NOVAK Djokovic, pictured, has become a victim of Australian domestic politics ('PM opens door for early lifting of Djokovic ban', Newcastle Herald 18/1).
As Omicron has surged, it has caused economic dislocation and an economic downturn. The Coalition government therefore desperately wanted a diversion in the run-up to the federal election. I believe the PM hoped, given public displeasure at Djokovic's arrival, that Djokovic would provide this diversion, so he suspended Djokovic's visa and ultimately sent him packing.
Hang the international ridicule, this is political survival. Non-Australians don't vote in Australian elections.
The Djokovic circus brings into focus John Howard's infamous Tampa pronouncement, "we will decide who comes to this country". Is the "we" the electorate or the Immigration Minister or the courts? If it is only the minister himself, what happened to the rule of law within a democracy? Many people, including invisible and voiceless refugees who have been rotting in immigration detention for years, would like an answer.
FOR governments to be so short-sighted, unplanned and underprepared after two years with the pandemic and feedback from the remaining western world's experience is inexcusable. Direction and control, largely managed through the health expertise previously, has given way to a brash and ill-informed experiment from our politicians to maintain the economic balance.
We no longer need to look at the case numbers, remember, as hospital admissions are far more telling. Well, it may be more telling of the initial stresses on the hospital system but think for a minute. More cases are more contagious, translating to more close contacts and more isolations. Now add opening up the "economy" for Christmas and we now have to give up on getting any tests, be they rapid or otherwise. Now the numbers of furloughed people in essential services is having a big impact.
While we again wait for test kits to arrive, admittedly a change from vaccines, we run short of food. The original model of maybe 25,000 cases in NSW by the end of January is now no longer mentioned. Even NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet is starting to look flustered, as well he should. Still many Indigenous, aged and disabled to be fully vaccinated, as well as 5-12 year olds who will only have the chance of one jab before school starts again. What now? That's easy; change the rules to fit the inept strategies thought up by these masters of our destiny. A job well done.
THE state of modern politics is a byproduct of a couple of centuries of politicians who can't see further than the next election cycle. Unfortunately for us all, the challenges that society faces don't care about right or left, three-year terms, or well-prepared Senate speeches. In the words of science author Julian Cribb: "You can't halt wildfires by printing money, ... you can't subsidise the sea so it stops rising".
Politicians are woefully and wilfully unprepared for what we are now facing; existential crises that affect the biosphere, the economic sphere, and the political sphere all at once. The disaster of climate change is so closely linked to the tragedy of global poverty that they cannot be solved or mitigated in isolation. Yet governments are still in the past when it comes to "solutions", relying on tax breaks, encouraging individualised action, inciting class division, and perpetuating the status quo instead of revolutionising themselves in order to serve us. They hope to keep us so distracted by the circus that we don't see the collapsing Earth around us. Yet every burnt koala, every story of devastated farmers losing it all, every report of rampant capitalism overthrowing good sense and human compassion reminds us that we do not have time for governments to filibuster and delay. We barely have time for action. And we must act now to preserve all life, especially our own.
IRRESPECTIVE of one's political leanings or however you may wish to slice it, in my opinion, the Morrison government has made a dog's breakfast of governing our nation.
Thousands of Australians were dramatically affected when our prime minister ignored requests from fire prevention experts for discussions about the impending national bushfire crisis. I believe the Morrison government failed to take adequate measures to deal with the obvious COVID-19 infections among passengers onboard the Ruby Princess. Measures which, if adopted, could have lessened the transference of the coronavirus into the community.
The government's negligence on that occasion has been compounding ever since. It has failed to order the required COVID vaccines time and again. The response has resulted in deaths, social and economic disruption on a massive scale. In my humble opinion, it's well past time to consign this policy bereft and divisive government to the waste basket of Australian politics.
PAUL Lobb is a great newsreader. He interviewed me during a bomb scare at Maitland's fire station over 12 years ago or more. His passion is fantastic, and his love of his career is very evident.
I am a real estate agent in Maitland and have been for over 35 years. I also have been interviewed, for real estate matters, by other news readers over my long career, but Paul was one of the best and made it comfortable and easy. I was very sad to see him off the NBN channel. I thought he was on holiday. I watch the NBN news at 6pm every night like clockwork, and may change to another network. I will miss you, Paul. Good luck my friend, even if you do not know who I am.
THANK you to Bob Watson (Short Takes 12/1) and Philip Hanson (Letters 13/1) for their replies to my Short Take of 10/1. But pumped hydro is still of exaggerated benefit.
If renewable energy is virtually free, Bob Watson, then best you tell wind and solar companies to stop charging for their output and give back the millions of dollars in subsidies they have taken from Australian taxpayers. If renewables are pumping water up into reservoirs when they are only a minor percentage of our generated power anyway. What's pumping the water up at night when solar and wind are sleeping?
Philip Hanson should know that while the thermal efficiency of coal power is about 30 per cent, the equivalent energy efficiency of wind power is about 20 per cent. When wind drops, say by half, which it does many times a day, electricity output drops to one eighth, if it doesn't stall altogether.
The energy capacity of wind and solar, a measure of output reliability, is about half that of coal power. Coal-fired plants last at least twice as long as wind and solar farms which then must be replaced at great cost. All around the world, the more renewable energy a nation has, the higher the electricity costs. Explain that.
AS the federal Opposition Leader tours Queensland in preparation for the upcoming election, he was asked by an ABC reporter what he needed to do to get Queenslanders to vote for Labor at the coming election. Well, I will answer for Albo. He needs to do nothing, the Queensland voters should be intelligent enough to realise they made a huge mistake voting in the Coalition at the last election and that error needs to be rectified at the next election. The evidence speaks for itself.
SEEING that Lake Mac and Newy Cities are almost one big city I propose the following. Let's call ourselves Lake Newy or even Newy Mac Lake. The opportunities are endless, Greg Powell, (Letters 13/1).
I THINK it's funny the Save Our Ocean Baths mob don't want the City of Newcastle to save them. Just a thought.
THE upcoming Beijing Winter Olympic Games will be the first to ever take place only on man-made snow. Can 2022 get any stranger than this?
JULIE Robinson (Short Takes 13/1). If believing the leading medical authorities and researchers worldwide along with every chief health officer and health minister in the nation makes me naive, then 92.2 per cent, or 19.5 million Australians are naive. And according to you all of us 19.5 million and chief health officers and health ministers are ignorant. So, what qualities do the unvaccinated 1.6 million, or 7.8 per cent of Australians over 16 have, seeing they seem to believe the anonymous conspiracy theorists on social media, but that 7.8 per cent produces almost 60 per cent of all cases?
JULIE Robinson (Short Takes 13/1), please go look at the stats. Then maybe revise your comments and insults.
IT was with great sadness that I noticed on the front of the Australian cricket team's shirts that they were heavily sponsored by Alinta Energy. This privately owned Hong Kong conglomerate would have no interest in Australian sport and is likely only in it for exposure. Another example of offshore money coming into Australia and being snapped up by Cricket Australia. Anything for top dollar. Surely someone on the Australian Cricket Board must have Australian values at heart and not allow these foreign companies to take over the sponsorships of an iconic sporting body.
OUR government is consistent in the way it is dealing with both COVID-19 and climate change. The economy is clearly the dominant motivation.
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