The school behavior counselor struggles on many fronts

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Recognition:John Shakespeare

Your correspondent is right (Letters, September 26) that “endless discussions of the details of a republic … are but a ploy to perpetuate the status quo”. And the tactic worked brilliantly for John Howard in 1999. A referendum to simply sever the link between the governor-general (and state governors) and the English monarch, with no further changes, should be voted on first. Debating and agreeing on the details can then calmly get the focus it deserves. After all, most of us get married without a prenuptial agreement. Michael Britt, Macmasters Beach

I agree with your correspondent that Australians are inherently conservative on constitutional issues; our history of unsuccessful referendums proves this beyond a doubt. I would have voted yes in 1967, but have reservations about the current proposals, both the Voice and the Republic. It was a simple decision in 1967, a decision of fairness and equality before the law, hence the strong approval. However, I think that is not the case this time. The questions before voters on both proposals are whether they contribute to the good of the whole country, or are they purely emotional and symbolic? I’m more concerned about economic gains for all Australians, regardless of ethnicity, and social stability. Vivienne Parsons, Thornleigh

I’m confident that the majority of voters would support fair recognition of our Indigenous citizens in a revised constitution, but finding the balance that gives First Nations people a meaningful say in national affairs is another matter. Finding a solution to win the support of a majority of voters in a majority of states is far from certain. Denis Suttling, Newport Beach

Who should be our Head of State if Australia is to become a republic must be someone impartial with no agenda or wheelbarrow to push, along with a full understanding of our Constitution. I can’t think of anyone. Jenny Greenwood, Hunter Hill

Tax cuts stand in the way of the necessary reform

With each passing day, the cost of our debt is increasing, and as pointed out by Shane Wright (“Interest Rate Jump Carves $120 Billion Hole in Budget,” Sept. 26), that cost is greater than the cost of “child-care subsidies, Support”. for caregivers and public schools combined”. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers are gritting their teeth and insisting Stage Three tax cuts go ahead, and the opposition indulges in fantasies about “reprioritizing spending commitments,” conveniently forgetting their own wastefulness and failure to accept accepted processes when it held the checkbook. The RBA governor has clearly laid out the options for the government to start managing our debt, and it’s obvious that each one deserves serious consideration. Structural reforms take time. Cutting services is constrained by years of neglect and inaction, which means the opposite is required in many areas. So to have an immediate impact, the government needs to generate more revenue. The task before the government is to make the case convincingly for tax reform that will increase revenue and put us on a path to reducing debt and future fiscal deficits. Ross Butler, Rodd Point

All Australian taxpayers should be thankful that a joint House and Senate audit will examine the coalition’s “waste, infidelity” and “shady grants” that have left the federal budget with a record $1 trillion in debt. For the non-frugal girly men (and women) who might mix up their millions and billions, consider this comparison. A million seconds is 12 days; a billion seconds is 31 years; and a trillion seconds is 31,688 years. The scale of the economic hole left by the previous government is unprecedented, and the coalition can never claim to be “the better economic manager” again. Alan Marel, North Curl Curl

Don’t vote for Pickleball, Shane Wright (“Car parks and pickleball courts: $7b of Coalition grants in sights,” Sept. 26). Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in Australia. It attracts all ages from older retired players to middle aged and teenagers. Schools introduce it into their sports programs. Three or four pickleball courts fit in the area of ​​a tennis court. It’s easy to learn and easy on the joints. I know what my budget priority is: a fairer distribution of resources. More pickleball courts to keep us fit and healthy. Beth Hansen, Alstonville

Out of appreciation

Transport Secretary David Elliott is right when he raves about the majesty of locomotive 3801 under steam (“A ticket to ride on one Aussie icon as it crossing”, 26 September). But good luck to Ajay Negi and his plans to study steam engineering. Elliott’s government is working flat out to dismantle and disperse the Powerhouse, one of the world’s largest industrial heritage museums. What about the museum’s 1785 Boulton and Watt engine and landmark Steam Revolution exhibit, both of which run on live steam? Meanwhile, the museum’s signature transportation exhibit of trains, planes, cars and more will disappear for dress parades and parties. The Powerhouse is wiped out, never to be seen again by kids like Ajay. Debbie Ruder, Maroubra

Locomotive 3801 crosses the Sydney Harbor Bridge on Sunday.

