Letters to
the editor

Changes to NDIS

I am writing to clarify some inaccuracies contained in Rick Morton’s article “Age games” (March 26–April 1). The article misinterprets recent NDIS tender documents and policy settings relating to children. The increase in the Early Childhood Approach upper-age limit from under 7 to under 9 in no way reduces the scope of eligible participants. In fact it does the opposite and increases the scope. This change followed a three-month consultation period on proposed recommendations to improve the approach and has generally been well received from the disability sector. Expanding the age range from under 7 to under 9 years of age will ensure that young children received continued early intervention and are supported throughout the transition to primary school. These developments are not, as asserted, related to scheme funding. The article also incorrectly attempted to link this tender process to the scrapped independent assessments trials for all NDIS participants. Early Childhood Partners do presently have a role in the assessment of children, and do employ some health professionals to complete functional assessments. This tender is consistent with the way this program is currently being delivered.

– Senator Linda Reynolds, Minister for the NDIS

Zelensky, the poster boy for democracy

Mark Edele (“How the war in Ukraine will end”, March 26–April 1) explores Vladimir Putin’s cleft-stick situation and the possible ways the Ukraine war could end. Putin’s failure to achieve a quick capitulation has now become an exercise of devastation. Whichever if any of Edele’s options that materialise will be seen as a face-saving exercise for a dictator who has bitten off more than he could chew. We must, however, acknowledge the major reason for Putin’s position as the breathtaking vitality of this young democracy in a modern-day David and Goliath struggle, and its belief in something worth dying for. President Volodymyr Zelensky’s appeals to other Western democracies have received standing ovations. He embodies the spirit of his nation and has given democracy a shot in the arm as something more than the “least bad” form of government. He may have given China something to think about on Taiwan. Finally, it could also have emboldened Joe Biden’s thinking and language describing Putin as a war criminal who should be deposed.

– David Wilson, Newport, Qld

Being free with taxpayers’ money

Mike Seccombe’s article “Taylor’s office spent $1 billion on ‘sham’ carbon projects”, March 26–April 1, is a clear and damning illustration of the deceitful behaviour and hypocritical words of the Morrison–Taylor government for fossil fuels. Not content with the $12 billion per year of government subsidies for a dated fossil fuel industry that feeds global heating, while a nascent and potentially lucrative renewable energy industry that starves global heating receives $7.7 billion a year, the Morrison government now hands out unearned carbon credits to people who will not use them for their intended purpose. If your bank handled your money in such a cavalier fashion you would probably change banks. I suggest that it’s time for a change of government.

– Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin, ACT

Youth show the way on climate

Wow, thank you, Anjali Sharma (“An open letter to Scott Morrison”, March 26–April 1). Unlike the politician of the same surname and his party, you give me hope for the future of our planet. Your open letter to the PM is full of the unambiguous state of our precious earth. You and your fellow climate activists show us that young people are prepared to tackle and follow through with solutions to stop the pure madness of the so-called adults running the world. Please keep calling out the stupidity of this federal Environment minister. Anjali, you provide inspiration to many of us who do and will support your ongoing actions to change the mindset of these troglodytes in power.

– Denise Hassett, Mount Martha, Vic

A lucky outcome

Thank you, Karen Middleton, for your article about undergoing bowel surgery for a neuroendocrine tumour (“When the phone rings”, March 26–April 1). Karen writes that her doctor said she should buy a Scratchie for her luck. I joke I need to buy a Scratchie for “winning” the genetic lottery of having not one but two parents diagnosed with bowel cancer. My prize is a colonoscopy every two to five years for the rest of my life. I’m very glad Karen is on the mend and grateful she took the step to talk publicly. The more we normalise the conversation about bowel cancer, hopefully the more people know the signs and get checked early. We have the technology, there is no reason for people to literally die
of embarrassment.

– Meagan Kopatz, Kaleen, ACT

Early detection is the key

Thank you Karen Middleton for your generosity in telling us your story. You have shown that by acting on health issues early, although the diagnosis may be devastating, the prognosis may not be. Stay well, I love your articles in The Saturday Paper.

– Breda Hertaeg, Beaumaris, 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 April 2, 2022.

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