If Scott Morrison is “proud of his legacy and determined to defend it” it further reaffirms how detached from reality modern conservatives have become (“All eyes on Morrison as he inches towards exit”, May 19). On all objective criteria Morrison was our worst ever PM – trashing Australia’s international reputation and obstructing action on climate change, while going missing back home when the going got tough. Chris Roylance, Paddington (QLD)
The photo of Morrison, left foot forward, striding out the door, made me smile and wonder: where to now? We know he’s not going to put out a fire. Brother Stuart Robert has waved goodbye to federal politics via a limp letter of farewell, so, yes, maybe Brother Morrison won’t be far behind (“Robert resigns, triggering byelection”, May 19). The photo is a sliding-door moment. The present and future intersecting. As Tom Gleeson says on Hard Quiz when a male contestant is booted off the show, thumbing towards the exit, “There he goes”. The door closes. And rest of the show goes on. Peter Skrzynecki, Eastwood
There is a common theme to Morrison’s actions. From Turnbull betrayal, holidays in Hawaii, the blokey image, grandstanding (China’s Covid culpability and AUKUS) and multiple ministries, his self-interest is paramount. And so, he also remains in parliament, a millstone to his party with no apparent purpose other than a sinecure until he can market himself to a well-paid position that mollifies his ego. Rowan Godwin, Rozelle
“The question isn’t when Morrison will quit politics – it’s why he hasn’t already.” There’s a simple answer. Given his employment history, no-one in Australia is prepared to risk him in the sort of job he imagines he’s entitled to. Gary Stowe, Springwood
Unemployable? Possibly. At least in continuing as an MP the only risk is that his electorate gives him the heave. In the Sutherland Shire? Unlikely. David MacKintosh, Berkeley Vale
Whatever else his shortcomings, Morrison has to be given credit for not being a destabilising influence in his party. Unlike previous leaders from both sides of politics, he has avoided speculation about a leadership challenge – a luxury which Peter Dutton might do well to consider as he charts a course for the federal Liberals. Philip Cooney, Wentworth Falls
Is Morrison really mentoring younger colleagues while on the backbench? Best laugh I’ve had all day. If that’s true, then the Libs and their new “Scomobots” can spend the next 20 years in the political wilderness, with my blessing. Patrick McGrath, Potts Point
No-one safe around under trained and over-armed police
When I was a psychiatric nurse in the late 1960s, we were taught how to restrain an out of control psychotic patient by four nurses, each holding the corner of a blanket, pulling the blanket over the patient’s head and holding on until some sedation could be quickly administered.
The ongoing reports of police using violent measures to subdue disturbed people is becoming more and more alarming and distressing (“Dementia patient, 95, allegedly Tasered by police while in care”, May 19). Surely, the police could be taught more reasonable methods for dealing with innocent, but unwell people instead of the ludicrous, uncalled for methods presently used. Heather Johnson, West Pennant Hills
That two strong police officers were unable to grab a knife off a 95-year-old female dementia patient without Tasering her doesn’t seem real. And she was using a walking frame! I struggle for words. Bizarre? Incredulous? Idiotic? Phil Johnson, Dee Why
Absolutely disgusting. Police unable to subdue an elderly lady over 90 years old without a Taser. Welcome to old age and old age care. Excessive use of force is a crime. Michael Pieterse, Sydney
I eagerly await a full report on the alleged Tasering of a walker and knife wielding 95-year-old retirement home inmate. Are we descending into the morass of US-style policing where excessive force to arrest a distressed person becomes common practice in law enforcement? Ken Osborne, Bowraville
How could a 95-year-old nursing home patient with dementia simultaneously “use her walking frame” and “carry a knife”? I have difficulty in imagining how anyone could do both at the same time.