Locomotive 3801 crosses the Sydney Harbor Bridge on Sunday.Recognition:Sydney Morning Herald

Those old enough to remember the steam locomotive era may feel differently than today’s enthusiasts. Sticking your head out the window meant risking a face covered in gritty soot. Men working as stokers had the tough task of feeding the hungry animal. But the passage of time somehow turns negativity into nostalgia. Joan Brown, Orange

Fine floodwaters

I am a retired SES leader (Letters, September 26). We were very annoyed with idiots with big 4x4s who showed their butchness by going into deepening water and stranding, requiring a rescue by us, risking volunteer lives and overloaded vehicles. It was tempting to let them marinate for quite a while. Your correspondent reasonably suggests that axle height would be a good measure of the upper limit of navigable flood depth. However, you first go into shallow water, which then deepens. Once you reach axle depth you will have to reverse out of the water which will very likely force water into your exhaust system and shut down your engine unless you are in a manual transmission vehicle and are keeping the RPMs very high while clutching . A better solution was to propose a large fine for entering flood waters, similar to lighting a fire on a total fire ban day. Dave Williams, Port Macquarie

Mantel’s next chapter

It is interesting to compare and contrast Sean Kelly’s latest column (“A Good Word for Pens,” September 26) with Hilary Mantel’s obituary (“One of the Greatest Writers Alive,” September 26). Kelly sees that death “makes each of us something.” In contrast, Mantel believes in life after death, although he cannot imagine how it could work. I loved and admired the humility of her reasoning: “The universe is not limited by what I can imagine.” Mark Porter, New Lambton

Bring back G&S

HMS apron

HMS apronRecognition:Jacquie Manning

I hope Opera Australia’s new chairman Rod Sims will reintroduce Gilbert and Sullivan into the repertoire (‘New Chair Looks Beyond Sydney’, 26 September). The long absence of this integral part of our musical culture has forced disenchanted locals to look far beyond Sydney to other more enlightened states that recognize G&S always makes money, often allowing rusty subscribers to introduce children and grandchildren to opera for the first time. Bill Lloyd, Denistone

memory aid

My system does not require consultation calendars (Letters, September 26th). I got married the day after my birthday (never forget) and my son got married the day after his birthday. Richard Kirby, Campbelltown

As for remembering wedding anniversaries and birthdays, it would be much more convenient if they were standardized, like horse birthdays and Christmas. Tony Hunt, Gordon

Why actually?

I suggest your correspondent’s question (Letters, September 26) could have been simply, “Why are the New Zealand All Blacks admitted?” Warwick Farley, Roseville

Make it your own

In affairs of state and many other matters (letters of September 26) I have found that one head is enough. Ivan Head, Burradoo

Certainly, as a Republican nation, we should embrace Cobber when the head of state is male, or Cobbette when the head of state is female, and we should seek the advice of those of Indigenous heritage, which would be an appropriate term when we have an Indigenous head of state have state. Merilyn McClung, Forestville

The digital gaze
Commenting online on one of the stories that received the most reader feedback yesterday smh.com.au
Doctors sleep under desks because they are too tired to drive
Out of Gray: 80-hour weeks are not uncommon in many areas, including my own. I’ll make them for many more weeks. But I am not responsible for human life or death. The quality of the training and learning these doctors receive in the 60-80 hours a week is in any case questionable. If they barely function to apply their knowledge, they don’t have the ability to learn more. And the senior physicians who could train them do not do the night shift, but other residents.

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Joel McCord

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