More than 150 million people around the world have been pushed into extreme poverty by COVID-19 lockdowns. Most will not reach half the average age of a COVID-19 victim, and an estimated six million will die before they reach five years of age.
If you urged politicians to put "lives before the economy" their deaths are on you. The number will keep growing until well after the lockdowns end.
There is also the enormous toll from the less extreme poverty in developed nations due to depression, suicide, and other illnesses that go undiagnosed and untreated. And freedom is not nothing. Tens of millions, including tens of thousands of Australians, died to defend it. Did they die for nothing? Nor is our standard of living nothing either.
When this pandemic is over and experts count the life-years the lockdowns saved I trust they will also count those they took, and the suffering they caused. Government medical officers were tasked by self-serving politicians to focus on COVID-19 to the exclusion of all else. That is what they did.
Maybe someday historians will ask how this was allowed to happen and what part the news media played in engineering one of the biggest man-made catastrophes of all time.
D Zivkovic, Aranda
Another Barr failure
Whilst Elara Apartments was no doubt a disaster in its own right, I consider Andrew Barr is missing the point when he defends the government's specific action on that project.
The government was also responsible for: allowing private certifiers to work for developers where they are clearly conflicted; failing to adequately audit the work of private certifiers; failing to register structural engineers; failing to require any checking of engineering drawings, and failing to collect and keep legible copies of works as executed drawings.
If the government had performed these very simple procedures in a diligent and responsible manner the Elara Apartments would not stand as a monument to ineptitude. It's been almost a decade since the reports on Elara hit the government's desk and they have fixed none of the above. How long do they need?
Mal Wilson, Campbell
Mr Barr's handling of the unfortunate Elara apartments shoddy construction is another classic example of what happens when a government stops listening to people's concerns.
The serious inadequacies of developers certifications and self-regulation have been being talked about for years. When the government finally acted, after many major fails such as Elara, they claimed the credit.
Sadly, the lamentable state of social housing seems also to be the victim of this progressive infill addiction. Public apartment blocks have been torn down to make way for juicy land sales to developers to finance the Northbourne Avenue light rail. But where are the promised replacements for the thousands of Canberrans in need of public housing? Now, at election time, we hear promise after promise.
Are we to be left to wonder if the "commercial in confidence" business case for the Woden tram will be dependent on selling off open green space along Adelaide Ave?
Why are ACT voters treated in such a cavalier fashion, including such a massive project not being subject to tender - against the government's own requirements for acquisitions and services?
Len Goodman, Belconnen
How your travel writer, Rose Jacobs, arrived at the description of "a ramshackle old seaside hut" for the premises of a Yamba café/restaurant ("Swap Byron Bay for Yamba for laidback charm without the superstar attitude", canberratimes.com.au, October 10) is beyond the imaginations of this 40-plus-years Yamba resident.
I ran that description by a number of friends who were also at a loss to attach a current eatery in Yamba with that combination of words. They did agree with "seaside".
Perhaps it's time Ms Jacobs discarded her favourite dictionary and thesaurus and purchased newer, better quality publications.
Col Shephard, Yamba, NSW
It's not that simple
Murray Ewen (Letters, October 12) offers a too-simplistic, even ageist view when he suggests "a reduction in the workforce at senior staffing levels would ... induce new blood into workplaces". He adds, equally simplistically, that doing so would also reduce the numbers on JobSeeker.
Mr Ewen neglects an existing problem that would be exacerbated by his numbers game - corporate memory loss. This leaves the "new blood" often falling back on re-inventing the wheel - a very inefficient use of resources.
Applying the economist's statistical view to human productivity doesn't work. Flexibility and individual assessment does.
Eric Hunter, Cook
Another danger zone
Bruce Wright reports his local dog park is in a dangerous condition (Letters, October 7).
Another dangerous dog park is the designated dog beach at Orana Bay, Yarralumla. It is dangerous because it is right beside the popular and busy round-the-lake shared-use path.
On a nice summer day there are up to 50 dogs on the beach, and about 100 passing cyclists and walkers every hour.
Dogs often run onto the path.
I am aware of two instances last summer of ambulances being called to assist cyclists who had been knocked down by dogs, and another instance of an adult and two children being knocked over.
There are probably many more accidents or near misses.
Having designated the area as a dog beach, it is incumbent on the government to ensure that it is safe and fit for purpose.
But, despite many complaints and suggestions from the public, there are no dog-beach limit signs and no physical barriers between the beach and the path.
John Leech, Yarralumla
Re: Ian Warden's article "Godsends of broccoli and democracy" (canberratimes.com.au, October 11).
