Credit:Illustration: Andrew Dyson
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More than 100 years of precious footy memories
Well done the National Trust for highlighting the significance of the Jack Dyer Stand in the face of its demolition by Richmond Football Club as part of Punt Road Oval’s re-development (Sport, 21/4). The stand is over 100years old and has witnessed much of football history, as well as being the former home of the Richmond Cricket Club. Spectators have watched their heroes play from here. Memories of premierships are well and truly etched in its fabric.
Given that the club is currently well-funded, wouldn’t it be fitting to celebrate the Tigers’ heritage by restoring the stand to its former glory, as well as providing new or upgraded facilities for training, the AFLW, Bachar Houli Foundation and other excellent initiatives? To say that the re-development is crucial to the club staying at Punt Road Oval is a rather narrow and self-serving argument. I watched the club’s re-development announcement, where President Peggy O’Neal spoke of “tradition” and “community”. Where was she standing? In front of the Jack Dyer Stand.
Annette Cooper, Camberwell
Sell at a high price, then buy at a high price too
“Melbourne apartment owners have offloaded inner-city units at losses of up to 40per cent in recent months, as some apartments continue to sit empty” (Domain, 21/4). However, Jessica Irvine accepts uncritically a statement from Peter Tulip, a former senior Reserve Bank analyst and now chief economist at the Centre for Independent Studies, that we need to “build more apartments, in particular high-rise towers in the inner city and near train stations” (Opinion, 22/4).
Our home may be worth 20 times what we paid for it years ago, but unlike Irvine, I do not feel particularly good about it. For one thing, in order to gain this money, we would have to sell the house – but then buy another at the same high price. And secondly, the current high house prices are making it very difficult for our children to buy their first home (as Irvine says).
Jill Baird, North Melbourne
Are we building the slums of the future?
Higher housing density may be a solution to the rising cost of housing, but at what price? Gardens are becoming little areas of wood chips with a few strategically placed perennials, trees are removed so reduced shade increases temperatures and the use of airconditioning and water. Single driveways mean that many cars are parked on the street. This makes it impossible for two cars to pass, so one has to give way, often to a stream of cars. Many new units that replace houses in my area appear to have upper stories made of rendered polystyrene which goes mouldy and cracks within a few years. Any objections seem to be overruled by Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and I am afraid this over-development will create the slums of the future.
Helen Pereira, Heidelberg Heights
The disgraceful state of our roads and highways
For many years travelling the Geelong Road and Westgate Freeway, I have railed against the rubbish that borders the roads and their verges. Not only is the debris a potential safety hazard, it is also an eye-sore and embarrassment. So I endorse wholeheartedly the question from other readers, “Who is going to address the problem?“
Bruce Smith, Point Lonsdale
Stop, start driving to stay within speed limit
I agree with the correspondents about how difficult the patchwork of speed limit changes have made driving. In a trip to the local takeaway, about five minutes, I counted nine changes. Driving means constantly stopping and starting and scanning the roadside for signs, which means you are not watching the road. Drivers not expecting the constant changes are braking sharply or swinging out to overtake. It is dangerous. And it is virtually impossible to maintain the under-40 speed limits that keep popping up for a block or two on Rosanna Road, a major arterial, since 40 kilometres is a crawl. Maybe the speed camera installed next to a 40 zone is a clue to its existence.
Caroline Miley, Heidelberg
Real risk of a trade war
Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s truculent cancelling of Victoria’s Belt and Road agreement with China was unnecessary. It committed the Andrews government to next to nothing (although it probably boosted Labor’s support among Chinese-Australians).
Australia’s national interest would have been far better served if Ms Payne had politely ignored it. The agreement merely symbolised Victoria’s readiness to foster mutually beneficial trade with China. In international diplomacy, symbols matter a great deal, especially with China.
Regrettably, Daniel Andrews’ pragmatic approach to Beijing has been glaringly absent in the Turnbull and Morrison governments’ China diplomacy, resulting in what is threatening to become a destructive trade war. What this fiasco does suggest, however, is that Andrews could be a particularly successful trade minister if he moved into federal politics.
Dr Allan Patience, school of social and political sciences, University of Melbourne
Payne’s correct decision
It has been an unwritten law up until now that international agreements and policy are in the bailiwick of the federal government. The states that have stepped outside of that concept are looking foolish. Now we have legislation to prevent further foolish state infringements in this arena. Congratulations to Marise Payne for having the required courage to call this out. The Belt and Roads caper was not a smart deal, rather a portal for further chicanery by the Chinese Communist Party.
Stanley Burgess, Healesville
Please clarify ’intent’
Andrew Leong from Australia-China Friendship Society says that “by cancelling such agreements, the federal government shows itself acting in bad faith with scant understanding of China’s intent” (Letters, 23/4). So what is China’s intent? Even allowing for Western media bias, what are we to make of what China has been doing in the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, North Korea and with its Uighur population, not to mention its trade “initiatives”?
Charles Griss, Balwyn
Let’s target all deals …
If Scott Morrison were sincere about cancelling agreements with Chinese enterprises, he would have moved against the various agreements the Northern Territory has undertaken and those 12 dairy farms in Tasmania, the latter a cause of land and water degradation in that state. Picking out those in Victoria alone seems to be politicking at its worst, and certainly not necessarily to the benefit of the country unless wholesale application of the bans is undertaken.
Loucille McGinley, Brighton East
… including federally
I assume Marise Payne will also cancel the federal government’s Belt and Roads agreement with China (which applied to the participation of Australian firms in third party countries), signed in China by then trade minister Steve Ciobo in 2017. Is it non-binding, like Victoria’s was?
