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don’t build houses where it’s wet


I am disgusted by the letters criticizing the Federal Government’s plan to rescue the widows and orphans of fallen Australian Islamic State fighters from the Syrian hellhole (lettersOctober 5).
The lack of humanitarian feelings towards these people, especially orphans, is a shame. Just when we thought the evil influence of the recent and ruthless federal coalition government had been removed, replaced by a more decent attitude towards people, we were shown this evidence that bigotry, fear, racism and ideology are still with us. Indeed, “My poor country.” Jan Usman Lewis, Kentucky

The women and their children stranded in Syria are primarily Australian. For the dopes who claim it will cost $1 million to watch them, I bet it costs us the same to keep each of these experts in everything they expect. Just bring them home.Chris Hornsby, Bayview

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Your correspondent’s risk assessment that the wives and children of IS fighters currently interned in Syria should be denied repatriation because they pose a danger to society is based on exactly what evidence? Past (mis)behavior is only one factor in the assessment process that does not involve children. Kate Lumley, Hurlstone Park

Your correspondent did not pay attention to the fact that the women and children who ended up in the Syrian camps are Australian citizens. If we do not take responsibility for them, what other country will or should? We routinely identify and manage many Australians who have committed an offense and remain a theoretical risk to society. The government is right to bring these women and children home and can then introduce risk-based controls to minimize the “danger to the larger community”. David Hind, Neutral Bay

What about the risk to the physical and emotional well-being of the 40 Australian children in this hellhole? We believe that the government determines how it treats the most vulnerable. Yes, keep a close eye on mothers when they return home, but give them and their children a chance to live a life free from the debauchery and threats they now face. It is generosity and an open heart that offer the way, not confinement and indifference. Peter and Megan Singer, Arawara Headland

Don’t you think the families of these women and children will have a much more favorable opinion of our country if we bring these women and children home? Nothing beats compassion. Chris Hogg, Bathurst

Loyal depositors are fed up with cynical banks

Hours after the RBA announced its latest cash rate hike, banks increased their rates for mortgage lenders (“RBA slows pace of rate hikes even as it predicts more”, 5 October). I’m still waiting for the latest hike to be applied to my savings account, with previous RBA hikes also being reduced. Fairness is apparently unfair in the eyes of financial institutions for prudent depositors. Long-term relationships have subsequently been severed, and the pursuit of better returns continues, leading to self-dealing by financial institutions. The competition is now driving that depositor’s dollar. Bruce Clydesdale, Bathurst

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There should be stiff penalties for those banks that refuse to raise deposit rates for customers after the official RBA rate has been raised. Not content with making millions of dollars in extra mortgage payments, they also cynically rake in even more profits by not passing on rates to hapless depositors. It is not surprising that banks are constantly on the nose. Judy Hungerford, North Curl Curl

While interest rates may be at an all-time low, individual home loan borrowing is at an all-time high. Elizabeth Goodsall, Warunga

The debt-induced inflation engulfing global markets and economies is a sign that the irresistible force of unlimited growth meets the immovable object of a finite planet. Simon Chance, Richmond Hill

Rising interest rates equal mortgage stress. But why should it be so? There was a time in memory when a house was more than an investment: it was a place where you could live as long as you wanted. Surely there is a bank or financial institution willing to allow borrowers to extend the term of the loan instead of increasing the repayment. Sure, it might take you 40 years to pay off the loan instead of 25 or 30, but without the risk of foreclosure and eviction, many borrowers will jump at the chance. And imagine the kindness. Carl Boyd, Newcastle

Let freedom reign

Hear, hear, Mick Ryan (“Why we should do more for Ukraine“, October 5). Australia should do everything possible to ensure that the Russian invasion of Ukraine fails. Ryan rightly points out that in addition to defending the right and defeating wrong, we endanger our own national security if we do not take positive action to protect justice and freedom wherever they may be found.
are under threat. Julian Bowditch, Croyden

