There has to be a better way of dealing with this
Above all, instruct police to stop hurling people to the ground, stop sitting on them, pulling arms to the back, dragging them out of cars and dishing out treatment that reflects their quite understandable frustration before someone is seriously hurt or even dies. It’s not on.
Carol Oliver, Carlton
These are not protests about rights
My 80-year-old mum used to go to a lot of anti-war protests. When police asked her for her name she would tell them in a pleasant tone of voice. When asked how long she would be there she told them (had to leave for school pick up, ha ha). Then they were left to it.
The current so-called freedom protesters are not protesting about rights but rather what they want, irrespective of the cost to the community. Some of them seem to deliberately ignore the police until some kind of physical response is made and then they can say their scripted ‘‘I don’t feel safe’’ and catch it on film.
They are adult tantrum throwers.
Ange Mackie, Coburg
They are jeopardising other people’s freedom
Seriously? The very people who are protesting loudly with cries of ‘‘FREEDOM’’ are jeopardising the freedom of others. To say nothing of the innocent lives that are put at risk due to their demonstrating with their furious unmasked faces where people thought they could safely shop.
I am sure most already distraught parents are at home thinking ‘‘Go home, you will prolong lockdown and the spread of coronavirus’’. Not to mention how those responsible citizens feel who wish to return to work, and so forth.
Get a grip here. We have a sincere, responsible politician (rare these days) who is trying to guide us through this crisis. I did not vote for Daniel Andrews but I give support where it is due and earned.
Barbara Kingston, Mount Waverley
Daniel Andrews has suspended democracy
Imagine the howls of outrage if Scott Morrison had suspended democracy and banned protests against him. Yet that is exactly what Daniel Andrews has done in Victoria.
Even if you believe everything the Premier says about COVID-19, that is no justification for arbitrarily revoking our democratic rights. Democracy is not a disease and it should never be treated as such.
Jeremy Browne, Ripponlea
Missing a basic doctrine of ethics
I normally agree with Helen Scheller (Letters, 14/9) and Julian Burnside about human rights (‘‘Premier cops flak from all sides over human rights’’, The Age, 12/9).
However, I believe that in supporting the cause of the ‘‘human rights’’ protesters about the lockdown, both have missed the basic doctrine of ethics, and that is; any action or inaction that causes harm to others is unethical.
Please think about that.
Louis Roller, Fitzroy North
Don’t let them off the hook
While I agree with Wendy Squires that parents have a role to play to educating and protecting their children from the harms that exist in the online world (‘‘The fault’s with TikTok … and parents’’, Opinion, 14/9), I feel she lets the multinational social media corporations off too readily. These corporations have created the online world and seek to maximise their profits, often at our expense and the expense of our children. We are the product these corporations sell to advertisers.
It would be ridiculous to argue that pubs should be allowed to serve children booze and leave it to parents to educate their children about the harms of drinking as a child. Equally, we do not allow adult stores to sell children pornography and leave it to parents to educate their children why viewing such material is harmful to them.
The social media corporations need to play a much more significant active role in providing safe online environments, given children are online in the world they created.
The Morrison government is to be commended for the numerous steps it has taken, and continues to take, to pressure these corporations to lift their game and not throw it all back on parents.
Mark Zirnsak, Parkville
Respect our world
The natural world does not care for and will not yield to human-invented concepts such as economics and human rights.
Complaints about economies being impacted or the diminishing of human rights fall on the deaf ears of the natural world and will not alter the course it will take.
Even though advancements in science and technology have a good likelihood of finding a solution to COVID-19, this pandemic brings home the truth that the natural world reigns supreme and that economies and human rights are zero if we don’t respect our total dependence on it far more than we currently do.
Paul Miller, Box Hill South
Better to say nothing
Apparently Greg Hunt finds coral bleaching ‘‘personally agonising’’ (‘‘A marathon, not a sprint’’, Good Weekend, The Age, 12/9), and yet he is pictured celebrating his government’s 2014 repeal of the carbon tax.
