THE NSW government keeps reminding us that we must "do the right thing" when it comes to COVID restrictions. It is our responsibility. If people catch the virus, it's our fault. The Health Minister has even called some of us "stupid".
And yet, at what stage has the state or federal government referred to its own responsibility to "do the right thing" during this pandemic? Did the NSW government do the right thing when neglecting to ensure that transport workers in contact with international flight crews were vaccinated and wearing full protective equipment? It seemed a pretty obvious danger that should have been addressed from the beginning. Most of us assumed it was. This conspicuous risk has been addressed since, but it's too late.
Did the NSW government do the right thing by stubbornly maintaining an ideological position on an open society instead of locking down early like some other states have done successfully in recent times? The lockdown came, but again, too late.
Did the federal government do the right thing in demonstrating a lack of action and leadership with respect to the vaccine rollout? The vaccines will come, but for many, too late.
Have any of the governments done the right thing and cooperated with each other to defeat this virus and protect the Australian community, rather than blame and bicker in order to avoid any responsibility for not having done the right thing? Anything beyond merely shutting borders, a blunt, and now, inadequate instrument.
In a democracy, we vote for our representatives to do the right thing, for the benefit of the community and the nation. Collectively, our governments have been self-centred and deficient at confronting this major crisis. As a consequence, they should be removed by the voters at the next elections. Trouble is, the alternatives offer little hope for something better.
Brett Thomas, Cooks Hill
Simple solution to QR trouble
IN Saturday's edition there was a letter to the editor relating to the problems with signing into the QR code, ("Swipe for success", Letters, 10/7). I have a prepaid mobile with a provider that does not have attached data. The plan is pay $30, this will last you for six months and must be recharged before the end of six months.
The issue is that with this plan it costs, out of your balance, 78 cents p/min. The last time I logged on to the QR code it cost me $3.25. If you were to visit only your supermarket once per week for six months, this would cost $78. This would require three recharges over the six-month plan period, not taking into account having the need to use the phone sparingly over the period. The letter on Saturday suggested a swipe card issued by the government to swipe onto the QR code? We already have a card that with the addition of a chip could serve this purpose and in most cases it would have your medical history. It is the Medicare card which all adults 18-plus can/should have upon application. Children under 18 are included on this card.
The federal government could do this at a miserable cost and solve issues for many. Through Medicare, people would be able to nominate only certain information that could be on this card, most of which the government already has. If you have nothing to hide it would serve multiple services.
Charles Nightingale, Cooks Hill
Labor a needs new leader
IT'S sad to say, but it is very unlikely that Labor will ever get power under the great (he said) 'never knocker' Albo.
Unlike him we still can remember his statement that the new Labor would be inclined to be on a unified front when it came down to the benefit and welfare of Australians. He is a sad example of a loser; one who has no policy and whinges and complains about the present ruling power. With our present problems with COVID he should be doing everything that he and his party can do to assist and help the government and show to be a unified participant in the combat of this plague that is upon us now.
How pathetic does he look trying to find fault in the government, when, if he was in power, he would not have a clue of what to do. Come on ALP, show some spine and put someone in that knows what to do.
Dennis Crampton, Swansea
Up to us to fix lake's issues
IT'S good to hear the NSW government has allocated funds to dredge the Swansea channel and so they should. In my opinion they are mostly to blame for the problem. Since they decided the lake was suited for power generation decades ago, they have dredged the channel to allow large components to be barged to the construction site.
This dredging was carried out by the NSW Public Works Department. The work scope was to dredge the shallower parts, like the Swan Bay area, to allow barges and accompanying tug boats to safely navigate the channel. This would have been fine but the dredging spoil was dumped onto the shallow sandbars nearby forming sand islands. I witnessed this in the early 1960s while living at Marks Point. As a young fellow these islands were ideal places to explore, back then they were virtually bare of vegetation.
