“Asserting” harms both the economy and health

We “push through” and hold our son’s wedding on Saturday. The third attempt. So far, all over 50 guests have canceled. All guests with children under 12 have moved out. By the 25-30s, quite a few have had COVID-19, with more isolated than close contact. At least the guests present will be able to sing and dance, even be able to keep social distance on the dance floor, as there are so few visitors. This is what “riding the wave” actually looks like. More like a dumper if you ask me. Shona churches, Kiama

Djokovic: A democracy can change rules if it’s unjust

The case of Novak Djokovic made it clear to the world’s top athletes in all sports laws that Australia is not a country that can be trusted (“Djokovic free to play”, January 11). This is also shown by the two other tennis professionals, whose visas were revoked after their stay in Australia and their subsequent deportation. So if the immigration minister intervenes and cancels Djokovic’s visa, which bans him from returning for the next three years, he may turn Australia into a pariah in the sports world. Who wants to come to Australia to compete? We can only hope that the situation will be different by the time the Brisbane Olympics take place.
The case shows the cruel underbelly of the Australian government, which has imprisoned people for years for coming to Australia to seek safety and freedom from the persecution they experienced in their home countries. I cringe when I hear people say that “the rules are rules”. In a democracy we have the right to stand up and say when the rules are wrong and demand change. Michaela Byers, Campsie

Michelle Grattan describes the chaos that the Morrison government caused around Djokovic (“The Djokovic case shows that the Morrison government has lost all prospects”, January 11). Think of the frontline Australian Border Force officials who thought the only mistake they risked was being viewed by their political masters as weak at border control. They arrested Djokovic and unceremoniously canceled his visa in the middle of the night. Ticks and peanuts compared to what they have been told over the years, people with far more compelling reasons to enter Australia. David Hind, Neutral Bay

I’m not a fan of Djokovic, but I trust the Australian federal court judge who lifted a ban on his visa. As a nation, we pride ourselves on the rule of law, and if the Immigration Secretary uses his discretion to override the court, we would look vengeful if we weed out a person who appeared to have done everything in their power to get into Australia legally to enter to defend his tennis title. David Vale, Cremorne point

Aside from Djokovic’s lamentable insult and the continuing ineptitude of the federal government, we should praise the court ruling as a fine example of blindly clinging to archaic laws and legal jargon, or instead lament the disregard for common sense and practical considerations in modern situations ? Whatever option we may take for the tortured taxpayer is unscrupulous and unjust. Rod Luffman, Nambucca directs

Are Scott Morrison’s ministers busy advising focus groups on whether or not to cancel Djokovic’s visa? What happened to the rule of law? Is the Border Force now an arm of the Liberal Party? The chaos has become so endemic to this government that mandatory election vaccination is Australia’s only way forward. Geoffrey Dyer, Bundanoon

What more could he have done? He could have been vaccinated. Simple. Marion Wood, Mosman

How the world sees it

My daughter traveled and worked in Australia for over a year. My wife and I went there during their stay and really loved the country and the people we met. The respect and admiration for Australia made me leave my home in Miami and move to Australia. I applauded and respected the decisions made during the pandemic, despite the fact that they prevented my family from visiting again, and looked forward to when we could visit again safely. Your decision to join a multi-million dollar athlete made me change my mind and realize that Australia is not the great country I thought it was, but just like the US: making rules for the rich and the have-nots and realizing yourself don’t care about their own people. I don’t plan to come back. James McGrath, Miami Lakes (USA)

It was disappointing to read that Djokovic was allowed to take part in the Australian Open. All his opponents should refuse to play against him, citing “unsafe working conditions”. It could mean he wins by default, but that would be a very hollow win. Health and safety should always trump fame and money. He may be the “wild card”, but COVID-19 is no joke. Steen Petersen, Nanaimo (Canada)

Please don’t let Djokovic stay, otherwise it will be a victory for anti-vaccination opponents. Our hospitals are full of it and we have lost more than 150,000 people in the UK. Please send him packing, I wonder what Rod Laver would say? Geoff Cartwright, Risca (Great Britain)

Heavy hand interferes with research

In November last year, Scott Morrison presented his concept “Capitalism can do” instead of “Government not do” (“Backlash over Rejection of Research Grants”, January 11). He told us it was “time to break the habit of gross government intervention.”

