Again, the conservative collective give cause for all of us to consider what is really important and who might have a cogent plan to take our country and state forward. There is an opportunity here for both sides of politics to make a statement. Let us sit back and await some strong political placement and planning.Steve Rollison, Lennox Head
Is the Berejiklian government running NSW or Upsy Down Town? They respond to the climate change crisis by sacking a clean energy proponent. In the face of feral brumbies destroying fragile habitats and driving native animals towards extinction, they reintroduce pregnant mares to Kosciuszko. Falling down, in Upsy Down Town! Alison Orme, Marrickville
Was Turnbull the canary in the coal mine? He had no chance of survival given the hostile emissions from a toxic force. Janet Argall, Dulwich hill
It is time for Turnbull to follow his heart once and for all, accept the warm embrace of the left and change teams. It’s never too late to see wisdom. Jo-Ann Brown, Huntleys Cove
PM has passed the buck to the Minister for Women
After a torrid couple of months resulting from the mishandling of women’s issues, the PM and his government must be feeling vexed (“‘Lies’: gold watch saga reignited by Holgate”, April 7), especially since the nomination of Marise Payne as our “PM for Women”. Reporting on Christine Holgate and her alleged mistreatment by a “boys club” of sycophants, toadies and henchman doesn’t help, especially when the “PM for the rest of us” effectively defenestrated Holgate under parliamentary privilege. Which of our PMs is stepping forward to manage this? The Man PM or the Woman one, who has received a hospital pass to resolve the government’s womenfolk problem? Just for once I’d like to see some acceptance of responsibility and accountability from this mob. Bernard Stever, Richmond
Scott Morrison claimed to be so “appalled and shocked” by Holgate’s $20,000 worth of gifts to staff that he ordered an immediate inquiry and said that if she didn’t wish to stand down “she could go”. This stands in stark contrast to his lack of action over recent assault allegations. If his mock outrage was about the waste of taxpayers’ money, then surely he would act to reclaim the much larger amount of JobKeeper payments from companies that have recorded record profits and paid executive bonuses and dividends from these funds. This is but one example of flagrant government financial mismanagement and wastage, so it can’t be about the money. It does give us an insight into Morrison’s priorities, and shows his willingness to use anyone and anything as a political distraction when it suits his agenda. Alan Marel, North Curl Curl
Last November, Morrison was “appalled and shocked”. His outrage meter was on high then, but his empathy meter was on low during the bushfires and the sexual abuse allegations. Diana Wyndham, North Sydney
Goodness me, Christine, you can’t out-succeed the blokes and expect to get away with it. You have to feel for the PM, who was so “appalled and shocked” by your spending Post Office money on gifts for high-achieving employees. The poor man must be absolutely apoplectic about the corporations hanging onto public millions of JobKeeper funds. Kathleen Hollins, Northmead
I don’t care one way or another about the gold watches at Australia Post. What I deeply care about is how our mail service is now a shadow of its former self, with letters taking several days to reach their destination. Margaret Grove, Abbotsford
No winners in rollout blame game
First it was the states and now it is the EU to blame for the poor rollout of the vaccine (“‘Just a simple fact’: Australia raises stake in vaccine war with Europe’.’, smh.com.au, April 7). Who besides themselves will the federal government blame next? Denis Goodwin, Dee Why
The Europeans arose from the ashes of World War II and saw off fascism and totalitarianism, even Brexit and Boris Johnson. But have they now met their nemesis in the form of our very own master of spin PM Scott Morrison? David Farrell, Erskineville
My experience suggests that the government rollout is a mess (Letters, April 7).
On March 1, day one of the phase 1b rollout, of the four participating medical centres near us, one received no vaccines, two received 50 units and one received “a limited number” and all of the centres reserved these for their regular patients.
No vaccine was available to me despite my age and underlying medical conditions and the earliest appointment I could book was in mid-April. I heard on local radio yesterday that one of the centres is now considering cancelling their appointments because of the small and unreliable supply of the vaccine. This is definitely not what the federal government prepared us to expect and what has been achieved in other countries. John Oakley, Wollongong
Dr John Brown can obviously pull more strings than my GP clinic. They are in an inner suburb of Sydney, have a large Indigenous number of patients, as well as many elderly patients, and are yet to give their first vaccination. And with double the number of GPs in their clinic, compared with Dr Brown’s clinic, they will be receiving 50 vaccinations per week, hopefully starting next week: 200-300 vaccinations per week: what luxury. Jan Syme, Newington
Anthony Dillon appears to believe the only problem with Aboriginal deaths in custody is the relative rate compared to white Australians (“Deaths in custody not what believed”, April 7).
