When did this sort of work become ‘essential’?

When did this sort of work become ‘essential’?

18th July 2021 Off By adpublisher

All ages, sexes and ethnic backgrounds appear to think the rules don’t apply to them. Let’s hope people in other areas are more law-abiding.
Howard Brownscombe, Brighton

This is the reason for the five-kilometre rule
Yes, seriously, the five-kilometre radius is there for a reason (“Explain the 5km rule”, Letters, 17/7). It’s to stop recalcitrant twerps from travelling any further than they need to.

I would have thought the growing number of COVID-19 cases and exposure sites ranging from Phillip Island to Bacchus Marsh would have told your correspondent why the lockdown limit is in place.

If that’s not enough, a man in Mildura who attended the Carlton-Geelong AFL match in Melbourne has now tested positive.
John Cain, McCrae

Bunching together defies social distancing
We have a local cafe, opposite a park, that serves very good takeaway coffee and so forth.

It is not unusual to count 50 patrons outside. Unfortunately they seem to find estimating the required 1.5-metre distance between people difficult. They bunch together with no gap between groups or individuals, consuming food and drink without masks, seemingly oblivious that this latest COVID variant is highly infectious and that there are active exposure sites in this area.

With a park opposite, where distancing is no issue, one can only wonder at their mindset.
Jenny Callaghan, Hawthorn

Now I can’t travel to Brunswick, let alone Broome
This week will be my birthday, and I’ll be 67. I was meant to be travelling in the Kimberley with five of my dearest friends to celebrate. However, now I can’t travel to Brunswick, let alone Broome. I won’t legally be able to spend the day with my precious adult children either.

Instead, I’ll wait anxiously and fearfully for the excited rhetoric from politicians and never-previously-heard-of-bureaucrats extolling the need to “go early, go hard”, breathlessly outlining in the minutiae, the numbers testing positive, their ages, where they drank, ate, work and live.

They magnanimously speak of “wrapping their arms” around the relatively small number of people in isolation. I’m wondering about the 6 million of the rest of us, awash with stress and cortisol, suppressing own immune systems, predisposing a tsunami of future health issues that, along with the already eye-watering debt incurred, our children will need to fund. It’s a bit bleak.
Piri Davidson, St Kilda West


A poor reflection on us
Ross Gittins (“Reform is not a dirty word if we all benefit, not just the rich and powerful”, Business, 17/7) demonstrates that Scott Morrison has little apparent interest in addressing long-term national problems.

The Coalition pays lip service to challenges like climate change and evolving education needs. At the same time, Mr Morrison treats us like venal fools by implying that there are no costs associated with past policy failures and that the quality of essential services can be maintained without an adequate tax base. His time horizon stops at the next election.

I am struck by the similarity with some corporate types of past decades. Motivated by substantial short-term incentives, approved by incompetent boards, they drove up short-term profits and pocketed big bonuses. When they moved on to greener pastures, they left behind demoralised, gutted organisations, and rueful shareholders.

The Coalition success in appealing to our hip pockets and latent xenophobia is creating huge problems for future generations and ruining our international reputation. What a legacy and what a reflection on our gullibility.
Norman Huon, Port Melbourne

You get what you pay for
The OECD shows Australia to be the lowest-taxed nation of our trading partners. It’s clear that the federal government’s election mantra “taxes will always be less with us” is true.

So, in contrast to other smaller nations like Sweden, Israel, Finland and Singapore, we are losing the research, technology, education and carbon reduction races.

This is not surprising, as we lack vision, commitment, courage and funding to do better. Our grandchildren will face the consequences, for as Gittins reminds us, “you get what you pay for”.
John Miller, Toorak

You can’t bet on them
Your correspondent (“A double standard”, Letters, 17/7) wonders why sporting fixtures with thousands of excited fans can be permitted in this COVID-19 wary environment but we are so cautious about “kids singing and playing musical instruments in schools”.

