IT has been three weeks now since I reported the suffocation of Edmunds Bay, Blackalls Park, pictured.
With the latest king tide, and now the heat, it has become a health hazard, it is starting to rot and stink.
All of the elected councillors on this side of the lake have been sent emails, but no response. Council finally responded, saying it could take four weeks for someone to look at it. If this was Warners Bay would it take four weeks? As I said previously Belmont Bay was scraped clean within a week.
Robert Baxter, Blackalls Park
Truth, transparency on the outer
THE ABC Health Report recently had a podcast featuring Norman Swan and an interesting interview with Director of the Doherty Institute, Professor Sharon Lewin.
While previous discussions about the wisdom of "opening up" at 70-80 per cent have suggested the modelling isn't really very much affected by the efficiency of testing and tracing, I am starting to wonder how much of this is really just wishful thinking.
Previous comments seemed to suggest relatively high case numbers would not have a significant impact on the modelling outcomes but now with the NSW Premier saying things will get worse before they get better, and October may well be the really difficult time, I wonder. October is as far away in the future as the date this second wave started taking off is in the past.
We are now climbing quite fast beyond a 1000 cases a day, a point when contact tracing is becoming very difficult. Indeed, NSW now says that regular reporting of case status is meaningless. With exponential growth, a less effective tracing system and still a large number of the overall population unvaccinated what next?
We were promised 40 million doses of Pfizer between now and Christmas but now we are doing deals with Poland and Singapore to get our hands on any extras, even those approaching expiry date.
One minute Gladys is saying the health system will easily cope, having prepared over the last 18 months, and the next that things could get difficult.
I can appreciate that getting a balance between the medical, psychological and economic issues is not easy, but it feels to me that transparency and truth are disappearing faster than the proverbial bathwater. Who is going to rescue the baby?
Vic Davies, Tighes Hill
Case for delaying opening up
I HAVE a question as to the legal liability that may be faced by Gladys Berejiklian, John Barilaro, Brad Hazzard and possibly Kerry Chant.
If the state acts to open up when we reach the 70 or 80 per cent of adult population vaccination level, are they open to charges of "By Negligent Act Cause Death" if people who have been trying to get vaccinated with an age appropriate vaccine, but have been unable to because of the supply shortage issue, become infected with COVID and die what could be seen as an avoidable death, as a result of the state opening up too soon.
Are the Premier and other state officials responsible for making that decision immune from prosecution for each and every resultant avoidable death?
If the opening up is delayed several months until vaccine shortages are overcome for age specific groups, as recommended by the Australian Advisory Group, and everyone who wants a vaccine gets one, many thousands will avoid the risk of serious illness or death from COVID.
The continuing lockdowns are certainly having a negative effect on the economy, but does that override any criminal liability that may arise?
Mal Sinclair, Cameron Park
All of a sudden it's become a race
ANTHONY Albanese continues to be taken to task by the Fox TV stable of talking heads for suggesting Prime Minister Scott Morrison had failed the two important public health tasks required of him since 2020 - ensuring a functioning roll-out of the COVID vaccines and, the establishment of discrete COVID quarantine facilities nationwide.
Truth be told, Albanese is correct on both issues. The roll-out of COVID vaccines most probably would have been better had more quantities of vaccines been sourced as far back as mid-2020.
But rather than admit to such an outrageous failure of policy, an arrogantly dismissive Scott Morrison was telling the nation COVID vaccination "was not a race" and quarantine facilities were a second order of importance issue.
Now with COVID raging virtually out of control among the Indigenous residents of Wilcannia, Morrison is saying COVID vaccination "is a race".
With Indigenous COVID victims of Wilcannia forced to rely upon tents pitched in their yard for quarantine purposes, Morrison's failure to recognise the urgent need for discrete COVID quarantine facilities nationwide is blindingly obvious.
