Matildas’ skills on and off the pitch make them winners

I come from a family that has never been involved in sport (“Kerr returns as Matildas roll into quarter finals”, August 8). Not one family member has ever belonged to a sport team, not even to watch. But last night I forsook Four Corners and watched the game between Australia and Denmark. What a game: I was totally involved in it and will be watching from now on. Not because it was a women’s team but because the amazing skill the players exhibited! Talk about footwork. Until now, I thought only Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire possessed such skill. Matildas, you’ve won me! Helen Lyons-Riley, Springwood

Illustration: John Shakespeare

Illustration: John ShakespeareCredit:

You will not see me at a Matildas match. I prefer to sit among drunken, potty-mouthed yobbos, watching overpaid narcissists, who may or may not be trying their hardest as they attempt to injure each other in a sea of logos and advertising spruiking the benefits of gambling and alcohol. To go to a family-friendly Matildas match would be simply too weird. Richard Walsh, Woollahra

Wow, our outstanding female athletes, stand up and take a bow (“The Diamonds’ knack of shining brightest not as easy as it seems”, August 8). First, the amazing Diamonds in the World Cup netball, and now the Matildas in the World Cup football. They are all professional and skilful, beautifully spoken, happy and not a single arrest for drunken behaviour, bullying or assault of any kind.
Congratulations to all of these athletes. What a fine example they set for younger generations. Carole Dawes, Randwick

Huge congratulations to the world champion Australian Diamonds who set a fine example. They have handled recent adversity with aplomb, from the savage criticism over their ethical funding stance, the abolition of the Collingwood club, the delays to the squad announcement, the still unresolved pay dispute and the bizarre situation of elite players playing a World Cup with no guaranteed income while out of contract. And yet, no grandstanding, no complaining about inadequate media coverage, no misbehaving while on tour and no form slump. Just a steely determination to win their 12th World Cup title. Brilliant! Alison Stewart, Riverview

One thing I have noticed about the Matildas is that they comfort the team they have just beaten. Such a wonderful gesture. If we could only see more of that in sport rather than post-match aggression. Zara Tai, Minchinbury

Talk about bad timing (Letters, August 8). Your correspondent raises the old furphy of soccer’s goal rarity a day before the Matildas show us what the game is all about. If you crave a goal a minute, that’s what basketball is for. Tom McGinness, Randwick

Always amusing to hear suggestions on how to make the most popular game in the world more interesting. Go the Matildas! Phil Bradshaw, Naremburn

Matildas Matildas, we’re just warming up. Winning the World Cup, have no doubt, that’s what we’re about. Go Matildas. Nicholas Beauman, Neutral Bay

Celebrate multiculturalism

What an enlightening article by Amitava Vas (“I was born in Australia but always barracked against the Aussies – until now”, August 7). His childhood experience of racism and bigotry should be a lesson for all Australians that bullying people because of their ethnicity/religion/gender/sexuality or the colour of their skin can have a long-lasting and devastating effect on their lives. Let us all celebrate the fact that we are a multicultural nation, with all the many advantages that brings. And let us all move forward displaying those other qualities we like to think defines Australia: tolerance, equality and a fair go for all. Robert Hickey, Green Point

Horses for courses, cull a step in the right direction

Minister for Environment Penny Sharpe’s announcement to seek feedback on the proposed amendment to the Kosciuszko National Park wild horse management plan to allow aerial culling of horses is a courageous and essential step in the right direction (“Aerial shooting of feral horses reconsidered”, August 8).
If implemented, this measure would greatly assist in protecting our native species within the park, including more than 30 native threatened species. Aerial culling is used widely and effectively in Australia and in other countries, and is assessed as having the highest welfare standards when carried out by highly trained shooters.
Feral horse populations have exploded and are causing serious erosion in our drinking-water catchments, in addition to placing greater pressure on native species to survive. Ross McKinney, Eucumbene

Feral horses, also known as brumbies on the Long Plain, part of the High Plains area in Kosciuszko National Park.