Firstly, I disagree with his assertion that we should wait until the would-be politicians have made all of their promises before we can make an informed vote. That is a very naive attitude. I long ago gave up taking any notice of anything candidates promise. They very rarely deliver and often do the opposite of what they promise.
Secondly, having gone through the early voting process, I want to raise an issue of integrity. When I arrived at the polling place at Dickson I was asked my surname, then first name, then my middle name. The polling officer entered this into his laptop, turned it around, and asked: "Is this you?". It was not. It was somebody with the same three names (I have one more "middle" name). Now I know the address and date of birth of my (near) namesake.
I could potentially have said "Yes, that's me", voted as him, and gone on to vote as myself later.
Surely this can't be standard operating procedure, can it? I should have been asked my name, then date of birth, then address. If I got all those correct then I would have been properly identified.
John May, Lyneham
Leave Dan Andrews be
As a Victorian in the Treasurer's seat of Kooyong, I'm tired of listening to him berate a fellow Victorian, the Premier Dan Andrews, from afar.
Sure mistakes have been made but his latest call for the Premier to "get on with it" was hypocritical.
His government still hasn't finalised an aged-care plan in readiness for another wave, and still has no program to reach net-zero emissions. It's easy to spout off at a brunch, and sure, it's tough on business and those locked down.
But many of us are terrified of a third wave and are grateful for the Premier's caution.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn, Vic
A hard rain...
What's coming after COVID-19? Prosperity or poverty? Hope and happiness or despair and hatred?
Following the Great Depression world war raged for another six years.
My now 90-year-old mother knew only how to make do for the first 15 years of her life.
Fortunately, her family had the security of work and housing. Many around her didn't.
Somehow, by determination, dedication, and resourcefulness the people of that time pulled through.
They laid the foundations for future generations. Those times were much tougher than our current experience.
Society today appears ill-equipped, less resilient and more limited in its ability to adapt to the demands of our time.
What else is in store for our pampered people? How will they cope?
John Sandilands, Garran
TO THE POINT
TIME TO SING
Both Wallabies and All Blacks players seem to sing along to their respective national anthems prior to the start of their games. Perhaps AFL and NRL teams might consider doing the same. They are mute when the occasion presents itself. Just saying.
Barry Maher, Richardson
THE CONSTRUCTION SITE
Thank goodness both major political parties support the plan for a new stadium to replace the Civic Olympic Pool. It will ensure central Canberra remains a building site for the foreseeable future, and will maintain its present attractive ambience.
Adrian Gibbs, Yarralumla
LIVES AT RISK
I wonder how quickly the pot holes in our streets would be fixed if a motorcyclist was seriously killed or injured after hitting one? I pray that won't happen but the risk is there given the increasing size and number of the holes.
J Wilson, Duffy
Ever since the ACT's "Vote Early - Vote Safe" campaign started I've been expecting a switch to that classic American saying "Vote Early - Vote Often".
Geof Murray, Ngunnawal
RUBBISH BATTLE LOST
No politicians' moratorium on Fyshwick's waste hubs can stop the planning process. Only Kurrajong's Andrew Barr, the planning minister, Mick Gentleman, and the chief planning executive, Ben Ponton, have the statutory authority. What are our chances with the current development application for this waste train to Woodlawn?
B Moore, Kingston
CHANGE OF DIET
Don Sephton (Letters, October 12) said that on reading Ian Morison's letter about seeing Josh Frydenberg as a great future PM, he choked on his cornflakes. May I suggest that instead of cornflakes, he eats porridge.
John Milne, Chapman
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it. Those are my principles. If you don't like them... well, I have others.
Ricky Dennis, Murrumbeena, Vic
It's hard to feel any sympathy for that picture of misery, bobbing about on the Pacific in his extravagant, $290 million "tinnie". But, to paraphrase the bard's masterful piece of schadenfreude, "uneasy lies the head that owns most of Crown".
Hugh Gibbon, Pearce
LET'S KEEP TRACK
Every day the ACT government promises to spend millions on this and that if re-elected. I'd like to see a list of the promises the government made before the last election, and those that have been kept.
Bruce Glossop, Holt
UP FOR A SCRAP
Mr Coe, the Liberal leader, has appropriately donned boxing gloves and jumped onto the ring in a cheap stunt. We all know he is punch drunk and this act makes the point abundantly clear.
David Perkins, Reid
KISS OF DEATH
Oh no. Trump's gonna win again. I know because Malcolm Mackerras predicts otherwise.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
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