Hunt’s contribution to the delay of meaningful action on climate change, stage-managed by powerful interest groups, is unarguable. He’d do better just to say nothing about coral bleaching.
Leonnie Gleeson, Park Orchards
Praise for our teachers
For most schools this week marks the end of an enormous term of learning. It is time to reflect upon the amazing way principals and staff have adapted to online learning with all its challenges and frustrations. On so many levels this term has been difficult.
It has been difficult for students, who have missed the interactions of the classroom as well as the playground. It’s often been stressful for parents, who were learning home schooling on the job as well as trying to maintain their own employment while supervising their children, and it has been profoundly challenging for teachers as they had to quickly adjust to new forms of learning, master technology which did not always co-operate and engage personally with their students, some of whom were struggling.
In addition to these challenges, many teachers were supervising their own children at home.
We hope they can get a break over their holidays. It is appropriate that we acknowledge the commitment, hard work and dedication of our teachers. Well done. You get A+.
Graeme Riviere, Warranwood
What would they think?
First, we had an anti-mask-wearing protester citing the UN Declaration of Human Rights, then protest organiser Tony Pecora quoting Midnight Oil lyrics about dying on your feet rather than living on your knees.
Now Duncan Fine mentions Henry David Thoreau, Gandhi and Martin Luther King in the same context (‘‘Unfeeling enforcement pushed us to tipping point’’, Opinion, 14/9). It would be fascinating to ask those three whether they think the current protests reflect the noble sentiments they advanced.
Perhaps they would. But maybe they would consider the struggle against slavery, British colonialism and racial segregation a bit more important than being required to wear a mask in public or stay at home at night for a few weeks.
Rod Wise, Surrey Hills
Julie Perrin’s article (‘‘Shift needed to ensure quality of aged care’’, Insight, The Age, 12/9) should be compulsory reading for all, especially politicians.
As a trained nurse, in both aged care and the general hospital system, I know the skills required in aged care are just as meaningful as the skills needed to look after beeping machines, yet the pay rate is lower, the staffing ratios ridiculous, and many regard the work as demeaning. And the problem-solving skills, the knowledge and empathy for both resident and their relatives is just as great, both for the trained nurse and the carers.
The staff/resident ratios introduced during the 1990s with deregulation of the industry were a disgrace, with the staff having little time to give proper care to our elderly, who in earlier years had given so much to their families, their community, and their country.
Do not belittle them now.
Margaret Hilton, Aberfeldie
This makes no sense
So dog groomers at a shop will soon be able to open but mobile operators can’t.
This means I need to find a dog groomer at a shop, travel there for an appointment with every other person wanting to get their dog groomed and back again when my dog is done. Or I could get my normal mobile groomer to come to my house, operate from her vehicle and have no contact with any human at all.
How does this make any sense?
Richard Ward, Hampton
Time to make the switch
The federal government is rightly concerned about Australia’s fuel security. A switch to electric vehicles and the use of local bio diesel would reduce imports and improve air quality.
David Robertson, Wheatsheaf
He was far too kind
Shaun Carney (‘‘Legacy has been run off the road’’, Opinion, 14/9) has been far too kind regarding the Coalition’s achievements over the past seven years.
Their lack of commitment, policies and action on a range of pressing social issues such as rising inequality, lack of social housing, and rising poverty levels among older women must mark them down as a big fail in these areas.
Not to mention being captive to lobby groups, plus outdated ideology on climate change and the missed opportunities for a renewable-energy-led recovery means we are getting very poor value for money from our Coalition government.
Many Australians are craving for visionary leadership from Canberra, and the coming federal budget may well be shaping up as yet another missed opportunity to set our country on a progressive, prosperous and inclusive path for the future.
Peter Bainbridge, Altona
I have a degree in science and maths and during my working life I have been a researcher and software developer.
