Children must be at the center of government policies

A key factor in our country’s disregard for children’s rights and well-being during the pandemic may be that for years we have been conditioned by government rhetoric that labeled our children as little more than obstacles to full participation of their parents in the world of work (“We need a children’s minister: Hollonds”, 12 February). Remember previous ministers who spoke pathetically of parents having to stay at home and look after their children as if it were an impertinence rather than a perfectly natural, commendable, even delightful choice. Perhaps we need to retune our collective senses to what is best for our children, in whatever form that encompasses each unique family.
Meredith Williams, Northmead

Not to praise obesity

people can be cruel. The meanness towards overweight girls and women is to be condemned. This does not make obesity a sensible lifestyle choice (“Figuring out a model for wellbeing,” February 12). My diet was bad. I’ve been overweight for a large part of my life and as a result I have diabetes. Diabetes is not good, trust me. My mother, who was an excellent cook, died from complications from her diabetes. The COVID epidemic has shown conclusively that jurisdictions that have masked and not masked have had the same mortality rate. Compare that to the mortality rate for obese and non-obese people. Women’s magazines treat the human body as a fashion accessory. Obesity is still to be avoided, even if it looks good. No judgement. I’m just another old person saying don’t do what I did, it’s stupid. Andrew Wilson, Parramatta

Change is inevitable

What a revealing quote: “By definition, it was not the conservatives who sought the conflict over social values. They were busy preserving the ones we already had” (“Not Everything Is a Culture War, But the Left Started It,” February 12). Newsflash, Parnell Palme McGuinness – everything in this world is associated with change, otherwise people would still be stuck in the Stone Age. Oh wait, that’s where most conservatives stay in the 21st century. Really explains a lot about the conservative side of politics.
Tony Heathwood, Kiama Downs

Powerhouse Philistines

The Powerhouse Museum’s rash name change is another nail in the coffin of an excellent and much-loved institution (“What’s in a Name? Powerhouse Drops the ‘m’ from Its Title,” February 12). It’s also incredibly expensive at $1,564,000. It’s hilarious that the name “Powerhouse” applies to all three facilities. Neither the “Milk Crate” in Parramatta nor the Inaccessible Discovery Center in Castle Hill have any connection to a powerhouse. And in Ultimo only the shell of the former powerhouse building remains without any supporting exhibits. This is cultural vandalism from a Philistine government, and the opposition is no better. Future generations will mourn the loss of a once great institution, and those of today should mourn the continued squandering of taxpayers’ money on this farce.
Marina Garlic, Balmain

So now the truth has come out: NSW Liberals just don’t want a museum in Ultimo. They want a fashion show, a theater, or maybe just some cheaper housing. It’s a shame because as Sydney grows people will need more museums, not fewer. More scientific institutions asking tough questions about climate change and overpopulation. More technology museums talking about Australian discoveries and innovations and why we build things abroad. More educators asking tough questions about who we are and where we are going. I can’t imagine why the outgoing government didn’t want that.
Allan Kreuiter, Roseville

Airport denial must end

The problem with NSW in relation to West Sydney Airport is that it has been in a sort of long-term denial that the Badgerys Creek site would ever host an airport, with the land use zone map simply showing the location as such for Special Purposes” (“Four New Subway Lines Planned for Sydney’s West,” 12 February). As such, effective rail-based land transport access has not been a priority. NSW is now building a Metro link to St Marys which many experts consider fairly useless, so it’s good news about the direct link to Parramatta and hence the under construction Sydney Metro West to the Sydney CBD. The problem is that there is no evidence that the transit time achieved is low enough – say 35 minutes – to be a competitive airport railway. Nor is there any indication that the CBD station will be suitable as a terminal for an airport service. Think Hong Kong if you’re looking for a benchmark for a superior airport railway.
Peter Thornton, Killara

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