Credit:Illustration: Andrew Dyson

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FATHER’S DAY

Morrison must show us that he is a real leader

Leadership is most essential for one worker. Prime Minister, your fellow citizens feel empathy for your desire to spend time with your family on a special occasion such as Father’s Day as we know full well the deprivations that COVID-19 have wrought on families.

Essential workers get on with their jobs and are visible in their workplaces. Your main job is to lead the nation. Where were you when we faced catastrophic bushfires, adequate preparation for a worldwide pandemic, a proactive and substantive response to refugees from Afghanistan, a coherent, evidence-based policy approach to climate change and a meaningful commitment and investment to address violence against women and children?

If you are to wear the moniker of an essential worker, we citizens await the required leadership that addresses pressing issues as they arise, strengthens our nation and prepares us for a better future.
Anne Lyon, Camberwell

Many children missed out on seeing their fathers

How good is it being the Prime Minister? Taxpayers pay for you to fly to Sydney and back with your special exemption to visit your family on Father’s Day. My daughter would have paid for her own petrol to visit me on Father’s Day, but she did not. I have not seen her for weeks because we both care about our communities. It hurts.

No apologies, no responsibility as usual. Scott Morrison dares to call “cheap politics” when he is rightly criticised. I would not call that private return flight to Sydney “cheap”. Bring on the next election.
Graeme Henderson, Bullengarook

The high cost of allowing the PM to fly to Sydney

So how many RAAF crew and others were involved, inconvenienced, and possibly COVID-19 compromised by Scott Morrison’s Father’s Day indulgence? And at what cost to the public purse? He does not understand that he should live by the same rules as the rest of us. Born to rule.
Rod Cripps, Parkdale

How different it would be if I were Scott Morrison

Each year I take a Father’s Day group photo of my husband, our son, son-in-law and five grandsons (now aged three to 11) for our family photo wall. For two years I have not taken such a photo. I thought it was because of COVID-19 but it turns out it is because my name is not Scott Morrison.
Maree Dyson, Prahran

Treating the ordinary citizens with contempt

This is worse than Bronwyn Bishop’s “helicopter-gate” and she resigned as Speaker and was dumped by Liberal preselectors. Taking a taxpayer-funded plane in lockdown to see your children on Father’s Day when no one else in the ACT, NSW or Victoria is permitted to visit family members shows complete and absolute contempt for the people of this country. Scott Morrison is not fit to be prime minister.
Trevor Street, Park Orchards

Why are we paying for two houses for the PM?

Our Prime Minister flew from his Commonwealth-provided residence in Canberra to visit his family in his Commonwealth-provided residence in Sydney. Leave aside the implications of his travelling despite the restrictions that apply to many others and his utilising a Commonwealth-supplied plane for the return journey.

It raises the question of why the Commonwealth (i.e. all of us) provides the Prime Minister with the house in Sydney. His job is in Canberra. He is not given houses in Adelaide or Perth or Hobart, where his duties surely call for his occasional presence. Give the use of Kirribilli to some deserving public group, perhaps the National Gallery, and keep the Prime Minister in the national capital.
Tim Wilson, Inverloch

Do what so many families did: “meet” via FaceTimeMy

son in Sydney would have loved to visit his 84-year-old father in Melbourne for Father’s Day. We had to make do with FaceTime, like so many others, which was fine.
Jo Prendergast, Sandringham

THE FORUM

An example for us all

Congratulations, Peter Singer – “Philosopher wins $1 million prize” (The Age, 8/9). Here is a man displaying extraordinary generosity and integrity in today’s money-grubbing world. I could not think of two more worthy targets for his prize money – alleviating global poverty, and ending animal suffering, especially in intensive factory farming.
Jan Kendall, Mount Martha

Betraying our friends

The definition of wickedness: denial of a humanitarian visa to an honourable, professional Afghan interpreter and father of four small children who has been forced to flee to Pakistan with a Taliban death warrant on his head.
Robin Rehn, Sandringham

One step forward, Rupert

I am happy to learn the Murdoch press has finally reformed its policy on climate change reporting (The Age, 6/9). Does this mean it will publish front-page retractions and apologies for all the misinformation it has fed the gullible public for all these years?
Robert Boelen, Waratah Bay

