The recently announced snap lockdown in Queensland show many businesses will continue to suffer significant economic losses through government imposed activity and travel restrictions arising from COVID-19 control measures. This will likely continue for many months to come.
JobKeeper was very successful in supporting industries most in need through the worst of times last year. Surely there is now a similar moral obligation for the government to introduce a new program - say JobKeeper2 - which is targeted at assisting businesses retain qualified employees by way of subsidized wages while the pandemic continues to be brought under control. To avoid the criticisms of the original JobKeeper, tighter eligibility and repayment criteria could be introduced. To abandon these key industries now wastes all the good work done previously.
Sue Mason, Deakin
Accountability has vanished
Government members (women and men) are saying it will "take time" to change the "culture" among MPs and workers in Parliament House. It won't if the Coalition moves swiftly and firmly to change the present aberrant and disgusting behaviour. It simply requires strong leadership at all levels, backed by serious consequences, to enable a swift, significant and essential improvement.
Not least, accountability change is also required for members. Long a convention in the Westminster system, MPs (and especially ministers') direct accountability for their staff seems to have fallen by the wayside here in recent years - and not only in cases of sexual impropriety. Greater diligence in staff selection processes is another urgent requirement if the present problems (and distress) are to be overcome.
We certainly don't need a prime minister claiming he can't remove a Queensland member from the party because he's not a member of the "autonomous" state branch. Does this mean Mr Morrison was able to order that Craig Kelly keep his endorsement for the last election because he, the Prime Minister, did so solely as an ordinary member of the NSW branch?
Eric Hunter, Cook
Good idea, wrong location
The installation of floating wetlands to absorb nutrients flowing into Lake Tuggeranong sounds like a good idea (canberratimes.com.au March 29). However, they have been installed in the wrong place. They should have been installed where Village Creek flows into the lake, not in front of the drainage inlet where the installation has taken place. I walk past both inlets on an almost daily basis, and casual observation shows that most of the pollutants that flow into Lake Tuggeranong - especially at times of heavy rainfall - come from Village Creek and not the drainage inlet. I suggest that these floating structures be moved to where Village Creek flows into the lake, where they are likely to do most good.
Don Sephton, Greenway
Patience is a virtue
Canberra is a low risk area for COVID 19 and the inability to acquire an appointment for a vaccine should not be an issue.Brien Armstrong, Dunlop
H Zandbergen (Letters, March 29) complains about the process to book a COVID-19 vaccination. Clearly he does not understand that patience is a virtue and needs to understand that the ability to wait without agitation is an admirable quality.
Canberra is a low risk area for COVID-19 and the inability to acquire an appointment for a vaccine should not be an issue. More alarming is the fact that The Canberra Times gave this letter (whinger) priority as the lead letter. The question therefore is does the newspaper have a hidden agenda?
Brien Armstrong, Dunlop
Tram at hospital's expense
I sympathise with Peter Forster (letters 30th March) concerning the lack of a second MRI machine at The Canberra Hospital resulting in a long wait for his wife to have a diagnostic test. This is but one of many stories about the lack of facilities, long surgical waiting lists and other deficiencies at the hospital.
Peter is right the reason for such lack of facilities and, indeed, the failure to build a new hospital, is vast sums of money being spent on the tram which, while popular, has been a waste of resources when environmentally friendly electric buses could have served all the suburbs at a fraction of the cost. If the government takes the irresponsible step of extending the tram to Woden expect a further five-year delay on the new hospital with all the usual excuses.
Alan Shroot, Forrest
We must wean ourselves off China
I partially disagree with Adam Triggs on what he advocates about our trade debacle with China ("What is there to do about China?" March 30). Australia is now struggling to live with China, but I believe it may eventually be able live without it, if it has to, particularly if other influential countries join us in fighting its unacceptable behaviour to date, both on trade and human rights. China is acting like a spoilt brat over our foolhardy unwarranted allegation that the virus originated in Wuhan, and that an investigation should be held, in retaliation it has vindictively implemented costly severe restrictions on trade across multiple Australian industries. In the meantime our diplomats have tried to reach out to their counterparts in China, only to be ignored.
Worldwide China is now perceived to be a big bully on trade, and it's high time for Australia to react in kind as our diplomatic efforts have been rebuffed, starting with restrictions on the supply of our high grade iron ore, which they are highly dependent on for their production line capability. It is their Achilles heel, and we should make the most of it whilst we still can.
It will hurt us financially over a short period of time until other markets are found, however there is no gain without pain. Australia may ultimately have to repair its relationship with China, but it takes two to tango.
Mario Stivala, Belconnen
Wake up and stop whinging
As a 76-year-old female, I am sick and tired of seniors carrying on about the COVID-19 injections. I believe it should be mandatory for all people well enough to receive the jab.
Let's hark back to years ago to the polio vaccine. All Australians young and old had the jab. This saved the majority of us a life of hell perhaps in an 'iron lung'. I remember my father telling me when he was a six-year-old of being sent away during a flu plague and arriving at Sydney's Central Station. There he saw the station covered in coffins while the remains awaited burial.
