Enough personnel, PM, show leadership
A cycle to savor
Will Wagner’s Ring cycle be staged in Bendigo? Bring it on! The Adelaide Rings of 1998 and 2004 worked so well because the city was large enough to capture the spirit of the event (relevant museum exhibitions, lectures, dining in cafes and restaurants adjacent to the theater etc.) and yet small enough to give the impression of a community process. Bendigo will do it even better, I think.
We’ll see each other there.
Nick Jans, Princes Hill
A line to wish
It’s great that Major Projects Minister Jacinta Allan “stressed that Victoria is focusing on service reliability, not speed, by improving existing regional routes” (″Regional HSR projects have reached the buffers″, 14/2). Hopefully this means the Bendigo line will have reliable early morning train service and earlier service. The first service arrives in Bendigo at 8.20am (on sunny days and when there are no slower buses to replace trains), which is the latest arrival time for any center regional. Morning commuters in Bendigo would appreciate getting to work and school on time on any train.
Rohan Wightman, McKenzie Hill
Is this progress?
I read with interest the article ″Slow train coming″ (13/2) that the $4 billion Geelong-Melbourne fast train project has been hit by ″buffers″.
As a daily rail commuter in the 70s and 80s, the journey then in a ″red rattler″ was always close on time. I found this hour beneficial. I could read The Age and The Geelong Advertiser, prepare my program for the day and arrive at my office in St Kilda Road prepared for the day.
On the way back I was generally sleepy before North Melbourne, arriving home relaxed. Ask any commuter about their priorities. 1) They have a seat. 2) The train leaves and arrives on time, the travel time is a third wrong. Now it looks like the fast train will take 50 minutes instead of 60. The steam locomotive ″The Geelong Flyer″ took 60 minutes in the 40s and 50s. So much for progress.
Imagine what these billions of dollars could be used for: care for the elderly, health, childcare, social housing. It’s time to rethink.
Rod Mackenzie, Marshal
Improve it, they will use it
Victoria shouldn’t be too hard on herself. In 2000 the state launched and then delivered the Regional Rapid Rail Project linking Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and Traralgon with improved services to the Melbourne Underground.
Although I always thought the opportunity had been missed to offer truly competitive journey times, these investments have saved journey time – although now apparently somewhat eroded by schedule changes.
More importantly, the projects have shown that customer base and regional city growth can occur when service is improved. This is important evidence that the right strategy is first to improve regional links around major cities – as the Commonwealth and States are currently doing – and not to try to build an inter-capital high-speed train. For Geelong, a 35 minute service could be achieved with the right system control and commonly available rolling stock capable of reaching an average of 140 km/h or a maximum speed of 225 km/h.
It would be a shame if Victoria missed another opportunity to provide service to at least one regional city that has truly changed travel.
Killara, New South Wales
The law is the law
No school should receive public funding if some of its practices or teaching require an exemption from complying with the law. However, this should not be a problem for religious schools. Any religious group can still practice these practices or teach at religious gatherings at their place of worship, outside of school hours.
Carl Prowse, Ivanhoe
Carr is going the right way
Bob Carr’s big ideas are refreshing and thoughtful (″Lunch with Bob Carr″, Spectrum, 12/2). They include emergency aid for starving children in Afghanistan; a pardon for Julian Assange; a new government led by “cold-headed” not flashy Albanians and global climate action that is “friendly competition among the world’s major powers to advance decarbonization.” Let’s talk.
Barbara Fraser, Burwood
A bill of rights, now
I agree with Bishop Philip Freier (Commentary, 14/2), it is time to have a balanced bill of rights. All other countries with similar governments like Australia have bills of rights. The Archbishop gives the example of New Zealand.
It is obvious that our politicians are beholden to pressure groups and factions of the community who encourage them to legislate laws that are not always ethical so that they can retain the votes or the financial support of these groups.
