A government only for the Coalition voters
Credit:Illustration: Jim Pavidis
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THE GRANTS DIVIDE
A government only for the Coalition voters
The hubris displayed by Scott Morrison and his government knows no limits. Rather than being shame-faced by revelations that his government had selectively spent $1.9billion in Coalition-held seats compared to $530million in Labor-held seats, he congratulated his party members and suggested that this would continue.
Most politicians would run for cover but not this prime minister. No wonder a federal anti-corruption commission is nowhere to be seen. This man does not know the meaning of integrity. At his victory speech after the last election, he promised to govern for all Australians. He obviously meant only those who voted for him.
Hans Pieterse, Narre Warren North
A fair go for all goes to the heart of who we are
When the Prime Minister was asked to comment on the disparity of grants to Peter Dutton’s electorate, Dickson, ($43.6million) and the neighbouring Labor electorate of Lilley ($932,400), he replied: “Dickson must have a very good local member.“
Australians regard fairness as a major part of the bedrock of who we are. To see the Prime Minister laughing off a question that goes to the heart of what fairness in our country means disgusts me.
Jan Laidlaw, Newtown
Now please give us an expose of Labor grants ‘rorts’
When I see the analysis of ALP grants under the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd regimes to compare with the subsequent Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison years, I might bother to read your “grants rorts” stories.It
should not happen in such a biased way. However, I do not think one side or the other is a bunch of born-again, political virgins especially considering the recent revelations about machinations within the Victorian ALP and a “cabal of lobbyists” running the joint.
Mike Seward, Port Fairy
The high price of politicising the public service
The revelations by Shane Wright and Katina Curtis reveal unacceptable procedures in federal grants. Much of this has occurred as a result of the politicisation of the federal public service.
The era of highly competent, independent public service mandarins, who not only provided advice and guidance but also ensured that government excesses were minimised, has gone. It has seemingly been replaced by politically appointed heads of departments who see their allegiance as being to the government of the day, when it must be first and foremost to the Australian people. We are all paying the expensive price of this change.
Brian Kidd, Mount Waverley
Morison’s blatant contempt for ’us dumb voters’
Scott Morrison thinks he can play the “jokey blokey” card when asked to explain disproportionate funding of Liberal-held seats by suggesting those that receive more money must have a good local member. So now he does not even bother to try to explain or justify what has been exposed as blatant pork-barrelling. So no reference to Australian values of a fair go here, just contempt for us dumb voters.
Brendan O’Hanlon, West Brunswick
The bottom line: winning votes to ensure re-election
This latest “grants divide” issue is yet another indicator of an elitist, self-serving government with less and less regard for the Aussie battler. Proof that it is all about the votes. Scott Morrison, stop pretending and go back to marketing, please.
Marisa Rooney, Pascoe Vale South
Still waiting for the last pork-barrel promise
Scott Morrison’s message to his cabinet is: “Jump in, boys and girls, the pork barrel has been refilled.” However, be warned about the pork barrel. The people of Rosebud are still waiting for an overpass which was promised by Greg Hunt at the last federal election.
John Cain, McCrae
How much has this cost?
Much to my disgust, I have received a letter from the federal government (which, adding insult to injury, even included a coloured attachment) to tell me about the COVID-19 vaccine booster. No, Scott Morrison, I have not been living under a rock and, yes, I have already booked my booster.
In this thinly disguised electioneering, most of the letter lauds the efforts of this government – for example, “we can be proud of being one of the most protected countries in the world against COVID”.
How much did this cost taxpayers? How will it help the situation of increased demand coupled with lack of supply of booster vaccines (The Age, 16/12)? Australians are not stupid and will recognise this for yet another example of pork-barrelling.
Jane Miller, North Carlton
A shortage of boosters…
The Prime Minister for NSW says there are plenty of booster shots to go around, while the Treasurer for NSW says “don’t panic” about the rapid spread of Omicron. Both statements are either untrue or irresponsible. There might be plenty of booster shots for Sydney, but there is a significant shortage in Melbourne.
have tried to book a booster for the past two days, and have been consistently advised that supplies have run out and will not be re-supplied until mid-January. The booster distribution is another massive failure by the Morrison government, which the states, other than perhaps metropolitan Sydney, will have to clean up.
