Matildas pave a path to greatness for the future

Know what’s most inspiring about the Matildas (“Fasten your seatbelts, they are not going to buckle”, August 9)? If the adventure had ended on Monday night or if it ends in this Saturday’s quarterfinal, or even with a dream run all the way to the final, I’d still be left with tears of joy and goosebumps from what i witnessed at Stadium Australia on Monday night. The sound of 75,000 screams. LOUD. And high-pitched. That’s right – most (but by no means all) of them women and girls who saw a path to self-esteem, teamwork, health, fitness, all cheering their gracious, awesome role models. Having followed, coached and refereed girls’ and women’s football for 20 years -and wearing a cap that pre-dated Matildas merch, signed by players in 2007, one of whom played against Denmark (take a bow “Polks”) it was a thrill beyond thrills. Forza Matildas. Go you good things! So proud. Geoff Sirmai, Maroubra

Illustration: John Shakespeare

Illustration: John ShakespeareCredit:

The Women’s World Cup has been so refreshing, and the game has been keenly watched, as is evident by the wave of support for the Matildas in their win over Denmark with the highest rating TV program of 2023 (“Tasty Danish triumph sets TV record”, August 9). Why? Because there have been no players falling over “badly injured” after being touched by another player. No sickening hard tackles on opposing players. No players arguing and aggressively gesturing with the referee, and when teams have finished their games they have crossed the field to acknowledge the other team. Go the Matildas in the exciting finals. Australia will be watching. Helen Simpson, Curl Curl

Hayley Raso represents the team effort that has seen the Matildas succeed without their star captain and, for me, has been the stand-out player with three goals, even though she is rarely mentioned in the list of fan favourites (“Your starting XI: the idiot’s guide to the Matildas”,, August 9). I hope that she will have the opportunity to equal Sam Kerr’s previous 2019 record of five goals in a tournament. Philip Cooney, Wentworth Falls

I agree with your correspondent that the Matildas’ skilled footwork is reminiscent of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (Letters, August 9). Let’s not forget that Ginger did everything Fred did but also backwards and in high heels. Sally Spurr, Lane Cove

I love rugby league and I attend rugby league games, but I do not consider myself to be a ‘drunken, potty-mouthed yobbo’. Nevertheless, you can’t beat a mindless cultural stereotype to keep the letters pages abuzz. John Campbell, South Golden Beach

Fingers crossed, our magnificent Matildas will be inspired by their underdog status to defeat a higher-ranked France to, at least, progress to the semi-finals. Steve Ngeow,Chatswood

The stars are aligning as the Matildas march on. What a phenomenon! A team in every sense of the word and carrying Australia on their back a minor detail as they inspire girls, both young and old, to achieve their dreams. Win, lose or draw, they have reset what was once thought unachievable. Go Matildas! Geoff Simmons, Belrose

Albanese government too scrutinised and politicised

I agree with Ross Gittins: we have elected a government with energy and focus, their intentions are admirable and evident, however change is challenging and, as he suggests, costly (“To fix things courage is needed”, August 9). I believe the Albanese team is up to the challenge but every big picture scheme they propose is overly scrutinised and politicised. Given the focus on their every proposed change, they are understandably attempting to take small steps before the big leap to a better future. Janet Argall, Dulwich Hill

I hope what Gittins means is that he worries for what the current government is faced with, not it’s actions to date. The Labor government has been in office for about 12 months. Trying to establish priorities during that time would have been a difficult task after an almost decade of total inactivity affecting Australia by the previous administration. Not to mention creating international relationship problems with our allies, the rectification of which Labor made a priority when it came to power.
Gittins espouses that the PM appears reluctant to undertake increased spending to meet the problems that his government had been left with. With our external debt just shy of $1 trillion and no obvious vision at this stage on how to reduce it, it is no wonder the government wants to hasten slowly before committing to further expenditure. Stewart Copper, Maroubra

Illustration: Simon Letch.

Illustration: Simon Letch.Credit:

Gittins is right. Anthony Albanese’s overriding objective is to stay in office, especially over the housing problem which will be his Achilles heel. Building government housing won’t solve this problem, it’s far deeper than that. Housing has become a business, not places where people live. Albanese first has to halt negative gearing now, not next election; he has to bring in laws where people can only own two houses, not 400 as some do; there has to be rent control and appeal courts; empty houses have to be commandeered for renting; housing has to become more government controlled. If the Albanese government ignores this their government will be threatened by the young. Gough Whitlam had the courage to change things in his first term, why is this PM so timid? Timidity never won anything. Ask the Matildas. Stephen Wallace, Glebe

Gittins has made the case that an increase in taxes can be justified considering the deficiencies in public services. However, many finance correspondents repeatedly advise non-dependents who receive an inheritance from a superannuation account on ways to avoid paying a modest tax. Many economists argue that death duties are an effective tax. It was only when the discredited hillbilly dictator, Joh Bjelke Peterson, abolished death duties that the other states were forced to follow suit. I might also add that superannuants also benefit from favourable taxation benefits. Steve Castieau, Bexley

Climate insurance will be increasingly harder to pay

Shane Wright clearly demonstrates increasing insurance premiums as a key cost of climate change (“Will climate make us uninsurable?”, August 9). A cost, for which there are no easy answers. Another cost is associated with economic productivity growth which will inevitably be harder to achieve as global temperatures rise and extreme weather events become more severe and more frequent. Garry White, Lindfield