If a bill of rights existed, gay and transgender communities would not have had to endure the torture of listening to politicians discuss their future. If there was a bill of rights, we hope that asylum seekers would not be locked up for long periods of time.
I agree with Bishop Freier, the less governments are involved in human rights, the better.
Robin JensenCastle Maine
“Religious communities feel attacked in an increasingly secular society”? (The Age, 2/12). Well, if they do, that’s better than non-believers “feeling harassed” in an increasingly religious society. Consider what happened to such people during the dark ages of Western religious control. Then the 1700s brought the Enlightenment. Do we really need legislation three centuries later to protect us against reason, individualism and [healthy] skepticism of an enlightened secular society?
No resolution here
In addition to wrongly elevating Archbishop Daniel Mannix to the rank of cardinal, Dr. Philip Freier is also wrong to conclude that our New Zealand-like bill of rights – enshrining in law freedom of opinion – solve the problem of religious discrimination. The problem is not just what people think, it is rather what they are allowed to do to others to enforce their discriminatory ‘rights’.
Peter Drum, Coburg
The spectacle of unreality
″Principles like one country cannot simply change the borders of another by force. Principles like one country cannot simply dictate to another its choices, policies, [or] who he will partner with.″ The words of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at the recent Quad meeting in Melbourne.
How does he say that with a straight face? He must believe in it, which makes him dangerous. May I remind him of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Bay of Pigs (Cuba), Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Serbia. Coups or coup attempts fermented in too many countries to count.
Righteousness is always so dangerous. Blind to reality.
John Queripel, Kotara, New South Wales
For many years, beautiful pepper trees at Hampton Station provided shade for many people waiting for buses and for others going to the parking lot. Recently, as I got off the bus, I was shocked and saddened to see that these trees had been felled. Now the area is barren and ugly.
Elaine Cullinane, Hampton
While we’re going to start looking at the validity and transparency of political donations (″Climate warrior Zali Steggall didn’t report a six-figure donation″, 14/2), let’s not just focus on independents. The entire spectrum of political giving is loaded and seemingly untouchable in this country. At the very least, we need immediate visibility of all donations, regardless of amount, and we should not allow donations from corporations or business entities. Eligible donors must provide a personal TFN and realize that the donation will be public information within 48 hours. A reasonable cap of $2,000 seems appropriate.
Robert Brown, Camberwell
The right answer
When asked about Grace Tame, Jenny Morrison should have said something like “Mrs Tame was Australian of the Year and she has the right to say what she thinks and behave as she sees fit”.
James Young, Mount Eliza
Look in your own backyard
Well Jenny Morrison, isn’t forcing someone to shake hands when they don’t want an example of bad manners, and maybe using parliamentary privilege to belittle Christine Holgate a little rude?
Talk to someone
Thank you for your prayers on behalf of the Australian People’s Prime Minister, but the next time you pray, would you mind leaving me out?
I would actually prefer you to spend my small portion of your time talking to a real person. Perhaps you could chat with Linda Reynolds about restoring recent NDIS funding cuts for people with autism. I’m sure God would approve of that.
Jo Bond, South Melbourne
Gather the vouchers
Thank you ABC for Muster Dogs. It was pure joy – a much needed reminder that there are more good people (and good dogs) in the world than bad ones and that Australia is still a beautiful country.
notes of rage
Sunday night’s 60 Minutes, which contained a segment of musical torture, deserves the strongest condemnation. There was no preliminary warning to viewers of possible psychological distress and no hotline information at the end.
David Kerr, Geelong
AND SOMETHING ELSE
It looks like we have a new common ticket – Scott and Jenny Morrison.
Tom Stafford, Wheelers Hill
I don’t think I will vote for Jenny.
Sue Bradshaw, Fitzroy
History does not remember wise women.
Lynn Paul, Maldon
Would anyone ask Jenny if imprisoning refugees is a good way? Whoops. Please?
Pamela Pilgrim, