Urgent need for action to combat housing inequality

We’re a pretty pathetic bunch if we can’t find an Australian who can do a better job than ‘King’ Charles is likely to do. Let’s start with the current Australian of the Year, Dylan Alcott, or one of his living predecessors. Then there’s a pretty good list of good Australians who have been awarded decorations by Australia (by the Queen, so they must be good). Kevin Farrell, Beelbangera

Here are two suggested titles for the Head of State of the Australian Republic; ‘Governor Elder’, which beckons both camps and provides a degree of continuity, and for the complete change, ‘Esteemed Elder’, an egalitarian ‘first among equals’. Michael Cunningham, Pearl Beach

Does it even need a president? Can you name the President of Switzerland? Few people can do this as it is a one year revolving appointment. In Australia, the exercise of reserve powers or any constitutional issue could be decided by judges of the High Court. Let’s think outside the box for a non-political solution. Graham Millar, Killarney Heights

The monarchy, with the support of our Republican Prime Minister and funding from the Australian taxpayer, is already planning its next promotional event – a visit by the new Prince and Princess of Wales next year. Prepare for the inevitable King Charles Parade through our streets. Little chance of a change in the polls in the foreseeable future. Rick Johnston, Potts Point

Drug reform ignored by experts

It is interesting that the NSW Government has enthusiastically embraced expert medical advice when it comes to COVID-related matters, but ignores expert medical advice on drug decriminalization (‘Premier stops short of Drug Decriminalisation’, 22 May 2009). September). When the law fails, why do politicians think they know more than the experts? John Croker, Woonona

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Recognition:police media

The PM said: “Drugs have no place in our society.” The statement is not only factually incorrect, it is yet another example of political thinking perpetuating the so-called “war on drugs”.
Drugs have always had a place in society. What is defined as illegal has much more to do with social and political norms or agendas than with evidence-based research. Drugs like alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine, despite their relative toxicity, are promoted, taxed, and rarely mentioned when it comes to drug law discussions. Despite the ever-mounting evidence supporting decriminalization and even legalization, politicians and police officers are repeating the same old, tired and flawed mantra.
Lindsay Smith, Linden

building blocks

Well said by your correspondent (Letters, September 22). Let me add some immortal words from Keats: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” When buildings of bygone eras are destroyed or left to decay, even the not so beautiful ones, not only do we lose a part of our history, but we lose too our humanity. Yes, some buildings may be beyond repair and we need to make room for new housing for a growing population. However, this should not come at the cost of destroying our history and turning streets and neighborhoods into desolate cityscapes. It is neither beautiful nor pleasant to walk through such neighborhoods.Margot Vaccari, Berovra

I agree with your correspondent. The 1953 three bedroom Fibro war service house in North Ryde, occupied by my family for 40 years, should have been preserved as a piece of our recent past. Paul Keys, Wolkenbach

alternative solution

The damaging economic impact of yesterday’s bank holiday, including sick leave taken today to make a four-day weekend, could have been avoided. The National Day of Mourning should have been treated as our annual Memorial Day on November 11, with flags at half-mast, a minute’s silence at 11 a.m. and memorial services available when and where convenient for those who wish to attend. Alan Slade, Dover Heights

service outage

A number of correspondents (Letters, September 22) wrote about the serious loss of services due to the privatization of once state-run services such as buses, electricity, etc. A glaring omission was the privatization of pre-school childcare. Private companies are now making large profits from childcare, driving up prices for parents. These were once community services. Until childcare is removed from the corporate net, costs will continue to rise, workers’ wages will be steadily squeezed, and services cut. Geoff Lindsay, Thurgoona

swaying around

Well said, Osman Faruqi (“Being a Swans fan can be isolating and oh so sweet,” September 22), but the Swans are more than “a part of the fabric of Sydney.” They are the classic Aussie underdogs – a NSW team going up against the Victorian establishment. Some of us are from outside – ex-Leagueys who had their local tribal teams snatched away by the Super League dispute and found a more exciting spectacle. There’ll be an Illawarra Steeler boy sitting in the MCG hoping the red and white cygnets will soar as high as the exorbitant airfares the airlines outrageously charge to get him there. Mike Traynor, Bellambi

Heavy lifting

The naval soldiers hauling the Queen’s coffin may have a difficult job with H&S implications (Letters, September 22), but they are weak compared to those of the pallbearers. The Queen’s coffin weighed around 300 kg, meaning that each of the guardsmen had to carry a weight of over 37 kg. Their task was equivalent to carrying a 12-year-old child on his shoulders. Ian Falconer, Turramurra

The Queen's coffin

The Queen’s coffinRecognition:Getty Images Europe

Your correspondent need not be unduly concerned for the welfare of those who drew the gun-carriage carrying the Queen’s coffin. Humans can easily and safely pull loads of 30 percent or more of their body weight, so 142 healthy men with an average weight of 90 kg could easily carry about 3.83 tons. The carriage weighs about 2,545 tons, plus about 200 kg for the load, for a total of only about 2,745 tons. The fact that it was not particularly strenuous work is also shown by the fact that they all walked comfortably bolt upright and did not have to bend forward as if they were under pressure. Colin Lamm, Peakhurst

More than wealth

Australians are very rich (“Australians richiest people alive”, September 22)? It suggests that it would be even better if we were like Finland, which has been named the happiest country in the world for the fifth time (World Happiness Report 2022). Steve Ngeow, Chatswood

Another reminder

Cathy Wilcox (Letters, September 22) sadly reminds us of the urgent need of Makarrata. “Coming together after a fight, face the fact of injustice and live in peace again.” Josephine Piper, Miranda

Putin scrutinized

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby Recognition:Victoria Jones

Archbishop Justin Welby’s words at the Queen’s funeral ring true in relation to the Putins of our world: “Those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who hold onto power are long forgotten” (“Putin steps up war movements after partial loss”, September 22). John Cotterill, Kingsford

Masthead colleagues

Over time regular writers to the herald become like an extended family whose progress is duly noted. “Rosemary O’Brien has moved to the suburbs!” “Ron Sinclair thinks Ireland’s vision of the presidency is on the rise.” “It was Con Vaitsas’ birthday – how old do you think it is?” Betsy Brennan, Wahroonga

May we never forget

It’s easy to ensure an annual holiday on a personally significant anniversary (Letters, September 22): just get married on Anzac Day. Steve Cornelius, Brookvale

Victory of the Islands

Well done, Tiwi Islanders (“Court Orders Santos to Stop Gas Drilling,” September 22). Joy Cooksey, Harrington

Solar flexers

Time to wake up from hibernation and enjoy the more than 12 hours of sunlight per day thanks to the spring equinox. Robyn Stutchbury, Linley Point

The digital gaze
Commenting online on one of the stories that received the most reader feedback yesterday smh.com.au
The “Fair Go” is over and the first phase of the revolution has happened
Out of Politics and sport don’t go together: “Our policy of having housing as an investment rather than a home is one of the main causes of inequality. An end to all tax breaks for housing would be a start. Use the money saved to build public housing – traditional public housing. End complicated trust structures to hide income and avoid taxes. Introduce some form of inheritance tax.”

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Joel McCord

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