The very simple answer is this – nobody can place a bet on the children.
Mark Bennett, Manifold Heights

At odds with his ‘vision’
Perhaps Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien needs to change the statement on his website, which says “I have worked to present a positive vision and better way forward for Victoria”.

However, with boring monotony, Mr O’Brien daily spends time non-stop carping about the Andrews government’s decisive and clear actions in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

He need only look north to the Berejiklian government’s lockdown-lite approach to the latest outbreak to see the disastrous consequences of locking down late and not clearly defining essential businesses.

I understand that opposition leaders need to keep the ruling government accountable, but right now Victorians have had enough of negative and baseless criticisms.

Change your media and communications messaging in line with your online statement, Mr O’Brien, and you might get more Victorians listening more closely to what you have to say.
Prue Blackmore, Carlton North

Tax is not a burden
Tax reform is so desperately needed in Australia at this time.

Rather than giving tax cuts to business and the already wealthy, a total reform of the system that results in a more equitable distribution of tax, starts to pay off the deficit and provides adequate funding to our overloaded hospitals is essential.

Tax isn’t a burden — it’s a requirement that funds government services. The cheap, political marketing of “tax cuts” hurts us all in the long run.
Graeme Henderson, Bullengarook

Let’s get rid of it
I sympathise with your correspondent (“A lack of leadership”, Letters, 17/7), but rather than looking for a central government that is “capable of making timely and appropriate decisions”, let us abolish the federal government and make all the states separate countries.

Then we can have proper borders with passports and avoid many of the state-Commonwealth arguments. Not sure what to do about the Northern Territory, and what’s left of the ACT could, of course, be absorbed into New South Wales.
Dave Torr, Werribee

The states have stepped up
Your correspondent (“A lack of leadership”, Letters, 17/7) is spot on. It is the state governments that have played the front-line role in the COVID-19 pandemic. As they have had operational responsibility when outbreaks occur, they get the sense of urgency that is required.

State governments have not all been equal in this task, but they have all played a direct part.

The federal government’s role, alternatively, seems once removed. Their pivotal responsibility to keep us safe is to facilitate a comprehensive vaccine rollout, and organise purpose-built quarantine facilities.

The states’ success in the past at quashing outbreaks has taken the urgency away from the federal government, which has learnt too late, as have we all, that “it is a race”.
Jane Robins, Moonee Ponds

He was a good union man
Thanks to John Silvester for a great story about retired policeman Bryan Harding (“The policeman who was a pacifist”, Naked City, The Age, 17/7).

As well as being an outstanding member of Victoria Police, Harding was a skilled negotiator and effective leader of the Police Association.

While not appreciated by all of his members, I recall Bryan as being the most impressive of all police union secretaries during my 14 years as a union official.
James Young, Mount Eliza

Turn them off
If it really only takes a few seconds for the Delta variant of COVID-19 to be transmitted between people through the air, then the electric hand-dryers should be turned off in all public bathrooms. They encourage the movement of air in an enclosed space.
Carmel McNaught, Balwyn North

Give them a break
As a 72-year-old woman, I moved house twice this year; from the country to the city to be closer to my family, and from a temporary home to my new residence. I required four separate furniture removals and was just lucky the timing of the sale and purchase of my old and new homes – and my relocations – fitted in with there being no restrictions on movement.

I really find it abominable that the NSW furniture removalists, who, after all, were just doing their jobs (and probably being paid minimum wages) are copping the sort of criticism being aimed at them. Please give these poor people a break.

Just count yourself lucky if you haven’t had to move in the past 18months – and that you haven’t had to work at a job where every day you move someone else’s furniture as your way of earning a very minimal living.
Jill Loorham, Seaford

Heritage at risk
There is a proposal before VCAT that a five-storey building be approved in a World Heritage zone. That zone, by world UNESCO agreement, guarantees that the view of the Royal Exhibition Building dome is not obscured. Even two storeys would do so.

