Market forces do not benefit everyone

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I should have seen the way
The Prime Minister says that in hindsight, he would have done things differently.
That’s the whole point. It was his job to predict the path of the pandemic by listening to scientists and medical professionals and watching events unfold in other countries and planning accordingly. He did not do it.
Antonia Hamilton, Sandringham

Morrison drunk on punch
I watched Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the National Press Club on Tuesday shirk responsibility for various failures and once again declare he had a plan.
His delivery was dull, he looked tired. His defensive and weak handling of the Q&A session showed just how drunk he was on the punch. I have concluded that he is either exhausted or cannot find the strength in his own convictions.
If he doesn’t believe what he says, how can we do it?
Greg Wharton, Doncaster

PM, let the Franklin flow
In a radio address in 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt observed, “Human kindness has never weakened the endurance or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation doesn’t have to be cruel to be tough.
Should Australia, or the Prime Minister, be so cruel to refugees? Come on Mr. Morrison, find your inner Roosevelt.
Alan Whittaker, Kew East

A threatened village
As a resident of Keilor, I have lived under the flight path of Melbourne Airport for almost 20 years. Keilor is a lovely suburb to call home, so the ″⁣sometimes annoying″⁣ noise of plane activity was something I learned to live with. But, that’s when there is only one north-south track, and the east-west track can be used as well.
Reduced flights during COVID has been a bliss. There has been a history of disregard for local market gardens and our food supply, community well-being, environment and wildlife. I’m afraid it will only get worse with the third runway construction projects; and without a curfew in place. I’m also concerned that the community consultation is a farce, with suggestions for compensation for having double-glazed windows. These are not windows. This is Melbourne Airport, determined to increase revenue and flights over a ″⁣village″⁣ with schools, parks and outdoor sports and recreation areas.
Apparently expanding for future travel needs means the communities are sustainable. I fully understand that we need airports, but we also need sensible planning and proper impact analysis.
Diane Jager, Keilor

Melway knew
Why wasn’t this fixed years ago? My 2006 Melway has a warning message on the airport map on page 5 regarding ″⁣noise from future aircraft″⁣.
John Hughes, Menton

some will be missed
As the debate over the adequacy of the recently announced $800 bonus for aged care workers rages on, spare a thought for aged care workers who will not receive it at all.
People who work as Lifestyle Coordinators or Lifestyle Assistants are responsible for the social, professional, religious and cultural needs of elderly residents and yet they have been excluded from previous one-time COVID payments as they will be for this one. -this.
Lifestyle workers are no less entitled to this payment than personal care assistants, kitchen workers or cleaners.
Bruce Goode, Donvale

bonus not enough
How cynical and cruel the government is to offer a bonus to underpaid aged care workers, when hourly rates need to be increased so much, and many other positions are permanent rather than temporary. These are serious issues that are not limited to elder care. This government constantly opposes wage increases and defends the deterioration of working conditions.
Marg Belford, Yarra Glen

There must be a way
I wholeheartedly agree with the plea for ″⁣relaxing the rules″⁣ (Letters, 2/2). My mother lived until she was 98, the last years in an excellent nursing home. The wonderful staff and great environment there helped her survive in relative comfort. However, and as she herself said, it was the contact with family that made life worth living and always wonderful. Even a brief visit would greatly improve his morale.
Surely we are adept enough to find a way during this pandemic to allow aging nursing home residents to have safe visits from loved ones?
Jennifer Gerrand, Carlton North

Increase base salary
I am a casual elderly care worker with a base salary of just over $20 an hour. My job is precarious and I am not entitled to leave. I heard Scott Morrison say two things on Tuesday.
First, that I may be entitled to (up to) $800 as a ″⁣one-time bonus″⁣ for all my work (before the next election); and second, that ″⁣we″⁣ (Australia) could see an unemployment rate with a ″⁣3″⁣ ahead of it this year.
May I suggest that if it’s the working poor he’s trying to tick off before the election (after the koala and reef-loving environmentalists) he consider a base salary for the elderly with a ″⁣3″⁣ in front the hourly rate.
Simon O’Shea,
Blackburn South

Go too far
How dare anti-vaccination protesters in Canberra steal The Last Post for their nefarious purposes. My late father, a proud desert rat, is turning in his grave and I’m apoplectic.
Jane Ross, Sanremo