One of the things that we were always cognisant of during any sort of research were the error limits around the accuracy of the data points. This also needed to be reflected in any modelling carried out based on collected data.
As such, I find it extremely difficult to understand how the government can use figures as fine as 50 cases, 5 cases, etc when the population of the city of Melbourne is just under 5 million and the population of the state is just under 6.5 million.
For Melbourne, 50 cases equates to an error rate of 0.00001, which to me is an incredible level of accuracy that I don’t believe is possible.
As Mark Twain indicated: ‘‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.’’
Laurens Meyer, Richmond
Many people need support
The single support bubble is a great idea but single people are not the only ones in the need of support.
Families with young children have endured months of home schooling, closed childcare and parks. Families with special needs children are doing it even harder. Yes, we have a partner but our village has been completely removed. Relationships are strained, children are lonely.
How glorious it would be to have one family member to visit to help with childcare so I could send an email without a child on my knee or maybe not have to start work at 8:30pm when the kids are asleep.
Louise O’Carroll, Essendon
An insult to intelligence
The ‘‘bubble friend’’ is an insult to one’s intelligence.
Chose one person and that is it, but choose someone to jump into bed with and you can have a full house.
It’s high time Daniel Andrews stepped out of his bubble and had a look at what is going on in the real world and what the once vibrant Melbourne looks like now.
Noeline McKinnon, Ivanhoe
Passionate … up to a point
Peter Dutton has made it clear he thinks it’s up to the states to facilitate quarantine for Australians returning home.
Having lambasted state premiers for their performance in handling returnees he had the opportunity to take the lead on a matter that he seems so passionate about … but not so passionate that he is might put himself in the firing line.
What is the point of establishing a huge immigration and border protection bureaucracy if the responsible minister isn’t willing to take the lead in a crisis?
Brandon Mack, Deepdene
Bracing for the worst
I am deeply concerned that as soon as lockdown restrictions are eased in the slightest, a large number of people will throw caution to the wind and act as if the coronavirus never existed, thereby causing more outbreaks and even tougher lockdowns, and wiping out any progress that has been made towards stopping the spread over the past six months by those who have tried to do the right thing for the greater good.
I would dearly love to be proved wrong but, based on what I have observed lately, I’m bracing myself for the worst.
John Howes, Rowville
AND ANOTHER THING
Life in lockdown
A tip to the protesters on how to not get fined for not wearing a mask: Carry a coffee cup and/or hold a cigarette and everything will be hunky dory.
Lindsay Clark, South Melbourne
To all those who refuse to wear masks, what about the civil rights of those whom you might infect?
David Seal, Balwyn North
Stallholders at the Queen Vic Market clapped the police as they pushed back protesters on Sunday. A telling image.
Valerie Gerrand, West Melbourne
So sad to see individualism and self-entitlement override a sense of community and collective wellbeing. .
Mark Hulls, Sandringham
I wonder how many of the fines issued in the past months will actually be paid.
Marie Nash, Balwyn
I trust the government will pursue those accused of defrauding JobKeeper with the same passion it went after people on Newstart.
Jack Morris, Kennington
Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells wants us to ‘‘decouple’’ our economy from China. Fine with me, and then we’ll just refuse to sell them our iron ore, right?
Tim Durbridge, Brunswick
I must have missed the opposition condemn the anti-lockdown protests. It was very worked up about the Black Lives Matter protest.
Peter Carlin, Frankston South
KoalaGate in NSW is high political farce. Sadly one thing is certain: when the dust settles koalas will not be the winners.
Andrew Blyth, Eaglemont
Dentists, veterinarians and their nursing staff could be part of any vaccination blitz.
Ian Powell, Glen Waverley
Leunig’s perceptive cartoon (The Age, 14/9) captured our uncertainty: the future won’t be ‘‘the same again’’ but a new normal. Better or worse?
Mary Cole, Richmond