Feral horses, also known as brumbies on the Long Plain, part of the High Plains area in Kosciuszko National Park.Credit: Wolter Peeters

Science says there are 19,000 horses in Kosciuszko, increasing 15 per cent per year. The law requires 3000 by 2027. Science proved it is more humane to use helicopter shooting than other methods to reduce large feral-horse populations. Finally NSW is thinking about making an evidence-based decision on feral horses. Good move, minister, but please do the right thing by the animals and the national park and shoot as quickly as possible, so the least number has to be killed. Don Fletcher, O’Connor (ACT)

The announcement by the government to look seriously at the option of aerial culling of feral horses is welcome. There have been ongoing attempts to reduce wild-horse numbers using a range of techniques over the past 20 years. Despite these costly efforts, horse numbers have in most years grown. Hopefully stakeholders will support this long-overdue change before we see more horses in even more areas. We need proven practical solutions to humanely manage this problem. David Darlington, Jindabyne

Aerial culling of feral horses got a bad name 20 years ago when used in Guy Fawkes National Park. Let’s hope we’ve all moved on from then. Greg Buckman, Queanbeyan

If brumbies must be culled, it needs to be cost-effective and as humane as practicable. The high cost and dubious efficacy of culling thousands from helicopters creates controversy. Another way might be considered.
Citizens who like to hunt could be licensed to participate under supervision of a wildlife officer on hunts, with rewards for success and high penalties for wounding animals without killing them.
Most of us couldn’t bear to shoot a horse but many Australians might pay for the privilege, especially if they fancied themselves as sharpshooters, with available profit incentives and potential boasting rights of their prowess countered by the financial disincentive for failure. Andrew Cohen, Glebe

Finally, some sense on culling brumbies: quickly, humanely and en masse, to reduce the numbers and preferably to rid Kosciusko of their destructive presence. John Flint, Newtown

Minns’ backflip over teachers’ crisis will cost him

There is a major crisis looming for the Minns government over teacher pay, conditions and ongoing problems with workload and burnout (“Labor ex-premier slams pay offer for teachers in ‘blueprint’ report”, August 8). It is disgraceful that the premier has reneged on a deal to improve teacher pay. It will have major political ramifications for him. The issues of teachers are simply not being addressed. Some vague words are bandied about as to how teachers deserve more but nothing changes. When the issues are constantly reported what student would want to go into teaching?
Minns, Car et al have to address what is happening and work on fair restructuring of the pay scale, the workload of teachers, the quality of support they are being given to help with special needs students and the respect and status given to the people responsible for the education of our children, otherwise the situation will only worsen. Teachers pay and conditions have an enormous effect on student learning conditions. Both deserve the best possible. Augusta Monro, Dural

Aircraft conga

Unexpected aircraft movements in our neck of the woods are nothing new (“Sydney homes face aircraft noise disruption through the night”, August 8). For years, the first drop of rain invariably heralds an airborne conga line of northbound aircraft cutting across the peninsula, the official line being that they are avoiding adverse weather conditions, but the reality being that are making up lost flight time, largely due to takeoff delays. It’s like a travel-oriented version of the butterfly effect: queueing passengers grumble as someone boards with an oversized item of carry-on luggage in Mascot, then hundreds of residents are shouting across the breakfast table in Malabar. Michael McIntosh, Little Bay

Kiribati problem

The federal government’s new overseas development policy for encouraging investment and development in Pacific nations is well and good, but there will be no land left to develop on in a nation like Kiribati, for example, if new coal and gas projects continue to be approved here, keeping emissions high (“PM overhauls aid program to counter China’s rise”, August 8). If ours is truly a “genuine partnership based on respect, listening and learning from each other”, as Penny Wong claims, surely the Albanese government should have the very existence of low-lying Pacific island nations front of mind. Kerrie Wehbe, Blacktown

Dutton’s cover

No wonder Peter Dutton rejected an invitation to the recent Garma Festival in Arnhem Land (“Dutton bypassed Indigenous towns in favour of LNP seats”, August 8). Could his denigrating description of it being a “love-in” for Yes advocates and supporters been simply a cover for not wanting to front up to communities in Arnhem Land. The town missed out on $300,000 for CCTV cameras and lighting, items that would assist in prevention of crime within the community. The leader for the opposition should not confuse the difference between “safer communities” and “safer constituencies”. Cleveland Rose, Dee Why


