Fewer people for our health and environment

Date: 1970-01-01 00:00:00

But immigrant numbers are determined entirely by government decisions, and will and should be hotly debated. Does the community want 144,000 new residents, in the next 19 years, squeezed into its CBD? They will clog the city’s arteries rather than improve its heart beat. Both the forecast and the lord mayor’s reaction perpetuate a business-win, people-lose scenario.
Ian Penrose, Kew

Recipe for more ecological degradation and conflict

According to Josh Frydenberg, to maintain Australia’s living standards, we need to ensure the population keeps increasing through migration. However, population growth is linked to increased demand for food, water, housing, energy, healthcare and transportation. More humans mean more ecological degradation and conflicts and a higher risk of disasters, including pandemics. A government with any capacity for leadership and innovation would recognise this scenario and come up with a technology-based solution that utilises our existing population.
Leigh Ackland, Deepdene

Asylum seekers, an able and willing workforce

So the “migration quota may rise to aid recovery”. Why don’t we start by releasing all those seeking asylum who have been locked up for countless years? They want to work, contribute to our society and lead healthy and safe lives, just like the rest of us.
Carole Meade, Kyneton

We need to plan now for our long-term future

Instead of just calling for immigration rates to be raised, why don’t we have a rational, mature, nuanced debate about what Australia’s optimum population should be. We know that climate change increases the likelihood of severe weather events and disasters such as fire, flood and drought, and impacts on water supplies and farming yields. We now know what happens when international events such as COVID-19 impact on imports and exports. Now is the time to do some long-term planning to safeguard Australia, and population is central to this.
Malcolm Fraser, Oakleigh South

THE FORUM

The voters will judge

The Nationals are yet to present their position to their Liberal partners to enable the government to formulate a coherent position to represent Australia at Glasgow.

It was bad enough to have a reluctant Prime Minister shamed into attending the summit by an ageing monarch and her heir. Of course, this is not a “new” agenda item, but we have a group of MPs who seem incapable of any timely decision making and doing their jobs. If they were in a normal workplace, they would be on performance management plans.

The time is coming when their performance will be judged by the electorate. Many new voters who are concerned about our environment and our future are dismayed by the directionless, obfuscating meanderings of these MPs whose main motivation appears to be retaining power at the expense of responsible and purposeful leadership.
Anne Lyon, Camberwell

Take a long-term view

The National Party is intent on ensuring regional Australia, under a net zero emissions by 2050 scenario, is no worse off economically than its city cousins – short-sighted, perhaps. The Nationals’ approach, however, is ensuring Australia will be far worse off economically than those nations that are embracing a 50per cent emissions reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050. Short-sighted, definitely.
Roger East, Balwyn North

Why we’re going solar

When the Prime Minister is in Glasgow, I hope he will not be taking credit for the growth in roof-top solar. For many people, it is a response to price gouging in the retail power market rather than a federal government initiative.
Gerry O’Reilly, Camberwell

A dire shortage of food

A matter being given little consideration is the impact of growing food shortages in various parts of the world. Desperation will certainly lead to conflict, the effects of which we will not be immune to. Regardless of how climate change directly affects us, many will suffer loss of jobs or income. The Nationals should, at least for this reason, be serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
John Weymouth, Ringwood East

Our country’s cruelty

Thanks, Anne Sgro, for reminding us of the plight of the refugees in the Park Hotel (Letters, 20/10). It was bad enough before the arrival of COVID-19. It is heartbreaking to see how our government is punishing vulnerable people.

I love being Australian – we live in a beautiful country and we were once proud of our record in human rights and in embracing new citizens from many parts of the world. Refugees from many conflicts have been among those who have built our society. But I feel increasingly ashamed to be a citizen of this privileged country which self-righteously treats other human beings so cruelly.
Jane Miller, North Carlton

Put Victorians’ safety first

Being a professional athlete attracts some entitlements, but it does not give them the right to make their own rules. It seems Novak Djokovic’s reluctance to disclose whether he has been vaccinated smacks of high and mighty entitlement. He says inquiring about it is “personal and inappropriate”.

Tennis Australia and federal and state health authorities are meeting to clarify the status of unvaccinated players who intend to compete at the Australian Open (Sport, 20/10). One can only hope they show strong leadership and that any decisions made are in line with those of us who are trying to keep Victoria safe, rather than being influenced by the almighty dollar or pressure from the privileged and entitled players.
Judith Caine, Donvale

Restoring city’s vibrancy

Victoria must harmonise its COVID-19 rules with those in force now in NSW (at 80per cent fully vaccinated) as soon as it reaches the same 80per cent level. If this is not done, Victoria will fall even further behind NSW as it now opens up safely with proper and realistic health advice. Let us make Melbourne a vibrant and liveable city again where its citizens can enjoy life and work and get back to a significant degree of normality. With our exemplary vaccination record, we can do it.
Thilo Troschke, Blackburn

Rights of local residents

It is important that governments support local traders to recover from the recent extremely challenging business conditions – “Car count supports drive for kerbside dining” (The Age, 19/10).

It is also important that when restaurants and cafes are located outside activity and shopping precincts, their operations do not adversely impact on the amenity of those neighbourhoods – eg, car parking extending into residential streets, limiting parking and street access for people who live there, and the noisy disturbances of patrons leaving venues late at night. Changes are required to Victoria’s state of emergency planning exemptions, which are not specific enough to protect the amenity of local residential neighbourhoods.
Jim Connor, Eltham

Active transport use

Moves to “incentivise” cycling into the city and inner suburbs (The Age, 15/10) are excellent, but greater Melbourne is far more than a city centre – it is a union of dozens of communities spread over a vast area.