How could the police be so insecure that they saw the need to Taser this woman multiple times? Surely, no-one is safe in nursing homes, nor are they safe when under trained and over-armed police are around. John MacKay, Asquith
The person who decided some years ago to change the NSW Police Service into the NSW Police Force did a great disservice to this state. Words matter. Maureen Partridge, Baulkham Hills
I applaud Ashley Beeby for taking a risk in her work experience as a young 15-year-old, and following her interests in school subjects (“I got an ATAR of 95. Now I’m a heavy-vehicle mechanic”, May 19). Choosing your passion over a conventional high ATAR path takes courage, to do that in a male dominated trade even more so. Through your dual passion of writing, I hope you can share your story with young people and their parents, making them aware that it’s possible to turn your interests not only into a job, but a profession which ignites you. As a parent of a child who also chose an unconventional path, I’m cheering you on. Sharon McGuinness, Thirroul
Ashley Beeby has learnt at a young age what most of us take years to understand and some never grasp. That is, life is much more rewarding and enjoyable if you pursue a career in something you are interested in rather than something that is deemed by others to be more prestigious. Congratulations to her and may she have a long and successful career. Roger Yandle, North Rothbury
Go Ashley! May your career choice, writing and mentoring bring encouragement, hope, and joy to many others. Sue Dyer, Downer (ACT)
Executive government wording comes with problems
The discussion on whether a tactical decision should be made to remove the “Voice to executive government” from the wording of the referendum proposal and, if the referendum is successful, to then introduce it by legislation (“Campaign at point of No return”, May 19) has been suggested in good faith by supporters of the Voice, but it comes with two significant problems. When the tactic becomes widely known, it will appear as some sleight of hand and will be condemned by the opposition. Even more seriously, if the manoeuvre were to succeed, any legislation enabling a Voice to executive government could be repealed by any future Coalition government. The leadership of First Nations peoples has requested that the wording, as is proposed, should be added to the Constitution. We should honour that request and work to make it a reality. Grahame Hackett, Bowral
As support for the Indigenous Voice appears to be dropping, I find the arrogance and callous insensitivity of those who oppose it quite breathtaking. Many Australians are the descendants of original settlers who plundered the land and destroyed the lives and culture of the original owners who had lived here for over 60,000 years. Generations of new Australians followed the early settlers, and have also enjoyed successful lives in a warm and bountiful country. We newcomers set up mechanisms by which we can have access to a voice through which we can seek answers to our societal problems and, in time, have them addressed. We are being “looked after”. But who is caring for the needs of Indigenous Australians? Where is their voice? To deny them an equal right to their own, which would be co-operative, might be called “un-Australian”. Now I am ashamed and embarrassed to think it is … Australian. Corin Fairburn, Bass
Your correspondent asks why it is necessary to enshrine an Indigenous advisory body, known as the “Voice”, in the Constitution (Letters, May 19). The answer to this question is that any such advisory body established by one federal government could be immediately abolished by an incoming government of the opposite persuasion as it would not be obligated by constitutional law to consult Indigenous people on legislation that specifically affects them. This has occurred in the past and, given the Coalition’s current view on the Voice, would no doubt happen again. Dennis Metcalf, Drummoyne
As Waleed Aly suggests, the stage three tax cuts need to be seen in the context of overall tax reform (“Our real tax problem is the unfair burden on the worker”, May 19). Instead, most commentators view them in isolation and so think they are either bad or good. But without wider reform, we will very soon need stage four, and stage five, and more if the average worker is not to incur a greater share of the tax burden. David Rush, Lawson
According to the Trade Minister, China’s lifting of the ban on timber imports is a great outcome for the forestry industry (“China lifts timber trade restrictions”, May 19).
Though this seems to be a positive sign in an important relationship, in fact, it is alarming. Deforestation is a dangerous contributor to global warming as well as a driver of extinctions. Australia has the dubious honour of being a leader in deforestation, having destroyed 50 per cent of forest cover since European settlement.
A large group of Australians, including many of the quiet, cute, vulnerable arboreal species, would object to forestry if they could. Koalas, gliders of all kinds, tree kangaroos and our unique bird species are not generally considered as their populations shrink along with their habitat. Penny Rosier, North Epping
The studies linking air pollution to health problems (“Pollution linked to ADHD in children”, May 19) should alone be reason enough to get rid of fossil-fuel transport, even without considering this pollution in relation to climate change. It’s fair to say Planet Earth is exhausted. Dennis O’Hara, Wanniassa (ACT)
How can the Australian government condemn human rights abuses on the international stage when our record at home is so deplorable (“End limitless detention of refugees: UN”, May 19)?