Put patients first, AMA

AMA’s Predictable Reaction to Prescribing Pharmacists (“Let pharmacies prescribe medicines, says the minister“, October 5) indicates the existence of a conflict of interests. The AMA must look at it from the patient’s point of view. Patients do not have time to wait for therapists due to the shortage in cities and even more so in rural areas. When the COVID vaccine program started, the same objections were raised, but the vaccination rate would have been very low if chemists were not used along with nurses. Mukul Desai, Hunters Hill

Danger sign

I completely agree with your correspondent (Letters, October 5). I know of a high school that has an electronic sign on the street announcing the school’s activities. It’s practically over the school crosswalk. I constantly have to make a big effort not to look at it when I approach transition. Taking one second to see what it says can be fatal. Jennifer Nichols, Casino

Back to basics

Before using an ideological toolkit for reforming education (“Call for longer days, online lessons”, October 5), the basics, such as having a fully trained and appropriately paid specialist in every classroom, are a necessity. Then reform the average working conditions of teachers to 70 or more hours a week, both in and out of school hours, so that teachers are physically and mentally fit, ready to show the passion and commitment that drove them to the profession. The proposals by Jenny Donovan and the Productivity Commission seem to suggest that teachers are out of work during the greatest systemic destruction of the profession and education in a century or more. Vanessa Tennent, Oatley

Not cleared for takeoff

One has to wonder if any airlines will move to a new airport where there is no efficient bus or rail service to transport their staff and customers to and from Sydney or their homes (“Airport plan at risk of overfunding“, October 5). If these projects are not immediately funded by the state and federal governments, this multi-billion dollar project could be another pie in the sky for NSW. Joy Patterson, Mount Annan

Western Sydney Airportcredit:Brooke Mitchell

Can the NSW Government get serious about plans to use double-decker buses for transport to Sydney’s new airport from Penrith, Campbelltown and Liverpool? Imagine passengers struggling to climb the stairs with their luggage, even if it’s just their hand luggage, which often includes laptops, neck rests and heavy coats for the European winters. Who gets these ideas? Sandra Burke, Cremorne

My guess is that even if the public transport link to the new airport is not completed, the new paid car park will be finished and normal airport parking charges will apply. Neil Record, Tormina

Hard work

NSW Minister for Western Sydney David Elliott (3rd left) and NSW Premier Dominic Perrotte (3rd right) during the sod turning ceremony at the new Bradfield Town Center site in Badgerys Creek, New South Wales.

NSW Minister for Western Sydney David Elliott (3rd left) and NSW Premier Dominic Perrotte (3rd right) during the sod turning ceremony at the new Bradfield Town Center site in Badgerys Creek, New South Wales. credit:Kate Geraghty

What a depressing photo (“Airport plan under threat over funding”, October 5). Six high-paid police officers and operatives play dress-up with tight vests, hard hats and shovels while practicing synchronized mud-throwing. Do they have anything waiting on the table? You know how work is; Jenny Mooney, Karua

Our king rules

If Britain doesn’t want to send its king to the climate change summit (Letters, October 5), we should send ours. Doug Walker, Baulkham Hills

Rainbow gold

Rainbows are a gift (Letters, October 5). As I drove up to Ilford from Sofala recently, it was raining for about 200 meters and the trees and hills behind were clearly visible. As I continued towards the Kandos turnoff, a sudden downpour in bright sunlight swept across the road. I wasn’t sure if I was hitting potholes or pots of gold. Jim Lewis, New Lambton

As a child care worker, I get a lot of scientific knowledge from children. I can assure you that it’s not rainbows, it’s “unicorn burp”. Kenneth Smith, Orange

Your correspondent is right, rainbows make life better. Just ask my husband – he married one. Joe Rainbow, Orange

Digital view
Online commentary on one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday smh.com.au
Sydney’s pop-up bike lanes are ‘illegal’ but the government says they are here to stay
From SGS: ″Do you want to delete them? Excellent. Do it when there is something better and safer to ride. Here’s the thing: one person on a bike = one less car = less traffic = less congestion = one less parking space at your destination. Why is it that so many other cities get it right and Sydney seems to want to make a fuss about it?″​​

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