In 1983, Bob Hawke won a government victory on the basis of the No Dams campaign. Can Chris Minns repeat history at the next NSW election?
John Baillie, Canterbury
Humans Before Plants clearly defines an all-too-common view of our unique, complex, beautiful, but ever-shrinking environment.
Peter Lane, Margaret River (Washington)
I first encountered emergency department overcrowding in the 1980s, and the 1990s saw long lines for ambulances (“
The lyrics talk about the “third world” conditions in Sydney“, October 6). As an emergency physician, I’ve been to more seminars, policy reviews, and meetings about this issue than I could care to poke a stick at. Every year the problem worsens and expands. It’s time to recognize that the system is set up for ED overload. Although they remain the backbone for the gaps in all other social and health services, the needs will never be met. If we don’t divert patients who may be waiting for other services and move patients who need beds on the wards, emergency rooms will always be full and skilled staff will continue to leave due to frustration and burnout. We could solve this problem tomorrow with the right will. Unload all ambulances upon arrival. Redirect patients whose condition is not critical and transfer backlogged patients who need hospital beds out of the emergency room. Repurposing ideas from COVID: Medical hotels can house those who are almost ready to go home or only need daily care. Sue Hierachi, Balmain
Brad Hazzard turns to Weasley’s words again. How nice to hear that he “sympathizes” with the stress of doctors and nurses who simply can’t do their jobs because there are too few of them when we are sick or dying.
Kerry Webb, Blacktown
The deterioration of health services and public education, as well as the increase in the number of families living in poverty, suggest that in some ways Australia is indeed striving for third world status. Far more important than any campaign promise to cut taxes is that governments do what they can for the health, education and living standards of the whole population.
Jeff Harding, Chatswood
When I was a hospital resident in 1987, no ambulance had to wait more than five minutes to unload a patient, transfer them to a bed, and treat them. What has changed so drastically? Neither the will nor the experience of the staff has improved significantly. The only factor is the increase in population since then, which cannot be matched by the effective, inflation-controlled increase in hospital funds. What do government boffins think will happen to sick leave? Who benefits from this increase in population when people can no longer be cared for or even kept alive when they are sick or injured? Who will win? Not the ones in the ambulance or the waiting room.
Jennifer Briggs, Killaben Bay All teachers deserve a raise
Which of our public school teachers deserves a raise (“
Every 10th teacher can get a salary increase“, October 6)? Is it a teacher from a top selective school whose pupils have achieved a sixth group in the HSC? Does an 8th grade music or language arts teacher inspire their children to study the subject in later years? Can a teacher in a remote area manage to get children to come to school and create social cohesion in some of the most difficult circumstances? There are many ways in which a teacher can achieve excellence, and some of them can be measured on a rigid scale defined by “policy experts”. Higher salaries for all teachers will attract a few of the best and brightest, reduced workloads will attract even more, as will recognition that being a public school teacher is a valuable and respected career. Peter Cooper-Southam, French forest
Why do so-called education experts believe that paying high-performing teachers more than other teachers will keep teachers from leaving the classroom? Who will evaluate teacher salary increases? How would a teacher feel knowing that the teacher in the next classroom is being paid more for the same job? So many questions and so few answers.
Robin Lewis, Raglan
So 90 percent of teachers will be happy for the other 10 percent to be paid more while they continue to be underpaid, under-resourced and under-appreciated. This will encourage people to fill in the thousands of gaps that are already in the system.
Bill Irwin, Goulburn
You would have thought that the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education and the entire government would understand this by now. Teachers are leaving en masse not because of salary, but because of workload and conditions. Earlier this week, the idea of extending the school day was floated. This will make even more teachers flock. Improve the conditions, reduce the workload and then, and just maybe, you will attract and retain more teachers.