The overlooked leader

Irene Wyld asks why Louise Staley was not appointed deputy leader of the Victorian Liberals (Letters, 8/9). It raises the question why Staley was not elected leader. She appears to be a person with integrity and sound decision making skills.
Charlotte Brewer, Shepparton

The role of the teachers

Matthew Guy says he and his wife are busy “home schooling” their three boys. If their children are not enrolled at a school, that is quite a job on top of everything else. So do we believe they are designing, writing and delivering curriculum at appropriate levels for each boy, as well as supervising its implementation in their home? Not to forget all that ongoing recording and assessment that is part of schooling these days.

Maybe he meant they, like most parents of school-aged children in Melbourne at the moment, are facilitating and supervising their children’s remote learning, with the teachers, online every school day, delivering well-planned lessons and checking each child’s progress.
Angela O’Connor, Glen Iris

A duty to follow our laws

I am of Jewish background. I am seething over the illegal gathering for prayers by the cloistered Orthodox Jews in Ripponlea on Rosh Hashana (New Year) eve. The blatant lack of respect for health laws shames the rest of the Jewish community. We do not live on a Jewish planet. Yes, have your rituals but within the bounds of government laws.
Anna Gdanski, Monbulk

Disturbing police presence

I live directly opposite the synagogue in Ripponlea where an alleged “illegal gathering” occurred which apparently breached our COVID-19 restrictions. Never has the term “overkill” been more apt for the response of the police.

Countless, heavily armed and armoured officers were everywhere. Why? The believers are the most self-effacing and gentlest people imaginable. One would think the police were responding to a terrorist attack. Such displays of pointless police power do nothing to foster the confidence of the public they supposedly serve.
Jeremy Browne, Ripponlea

The source of cases

Every day we read of cases of COVID-19 cases popping up in new locations. But we rarely hear how the virus spread there. If the source of the infection is known why isn’t it published?

Leaving these gaps in public understanding of how COVID-19 has been spread to initiate specific local outbreaks does nothing to inform the public of potential issues with travel to and from work and other scenarios. This is not to lay blame, but to provide far better understanding so that people can make those “better choices” they are often encouraged to make.
Ian Young, Glen Waverley

Children’s role in spread

The spread of the Delta variant in children and teenagers, particularly the number of active cases, is of growing concern. Generally only the parents, not the kids nor teenagers in tow, do a QR check in. Also, if kids only have a little sniffle, parents may, understandably, not want to attend long testing queues with them. Both these factors may contribute to many untraceable cases.
Nellie Brown, Bentleigh East

We all need our share

I am pleased that the extra allocation of vaccines saved hundreds of lives in NSW (The Age, 8/9). They would also save hundreds of lives in the other states if they had received their fair share.
Lorraine Peake, Churchill

Putting needy states first

It was not so long ago that some Age readers were demanding Australia send more of its vaccines to developing nations on the grounds that their needs were greater than ours and that we could not be safe while other nations had high rates of infection.

Yet when the Commonwealth operates on the need principle by sending more vaccines to NSW, where infection rates are about 10 times those of Victoria, there is an outcry of “unfairness”. What about accepting the principle of meeting need and recognising that while infection rates in any other state are very high, our state is not safe?
Thomas Hogg, East Melbourne

Yet more pork barrelling?

The Coalition has been caught yet again with its hands in the cookie jar. Not “targeted” sports grants or yet to be built car parks though. This time it is under-the-table-vaccine “smuggling”, preferencing the health of Australians in NSW over those in those regions which lack the “gold standard” of approval. The Coalition MPs have no shame. Newly minted leader Matthew Guy needs to stand up to the larceny of his federal compatriots.
Ken Richards, Elwood

Seeking our ‘freedom’ too

Our local park has a leash and an off-leash areas for dogs. When will we have mask and off-mask areas for humans?
Chris Brown, Melbourne