We now learn that his Secretary of Education, Stuart Robert, vetoed funding for six humanities research projects recommended by the ARC, following a rigorous peer review process. So much for easy government. The fact that these projects all came from the humanities field smells like political bias.

For the past ten years I have had the privilege of representing the lay perspective on a number of ethics committees on human and animal research at universities. This work gave me an insight into the important and amazing work of our researchers at all levels.

Unfortunately, their research is often constrained by the time they spend applying for grants. Getting your projects backed by the ARC and then rejected by a politician must be devastating to morale.

We have set up independent organizations to evaluate research proposals – politicians should let them do their jobs – enough of our “do not do government” interference. Peter Robertson, Stanmore

Finally clear sense

This first win for the farmers of the Liverpool Plains is a real plus for common sense (“Farmers win first Victory for fertile plains”, January 11th). Given the urgent need to protect these fertile plains for agriculture, it goes against the belief that the battle is not over. Coal seam gas production is still a threat. Farmer Susan Lyle’s statement that “once an aquifer is broken cannot be put back together,” reflects a stark reality. John Cotterill, Kingsford

Interest loser

Jessica Irvine may be right in predicting that rate hikes will bring benefits, but as always there will be both winners and losers, z). Andrew Macintosh, Cromer

Faithful four-legged friends

When reading the projected excess pounds increase in abandoned dogs, why not all nursing homes adopt one of these animals? I remember visiting a nursing home in Newcastle that was home to a Labrador and it was gratifying to see how happy the dog was with its residents.
Since many of our elderly people languish in these residences without visitors, these beautiful animals bring an abundance of empathy and camaraderie with them without asking for anything in return.
Elisabeth Maher, Bangor

The best type of dog is a cat.
Alicia Dawson, Balmain

Water way to go

NSW councils are not satisfied with the state government’s plans to shake up the cemetery industry (“Cemetery plan will drive up funeral costs,” January 11). Perhaps the councils, the state government and the public should reconsider the methods of burial.

In view of the already scarce cemetery space and the environment suffering from “flame burial”, the most environmentally friendly type of burial should be considered, namely burial in water. As the baby boomer generation nears its final years of life, the pressure for burial sites will only drive costs up. Burning water solves the problem both financially and environmentally. Archbishop Tutu stated that this was the way for him. Cornelius van der Weyden, Balmain East

Save old ladies of the sea

Given the sad demise of the Baragoola and the languishing of the heroic South Steyne in a remote corner of Sydney Harbor, the wretched naysayers who infest the Houses of Parliament on Macquarie Street would consider simply relocating to the elegant South Steyne and the Sydney Cove Passenger Terminal to moor for the time being (letters from January 11th)? After all, passenger ships will stop calling for some time. We could all then go to the great old lady and raise a few dollars for her ongoing welfare. And, poor old Baragoola, why not do a proper salvage and rebuild it in a helpful place, perhaps near where you were born or on Kakadu Island? No rocket science. Dave Pyett, Maroubra

Free tanks

Here we are again, spending our children’s future with outdated tanks sitting in the sky in front of the invisible armed drones (Letters, January 11).

We all know that the future of warfare, including space, is from above. That’s why nations like the US are all too happy to dump their past military investments for a free lunch when they see our politician approach. Tony Lewis, Mount Victoria

One has to speculate that the real reason for buying the tanks is so that we can take them anywhere the United States next tells us to.

Maybe Australia should tell the United States where to go. Peter Thomson, Grenfell

Stop knocking on buying new tanks. They are supposed to help the new submarines fight bushfires. Bob Doepel, Green Way (ACT)

I really don’t understand how letter writers are scourging the government for buying M2 tanks. How else are we going to stave off a possible invasion of New Zealand, especially when faced with a haka led by the All Blacks? Robert Hosking, Paddington

Hill wag was alive

I remember being at SCG with NSW in 1962, playing English cricketers (Letters, Jan 11). English batsman Peter Parfitt, a left-hander, treated Richie Benaud’s spin by thrusting his right leg forward with his bat behind it. On the hill, a frond called out “Put the club on your leg, Parfitt, and hold on to the pad”. The players were delighted and the great Richie wrote about it in the Sun Next day. How times change. Robert Dillon, Bathurst

The digital view

Source: | This article originally belongs to smh.com.au

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