Peter Miniuti, Ashbury The tax problem of work
My main reasons for voting Labor this time around were a commitment to tackling climate change, a voice in parliament and a national ICAC (“
Ministers argue over tax cuts debate“, October 6). I didn’t vote Labor so the rich could get tax breaks at the expense of the poor. So far, while Labor has shown more honesty and intelligence than the Coalition, I remain disappointed by the lack of action on climate change and tax breaks for the rich. Jenny Lindbergh, Darlington
The Prime Minister must end any debate about tax cuts in 2024. What’s done is done, and it would be very foolish to give ammunition to a weak opposition to exploit. The government needs to be smart about this and deal with the elephant in the room – tax reform. The summit could take place within the next 18 months to focus on structural changes in a system buckling under the weight of its dependence on income tax.
Michael Blissenden, Dural
Labor should never have supported the third phase of tax cuts. They are extremely unfair because they favor the rich. Indeed, why should someone with a base income of $46,000 be in the same tax bracket as someone who earns $199,000 (30 cents in the dollar). In essence, this is an attempt by the coalition to introduce its single tax policy by stealth, as it eliminates one level of tax brackets.
Malcolm Frick, Armidale
It’s so interesting that those politicians who favor tax cuts will all benefit the most financially. A person should laugh.
Barry French, Cronulla Bring them home
The government has generously offered to repatriate ISIS wives and children (
letters, October 6) who has (even if only minimally) supported the violent overthrow of a number of governments, and yet seems uninterested in the return home of Julian Assange, who has only sought to tell us what our governments are really doing. How about some sympathy for this Australian citizen, Mr. Albanese? Lee Cook, Orange
Peter Dutton tries to justify the previous government’s lack of humanity in refusing to repatriate women and children from Syria. His concern for national security is pretty pathetic when it involves 40 children and only 20 women. If he’s that concerned, maybe he can convince the Albanian government to spend a pitifully small amount of our defense budget on surveillance of these women.
Peter Rose, Jamberoo
For the first time I agree with Peter Dutton. Bringing IS women and children is very dangerous for Australia. I think it’s far more important that we try to get the Afghans who helped us fight the Taliban back to safety in Australia, and it’s certainly time to make sure that Julian Assange is freed and able to come home.
Pam Nankivell, Parks Connection with the airport
Many passengers at the new airport (
letters, October 6) will operate connecting flights with Muscat Airport. The line via Leppington offers a direct and shorter journey east to Mascot, which is only a few kilometers away. Why take a tour north to St. Mary’s, which is much further and takes much longer? Also, consider the additional costs. Alberto Biscara, Roselle Loretta was better
Loretta Lynn credit:AP
Loretta Lynn (“
Country legend Lynn has died at the age of 90“, October 6) was once asked how she would like to be remembered. She said: “What a kind man. The one who never hurt anyone.” I wonder how many people in power will be remembered this way? Rajend Naidu, Glenfield Over the rainbow
About rainbows (
lettersOctober 6), my fridge magnet says, “Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” A rule I try to live by. Llyeda Wilde, Eastwood
Orange’s Jo Rainbow says her rainbow connection makes her husband’s life better. I wonder if his name is Roy G. Beav? They would probably be quite a colorful couple from a colorful city.
Denis Goodwin, Dee Why
A lost legacy
Any news on when the NSW government plans to reassemble the heritage listed Parramatta Willow Grove?
Martin Frohlich, Adamstown Heights Quite the opposite
It is a great pity that such a major catastrophe as the loss by some Danish princes and princesses of their titles was relegated to page 22 of the Herald (“
There’s something about Mary in a title fight“). Mustafa Erem, Terrigal
Digital view Online commentary on one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday smh.com.au Every 10th teacher is in line for a salary increase in conditions of a large-scale reshuffle From Denipockets: ″What a joke. The challenge is to retain recent graduates who burn out under the enormous burden of non-teaching administrative duties on top of unpaid after-hours training. No amount of wiggle around the edges is going to fix that. The only solution is to spend a lot more money, either to fairly compensate teachers for the actual amount of work they do, or to hire additional administrative support staff to reduce their burden. Anything less is a frivolous frivolous decision.″
Send a letter to Sydney Morning Herald, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for tips on sending emails.
The Opinion Newsletter is a weekly selection of views that challenge, advocate and inform you. Register here .