David Maiden, Glen Iris
…but we have supply
As a nurse vaccinator at a regional public hospital vaccination clinic, I can assure people that we are not turning people away.
We have supply, and are ready and waiting to administer boosters of AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines according to individual preference. We are also ready and able to supply a third primary dose of vaccine to the immunocompromised. If your GP is unable to provide your vaccine, please enquire at your local public clinic.
Michelle Goldsmith, Eaglehawk
GPs ’salute as required’
From the beginning of the vaccine rollout in March, we have been on a roller coaster of demand and mismatched supply. There was fluctuation of interest from fearful then expectant people, and recommendations from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and wishes of governments. There remains poor coordination between decision makers and the supply chain.
General practice is left to stand and salute as required. We found out in the media last weekend what we would be doing next, while chucking out unwanted and date-expired vaccine, then quickly ordering more to meet the current surge in demand as six months became five at the stroke of an administrators pen. Who is running this side-show?
Dr Clyde Ronan, Yarrawonga
My updated booster data
Anthony Redden, who has had his booster, says his digital vaccination certificate only shows the last two vaccinations received (Letters, 16/11). He need not worry. The digital vaccination certificate is a cut-down version of the data available shared on the Medicare app, which shows not only the dates but all immunisation types and brand names. The QR image also contains information that is not available to the viewer. My data about my booster jab showed up only hours after I received it.
Dennis Severin, Caulfield
Very dangerous mixing
Health ministers taking over from scientists in making decisions about COVID-19 restrictions? Despite the evidence that the number of Omicron cases is increasing, we are now able to mingle more with the unvaccinated “COVID spike feared but Christmas plans safe” (The Age, 16/12). That does not seem rational to me.
Andrew Smith, Leongatha
Avian warfare on drones
Ray Lewis, whose wife was hit by a drone (Letters, 16/12), will be interested to know that crows and other predatory birds are learning to attack drones. I saw several together doing just that last week over my house – and I personally know of an instance where the drone was “killed”. Natural selection at work?
Heather Barker, Albert Park
Let’s put the needy first
If Australia is doing so well with so much new employment, why are we still keeping welfare payments below the poverty line and putting the squeeze on National Disability Insurance Scheme recipients? Shouldn’t we be looking after the most needy in our society, not making their lives more miserable?
During the pandemic, it was found that people could not survive on JobKeeper and so it was doubled. For those still on JobKeeper, their circumstances have not changed and yet the rate has gone back to the level it was once was. With rents, utilities and petrol going up, these people are being once again ignored by the Coalition government.
Greg Tuck, Warragul
A slog of a trip to work
How interesting that there has been a “rethink call” on public transport, with a main aim being to encourage more use by people going into the city (The Age, 15/12).
It took my daughter, an essential worker, two hours and 10 minutes to travel from Carnegie Station to her workplace at the Royal Children’s Hospital on Wednesday morning due to disruptions to the train service. She had to catch a train to Caulfield, a replacement bus to the city and then a tram to the hospital. I cannot see many people being encouraged by that.
Judy Moylan, Caulfield South
Stand firm on De Goey
No, Jordan De Goey will not be forgiven by this Magpie (Letters, 15/12). The ability to play football (or indeed any other sport) does not preclude responsibility for one’s actions. If Collingwood is to truly walk the talk of the Do Better Report and improve as an organisation, then it has acted with integrity by standing the player down. Future actions will determine just how serious the club is about doing better.
Anthony Clifford, Wendouree
Stepping up for votes
Re Michael Griffin’s article – “Time is right for Morrison to step up for Assange” (Comment, 16/12). This is very unlikely, of course, but if he does step up it will be cynical expediency, not principle, in order to win an election.
Vaughan Greenberg, Chewton
Assange’s show trial
What a magnificent show of compassion from Michael Griffin. The clarity of his reasoning for a move by Scott Morrison to seek Assange’s return to Australia is based on expert knowledge. As he says, whether or not we approve of Assange’s behaviour is not the point. He has paid for his crime and should not be the subject of a show trial in the United States. Standing up for our citizens will be seen on the world stage as a strength, not a weakness. I agree that Morrison needs to act now.
