Three-and-a half-years ago, when the Liberal Party sacked its second leader since its return to office in 2013, I was relieved when they chose Scott Morrison over Peter Dutton.
I thought that they were selecting someone pragmatic and middle of the road over a man who was simply too uncompromising and hard line to lead a successful Australian government.
However, Mr Morrison and his government have proven bitter disappointments. John Howard may never have set many pulses racing but proved capable of making decisions and was generally a safe pair of hands. Can you imagine what Mr Morrison would have done if the Port Arthur massacre had happened on his watch? He would have ducked for cover and left it to the states. Nothing would have changed.
The failure of his government to develop a system to make rapid antigen tests available to all who need them is just the latest example of its laziness and incompetence.
The crisis Australia faces, and the temperamental unsuitability and indolence of its present Prime Minister are so great, that Mr Morrison's continuation in office cannot be justified for one day beyond Parliament's return next month.
Liberal members of Parliament have the power to change their leader and to give Australia a new Prime Minister. I call on the member for Dickson, the Honourable Peter Dutton MP, to offer them that choice.
He could not do a worse job than the incumbent and may, indeed, prove to be the man of the hour when it comes to providing decisive leadership.
Nigel Thompson, Queanbeyan, NSW
Aged care package delays
Aged care packages for the elderly are so convoluted and complex that many aged people die before they get them.
There are so many forms to fill out, and the system is so difficult to navigate, that I have come to the conclusion that this is a deliberate ploy on the part of the government to deny the aged their care package before they die.
This is an outrage and needs to be addressed as many aged people need these care packages for basic living requirements such as help with showering, cleaning their homes, gardening and help with shopping and getting to medical appointments.
The government needs to lift its game and make the application for these care packages much easier and more accessible.
I am disgusted when I hear time and time again of those elderly who have died before they get the care package and have perhaps died because of this lack.
The government must address this situation immediately.
Margot Sirr, Gowrie
Our judiciary is independent
The decision by Judge Anthony Kelly, of the Federal Circuit Court, in favour of Novak Djokovic, has caused serious political embarrassment to the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, (who foolishly bought into the Djokovic matter while ignorant of the law and the facts); and humiliated the powerful paramilitary Australian Border Force (which should have known the law and the facts but didn't).
It has also annoyed large sections of the Australian media and public, though been cheered by others.
None of these matters will keep Judge Kelly awake at night. This is more than might be said for any number of nominally "judicial" officers in most of the countries of the world had they dared to take a comparable decision.
The fact is that, unlike the majority of countries outside Western Europe and North America, Australia still has an independent judiciary. No small thing in a country that, for mystifying reasons, regularly elects increasingly right-wing federal governments.
I presume that, if re-elected, the Liberal Party's autocrats will continue to try, as they have in the past, to reduce that judicial independence.
P O'Keeffe, Hughes
On a winner
Dave Jeffrey (Letters, January 11) if Prime Minister Morrison spends the $16 billion squirreled away in MYEFO for "decisions taken but not announced" on pork barrelling there might well be much "wailing and gnashing of teeth" among the "true believers".
Of course this is $7.9 billion more than he spent on bribing the electorate prior to the 2019 election. He should be in with a good chance of success.
Roger Terry, Kingston
RAT backflip anyone?
COVID-19 testing is an important part of the fight against the virus. So it is surprising that the Morrison government has chosen not to pay for our rapid antigen tests.
Wholesale RAT kits cost about $4 each but the retail mark-up is high; even higher when supplies are short.
Perhaps when more doses are available, and the election is closer, Mr Morrison will change this decision and use part of the government's $16 billion slush fund to correct this puzzling mistake.
John Ryan, Griffith
The usual suspects
Does anyone in the ACT government and its bureaucracy ever review the (now irregular) COVID-19 exposure site lists on the website?
If so, what are they doing about the "regulars" that appear numerous times on the lists, e.g., hairdressers, bus routes, nightclubs, "gentlemen's" clubs and more?
James Mahoney, McKellar
I don't hold a hose either Mario Stivala (Letters, January 11) but if some idiot with a chip on his or her shoulder set fire to my front door I'm sure I'd pick up a hose and try to put it out while waiting for fire and rescue (and the police) to arrive.
I'd be very surprised if that wasn't your reaction too.
Keith Hill, Gowrie ACT
Is the tent embassy legal?
I recall that when the Aboriginal Tent Embassy was first put in place in Parkes 50 years ago it was recognised as being an illegal act. It was, however, also a political hot potato. After initial attempts to move it on a blind eye was turned to it by authorities.
I don't recall the encampment ever being legalised; perhaps I'm wrong.
Now that others are following suit with more encampments in the same area the authorities are in a tricky position. The expulsion of the newcomers shows that the authorities' eyes are no longer blind. What, then, of the tent embassy?
Consider this. If a Voice to Parliament was created would the tent embassy still be needed?
Oliver Raymond, Mawson
Rather than depending on one's home rain gauge for prognostications on the weather perhaps Alistair Bridges (Letters, January 7) and other "backyard meteorologists" should pay more attention to what is happening across Australia and globally.
Professional meteorologist Maximiliano Herrera does this and keeps track of extreme weather around the world.
He and others who do this correctly predicted 2021 would be in the top five or six hottest years in history - and this was with La Nina. It is likely 2022 will be in the top league as well.
It is so vital for governments and media to keep us informed on what is happening with the climate overall so we can vote for politicians with strong climate action policies.
The Rudd government had such a body with the Climate Commission. Unfortunately the ill-informed prime minister, Tony Abbott abolished that agency.
Roderick Holesgrove, Crace
Talk of peace
Like Sue Wareham (Letters, January 12) I am weary of "war talk" that indicates a preoccupation with threats rather than opportunities.
It is hard to distinguish the Foreign Minister from the Defence Minister much of the time. We need a re-focus on "peace talk"; looking for ways in which communication can be strengthened across borders, and projects shared in areas of aid and development, trade and cultural links.
We also must engage more directly with our region, listening to the real concerns of Asia and the Pacific, and addressing the human rights of refugees.
Needless to say this would also involve a reallocation of funds from military spending to diplomacy and peace making. Less AUKUS and more Caucus.
David Purnell, Florey
It is unbelievable, even irresponsible, that NSW, pushed along by the PM, put the economy first when easing restrictions in December, just as the Omicron variant was taking off.
Morrison and Perrottet should listen more closely to the health advice and cause less contagion, illness, hospitalisation and disruption to families, childcare centres, schools and businesses.