PM blames the victim with focus on gambling

PM blames the victim with focus on gambling

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Kate Sommerville, Richmond

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The government claims that the cashless card is responsible for the number of welfare recipients in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay dropping by 8.2 and 10.2 per cent respectively. Is this drop due to people in those communities actually finding jobs or that they find the cashless card too onerous and are moving to communities where the card is not in force?

Alan Inchley, Frankston

Where will it end?

How many ways can the government humiliate those on welfare? If the cashless card becomes the norm, can we expect separate supermarket checkouts for those using it, with the associated humiliation of every other customer knowing users receive welfare? Can we expect a rise in homelessness, with those already facing hardship unable to get the cash to pay their share of rent in a share house?

Will those on welfare still be able to shop for clothing and other essentials at op shops, or will they have to beg for help with charities, further eroding their self-worth and choice? Even the treat of a small coffee once a fortnight may be denied.

Those needing welfare are already marginalised, and there is no need in my Australia to make them more so. If the government really wants to cut welfare, increase Newstart and give Newstart recipients more money to spend (they will). This will increase retail demand, improve the economy and increase jobs, while reducing unemployment. How good is that, Mr Morrison?

Louise Kloot, Doncaster

Try the carrot instead

How about using a carrot instead of the stick: offer a 30 per cent increase in Newstart payment for all who voluntarily accept the cashless card.

Ralph Bohmer, St Kilda West

What about smoking pensioners?

Will age pensioners also get a cashless welfare card. I know some who spend their pension on smokes and drink, some are even as old as 90.

Myra Fisher, Brighton East


It’s a difficult path

Scott Morrison has been criticised for not, as his critics see it, living by his professed Christian faith and allowing the Biloela Tamil family to remain in Australia.

Lance Sterling eschews the prevailing judgmental “gospel shaming” of the Prime Minister (“The cost of discipleship”, Letters, The Sunday Age, 8/9) and writes thoughtfully on the difficulty and challenge of “a consistent fully integrated life, daily living out the values of Jesus”, citing the conflict that can be evident in the lives of those who seek to follow Jesus.

Sterling’s words are a reminder that following Jesus is not just “happy clapping”, and sweetness and light, but can be hard, painful and sacrificial and can require giving up what an individual holds most dear for a greater good.

How many of us, Christian or otherwise, whatever our position regarding power and responsibility, live a “consistent fully integrated life daily”, expressing and holding to what we believe is right and good – not just when it is popular, convenient and comfortable to do so – but more importantly, when it is not.

Deborah Morrison, Malvern East

Don’t over-think this

Jacqueline Maley’s perceptive article (“Words from a different time and faraway place”, The Sunday Age, 8/9) notes that the Royal Mint had halted its plans for a coin commemorating the 50th anniversary of Enid Blyton’s death last year on the grounds that she was “a racist, sexist homophobe”.

Such retrospective moral judgments are, rightly, always ripe for jibes about hypocrisy and woke “correctness”. Applying the same criterion to most early 20th century “Anglo” writers would surely see them removed from the literary pantheon. The famous and worthy Nobel literature prize alumnus Winston Churchill, would not stand a chance.

Blyton’s tales of Cornwall caves and kids playing detectives should not be over-thought. They gave and give great pleasure to generations, notwithstanding she was a proto-Brexiteer. End of story.

Jon McMillan, Mount Eliza

Debasing ‘great’

Dr Victor Chang was a great Australian. Gladys Liu is not. Yes, she is an Australian citizen but as far as I know, she hasn’t done much to deserve “great” status.

Scott Morrison, put an end to this banality and do not downgrade the status of being a great Australian.

Anna Rogan, Donvale

A question for the PM

Would the Prime Minister have us believe had Gladys Liu been elected to Parliament as a Labor candidate he would not have pursued her legitimacy as Labor has done?

Corrado Tavella, Rosslyn Park, SA

Lambie plays the man

Jacqui Lambie is well intentioned but politically naive. She is playing the person rather than the issue. It is akin to her asking the government to sack one of its own members because of her personal dislike before agreeing with a piece of legislation.

She must vote on the government legislation on its merits. Remember all unions and all unionists fall under its coverage.