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
- Smaller home, same charge: I don't rate this system
- Open your eyes, city has never looked better
- Angry, courageous students deserve better
- Pump cash into Carrington icon
- My COVID-19 vaccine experience at John Hunter was just the shot
- Don't play games in Newcastle with pandemic's potency
- In the heart of a changing city and I love living here
- Nurse demands would save lives and cash: letters to the editor
Since then more power stations were built (Vales Point and Eraring) and more dredging was carried out using the same modus of operation. The islands got bigger and more obstructive.
Any hydraulic engineer or plumber will tell you, where there's a restriction in the flow of fluid, that is the point where sediment will collect. As the flow is restricted so too is the flushing effect to clear sediment.
The lake and channel will not return to pre-settlement conditions unless the mistakes made by us and governments are corrected, the old spoil heaps (islands) should be removed to allow maximum water flow.
Ian Mortimer, Brightwaters
Fickle Freddy's bad call
BRAD Fittler blames NSW's loss to Queensland in the final Origin match on "dodgy" decisions by the ref.
Sorry "Freddy", but the only dodgy decision in this game was made by you, when you chose not to replace the injured numbers 6 and 7 from the Penrith club with the second most lethal number 6 and 7 combination in the NRL in 2021, that being Reynolds and Walker.
Your flimsy explanation why was that they (Reynolds and Walker) were too old and NSW needed to blood younger players. Well Mr Fittler, why bother playing a third game when the series had already been decided?
I thought that winning every game in a series like this would be paramount - in this case the only losers were the loyal NSW fans.
I suggest that you take time to lament on the loss and own up to the fact that you erred big time - have the decency to admit your error in judgment.
Neil Fletcher, West Wallsend
BRAVO Paul Scott for your great observations on Newcastle ("Newcastle, you're simply the (second) best", Herald, 12/7), and likening us to friends with benefits. Novocastrians have always been the poor relation to Sydney and now more than ever we appear to be taking scraps from anyone who throws them. What was our Labor-dominated council thinking? We have always been a hard working no nonsense town and we have not come out against change often but different is just different and not necessarily better. We don't want crumbs here in Newcastle, we want a full menu.
Denise Lindus Trummel, Mayfield
JUST letting you know that AstraZeneca is not available at the new Belmont vaccination centre. I got this information from the NSW COVID Hotline. I had my first AstraZeneca shot in Sydney, at Olympic Park, in May because I had trouble getting it in Newcastle. I don't want to go to Sydney for the second one in August for obvious reasons. The hotline was very nice but said I'd either have to go to Sydney again or find somewhere else. So I have to face the beast to beat it. How hard is it to transport a few AstraZeneca needles?
Jill Pantlin, Merewether
IS there anyone who could tell me why we, the immediate family members of a resident, cannot visit our loved ones? The residents are fully vaccinated, as we, their family members are, yet the majority of the 'care staff' is not. As the daughter of a 101-year-old resident I am furious. What is happening is madness, our loved ones need to see their immediate family members; we need to see them, yet doors are closed to us, but albeit, wide open to unvaccinated carers. Is there anyone who can explain to us why this is happening and when will it be remedied?
Carole Poole, Charlestown
DID the people who wanted the 2015 Asian Cup moved away from Newcastle live in Newcastle (Mark Creek, Short Takes, 14/7)? Or were the Socceroos kicking goals on the front lawns and through the living room windows of the locals?
Bryn Roberts, New Lambton
IT is most essential that the Federal Parliament has a Code of Conduct, especially in the areas of the treatment of women and drinking of alcohol; even the City of Newcastle Council has had a code for two years! Every adult should watch the four episodes of the ABC TV Documentary "Ms Represented".
Elaine Street, Merewether
IN response to Milton Caine, ("Actions expensive but get results ", Letters, 14/7), the time taken between decisions and actions on government projects often seems to be extraordinarily long. Work on the inner-city bypass began 50 years after it was first mooted, and 40 years later it's still not completed. Wollongong had its bypass constructed within 10 years and opened 40 years ago. With luck, the M1 connection between Tarro and Raymond Terrace may be finished by 2038 to coincide with the 250th anniversary of European settlement in Australia.