Wake up oldies and stop the carry on about the COVID vaccine. If you want to be ill and die, go right ahead and refuse, otherwise stick your damn arm out and receive the jab, the risks are so few, or let your families visit the cemetery years before your time. Oldies - grow up.
Sandra Bridges, Wanniassa
Poor tackling was the problem
It is silly to believe that one refereeing decision cost the Raiders a win last Saturday. Just imagine having to make a decision almost every second of a game, even if the decision is not to make one. That's a referee's lot.
Anyway, tackling effectively is a priority and the lack of it on Saturday allowed the Warriors to catch and defeat the Raiders.
Just after the game I was fortunate to chat with Raiders' legend Ron Giteau. When I suggested Ricky Stuart should stack the training field this week with tackling bags and have them go at it for an hour or so, Ron, quick as a flash, replied, "Trouble is, tackling bags don't move."
James Mahoney, McKellar
Air force show wasted on Canberra
Apparently the RAAF put on a flyover for all for the fat cats and layabouts in Canberra today? What about the rest of us? Canberra has 400,000, mostly being paid by us. Sydney and Melbourne have 5 million each?
Someone in both the RAAF and the government does not have their priorities right. They are missing an outstanding opportunity, not just to celebrate 100 years of the RAAF, but to honour those who served in that time and advertise our armed forces.
We know the government fails PR101 but if any of you know Air Marshall Mel Hupfeld or any of his side-kicks, please suggest they are stupidly economising not to take this celebration to every city and to do it properly with PR, digital news, papers and proper full-on lunch time flyovers, not a random old DC3 and a Caribou we had last week over Sydney. Our armed forces are important. Show us your best. Don't hide it at the government's glass house.
Simon Ford, Greenwich
Greens got what they wanted
A brilliant letter from Gillian Bella "Isn't it wonderful that the tram will be coming to Woden?" (March 22) prompts Ian Pearson to ask "why is the ACT Government persisting in giving funding to its pet project the tram while neglecting the Canberra Hospital?" (Letters, March 26).
Andrew Barr prioritises the tram to get the support of the Greens leader who insists on the slow, inflexible, small-capacity rail system which was inferior to buses in the only published business case. The Greens leader is hung up about "choof choof trains" because he did not get one as a Christmas present.
We are getting a tram as an incentive for Green support to keep Andrew Barr in power. Nothing to do with transport.
Warwick Davis, Isaacs
The new Ministerial line-up seems to have an obvious omission. Who is now the Minister for Announcements?
Kim Fitzgerald, Deakin
EARLY APRIL THOUGHT?
Jevon Kinder's letter (26 March) comparing Dorothea Mackellar's much-loved evocative description of the country she loved with decades of research, studies and analyses by thousands of highly educated and trained scientists using zettabytes of data was priceless - but premature by about six days according to my calendar.
Jon Stirzaker, Latham
TO THE POINT
The Howard government established the school chaplains program to attend to the moral education of Australian children.
Perhaps it is time for the Morrison government to set up similar chaplaincy programs in parliament.
Ray Walker, Ainslie
CREATING HIS OWN REALITY
Th PM, in suggesting those whose empathy tank was running on empty might have akin to a "top-up" by way of training, seemed to be creating his own reality. Similarly, in suggesting Senator Reynolds' slur was an "intemperate remark, made at the wrong time for the wrong reasons", implying it was acceptable must seriously undermine any assertion that he does "get it".
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan
MARCH OF AWFUL TOLL
"Myanmar death toll surpasses 500" ( Reuters March 31). By the time this letter is published the death toll will be higher.
The persecution and killing of civilians by the Myanmar military regime makes me wonder if they are hellbent on breaking the Pol Pot Khmer Rouge regime's record?
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
Although I rarely agree with what Rod Holesgrove have to say, in this instance I fully agree with his comments (Letters , March 31). Not only has the gateway into Canberra a "natural windswept" look, which blends in with the environment, it has little or no maintenance requirements to boot .
Mario Stivala, Belconnen
POLLIES OF MERIT?
Michaelia Cash - promoted. Stuart Robert - promoted. Melissa Price - promoted. There is hope for us all.
Rob Ey, Weston
Dr Andrew Laming MP is small fry compared to Porter, Reynolds or Abetz. No wonder the Liberal Party is letting him hang out to dry. At least it keeps the others off the front page and protects the LNP majority!
A1 TREATMENT FOR 1B
As a category 1b Covid-19 vaccination person, I rang my local GP in Watson and within 5-10 minutes was able to book a date at the beginning of their program in the second week of April 2021 and a second vaccination 12 weeks later. In my opinion we are not living in a "third-world country".
Don Gilson, Hackett
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
If Peter Graves, chair, Canberra Chapter Walter Burley Griffin Society wants greater recognition for Marion Mahoney Griffin, perhaps a good place to start would be amending the name of the society he chairs.
John Howarth, Weston
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