Susan Glover, South Melbourne
A most unsuitable stamp
I am appalled by the insensitivity of Australia Post in linking Christmas Island with Christmas via its 65-cent stamp. The unwelcome irony of a Father Christmas rising from the island’s waters after the suffering that has occurred there, compounded with the sordid use of it for incarceration by a heartless government, leaves one gasping. It can only be regarded as a sick joke.
Alastair Pritchard, Templestowe
Add another DA or two
With more people holidaying at home this Christmas and summer, I hope The Age will be publishing full-sized editions, unlike previous years. If news is short you can always include a few more quizzes and puzzles.
Heather Glassford, Williamstown
A building that’s too…
Should Planning Minister Richard Wynne overrule Heritage Victoria’s advice on the iconic Shell House, in calling this project in (The Age, 16/12), we will see yet another downgrading of democratic processes in Victoria. The building has its overlay for architectural reasons integral to Harry Seidler’s designs. It will also cause the diminution of one of the remaining public open spaces in this area of the city.
It will exacerbate the massive, high-rise induced wind tunnel in Flinders Lane, along with the intrusion over the historic Milton House – one of the few remaining buildings in this small section of the lane which relate back to the history of the area.
The proposed high level of the development flies in the face of recent regulations for height limits for buildings in Flinders Lane, regulated to heights of less than half the 33 storeys proposed. This fact has been ignored in responses. Finally, how many more empty office buildings do we need in Melbourne for the sake of more development?
Jim Cousins, Melbourne
…too valuable to lose
Our community leaders ponder why the CBD is dying. The answer is staring in our faces.We have been so busy building so many tall, energy-intensive and environmentally-destroying concrete, steel and glass towers that we are destroying what has been so grand about Melbourne. Is it no wonder that nobody wants to return to work in the CBD? Melbourne city is doomed if we continue on this path.
We need more buildings like Shell House where the architecture inspires people to want to work in them. Shell House has inspiration both in and outside the building, something we need more of, not less. Capitalism’s pursuit of profit over inspiration is the source of the community anger and distrust of our “leaders”. Let’s return to a more humanist and inspiring city, not processed, “wonder” bread sameness.
David Hassett, Blackburn
The MPs we really need
Both major political parties need to find a few people with a brain and a heart in the same body and who are not beholden to major pressure groups.
Allan Thomas, Nunawading
AND ANOTHER THING
Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding
The grant divide between two distinct spheres of political pork-barrelling.
Bill Cleveland, Kew
Why are decisions about grants not left to an independent body like the Electoral Commission?
Geof Carne, Moonee Ponds
The election will be a referendum on corruption. Both of the politicians and of the electorate.
Jerry Koliha, South Melbourne
Thirty-eight degrees in the Arctic, yet the Coalition and Labor want to expand fossil fuel extraction.
Jonathan Crockett, New Gisborne
How many fewer anti-vaxxers would there would be if the vaccine came from a tablet?
Peter Neuhold, Elsternwick
No vaccination requirements in places of worship. Does God prevent the unvaccinated from catching COVID?
Katriona Fahey, Alphington
Open slather in NSW, many noses protruding in Melbourne’s shops. Here we go again.
Arthur Pritchard, Ascot Vale
The unvaccinated should wear a badge so the vaccinated can avoid them.
Mel Green, Glen Waverley
We might not be facing an Omicron crisis if the government had reacted as quickly as it did to the Macron-submarine crisis.
Cheri Lee, Brunswick East
Phrase I can do without: To be honest (equals not).
Megan Stoyles, Aireys Inlet
Assange should go to the US to defend himself except the chances of a fair trial are highly doubtful.
Bruce Dudon, Woodend
If Julian had exposed Russia, China or North Korea, life would have been so easy.
Gary Bryfman, Brighton
At least Greensville (Letters 15/12) is better than “More Land”.
Julie Chandler, Williamstown
Greensville County, Virginia, a hotbed of slavery in the mid-19th century.
Peter Price, Southbank
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