The push for metropolitan activity centres – many of which are larger economic and community centres than most Victorian regional cities – and the acknowledged need for 20minute cities, means that we need broader incentives than those which only apply to City of Melbourne. Wide acceptance and promotion of active transport use is the way to go for a better social and environmental future for us all.
Chris Trueman, Blackburn

Protect the vulnerable

More people riding bicycles – excellent. But will they have bells as a legal requirement? On footpaths, people who have problems with their hearing and sight need some warning as bikes speed by. Otherwise more collisions will occur, plus more leg and hip fractures and more patients in busy hospitals. Many of us are nervous after near accidents. We need this small extra for safety, please.
Helen Smith, Edithvale

Negativity and the media

It would be good to see more self-examination from The Age and other media outlets. The article “Now for the news on COVID news” (The Age, 20/10) acknowledges how “lockdown fatigue” is likely a fire ignited and blown by the winds of mass media. But what of the so-called anti-vax movement and vaccine hesitancy?

As vaccination rates go through the ceiling, for example, here in Ballarat, we are shooting for more than 95per cent of those aged 16 and over, and growing, one is left asking: What anti-vax movement? What hesitancy? Why has so much space been devoted to this pitiful minority in The Age and other outlets?|
Geoffrey Binder, Ballarat

But where are you going?

Now that the end of lockdown is imminent, can all motorists start using their vehicle’s indicators. As a pedestrian or motorist, it is most annoying and dangerous not knowing the intended direction of an approaching vehicle.
Peter Norman, Templestowe

Tighten hotels’ hours

Endeavour Group, Australia’s largest drinks and hotel business which owns and operates BWS, Dan Murphy’s and around 300 hotels and pubs, has unveiled plans to use predictive algorithms and facial recognition to identify problem gamblers (Business, 19/10). May I suggest a simple algorithm that can be implemented once all restrictions are lifted? Simply lock the pub doors from 2am until 9am.
Ted Keene, Burwood East

An inadequate experience

I totally agree with John Maidment (Letters, 20/10) regarding the Hamer Hall organ. It is very short-sighted that, having refurbished a world-class, prestigious concert hall, with superb acoustics, there is no organ. How disappointing that concert goers cannot enjoy the full musical repertoire.
Ken Fisher, Warragul

Cleaning up the system

I cannot fathom how we as a nation tolerate unlimited donations to political parties, a lack of transparency about the source of such funds, a lack of truth (to put it mildly) in advertising and the lack of interest of the major parties to do anything about it. Active citizenship and encouraging real democracy should be our civic duty. The current crossbench in the Australian Parliament provides some hope for the future.

Having several genuine independents, beholden to no one’s money is, I believe, an important structural change in Parliament which will go a long way to ensuring national interest is always the key criterion in making national decisions.

Whilst the crossbench has increased in size federally, that change will only be a permanent feature if we move to a new voting system in the lower house – for example, optional preferential voting (voters not required to complete each preference).
David Mansour, Balwyn North

You must be joking

I am not generally one to attack puzzles but I have lately taken to solving the Target word as a kind of kick start to my brain in the morning. On Tuesday the nine-letter word baffled me all day and I gave up, only to find on Wednesday morning that it was “dromedary’. Are you kidding me?
Elizabeth McGrath, Kew

A model for our MPs

I hope that all MPs, especially Barnaby Joyce and Scott Morrison, watched Four Corners (ABC, 18/10). It was on Angela Merkel, quiet, strong, compassionate, honest and retiring after 16 years at the helm, with an approval rating of 78per cent. They probably did not see it and if they did, was any notice taken? I doubt it.
Murray Hall, Dunolly

AND ANOTHER THING


Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding

Climate change

The difference between the Nationals and the slowly boiling frog: in real life, the frog has the sense to get out of the pot.
Steve Melzer, Hughesdale

Ironic that while Nationals MPs push back on climate action, Queensland experiences tornadoes and giant hailstones.
Bill Proctor, Launching Place

Can Matt Canavan survive climate change, that is the question.
Paul Murchison, Kingsbury

Morrison’s conversion to green is the greatest con yet. He might as well paint a lump of coal green.
Jenny Bone, Surrey Hills

Don’t worry, Barnaby and co. Whatever ScoMo agrees to in Glasgow can always be ignored as a “non-core promise”.
Merv Robbins, Coburg

The never ending change of mind PM held over a barrel by the Barney Comic Club.
Margaret Sullivan, Caulfield North

COVID-19

After all we’ve been through here in Melbourne, “Novaxx” Djokovic and his selfish views are not welcome.
James O’Keefe, East Melbourne

The unvaccinated should be very afraid of tomorrow morning.
Winston Anderson, Mornington

Hair today. Gone tomorrow.
Richard Opat, Elsternwick

The light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting brighter until you turn and look into the dark of the empty shopfronts.
Elizabeth Meredith, Surrey Hills

Furthermore

Who would have thought: there are allegations that organised crime uses casinos for money laundering?
Dianne Lewis, Mount Martha

Hamer Hall only requires an organ transplant (Letters, 20/10).
Mary Hoy, Balwyn North

A tick for Australia Post. Ordered online from a company in Dandenong on Saturday morning. Delivered before lunch on Sunday.
Robert Lennie, Viewbank

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