NZ’s concerted effort

Congratulations, New Zealand, for getting your Delta outbreak under control and looking like it may be eliminated soon (The Age, 7/9). Going from 83 cases a day to 20 in a week is impressive stuff. It shows what can be done when you have the resolve of government backed up by the will of the people.
Jeff Moran Bacchus Marsh

Let’s put the people first

When will our illustrious federal and state leaders realise that we, the public, are wholeheartedly sick and tired of their political posturing, petty point scoring, and juvenile jibes? For goodness sake, we are in the middle of a global pandemic, an impending climate catastrophe with unprecedented global uncertainty and we honestly do not care who is Liberal or Labor. We just need our leaders to grow up and govern in the best interests of everyone.
Julie Perry, Highton

Surely a better system

Could someone explain the necessity to keep the public transport system running after curfew? Given that you can book a taxi/Uber where the drivers are doubly vaccinated, would it not be safer and far more economical to issue “essential” workers with travel vouchers? However, while obviously more practical, these would “fly in the face” of Dan Andrews’ supporters in the Transport Workers Union.
Geoffrey Quinn, Brighton

Importance of scepticism

”How to think like a scientist – the reasons you should” (The Age, 8/9) – fails to explain that scientific knowledge is strictly confined to what humans perceive through their senses (that is, empirical knowledge). The belief that this is the only source of knowledge is empiricist fundamentalism.

There are many sources of knowledge in the world. All of them are based on assumptions about what is the truth. Absolutely none of them has a monopoly on truth. Modern science has been beneficial for humankind, but it also comes with some terrible consequences – eg, nuclear weapons. Maintaining a sceptical openness to many sources of knowledge is the surest path to wisdom, if not the truth.
Allan Patience, Newport

Trust “scientist” Kelly?

Like many Australians, recently I received a text message from the United Australia Party telling me that I could not trust any of the other parties in Parliament.

This week I received this: “Australian Government COVID-19 Vaccination Adverse Events Report. Click link. Authorised by Craig Kelly.” Does he believe that there are enough fools in Australia to vote for him again?
Catherine Jamieson, Aspendale

A very small gripe

Cathy Wilcox’s wonderful cartoons have given me so much pleasure that I hesitate to cavil, but the artist who created the “Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?” poster (Letters, 8/9) was not Norman Rockwell, but Savile Lumley.
Arthur Roberts, Elwood

Truly prophetic, kids

My kids nicknamed the Observation Wheel the “Death Star” after watching it being dismantled for repairs each time we crossed the Bolte Bridge.
Peter Thomas, Pascoe Vale

AND ANOTHER THING

Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding

Federal

Scott, please tell us what essential work you did in Sydney.
Ron Slamowicz, Caulfield North

Go easy on ScoMo. Maybe the prospect of another weekend holed up in the Lodge with Josh drove him to flee Canberra.
Pam Lloyd, Brunswick West

The Father’s Day jaunt doesn’t pass the pub test. But as pubs are closed, Morrison gets away with it.
Gretel Lamont, Aireys Inlet

It’s Hawaii all over again.
Leah Bileam, Carlton

If MPs George Christensen and Craig Kelly are essential workers, we’re in deep trouble.
Julie Stayner, Mernda

Victoria

I wonder which minority group Guy will demonise this time.
Thomas Richardson-Smith, Tynong North

Matthew Guy, an early Christmas present for Daniel Andrews?
David Abell, Richmond

Déjà vu: Paul Keating knew something when he observed that a soufflé doesn’t rise twice.
Paul Reid, Kyneton

It’s good to see a leadership change but O’Brien has worked under very difficult circumstances. Let’s give Guy a chance.
Diana Goetz, Mornington

Is Guy’s return to the leadership of the Liberals’ resumption, revival or resuscitation?
Michael Hall, Blackburn

COVID-19

Think positively. Wearing a mask means not wearing your dentures.
Andrew Jones, Torquay

Scott says it’s not a race but he’s doped up his precious NSW to win.
Mike Fajdiga, Beaumaris

Given the Coalition’s penchant for rorts, is it surprising the same thing occurred in the allocation of vaccines?
Maria Ambrosi, Essendon

The PM is at one with Keating: If you are not living in Sydney, you may as well be camping out.
Andrew Blyth, Eaglemont

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