Sydney

Labor needs a tougher voice on national security


We’re asked to respect Morrison’s religious beliefs. The respect should be mutual and we should be respected for ours. If, however, the PM insists on parading those beliefs he should be prepared to live by them. How can he permit a family to be incarcerated with their Australian-born children on Christmas Island, keep refugees in dreadful conditions offshore or fail to implement Indigenous treaties with our First Nations people? Nola Tucker, Kiama

I Googled a list of “things to be afraid of” (Letters, April 28). It included dogs, cats, confrontation, failure, strange people, sharks, drowning, bad news, scissors, dirt, clowns, technology, and about 30 more. Now your correspondent laments that “our country has turned away from fearing God”. Haven’t we got enough to fear from things we can actually see, without including things we can’t?Steve Cornelius, Brookvale

Who would have thought that God was a climate change denier? Don’t you love it when right wing politics and religion come together. Neil Setches, Toongabbie

Before people rush to judgment from the limited reports of Morrison’s “sermon” they should take the time to listen to the whole speech. I didn’t see it as a sermon but a humble confession of a power greater than any of us and an understanding of the times in which we live, the forces against goodness and a commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Geoff Hinds, Merrylands

Talking of Jesus, it seemed His example and reason for living was to care for everyone. Just good old-fashioned caring. And to help us understand the rest. Mary Julian, Glebe

Lives are more important than Olympic medals

In yet another display of indifference, or worse, to the aged, disabled and frontline workers in Australia, we learn athletes and their support staff will get the vaccine jab so they can go to the Tokyo Olympics, flying into a country with a considerable number of COVID-19 cases, and then returning to Australia after the party (“Athletes in fast lane to get jab for Tokyo”, April 28).

Is the Olympic movement so inflexible and insensitive that they can’t halt the games for another 12 months? Is our government so desperate for medals that these young healthy athletes can’t wait their turn for the vaccine. Any athlete with any sense of integrity or a moral conscience should refuse the jab and not go to Tokyo. Lives are more important than medals. Jacqui Keats, Black Head

My 31-year-old son, who has a significant renal impairment, went to get his scheduled COVID vaccine last week but was unable to as there is only AstraZeneca available, and as we know, this vaccine has been ruled out for his age group. He was told that he might have to wait until November, when there might be more Pfizer available.

He has worked since the beginning of the pandemic as a frontline worker in a busy metropolitan supermarket through lockdowns and COVID flare-ups and he will continue to work in this capacity, even though he remains unvaccinated. I would like someone to justify to him why a fit young athlete deserves access to the limited supply of Pfizer more than he does. Judith Wilks, Sawtell

People are complaining about Olympians and Paralympians receiving vaccines ahead of frontline health workers and aged citizens, but, although it is questionable whether the Tokyo Olympics should be held at all, athletes representing their country should not have to take unnecessary risks because of government entropy in the vaccine rollout. Ray Alexander, Moss Vale

Call me unAustralian, but I would like my vaccination (I am 76) before fit, young athletes. Anne Ramsay, Kiama

Prison island

I agree with Chris Uhlmann’s point of view regarding the impracticality of managing the pandemic with a “zero risk tolerance” approach with no end game strategy in place (“We cannot run a risk-free society”, April 28).

Unfortunately, as long as the majority of Australians remain paranoid, partly out of ignorance and partly because what has been fed to them by politicians and medical bureaucrats, their gullibility will be exploited by politicians to win cheap political points. Australia’s strategy is to impose lockdowns for the emergence of a handful of positive cases, shut state borders at will and keep international borders closed indefinitely, denying entry even to Australian citizens. Who needs vaccines with this bullet-proof strategy? Australia is truly turning out to be a prison island. Kottapadi Karunakaran, Millers Point

Land of extinction

What are we doing to our environment? (“Wing and a prayer: striking butterfly faces extinction”, April 28). In the 1960s Rachel Carson warned us of the dangers of the overuse of DDT, and something was done. Nothing is being done half a century later to save the smaller creatures like butterflies, moths and frogs. The industrial development of our farmlands crowds out everything except the preferred monocultures – grain, cotton and fruit. Overdevelopment of land to provide housing, shopping malls and freeways leaves no place for creatures like the Australian fritillary or green and golden bell frog. The misuse of our land is the new DDT of the 21st century. Chris Moe, Bensville

Bitter sweet

Wine lovers will no doubt feel great sympathy for French winemakers whose crops have been devastated by climate change-induced temperature fluctuations (“Winemaker’s bitter harvest”, April 28). However, this may become a lifesaver for Australian wine producers, who could export to France and European markets after the loss of the Chinese market. Geoff Harding, Chatswood

Tough for teachers

A welder in a rural area charges $1 per kilometre travel (time, fuel and car) and $100 per work hour plus materials (Letters, April 28). A casual teacher in the same community is asked to travel at their own expense and work for $450 a day, providing all their own materials. It’s no wonder there is a casual teacher shortage in regional areas. Greg Adamson, Griffith

Free speech

As someone who has come from a serial coup country where free speech and democracy had gone to the dogs, I am one of those “all committed to freedom of speech and democracy ” (Letters, April 28). But that freedom of speech does not give anyone the right to peddle dangerous falsehoods , justifying Facebook’s ban on reactionary politician Craig Kelly for repeatedly spreading misinformation on the coronavirus pandemic. He displays Trump’s tendency to peddle falsehoods, and look where that got America. We must avoid that at all cost. Rajend Naidu, Glenfield

Holgate departure

It seems increasingly clear that politics permeates the Christine Holgate affair (“Board didn’t get legal advice on Holgate position”, April 28.). There is a body of opinion within the federal government that wants Aussie Post privatised. Holgate opposed the idea. In terms of corporate governance, the Cartier watches gifts were a misdemeanour, not a capital offence. As chief executive she was very effective and strongly supported within the company. Her departure is a loss to Australian taxpayers. Peter Thomas, Rose Bay

Fire management

Indigenous fire management is a better, less polluting way of managing the land, rather than crude back burning (Letters, April 28). Our Indigenous people used it for thousands of years. Ted Hemmens, Cromer

Pink moon

Why must we call our current full moon “pink”? Why not use the correct term “perigee moon” (“Just a phase: Supermoon has pulling power”, April 28)? Even “super moon” is more descriptive than pink – a term derived from some North American flower. Of course, those on the east coast thought they were seeing the moon coloured pink by smoke haze. Unnecessarily confusing. Robyn Stutchbury, Linley Point

NRL idea tries patience

The attraction of rugby league is that it is a local game, played by players who are known to the local spectators (“Conference call: NRL’s bid to split competition”, April 28). Talk about killing the goose that lays the golden egg! Who are the galahs that thought this one up? Pasquale Vartuli, Wahroonga

Train idea derailed

As a regular traveller to Broulee south of Batemans Bay, I’d like to have a train service as well, especially if I can’t drive any more (Letters, April 28). But the reality is that, while rail was the 19th century transport mode that opened up the regions, it isn’t today. Except on existing alignments and linking centres of large population to large centres of employment. Those populations don’t exist south of Nowra. Better to focus scarce funds on more worthwhile rail corridors such as to the Central West. Peter Thornton, Killara

Cheering on Konrads

The sad news of the death of John Konrads brought to mind the joy of our local pool at Bankstown (“Konrads overcame polio and panic on way to becoming an Olympic great”, April 27). It was the centre of our community. Cheering on John and Ilsa Konrads as they prepared for the Olympics we felt we were part of it all with Don Talbot nearby in his Guy Mitchell blue swimmers. Judy Dyson, Bowral

Digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
Indian flight ban leaves Australians stranded, ‘helpless’ families divided
From barcyvet: ″⁣One has to feel for people in such situations, but there has to be a balance found between the safety of our country and individual circumstances. This is extremely difficult without dedicated quarantine facilities in Australia where the risks can be managed properly rather than the use of hotels with their inherent difficulties of managing those quarantined.″⁣

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