Just a prick
If language is to be genderless for one gender, it should be genderless for another gender as well. If we are going to remove the word ″⁣women″⁣ and replace it with ″⁣people with wombs (or wombs)″⁣, then it is fair to remove the word ″⁣men″⁣ and replace it with ″⁣people with penises (or scrotums)″⁣.
Robyn Westwood, Heidelberg Heights

No to all that
Would the current men of the world be happy with ″⁣non-female″⁣? I do not think so. Why then should current women accept ″⁣non-male″⁣. It is simply condoning the current patriarchy.
Di Margetts, Templestowe

The Wealth Gap
There are two sides to everything. Homeowners will likely be spared higher interest rates ahead of the election (″⁣Pending rate with RBA “willing to be patient”″⁣, 2/2). But Australia will reap the consequences of rapidly escalating property prices and the speculation sown by the RBA. It will widen the gap between the rich and everyone else, benefiting those who borrow to own assets and punishing people who live off paychecks trying to save money at near-zero interest rates. .
Malcolm Cameron,
Camberwell

Take China to task
Thank you, The Age. I salute Badiucao for brilliantly exposing the current Beijing Olympics as the Chinese government committed crimes against humanity targeting Uyghurs, repression in Hong Kong and Tibet, and unprecedented risks to athletes.
Participating athletes will be under surveillance. Their rights to freedom of expression and protest are severely restricted. Human Rights Watch has launched a series of videos with ″⁣Chinese-Australian artist Badiucao putting the Winter Olympics into context″⁣.
Nancy HudsonRodd,
North Hobart, Tas

Check all the boxes
There was a sudden uptick, an ″⁣uptick″⁣ if you will, in some terms becoming overused. I wonder if we should do a ″⁣deep dive″⁣ and ″⁣unbox″⁣ this, or if, ″⁣in the future″⁣, it will just be ″⁣the new normal″⁣.
Claire Merry, Wantirna

Consequences of the seat belt
Tony Delaney (Letters, 2/2) doesn’t remember rallies protesting mandatory seat belts 50 years ago, but there were people who refused to accept the seat belt mandate. Some of them got away with it, some were warned, and some stuck their heads through windshields.
Peter BearMitcham

Let 100 years bloom
The greatest novel in our language turned 100 yesterday. Ulysses was first published on February 2, 1922, the 40th birthday of its author, James Joyce. The pair have been thrilling, confusing, repulsive and even maddening to serious readers for a century. Happy birthday to both of you. And for those who haven’t joined the party yet, what are you waiting for?
Scott Hurley,
East Brighton

AND SOMETHING ELSE

PM
I’m surprised that the Prime Minister’s ″⁣speech on mistakes″⁣ only lasted an hour and a half.
Ron Mather, Melbourne

Like his response of respect for women, the Prime Minister’s pseudo-COVID contrition was neither believable nor proper.
Greg Curtin, Blackburn South

Prime Minister, how about aiming for a 2030 target with a 70 in front of the number.
Jenny Smithers, Ashburton

A Prime Minister who says he cares deeply about the Australian people and the pressures they face would know the cost of petrol.
Annie Wilson, Inverloch

We know Scott Morrison isn’t holding a pipe, but it looks like he isn’t holding a basket either.
Mick Hussey, Beaconsfield

Elderly care
Only appropriate allocation rates and conditions leading to full-time employment will improve care for our seniors.
Arthur Pritchard, Ascot Vale

An $800 payment to older workers, but not to those caring for disabled people under the same conditions. Forgotten and ignored again.
Lisa James, Lalor

Although there are no real policies on aged care, a Commonwealth responsibility, the piecemeal approach will solve nothing. It can just make things worse.
Helena Kilingerova, Vermont

in addition
Regarding the felling of trees at Caulfield Racecourse, another example of despicable greed and a complete lack of respect for heritage and beauty.
Susie Holt, South Yarra

Religion is a belief. Being LGBTQ is real.
Russell Brims, East Bentleigh

Memory loss afflicts Gladys Berejiklian over posts about Scott Morrison. Textnesia a new political pandemic?
Glenda Johnston, Queenscliff

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