Letters to
the editor

Rage against the PM

Thank you, Rick Morton, for your insightful summary of the prime minister’s “world of truth”: “Morrison’s dislike [of answering questions] is more intense, more seething. It is barely controlled contempt.” (“A fraction too much fiction”, March 7-13). It appears the PM finds it just as difficult to control his bullying aggression, as seen in his habit of shouting and his clenched fists when challenged. “Seething” is an excellent choice of words in this context; like a tsunami of aggression lurking behind the uncontrollable smirk. The nation is ill served by this prime minister and his cohort .

– Elizabeth Chandler, Napoleon Reef, NSW

Driven to panic

Rick Morton’s forensic display of Scott Morrison’s habitual lying is truly disturbing, though we all know it. At the end, Morton appeals to us to recognise the PM’s reliance on absolute power, where reality can be omitted, both equally disturbing. Collectively the nation voted in as PM a man whose power relies on the notion of having God on his side, which lends itself to pronouncements of such omnipotent certainty that responsibility for truth has no place. A worrying thought is whether this reflects a community so riven with fear and division – where seeking hope lies even in falsely believing such blatant lies – that we are left puzzled as to why. Perhaps if communities accept we have indeed been made to be alarmed, and assert their right to be frightened by how our government divides us, we might get the kind of straight, community-minded politicians we deserve and need.

– Gil Anaf, Norwood, SA

Logging partnerships

The logging orgies described by Katherine Wilson (“After fires loggers move into Toolangi forest”, March 7-13) appear to defy both commercial and scientific logic unless one remembers the industry is usually a partnership between the logging industry and public forests’ parliamentary stewards, an exemplar of whom is highlighted this week by Rick Morton. They typically exhibit a solipsistic attitude towards the publicly owned natural resource they are liquidating. They are widely thought to have a commensal economic relationship enabling them to continue operations with substantial subsidies despite logging’s predominantly low-value woodchip-based sales normally resulting in low to negative returns to the public purse without any assessment of damage to air, water, land , public health and climate qualities.

– John Hayward, Weegena, Tas

Sleight of hand on trees

I just read Katherine Wilson’s article. The Vic-ious-torian government obviously followed the lead of the New South Wales government when, to avoid, elude and stifle the people’s protest against cutting 100-year-old ficus trees along Anzac Parade for the new tram route, they changed, by public notice, the definition of “tree” which allowed the developers free rein to cut whatever they wanted. This once was a democracy.

– Peter Kaukas, Redfern, NSW

Wagga women deserve better

I read about the disgraceful way women in Wagga Wagga are being treated in not being able to get an abortion there (Justine Landis-Hanley, “Choice recognition”, March 7-13) because of the cartel of pro-life doctors in Australia who pressure those willing to perform abortions with impeded job prospects. Australia is still a backward country. The murder of women is ongoing and they are still not free to make decisions about their bodies and what they want in life. To have public hospitals where staff or doctors can refuse to treat women who want abortions, unless it is life threatening, is unethical and dishonourable. Particularly when women also pay the taxes that support public hospitals. In this society, women are usually poorer and men have made sure it stays that way. No wonder men squib at doing women’s work, much of it is too hard and demeaning in their eyes. A civilised society makes sure to have equal pay for equal work. To not have the money to travel hundreds of kilometres away from their local public hospital when a doctor won’t or can’t help can have devastating consequences. Fortunately there is a new breed of men who help and support women and together are developing a fairer society.

– Sandra von Sneidern, Mongarlowe, NSW

Summit needed on domestic violence

Bri Lee’s excellent recent article (“System failure”, February 29–March 6) highlighted tragic and ongoing systemic failures around domestic violence. We know from research that childhood trauma is a highly significant factor in adult suicides. Traumatic childhood events such as witnessing and/or directly experiencing a violent parent may also lead to violent, controlling relationship patterns in adulthood. Successful programs have been developed for women and their children with lived experience of domestic violence – they’re complex to run and resource intensive but they have an evidence base behind them. Despite the PM’s apparent sincerity around this issue, we know federal government funding cuts are jeopardising basic services such as court network support services for women seeking protection. Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has called for a summit around domestic violence. If this happens, will the summit look at prevention? We must ensure safety for women and children at risk. In addition, we need solid, evidence-based therapeutic programs for women and their children who may themselves be heading down an abusive path. It is imperative we intervene, with sufficient resources, to stop this vicious and destructive cycle of abuse.

– Jen Martin, Northcote, Vic

Letters are welcome: [email protected]
Please include your full name and address and a daytime telephone number. Letters may be edited for length and content, and may be published in print and online. Letters should not exceed 150 words.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on March 14, 2020.

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