Upfront.Credit: Cathy Wilcox

One way to increase support for the Yes vote would be to list its advantages for the non-Aboriginal population (Letters, August 8). Many of the No vote supporters are non-Indigenous and are not in the least sympathetic to the needs and problems of our First Nations People. If these uncaring voters were informed of the advantages to themselves of a successful Yes vote, they might reconsider voting No. Christine Dunning, Monash (ACT)

The Labor politicians have a clear message, but the wrong message. They are trying to convince Australians, that they should vote Yes for the Voice, to make things right for Indigenous people and appeal to the average Aussie’s sense of a fair-go. But they haven’t made a case as to why the Voice to parliament is better for non-Indigenous Aussies too. I look forward to a treaty and new relationship, with my Indigenous brothers and sisters. But my suggestion to the PM is to start looking for some win-wins – and fast. Andy Burnett, Keperra (Qld)

Slippery slope

If the Pharmacy Guild wins in its battle with the state government over the increase to 60 days of scripts for essential medicines it should beware (“Pharmacies want billions to cover missing script fees”, August 8). Next the Guild will be demanding all scripts should be for 14 days, so they can double their income again for just busy work. Pamela Wood, McMahons Point

Avoidable irony

The irony of market forces forcing home insurance costs to astronomical heights in flood-prone areas, thereby shining a spotlight on years of greed and inappropriate land zoning, would be delicious if not so tragic and avoidable (“Insurance costs under microscope”, August 8). These chickens have now been brought home to roost, and only starting to right the wrongs by unravelling housing on flood plains can stop the clucking. Alan Carruthers, Artarmon

Death trap

What a mess we have created for ourselves: destruction from rampant AI (“Nuclear option best hope for AI”, August 8) or death from climate change (“The dog days of climate change are coming for your pets”, August 8). These likely existential threats are being met by ignorance and a narcissistic belief that our insignificant planet has a God looking after it. Seemingly the best we have to offer are prayers and ignorance. However, on the brighter side our ending should be poetic: a bang from AI or a whimper from an irrevocable rise in extremes of heat. Trevor Somerville, Illawong

Ant shortfall

Australia has an opportunity, which is rapidly diminishing, to again eradicate fire ants (“‘We’re losing the war’: Fire ants on the march amid shortfall in eradication funding”, August 7). If we dither, get distracted or don’t give the funds required for the job, fire ants will continue their spread and their damage. The chance is then gone. Come on Australia. We’re smarter than this. Rhyan Andrews, Faulconbridge

Up close: the fire ant

Up close: the fire antCredit:

The bungled and utterly inadequate response to the looming disaster that is the fire ant invasion will be a dummy run for our response to global heating: too little too late. Dick Clarke, Elanora Heights

Spot of fother

Playing dictionaries on a family holiday, we had to define the word “fother” (Letters, August 8). One wit offered, “the fringe of feathers around a fox’s mouth as he leaves the chook house”. That night we not only learned the real meaning (look it up) but also had a good laugh. Robyn Cashman, Fernhill

Free falling

I agree with your correspondent (Letters, August 7) – free-to-air TV is in a parlous state. Check any day’s program: repeats of repeats, forgettable reality shows, or violent crime, hardly enjoyable or edifying TV. However, one program that never fails to entertain and inform is Back Roads on ABC TV. Time for those in charge of programming to up the ante and refresh their game. Kath Maher, Lidcombe

Naked ambition

Interesting idea from your correspondent that we might revert to when the Olympic Games were played in the nude (Letters, August 8). I recall Sir Robert Helpmann, who, when asked the same question about nude ballet, replied rather mischievously, “The problem is, when the body stops moving, certain very visible parts don’t.” Eric Hunter, Cook (ACT)

Age of Barbie

Yes, Barbie, growing older is an absolute privilege (“Age did not weary Barbie, but that’s her loss”, August 8). Lisa Clarke, Watsons Bay

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Justin Scaccy

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