With John Setka I totally agree with her. He is simply obnoxious. But a lot of men hold similar views about women, many of them in unions, but equally there are a lot of men who find his views intolerable, many of them in unions.

We don’t get rid of the John Setkas of this world by passing legislation. We get rid of them bylong, slow education over generations.

John Rome, Mount Lawley, WA

The Greens are right …

After reading Waleed Aly’s reasoned arguments against the Green’s proposed emergency declaration on climate (“Alarmist politics in vogue”, 13/9) I came away more depressed than ever about the matter.

It is now indisputable that, despite the ignorance of David Littleproud and other Coalition sceptics, we are truly on the verge of an unrelenting climate process that promises to decimate our civilisation.

It is though nature is preparing to wage a war on us all, and I think it is positive that at least one political party is prepared to face the truth and put forward an appropriate motion to our Parliament.

Emergencies call for radical change and a logical first step would be to depoliticise decisions on climate measures, such as carbon taxes and emission targets, by authorising the CSIRO to set them, just as the Reserve Bank is responsible for interest rates.

Peter McCarthy, Mentone

… it is an emergency

Waleed Aly’s strangely incoherent article on the pointlessness of declaring a climate emergency requires a response.

The point of declaring climate change an emergency is to state the truth. The Australian Oxford Dictionary definition of emergency is: A sudden state of danger, conflict, etc., requiring immediate action.

Climate change is an emergency, and this truth must be stated in all the ways that it can be, particularly in the light of the government’s refusal, and the opposition’s increasingly shameful avoidance, of it.

Kerry Flattley, Seddon

A hidden bushfire threat

Given long-standing expert advice that around 50 per cent of bushfires are deliberately or maliciously lit, surely it’s time to divert some of the resources currently used on traditional preseason burning and other bushfire preparedness activities into addressing the issues around socially excluded and marginalised youth, poorly socialised children and older men who have all been identified as the major demographic for arson behaviour.

Community education around this hidden threat within our communities would help us to be more tuned in to others’ behaviours, especially on days deemed high fire risk.

Media reports using stirring language such as “monster fire season” (13/9) don’t help either, by igniting the excitement of potential arsonists. Nothing burns without an ignition source.

Jenny Warfe, Dromana

‘Whitewashed’ history

Australians are right to feel ashamed of Aboriginal racism as described by Louis Roller (Letters, 14/9).

Aboriginal history has been “whitewashed” from our knowledge, education and understanding. In the book Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe has revealed the truth from archival explorer and white settler diaries in their own words. Aboriginal people did have vast agriculture, farm seeds and tubers, store them and trade them; did have permanent dwellings and villages of thousands of people; did have elaborate aquaculture and water engineering techniques.

In the quest to dominate, dislocate and displace, the Aboriginal people were dismissed as “hunter gatherers” when they were so much more.

Julian Druce, Balaclava

A timely warning

The federal government and Australia’s scientific community should welcome the timely warning by Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel, of the growing epidemic globally of “fake scientific journals” (“Crook look for our research: Finkel”, 13/19).

They constitute a serious, illegitimate and greedy attempt for financial gain by dishonest publishers. This threatens the extremely high standards set by our National Health and Medical Research Council and other national academic bodies.

These “fake” publications represent a false opportunity for scientists of all ages and disciplines who are under severe pressures to publish their results as part of justifying position tenure and to attract research funding, both from government and philanthropic sources.

The mushrooming of many “predatory open-access publishers” pedalling publishing of “fake science” needs immediate attention as it threatens the very roots of scientific integrity.

These publishing predators have no genuine interest in science, only illicit financial gains. They charge to publish and there is no expert review of the science to detect fraudulent results.

Esteemed scientific bodies and universities should take urgent action to widely condemn, expose and document this dishonest and flourishing racket. Australia needs to join forces with other nations to end this publication scam.

Professor Paul Zimmet, Toorak

Boring is not good

Chris Uhlmann applauds our boring government (11/9), but unfortunately the boredom is due to the government’s unwillingness to tackle major issues facing society. I would prefer some excitement from a government that tackled important issues such as climate change, growing wealth inequality, rising homelessness, a treaty with our First Peoples and the closure of the prisons on Manus Island and Nauru.

Des O’Shea, Wyndham Vale

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