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Over to you, Mr Morrison
It is easy to conduct a confidential inquiry as to whether a person is fit and proper to hold their job. I have done it personally in both the public and private sectors. And I have commissioned inquiries by independent, legally qualified people to provide confidential reports. Individuals who agree to be interviewed or who make submissions are guaranteed anonymity.
The person whose behaviour or comments have been criticised gets a copy of the report and the opportunity to respond. Recommendations are made to the appropriate people and decisions taken that bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion. Generally not everyone is satisfied with the outcome but most are.
Bruce Hartnett, Alphington (former chair, Victorian Public Sector Commission)
Let us aim higher, PM
Scott Morrison, as Prime Minister, there will be matters you do not want to investigate. But, as Prime Minister, you must. As our nation’s leader, you surely must set the bar, not lower it.
Diane Maddison, Parkdale
The high price of power
Given the multiple “bushfires” the Prime Minister is attempting to extinguish, I wonder if he has had time to ponder whether his plotting and planning to gain the lofty position was worth the effort.
Marcia Roche, Mill Park
Safe, clean travelling
Three cheers to Jon Faine (Sunday Age, 28/2) for stressing the importance of multi-modal transport to a COVID-19 recovery. However, on one point I am happy to correct him. Judging by the number of people on trams and trains during the day, on weekends and even weekday evenings, there is little to suggest any widespread aversion to public transport. Also, the global evidence is that it is relatively safe, so long as passengers adhere to sensible precautions like mask-wearing. The slow recovery in public transport numbers is explained by the reduction in white-collar commuting driven by the “work from home revolution”. A further change is likely now people do not have to wear masks in offices.
Tony Morton, Public Transport Users Association
Bring our Aussies home
I hope international flights to Melbourne will soon recommence (The Age, 6/3). Tens of thousands of Australians are trying to come home. When will we see them?
Gabrielle Douglas, Maribyrnong
Cats, what’s not to love?
I found Barney Zwartz’s Faith column (Sunday Age, 28/2) about the love and loyalty of dogs interesting until the last throw-away line: “Cats, of course, are despatched from below”. What a condemnatory, insulting aspersion, Mr Zwartz. Cats are loyal, loving, beautiful, unbelievably intelligent and clean animals. I would surmise that you have never have owned a feline and have never experienced the absolute devotion that is heaped upon a cat owner.
Sally Holt, Balwyn
When will we learn?
The Andrews government is promising better service from a partly privatised VicRoads registry with no guarantees that fees will not rise (The Age, 6/3). Privatisation has been a disaster in all areas of government, federal and state, as service levels have gone down while prices have gone up to ensure the companies make massive profits. Privatising a service monopoly is dumb as there is no competition or incentive for the private provider to be efficient. VicRoads will be another disaster where we privatise the profits and socialise the losses.
George Fernandez, Eltham North
Support women’s sport
Congratulations to The Age (5/3) for mentioning on your front page that the game played was men’s AFL. And on page 6, “an AFL men’s game”. And then, oh joy, Liz Ellis’ fabulous piece – “Stop treating women’s sport as sideshow” (Opinion, 5/3). Well done.
Janet Pugh, Frankston
How to save money, 101
The demands on the federal budget are increasing every day. More money to improve aged care, more assistance for JobKeeper, more support for the aviation industry, funding the reduced income taxes, concern about how to pay the government debt blowout, and that is just the start. But the strategy for the Treasurer is straightforward. Save $500million by cancelling the redevelopment of the War Memorial. Save $13billion by eliminating negative gearing and the 50per cent discount on capital gains tax, and save $11billion by eliminating tax refunds on dividends.
Michael D’Aloia, Coburg
High ‘cost’ of aged care
Sarah Russell (Letters, 4/3) suggests that the public has no way of knowing how aged care providers spend $21billion of government subsidies. Thanks to The Sunday Age (3/1), we know that some of them buy Maseratis. At least the government gets some of the money back in luxury car tax.
Helen Moss, Croydon
A burgeoning monster
Can someone tell me when our society agreed to let the traffic management industry control our lives? Why is it more important to let developers conveniently park wherever they like than it is to have thousands of motorists travel our roads in reasonable time?
What do councils do to ensure sections of roads closed have the minimum impact? Why do traffic management installations maximise the inconvenience to the public for even the smallest project? I get the need for sensible monitoring and direction where there are conflicting activities happening, but has this gotten out of control? And is it burdening every project with a largely excessive cost overhead? Let us be safe but let us not be a slave to this burgeoning monster.
Alan Gerloff, Hawthorn East
Enough with Clive
I object to having to eat my cornflakes with Clive Palmer’s anti-vaccine advertisement staring up at me from page 1 (The Age, 6/3).
Jim McLeod, Sale
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