One for none
Peter Dutton is the most dangerous of leaders – one who seeks to divide. There is nothing remotely threatening about officially recognising Indigenous languages through naming (Karen Middleton, “Exclusive: Dutton blocked Indigenous names at bases”, June 4-10). History is riddled with leaders whose hateful demonising of certain groups resulted in horror unimaginable. Similarly, on becoming opposition leader, and oblivious to the lesson just delivered by his party’s stinging loss, Dutton immediately identified favourites. In government, such favouritism yielded nasty inequities, including robo-debt, pork-barrelling, fossil-fuel enabling, the stacking of official bodies, the diminution of women and minorities, refugee bashing and the strange hero worship of tradies. A country is better served by leaders who govern for all.
– Alison Stewart, Riverview, NSW
Power of the people
Peter Dutton’s choice of language betrays what he attempts to deny – “symbolism” on the apology to the Stolen Generations. Sussan Ley has the same deaf ear: “To the women of Australia,” she says, “we hear you. We heard you. We’re listening, we’re talking.” When will politicians stop addressing the population as though we were potential buyers in a knockdown sale? That aside, Ley is a woman. Does she not understand women are people, with practical, economic, safety and human-respect issues that need to be addressed? This election has been hugely heartening, with people – Chinese people, transgender people, female people, young people – voting for what they want and believe is important in direct rejection of such patronising language.
– Judith Elen, Potts Point, NSW
Adults back in charge
There can be no clearer indication that the adults are back in charge than the way the incoming Labor government proposes to reconfigure the public service. The prospect of government departments regaining in-house expertise in order to provide fearless professional advice and deliver government programs is indeed welcome, as your editorial envisages (“Bacon and eggs”, June 4-10). Within the departmental shake-up and reflecting the realignment of government priorities, I still hope we may see a department of arts and minds.
– Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale, Vic
First steps to healing
It was the “moral injury” so eloquently described by Rod Bower (“An injured nation”, June 4-10) that formed the root of the community uprising now known as the teal independents. We have been driven to rebellion by the pain and disgust of the moral injury to which we have been subjected by our last – as Rod Bower notes – four prime ministers, beginning with Kevin Rudd. We rose up not simply for “moderation” in government but for fundamental justice – for integrity, for climate, and for women; for First Nations people and for refugees. These are not merely Quixotic windmills: if Anthony Albanese does not bring justice, the teal movement will grow stronger and more widespread. The community has taken the first steps to recover from injury. We hope that the government will harness this momentum. There is much moral injury to cure.
– Chris Young, Surrey Hills, Vic
Diminished by shame
Thank you, Rod Bower, for articulating the despair, shame and helplessness that many of us have been feeling over the past decade or more. To be part of a society that has treated refugees with such malevolence, that has ignored repeated warnings from climate scientists about global warming, that rejected outright the Uluru Statement from the Heart among many other policy failures, has diminished us all. I hope that the recent election is the first faltering step towards our rehabilitation as a morally just nation.
– Ian Hill, Swanbourne, WA
Profit v the public good
Elizabeth Farrelly asks, not unreasonably, why Australia is so bad at building cities (“Tall tales”, June 4-10). The answer surely is the same as when we ask why affordable and sustainable housing is so out of reach for so many people. Both are built for profit for the few, not for the public good. And this is rewarded. The few make healthy profits and architecture awards are given for individual (mostly very expensive) houses and public buildings with only secondary (if any) regard for their contribution to making the urban environment more human friendly and housing more available. The problem will not be resolved until we change our national priorities and taxation laws as well as our planning and building regulations.
– Pat Healy, Chewton, Vic
Open to all
Golfers are not exclusively the users of golf courses (Martin McKenzie-Murray, “A say on the green”, June 4-10). Public golf courses are open to anybody to go for a walk – they just have to pay as golfers do. Research has found that a whole array of animal and bird species only live in these natural island reserves in the city. This is different from a normal park because it is empty of humans and most of their killer pets for a long part of every day. It’s the paying bit most people get offended about. They pay their council rates!
– Trevor Pratt, Eaglemont, Vic
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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on June 11, 2022.
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