There are still people left in offshore detention after 10 years awaiting a verdict on their fate; there are people suffering mental illness due to draconian policies that keep them in a state of limbo; there are people who have been declared “stateless” who may be kept incarcerated indefinitely. The list continues and it is simply not good enough for the minister to say, “we are exploring a range of measures” to address the situation.
If the government were genuine in adopting humane refugee policies, more action would have already been taken. However, condemnation by the UNHCR just results in vague, half-hearted promises that leave us all wondering, “If not now, when?” Judith Reynolds, Leura
I’m all for removing signage that might attract gamblers into pubs to experience the dubious pleasures of a “VIP lounge” but if the government thinks money launderers will conveniently forget about pokies as a result, they are having themselves on (“Pokies signage banned”, May 17). Colin Stokes, Camperdown
Your correspondent is dreaming (Letters, May 19). Past experience here and in the US has shown that traffic reductions caused by the creation of new capacity such as freeways and road tunnels are temporary. Traffic will always increase to fill the available capacity. The only way to get permanent reductions in traffic is to provide high-volume rail transport, preferably by underground tunnels. Alan Stanley, Upper Corindi
Fashion faux pas
I was shocked and offended to read your reporter’s depiction of “probably the first time the walls of St Barnabas had seen a hip bone or exposed nipple” during Fashion Week (“Nadia Bartel’s power shoulders and Y2K win over Melbourne’s influencer set”, May 18).
I mean, if journalists think this is the first time our inner-city community has seen an exposed nipple in the architecturally-significant gathering space of our church, they need to get out more. Or come to church more. Rev. Mike Paget, Rector St Barnabas Anglican Church Broadway
Has anyone noticed our autumns have been reduced to one month for the last three years, with heat waves in March and polar blasts in May (“Winter chill set to blast Sydney as multiple cold fronts blow in”, May 19)? John Frith, Paddington
Bury the hatchet – get cremated (“Faith groups run out of burial space”, May 19). Claudia Drevikovsky, Croydon
Slippery dip and slippery slide are regional terms (Letters, May 18). When I was a kid in England the spiral slippery whatever on the pier at Clacton-on-Sea was called the helter-skelter. John Grinter, Katoomba
“The Great Australian Dream is now the Nightmare on Struggle Street,” wrote Allan Gibson of Cherrybrook, summarising letter writers’ angst about the worsening housing crisis. As rents continue to increase, mortgage repayments grow, and the number of affordable homes decreases, many were calling for the state and federal governments to act.
Premier Chris Minns suggested that building up, not out, would provide homes quickly, and warned that continuing urban sprawl would stop Sydney from becoming a leading global city. But as Craig Forbes of Lewisham wrote, Sydneysiders are already too familiar with the problems of living in a big city: “Clogged roads, overloaded public transport and overcrowded schools. Creating a vibrant metropolis? Don’t think so. More like urban dwellers all needing to grow bigger elbows.”
Many agreed that high-density apartment living is the affordable solution to house younger people, families and retirees. “It works well in Europe and Asia, so let’s join the world’s best cities,” wrote Chris Johnson of Millers Point. But good planning and strong oversight of developers would be crucial to its success.
Jeremy Light of Mosman found it hard to believe the “Labor government is doing nothing about negative gearing. It’s a lurk that only benefits developers, landlords and people with excess income, to the disadvantage of first home buyers.”
“The Labor government seems to be wracked with timidity in the face of huge problems,” wrote Alan Phillips of Mosman. “The housing crisis is barely being addressed with any seriousness. Are true believers like me supposed to be happy simply because what we’ve got now is better than the Coalition? Well, this one isn’t.” Read more letters in Yours.Sincerely. Pat Stringa, letters editor
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