The real problem is the extremely high rate of incarceration of Aboriginals, particularly young Aboriginals, which could be a confounding factor in the difference in deaths from natural causes.
A problem which sadly remains largely unaddressed. Steve Bright, North Avoca
Dillon says an Indigenous person in custody is less likely to die than a non-Indigenous and he wonders why this fact is not more broadly acknowledged. Perhaps that’s because it is a totally misleading statement. Certainly the Aboriginal community is massively over-represented in our jails but they still make up less then 30 per cent of prison populations. If they also made up the majority of deaths in custody that would be an amazing statistic. At best all Dillon can claim is that things aren’t quite as terrible as they could be. Tony Moore, Queens Park
ALP’s cheap trick
Thank you Shane Wright (“‘Left behind’: Labor joins calls for RBA review”, April 7). Labor’s misunderstanding of central banks is as dire as the Coalition’s. It offers a retrograde step just as the US Treasurer and former Fed Chair Janet Yellen takes America onto a decent pathway for its citizens with the Fed. The RBA can only prevent recessions, it cannot create full employment. Treasuries do that and in tandem with their central banks. But the ALP duo, Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers, do not want to devise decent fiscal policy to serve the public. It’s a cheap trick to attack the RBA through failing to see its constraints made by treasurers and the big four banks. Jocelyn Pixley, Paddington
Let Parliament choose
With the current talk starting to include the issue of Australia as a republic, I am in agreement with those writers who do not want a popularly elected governor-general, president, head chief or whatever you want to call them (Letters, April 7). A head of state should be for ceremonial purposes only and should be a person who has the ability to carry out these tasks and could be elected by both houses of Parliament when the position becomes vacant. A quota on the number of ex-military types might also be a good idea. Bruce Morrison, Ingleburn
Why would Australia have to be like everyone else and have just one potentially divisive head of state? Imagine instead a council of elders, an inspiring and eccentric collection of national aunties and uncles, who jointly share the role of head of state. Each state governor could be on the council, as well as a couple of federal appointments, including at least one Indigenous elder. And for the really big occasions, we could roll out the whole mob to really show visiting dignitaries what a plural democracy looks like.
Sure, we’d need some clever rules to manage reserve powers and the balance of the council, but as an innovative country with a history of trying out truly democratic ideas (like secret ballots and universal suffrage), don’t we owe it to ourselves to do something original and representative of a land that has fervently resisted being symbolised by just one of anything? Peter Fyfe, Enmore
It is time to think outside the historical and political boxes. Every year we choose Australians of the Year. It seems to me these admirable people could represent us very well. The contenders are chosen by, and represent all states and territories. The state nominees and national winners are ready for a year of public appearances and active community engagement. Anne Skates, Culburra Beach
Cheers to bubbles
New Zealand travel bubble: Bubble, bubble, no toil or trouble, yay (“After heartbreak, Kiwis embrace beautiful bubble”, April 7). Kathy Klinger, Port Stephens
Cut and thrust
Correspondent Joan Brown can be my subeditor in her next life (Letters, April 7), when I’m Letters editor. The power to pick and choose, to cut the cackle, the job to justify the jabber: what a life.
Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale (Vic)
Remembering milk bars, in the country, driving up or down the Hume Highway (before the bypass), we never missed stopping at the Paragon Cafe in Goulburn, a haven for milkshakes, hot scones and juicy burgers. The Paragon first opened in 1940 and continues to this day. The hardest decision was chocolate or vanilla malted. Richard Stewart, Pearl Beach
Back in the forties, choral weddings at St Oswald’s Haberfield were popular with the boy choristers. We were given a shilling each after the ceremony and high-tailed it over the road to the HMD milk bar on the corner of Dalhousie and Ramsay Streets where Nick, the friendly proprietor, would allow it to cover the cost of a milkshake, with a penny ice cream added to the drink. Richard MacRae, Narrawallee
During the early 1960s, when the old Olympia Cinema was operating as a roller skating ring, the rink’s side fire escape door beside the milk bar was left open and a passageway constructed allowing rink customers to skate into a rear section of the milk bar to buy milkshakes. Some of the more unsavory clientele (possibly Bodgies) found the skates to be suitable tools for flattening the aluminium containers when they were finished with them. The skate-in service did not last long. John Ingle, Croydon Park
Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
She’s done it again: the many fantastic hats of Kitty Flanagan
From JRGreen: “Brilliant writing, acting and characters. Love this show to bits!!! It’s funny, quirky and even the smallest roles are perfectly written. I read an article about Julia and Kitty wanting to work together and this is the result – long may it continue! Congratulations everyone!”
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