Infuriating priorities

Your myth-debunking explainer about the pressure climate change is placing on the Great Barrier Reef’s coral diversity is much appreciated (“Reef risks ‘severe coral bleaching’ as hot summer looms”, August 9). Coral reefs are home to a quarter of all marine life and offer medicinal properties, tourism opportunities and protection from storms and erosion: services worth trillions worldwide. In addition to its beauty, the Great Barrier Reef offers thousands of jobs and billions of dollars annually to the Australian economy. That our government continues to prioritise the interests of fossil fuel corporations over climate solutions that would actually help safeguard our precious, life-giving reef is beyond disappointing – it’s infuriating. Karen Lamb, Geelong (Vic)

Greens’ perfectionism

Opposition to the carbon pollution reduction scheme that put climate mitigation back a decade, the Adani convoy that contributed to the Coalition victory in 2019, and now the refusal to pass Labor’s $10bn housing bill because starting with some housing is not good enough for their perfectionism (“Renters’ rights in sight for Albanese”, August 9). You would be forgiven for believing that the Greens are an impediment to progressive policies in this country. Wayne Duncombe, Lilyfield

Is it possible that the Greens’ constant call for a national rent freeze has spooked some landlords into pre-emptively upping their rents in anticipation of future regulation, adversely impacting cost of living pressures here and now? Be careful what you wish for … Stephen Driscoll, Castle Hill

Housing values

The potential for Landcom to directly develop near key transport nodes provides a tremendous opportunity for the Minns government to demonstrate its values (“Landcom has ‘bigger role’ to play as Labor shifts to building more homes”, August 9). As well as providing 30 per cent affordable housing, Landcom can commit to low carbon emissions by restricting parking to 0.5 car spaces per dwelling. With global temperature records being broken by unexpectedly high margins, the globe is accelerating towards tipping points beyond which there is no return. Mass car ownership means huge emissions through car manufacture, tailpipe and extra concrete and steel. Electric cars only partly address those issues and create additional mining impacts. Reduced car ownership is the direction we must urgently take. Matthew Bartinel, Killara

The urban sprawl in the suburb of Edmondson Park.

The urban sprawl in the suburb of Edmondson Park.Credit:

The photo of the housing estate scared the life out of me. Nary a white roof, no trees and no space for them. Western Sydney means high temperatures in summer and the planet is experiencing climate change. Surely, we can build houses and create green space at the same time. Anna Beniuk, Mount St Thomas

Outdated idea

What a good idea to name the Pitt Street metro station Gadigal (“Indigenous name slated for station on Sydney metro line”, August 9). Naming stations after their geographic locations is so 20th century, don’t you think? David Calvey, Gosford

Horse humanity

I am horrified at the tone of so many letters eagerly barracking for aerial shooting of “feral” horses in national parks (Letters, August 9). Let’s not forget who created the problem in the first place: us. Accepting that there is now a necessity to fix the mess we have made, can we at least exhibit some compassion? A humane approach should be our first instinct. There is an ironic juxtaposition in your news pages, where we’re told about the work of Elizabeth Milinkovic (“Horse Whisperer breaks barriers with therapy”, August 9). She describes the healing empathy horses seemingly exhibit towards humans. The tone of some of your contributors suggest that that empathy is a one-way street. Never mind the sins of the horses, on this evidence it’s hard not to despair of some members of our own species. Deborah Fleming, Cygnet (Tas)

As much as I love horses this must be done and the park preserved for native plants and animals.
Aerial culling is proposed as the best method, but what happens to all the dead horses? If left lying where they fall, wild dog and pig populations will explode as they clean up the carcasses, causing an even worse problem. Nobody ever says a word about this outcome or its solution. Kris Mckeon, Goonellabah

Radio silence

Is 1 per cent of revenue enough to pay for all the music used on radio (“Stoush erupts as musicians demand more money from radio”, August 9)? If musicians withdraw all music from radio we’ll find out. Brenton White, Mosman

Worse noise

The government may be adamant that “there will be no change to Sydney Airport’s long-term operating plan”, but after more than two decades this plan has still failed to bring aircraft movements to the north of the airport down to the targeted level, and the effective closure of the east-west runway for 12 months will only make the situation worse (Letters, August 9).
Doug Walker, Baulkham Hills

Country divided

Winners and losers (Letters, August 9)? No matter what the eventual outcome of the pending referendum, one thing is becoming blatantly obvious, there will be no winners. Our country will be divided for many years to come. What a sad state of affairs we have created. Bob Harris, Sawtell

With research showing as many as 63 per cent of Queenslanders may be voting No in a referendum and the Olympics set for 2032 in Queensland is this sending the wrong message to all those Indigenous athletes planning to compete and foreign tourists who are considering attending the games? Surely, even though the Olympics are a long way off, an historical decision that people living in Queensland did not support the Voice may paint Australia as a whole, as being an anti-Indigenous country. William Tuck, Orange

Government response a Barry Crocker

Who remembers the response to the arrival of Argentine ants way back in the last century (Letters, August 9)? There was an advertising campaign, starring Barry Crocker as Trapper Tom and a $10 bounty for any kids who spotted a nest. This was coordinated intergovernmental action, involved in attempts to identify and eradicate the threat. Nowadays, with all the advances in technology, we can’t match what we did in the past and fire ants will continue to march across the nation. Andrew Brown, Bowling Alley point

Life advice

By all means, try making sense of finances, but leave life alone. It is as insoluble as a DA crossword (“Making sense of finances and life”, August 9). Mustafa Erem, Terrigal

Artificial impregnation

Once upon a time AI was a way of artificially impregnating a cow (Letters, August 9). Nowadays, it seems that AI is screwing all of us. Tony Butler, North Sydney

Naked solution

Nude cricket would probably put an end to ball tampering (Letters, August 9). Patrick St George, Goulburn

Dairy death

Cheeses (“Man crushed to death by falling cheese wheels”, August 9)! Alicia Dawson, Balmain

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Justin Scaccy

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