Barry Swan, Balgownie
Fears deputy premier out of touch
PETER Cooper, (Short Takes, 30/8), John Barilaro, lately appears to be spending a large percentage of his time, and taxpayers money, on having the Fixated Persons Unit monitor a YouTuber (Jordan Shanks, better known as FriendlyJordies) for posting content parodying him, and attempting to sue both Shanks, and the global juggernaut Google for allowing the content to stay online.
Barilaro being so consumed by something so frivolous fills me with no confidence in his ability to carry out his job properly. His priorities appear to be with his public image rather than the people he governs over, and residents of the Hunter are probably pretty low on his list of priorities.
He may have built a big chunk of his platform on supposedly being all about the bush, but I wonder how he can actually relate to concerns of regional areas like the Hunter when he rents an apartment in Rushcutters Bay.
I also wonder how helpful he could ever be completely locking down Sydney, or how much of a concern it would ever be for him when even his own daughter broke COVID restrictions. Twice.
Adz Carter, Newcastle
We can't forget about Afghanistan
THE sudden and unexpected success of the Taliban has caused much anguish and soul searching among western nations but as well as searching for answers we should be considering our future relations with Afghanistan.
It is after all a nation torn apart by decades of war and now faces starvation from a prolonged drought. Providing food aid, even though it will not be distributed fairly, will be essential as will foreign aid because the Taliban's income is at present largely from drug supply.
There is also the real possibility that if we don't help financially Afghanistan will become a vassal state of China, something they are keen to do because that nation is rich in minerals - including iron and coal - that can be easily exploited. This aid may even have to extend to military funding because the Taliban have an internal war with extremist groups like the ISIS - K who are a potential terrorist threat to the west.
These are decisions that have to be made soon and they are going to be more contentious than our clumsy withdrawal.
Don Owers, Dudley
GLADYS has failed the Hunter again by allowing tree loppers from Sydney to come up whilst in lockdown. They have tested positive to COVID and visited a medical centre at Charlestown. I cannot say how angry this makes me as not only is it not an essential service, but there are local tree lopping businesses that they are taking work off and forcing us into longer lockdowns. I wonder how many of them have been vaccinated.
Debra Forbes, Wickham
COLES is copping a caning for its outsourcing of its fresh meat offer to a third party, to the detriment of long-term meat packers and butchers in their individual shops, all for the sake of cost savings on their bottom line. Other major supermarkets have done exactly the same thing in recent years with little to no blow back from unions and industry experts. Lots of angst for long-term dedicated professionals all for the sake of saving a buck. No wonder customers continually gravitate back to their local butcher.
Tony Morley, Waratah
THIS new COVID C1.2 variant seems to have manifested itself all over the world and it appears to be more virulent than the Delta strain. Question; how does it pop up at the same time, and more potent. Is it manmade? Is someone, or a country, trying to reduce the world population to resolve climate control?
Graeme Kime, Cameron Park
WHILE I don't consider myself to be medically qualified in any way, I do people to read the article by John Tierney (Get AZ ASAP, Opinion, 1/9). From my point of view the article makes a lot of sense and while there are so many people (through no fault of their own) waiting on the Pfizer vaccine, they are, in fact, playing Russian Roulette when AZ is readily available. Please read the article and form your own opinion.
Col Parkins, Wallsend
EVERY Australian should be challenging the Morrison government, demanding why they have not thrown everything they have got at manufacturing the vaccine in Australia. We know the LNP government likes to spend money overseas. But this is an emergency, or to us the people affected it is.
Gary Hayward, Cardiff
CAN someone tell me how many of the Knights' past five games have been against top four or even top six teams? Also, how many times have they played the top four sides compared to other teams?
Bruce Cook, Adamstown
I AGREE with Brian Roberts, (Short Takes, 1/9). The pen is mightier than the sword. ScoMo has the opportunity to prove this in the case of the Biloela family. Their temporary visa will expire at the end of this month, 563,000 have signed Change.org. At a time of daily bad news we deserve some good.