Peter Harkness, Mont Albert North
A more fitting symbol
Symbols lose their meaning when used inappropriately. This week I received information, decorated with red poppies, about local Anzac Day services from both my federal and state MPs. These poppies of the Flanders Fields are an evocative reminder of the 1918 armistice on November 11 and should be used exclusively for that day. I think a more fitting floral symbol for Anzac Day is a sprig of rosemary for remembrance.
Kerry Martin, Mount Waverley
Time is running out
Are we really wasting time pondering the incredibly low risk of blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine? We should be thinking more about the increasing risk of COVID-19 ripping through our country. Look at the devastation in India, the United Kingdom and the United States. This pandemic is long-term and is not going away.
We are close to winter, we have very little immunity and the new strains are far more contagious than the one that forced us into lockdowns last year. We need as many people as possible to get the jab now. Another lockdown, our loved ones dying, and our economy slammed again is preventable but time is of the essence.
Megan Woolfe, Warragul
Our little yellow books
Those of us with memories of international travel in the 1950s and ’60s will recall that before a shipping (or later, an airline) ticket would be issued, smallpox, typhoid and cholera vaccinations were mandatory, with certified details being entered into a little yellow book. (A clearance from the Taxation Department confirming no taxes were outstanding was also required). Checking of these requirements was performed by the shipping company or airline.
Today, insisting on all travellers whose destination is Australia having completed vaccination programs(verifiable at or before check-in) would reduce the risk of quarantine failures. Bring back little yellow books – or if these no longer exist, include details of vaccinations in passports.
Eric Garner, Capel Sound
Repairing the system
George Christensen says he is leaving Parliament because politics in Australia is not working. I certainly agree, and his departure will improve the situation immeasurably.
Tom Hallahan, Brunswick
The Donald’s influence
I wonder if, after Scott Morrison’s embarrassing show at the climate summit, Joe Biden will be expected to prop up Australia’s defences when the dragon finally gets tired of Mr Morrison’s continual poking with his big Trumpish mouth.
Jan Shaw, Frankston South
Silence was fine, PM
It did not matter that the Prime Minister had microphone problems during Joe Biden’s climate summit. He did not have anything to say, anyway.
Brian Collins, Cardigan
Please stop calling me
More and more of us are being inundated with phone calls we choose not to have. My biggest beef is scammers. Thank heavens for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch. However, as these unethical scam calls, texts and emails are on the increase, I wonder what else can be done to stop them?
Carol Marshall, Williamstown
The forgotten victims
Replying to Robert Price (Letters, 22/4), it is not only young soldiers sent to “dubious wars” who should be looked after properly. My son, then aged 23, was grievously injured in a training accident in the Northern Territory 27 years ago. Had it not been for the efforts of his parents, he would have been consigned to a scrap heap and forgotten by the departments of defence and veteran affairs. It is to be hoped that any royal commission takes these seriously injured soldiers into account as they also battle physical and mental issues.
Bill Anderson, Keilor East
No to the state’s EV tax
The Victorian government’s proposed travel tax on electric vehicles is as baffling as a motorist facing one-way traffic. Both should heed the signs: Wrong way. Go back.
Kevin McAvaney, Highton
More love for The Age
My favourite parts of The Age, (Letters, 24/4) are the arts and puzzles sections, especially the cryptic crosswords (except for the cruel DA on Fridays). Best of all are the letters pages reflecting diverse views on so many issues, making me nod in agreement or utter a loud “what a muppet”. The cartoonists’ brilliant offerings on these pages are pure gold.
Mary Cole, Richmond
A leaf from Aussie book?
As well as the “uncomfortable chair” for Trade Minister Dan Tehan (The Age, 21/4), I wonder if the UK free trade negotiators will also use the Australian tactic, demonstrated in East Timor, of bugging the Australian offices.
Grant Nichol, North Ringwood
AND ANOTHER THING
Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding
I’m sure the Queensland Nats will be able to replace Christensen with someone of similar talent.
Rob Butler, Shoreham
Foreigners, take note: we will decide what we do with our climate and the circumstances in which we do it.
Andrew Raivars, Fitzroy North
Don’t get too cocky, Mr Morrison. Your position is temporary, just like it was for your predecessors.
Sharon Jensen, Neerim South
Great to see NZ stand up for its interests, unlike Australia which blindly follows the US’ interests.
Ken McLeod, Williamstown
Scott Morrison reminds me of the Duke of Plaza-Toro who led his regiment from behind, he found it less exciting.
Jean Sietzema-Dickson, Mont Albert North
Belt and Road deal
I’m sure the state government can replace the BRI with Bells and Whistles.
Richard Opat, Elsternwick
So it’s not in our national interest to make a deal with China to build infrastructure, but it is to lease Darwin port, gateway into Australia
Marsha Merory, Ivanhoe East
Cancelling the BRI is in line with this government’s attraction to sizzle rather than sausage.
Bill Burns, Bendigo
How encouraging – EV drivers will have to keep a logbook that will be used to calculate the tax to be paid.
Henry Gaughan, Richmond
Vaccinations, vacillations and variations. The marketing guy doesn’t know the market and his health minister isn’t in the hunt.
Les Milborn, Hastings
Instead of adding new categories to those eligible for vaccinations, how about completing group 1a first.
Mel Sutherland, Southbank
To Sheila Quairney (22/4): “Could be worse. Y’self?“
Peter Thomson, Brunswick
When a political opponent of Putin is summarily thrown in prison, it’s hard to see the difference to Russia under the czars.
James Ogilvie, Kew
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