The Republican cause was dealt a blow by the Queen’s death

Before buses were privatized, the government butchered the routes. This ideologically motivated exercise means that no direct bus from Randwick or Coogee will get you any closer to the CBD than the museum station, and nothing from the north-east of the CBD will get you home. Whoever benefited, it wasn’t the public. Michael Berg, Randwick

The NSW Transport Secretary claims “politics” are behind criticism of NSW transport privatisation. In fact, it is primarily his political party’s free-market ideology and policies that are behind the privatizations of public assets. The pursuit of profit will never provide goods and services on which all members of society can rely. Therefore we have no privatization of police, military, courts, water etc. Where we have privatized public property like schools, hospitals and toll roads etc. they no longer serve the public but serve the rich. David McMaster, Mosman

Until the state government and private operators realize that the public doesn’t like playing with bus seats when getting from A to B, they will continue to refuse to fund C. It’s as easy as ABC. Bob Scott, Eastlake

Republic dispute a certainty

I cannot agree with your correspondent (Letters, September 21) who says “very little would change” if we became a republic. When the Australian Constitution was drafted, the colonies (which became states) delegated certain powers to the Commonwealth and retained all remaining powers for themselves, with each state’s legislature reporting directly to the Crown. Therefore, individual states can go their own way on issues such as pandemic management because the Commonwealth has no legal basis to intervene. Becoming a republic would inevitably change the relationship between state legislatures and the Australian Parliament, and while that may be inevitable, it will likely not come about without much controversy over who would be responsible for what going forward. Doug Walker, Baulkham Hills

The proposed alternative names for a potential Australian president are about as un-Australian as a monarchy. Let’s go back to those prosperous days when Australia rode sheep and all was well and had a ‘Ringer’ or ‘Gun Shearer’ as the friendly overseer of our Commonwealth shed. Frank McGrath, Bulli

My contribution to the title of head of state is The Big Kahuna. Bill Plastiras, Vaucluse

My choice of title for our head of state is Governor General. Remove the superfluous letter to the monarch, which is only symbolic, and leave everything else as is. It works well. The governor-general could be elected as he is now, with one addition: that they are indigenous. If a president is proposed, I will vote against. Mary Marlow, Blackheath

Your correspondent says, “Republicans, please note: the people need someone to respect and unite.” She is right, but for Australians to be able to fully do this, that person must be one of us, and we ‘the people’ must have a say in the choice of resident. Eric Hunter, Chef (ACT)

Hundreds await their selfless rescuers “through days and nights of rain and sometimes cold” during the Lismore floods, thousands have waited patiently for years for their asylum claims to be processed and humbly awaited recognition as First Nations in a Voice, a parliament that passed these Living and uniting the continent respectfully for 60,000 years. All that humanity and more can be seen and admired here in Australia. And not an empty, expensive, monarchical celebrity in sight. Helen Lewin, Tumbi Umbi

Simple Sydney pleasures

An important point in preserving the heritage character of some suburbs (“Property and power: the ‘latte line’ protect Sydney’s Heritage Homes”, 21 September) is that while we cannot all afford to live in them, but as citizens we can visit them all and enjoy them. I regularly walk through inner-city neighborhoods to soak up the streetscape and amenities. I don’t begrudge those lucky enough to live there. On the contrary, I am very pleased with the many ways in which owners can distinguish their terrace from that of their neighbors, for example. Strolling down a quiet, terrace-lined Darlington Street on an early Sunday morning, catching views of the harbor from The Rocks, or sitting in a side-street pub in Camperdown and watching the world go by are simple pleasures in Sydney , which are open to all . Michael Thompson, Bexley North

fibro house

fibro houseRecognition:Peter Ree

Even more significant than the artisan aesthetics and historical provenance of a building, be it a manor house or a miners’ cottage, is the intrinsic value it holds for the occupant’s spirit, a sense of place, a connection that is at the heart of heritage. We must be relentless in preventing further loss of these treasures, while also striving to create a new landscape that also fosters a sense of place. Destroying inheritance is a crime. To replace it with clemency is a tragedy. Steve Dillon, Thirroul

I disagree with your correspondent (Letters, September 21). Post-war fibroids have no historical value other than as an illustration of what not to do. Due to the material shortages of the post-war era, buyers got horrible little ticky-tackies with nasty little windows that invariably faced the wrong way, turning them into refrigerators in the winter and stoves in the summer. By all means, remember the past if that past is worth remembering. Nicholas Triggs, Katoomba

educational boost

The two articles (“Aging in the Ranks Makes Classes Harder” and “Our Unfair School System is Bottom of the Class,” 21 September) highlight past public policies of reduction and unfair government support for our public education system. Not only has wage growth been dampened (NSW politicians, who were once paid the same as teachers, are now double that), but back-office support has been reduced, shifting non-teaching tasks to staff and principals. We as a nation have grossly undervalued education for decades. As in other areas of our economy, more money is needed. The tax on GDP must rise. Stephen Dunn, Bonnells Bay

Let’s get real

Treasurer says we need to talk about taxes (“Nation Needs Funding Talks,” September 21). Can we have a tax summit so all the people who made spending proposals at the jobs summit can talk about how we pay them? I dream of the day when every spending suggestion is accompanied by someone’s appropriate suggestion on how to pay the change. Neville Turbit, Russell Lea

test of endurance

In our age of fitness obsession, it’s worth noting how much fitness and stamina is required of members of the Royal Family on the walk behind the Queen’s coffin. Yes, it was a drumbeat, but what a royal marathon. Ros Gonczi, Erskineville

A marathon for Her Majesty

A marathon for Her MajestyRecognition:Chris Jackson Collection

Aside from the story, the pomp, the ceremony, the loyalty and sacrifices, and the reality TV-style money-no-object twist, let’s not forget that by the end of the game, the queens and pawns are back in the same box again . Bill Leigh, West Pennant Hills

I would like to know what some of these royals did to get so many medals. Doug Johnson, Bellevue Hill

As a one-time thing, I’m going to use a public holiday on my birthday today. With Vaitsas, Ashbury

Can we have a spring equinox holiday every year? John Hinde, Millers Point

Teamwork

A good example of what good can be accomplished is when people work together (“Landfill Mountains Become the Ultimate Cleanup Rescue,” September 21). Well done everyone involved, I hope all the other refugees can get their lives back as well. Kath Maher, Lidcombe

The digital gaze
Commenting online on one of the stories that received the most reader feedback yesterday smh.com.au
The Greens and Pocock are pushing to exclude plug-in hybrids from Labor’s EV tax breaks
Out of nuggets: Good for David Pocock that he denounces bad politics. Subsidies for fossil fuel vehicles (hybrids) are missing the target. It would be better to see more innovative measures like halving the GST for EVs to take another $2500 off the price of entry-level EVs. The government would still get about the same sales tax as they would on a small petrol car.

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Joel McCord

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