Those of us in the vicinity are much concerned that such a building would be out of context with heritage values. Historic Gertrude Street itself would be greatly damaged.

The proposed building could well be sited in Collingwood or Richmond, where there are many vacant blocks for development.

This VCAT matter should concern all heritage-sensitive people.
Graeme Lee, Fitzroy

A narrow definition
Humanists Australia CEO Heidi Nicholl, clearly unsympathetic to anything she regards as “religion”, appears to urge readers to weaponise their census responses as a means of denying religious organisations any beneficial resource allocations based on census data (“Census time to mark ‘No Religion’”, Comment, 16/7).

Nicholl’s apparent definition of “religion” is attendance at church, mosque, temple or synagogue, and she urges non-attendees to mark their census “No religion”. Such a narrow and, dare one say, ignorant definition.

For many people, “religion” involves belief and faith in something greater than, and beyond, the immediate self and observance of the teachings and customs of that faith.

And while not denying the abominable abuse perpetrated by some, it is often religious faith that galvanises and girds those out working, with feet on the ground, hearts, hands, time and finances, often at a level that is sacrificial, for the support and benefit of the poor, the vulnerable, the suffering and the marginalised.

How many humanist and atheist organisations do the same?
Susan Caughey, Glen Iris

Helpful and inspiring
How to survive prison and solitary confinement (“Academic goes from ‘solitary’ to ‘settled’”⁣⁣, The Age, 17/7) will be helpful and inspiring for anyone on their own for a long time.
Many thanks to Kylie Moore-Gilbert for sharing and to your reporter Wendy Tuohy.
Barbara Fraser, Burwood

The ‘costing’ folly
Barnaby Joyce, what is the difference between losing our liveable land or territory to a foreign invader or to climate change?

You would not demand a full plan with costing to defend our land from a foreign invader, so why the need for a fully costed plan against climate change ?
John Groom, Bentleigh

How did they get in?
Thousands of Australian citizens are desperately trying to come home from overseas but are battling high costs, flight cancellations, quarantine requirements and tight restrictions on arrival numbers in Australia.

In what bizarre universe were entry permits granted to American celebrity Caitlyn Jenner and English commentator Katie Hopkins, who has amused herself by mocking our quarantine rules? The lunatics have indeed taken over the asylum.
April Baragwanath, Geelong


Following Michael O’Brien’s latest comments, I’m supporting him in the role of opposition leader.
Bruce Dudon, Woodend


Calling Scott Morrison the Prime Minister for New South Wales is not correct. We all know he’s the Prime Minister for Sydney.
Tony Lenten, Glen Waverley

If only Victorians could vote in the NSW state election. The next place removalists turn up would be Gladys Berejiklian’s office.
Patrick Toohey, Balwyn North

Given the sports rorts and the station car parks programs, there is no reason to expect COVID support to be even-handed.
Geoff Gowers, Merricks North

The pandemic
Imagine, if you can, a Delta COVID-19 outbreak in an era before mobile phones.
Dennis Richards, Cockatoo

And it’s Scott Morrison running well behind the field. He stood in the gates not realising he was in a race.
Mark Ruseler, Geelong

Scott Morrison, can you please direct some of your famous Christine Holgate fury at English commentator Katie Hopkins for flouting quarantine rules.
John Walsh, Watsonia

The virus doesn’t move, people move it. We stop moving, the virus stops moving and it dies. It’s that simple.
John Hart, Bright

Postcode 3931 is undoubtedly the non-wearing mask champion in the Greater Melbourne area.
William Hines, Mornington

Gladys Berejiklian, the goose that broke the golden egg.
David Gray, Mount Martha

Will the Prime Minister’s chef introduce “humble pie” to the Kirribilli dining room menu for when Scott Morrison next entertains the NSW Premier?
Ian Maddison, Parkdale

Can we have Jeroen Weimar as the next coach of Collingwood.
John Russell, Bonbeach

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