce Clydsdale, Bathurst

COVID is rampant in my community but governments are acting like the pandemic is over. It’s a shame. We are actually back at the beginning. If foot-and-mouth disease gets there too, due to a lax government attitude, the country will be in disaster mode. Julius Timmermann, Lawson

The space telescope shows the remarkable potential of humanity

Image: Matt Golding

Image: Matt GoldingRecognition:

Amidst all the grim news swirling around us, the wondrous images from the James Webb Telescope are both awe-inspiring and a reminder that we are part of something so beautiful and incomprehensible in size and nature that it defies our imagination ( “Look into the distant past, shape our future”, July 14). That humans were able to design and launch such a powerful “time machine” to venture into space and time 13 billion light-years away is a testament to humankind’s remarkable capabilities. Without wishing to belittle this momentous event and present it as “bah humbug,” why don’t we devote the same energy to solving the poverty and unrest of our planet when we are capable of such a complex feat? . Elizabeth Maher, Bangor

traffic transition

After almost 12 years of coalition government, their flagship rail project, Sydney Metro, will not be completed until 2024 or later (“Drop in transport use here to stay”, 14 July). We should see a drop in demand for public transport due to COVID, weather, strikes, “hybrid work”, limited migration and the flight from the expensive city to the bush as short-term respite. Investments in the rail network, both urban and rural, must be increased, not decreased. Peter Egan, Mosmann

Hopefully, the reduced use of public transport will be reflected in a rising popularity of eco-friendly commuting by bike and other ‘alternative’ modes of transport, which Europe has been experiencing for many years. Continued spending on dedicated cycle lanes and increasing acceptance of ‘ride-share’ bikes and scooters will allow Sydney to reach a tipping point where those on two wheels will no longer be looked down on by impatient motorists. John Kempler, Bay of Roses

rental control

I can understand how the pandemic and border closures have fueled inflation, utility issues, etc. (“Renters With Highest Rents Ever,” July 14). But surely the same border closures would mean there should now be an oversupply of housing and consequently cheaper rents? I smell a rat, and that’s called exploitation. Governments must now enact legislation that protects real rents/tenants as an ever-increasing number of Australians will never be able to afford home ownership.
Matthew Boylan, Leichhardt

bean counter

Recently, some economists forecast inflation to rise to 7 percent in the final quarter of the fiscal year (“Fix budget and raise interest rates: IMF pushes inflation control,” July 14). Today, along with my tomorrow herald, I bought some fresh green beans for the canary, one of his favorite treats. The beans were on display alongside fresh tomatoes, which sold for $12.90 a kilo. I carefully selected the fattest beans, six in all, under a price banner showing $21.00 per kilo, about 10¢ each. I wonder how much inflation has really increased in these pandemic and flood devastated years that we are witnessing. Ken Osborne, Bowraville

pinch pension

I choked on reading that some retired judges were getting $365,000 a year in state pensions (“Judges’ Pensions Would Save Taxpayers $400 Million,” July 14). This really takes the cake for old boy claims. Trimming such a fat with maximum publicity would be an absolute win for the new government. Toni Lorentzen, fennel bay

Cuts in judges’ pensions are typical of politicians’ thinking. At least the judges earned their pensions. If you want to save money, change politicians’ pensions so that they can only be called after they have reached retirement age. That would save us millions of dollars. richard kirby, Campbelltown

corporate bribery

That heralds view on federal election finance laws is commendable but omits some relevant facts; that not all parties accept donations, that some states already ban certain donations, and that disclosure does not appear to deter corporate donors (“Reform of Federal Election Funding Act Long Overdue,” July 14). Simply calling for better disclosure of donations is not enough. Disclosed donations corrupt our political processes just as much as undisclosed ones. If parties like the Greens, which don’t accept corporate donations, managed to survive and thrive in the recent election campaign, why do we insist on allowing corporations to bribe other parties? Barry Laing, castle bay

head scratcher

In my early days, men could not enter a church with their heads covered, and women could not enter with their heads uncovered (Letters, July 14). In recent decades, as the baseball cap has become more of a fashion accessory than a hat, I have often wondered what rules should be followed when a capped man and woman approach the church door. My confusion was compounded by the appearance of a popular music commentator (let’s call him Molly) at a cathedral funeral wearing a cowboy hat. peter bourke, Rockdale


If James Bond has a love interest his own age or older, that’s the only way we’ll know things have changed (“Hollywood Flips the Script on Age Gap,” July 14). Judy Hungerford, North curl curl

Unholy Row

Religion is deadly hubris (Letters, July 14). Plain and simple. Alicia Dawson, Balmain

Your correspondent is wrong (Letters, July 14). There is indeed very clear evidence that God is a man. Had she been a woman, she would have given the Sisterhood an extra pair of hands to help us with our multitasking. Jo Bond, South Melbourne (Vic)

The feminist cult imagined by your correspondent sounds heavenly to me. Viv Mackenzie, port hacking

Force of origin a turnoff

The Blues' Brian To'o is attacked in the third game of the State of Origin series

The Blues’ Brian To’o is attacked in the third game of the State of Origin seriesRecognition:Getty

The State of Origin decider will go down in history for all the wrong reasons (“Battle of Brisbane: No holds barred in Maroons win,” July 14). While one Queenslander held a NSW player in a headlock, another punched him in the head and a third Queenslander hit him with a shoulder load. And all after a cowardly blindside shot at the NSW player. In 10 years, this sequence will be exhibit A in a class action lawsuit against the NRL, and football (the real football) will have thousands of new recruits. Well played, Queensland. Phil Bradshaw, Naremburn

The overhyped hype surrounding state-of-origin matches results in players getting caught up in this needless rivalry and clashing in high-impact gang tackles, risking serious and lasting injuries. Wednesday night’s game, while fast and skillful, was extremely brutal and could have resulted in many more injuries than we experienced. I understand these games are the pinnacle of rugby league and are revenue generators, but at what cost? Don Carter, Oyster Bay

This wasn’t the greatest state of origin of all time. Concussion, punches, fights and we should celebrate? No thank you. The violence – yes, that was it – really put me off. Bye NRL. margaret dowling, ash field

The digital gaze

Commenting online on one of the stories that got the most reader feedback on yesterday
Diversity is important, but that’s also what people stand for
Out of Parkville Pirate: ″⁣Progress would be a Prime Minister with a moral compass and the power to make a difference.″⁣

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Joel McCord

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