Enough of the sticks

For our free coronavirus pandemic coverage, learn more here.

Illustration: Matt GoldingCredit:

To submit a letter to The Age, email [email protected] Please include your home address and telephone number.

It’s time for some carrots

I live in regional Victoria, I am more than 70 years old and I am fully vaccinated. Thanks to all at my local GP clinic, for fast, efficient, professional and friendly service.

I understand my chances of serious illness or death are much reduced and, obviously, that is a good thing. But with the very low case numbers in Australia that doesn’t change the risk much. So, many people say “why bother” or “the risk outweighs the benefit” when there is no noticeable benefit.

All that could change if there were some tangible benefits to a vaccination, which could be done by some targeted reduced restrictions.

For example, practical and useful things like “I can travel overseas without government permission” or “I can do home quarantine instead of hotel quarantine”, or “I can cross a state border without filling in a form” or “I can attend a live music gig” or “I am vaccinated and live in an aged-care facility, so all my vaccinated family can visit”.

We get plenty of stick. Let’s see some carrots now.
Tim Shirley, Benalla

Lapsed, but grateful
It was with intrigue that I read Jessie Tu’s article on the book Lapsed by Monica Dux (M magazine, The Sunday Age, 13/6). I have also read this book, and, like Monica, I can relate to the neurotic anxiety of growing up Catholic in the 1950s and ’60s.

Like Monica, I also describe myself as lapsed, but not as an atheist. While I no longer see the Church as relevant to my life today, I know that I would not be where I am without the support of some wonderful priests who have helped me to grow in my faith and have freed me to follow my spiritual path.

Therefore, I do not “blow ‘figurative’ raspberries at the Church” but see it as an important step in my spiritual development.
Julie Ottobre, Forest Hill

This will always be a blot
Witness K did Australia proud when he stood up for what was right. He let people know that the Australian government was bugging the East Timor government’s cabinet rooms so as to get the upper hand in oil and gas treaty negotiations.

Those who did the bugging and knew of it, including government ministers, got off scot-free. Witness K, on the other hand, was persecuted and prosecuted. He pleaded guilty and received a suspended three-month sentence and a moral victory.

His case will always be a blot on the Australian government’s history, but it would be too hard to believe that it will be similar on their consciences. Whistleblowers now won’t come forward when the government is doing something wrong.

We may criticise the system of law in China but the Witness K trial shows that we are not far removed from them at all.
Greg Tuck, Warragul

This is a good thing
We should be celebrating our near-zero population growth rather than disparaging it (“Population growth drops to lowest rate since WWI”, The Age, 18/6).

The sooner we can stabilise our population, the greater the chance of a sustainable future. Not only does it provide a window of opportunity for our environment to recover, but our economy is doing well, and employment levels and wages are finally increasing.
Jennie Epstein, Little River

The wrong ones benefit
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s statement that higher house prices are a good thing can’t be left unchallenged (“RBA to rein in lending as property prices soar”, The Age, 19/6).

The only people who gain from increased house prices are investors and market speculators who can sell off their investment and get a capital gain.

Your average home owner doesn’t get this as they are a home owner for life. If they change homes it doesn’t matter if prices have gone up or down because they are selling and buying in the same market.

The losers when house prices go up are people trying to get into the property market, our young people, and government economic policy is keeping them out of the market.
Jeff Moran, Bacchus Marsh

You work for us
The Voices campaigns around Australia are shouting for better political representation (“Hunt in fresh fight to hold marginal seat”, The Age, 19/6).

For too long our voices have not been heard by decision makers – in Canberra, Spring Street or even locally.

Politicians need to remember that we pay their wages and they first and foremost work for us, not their political parties.
Sarah Russell, Mount Martha

Abandoning the base
The National Party has long since stopped pretending it represents our home-grown farmers and country and regional constituents, instead supporting its large donors such as the mining industry and international corporations that finance them (“The green, inner-city bogyman is a figment of the government’s imagination”, Comment, The Age, 19/6).

Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack, while espousing the virtues of coal, doesn’t seem to realise that the people he used to represent also drink coffee and enjoy the occasional avocado.

Progressive Liberals, such as NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean, see clearly how the Nationals’ regressive and backward-looking threats to the Coalition are damaging our economy and our environment.

Thank goodness our states are calling out the Nationals for what they really represent, and for their repetitive threats that hold the Liberals to ransom.
William Chandler, Surrey Hills

The Age’s editor, Gay Alcorn, writes an exclusive newsletter for subscribers on the week’s most important stories and issues. Sign up here to receive it every Friday.

Most Viewed in National

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article

You May Also Like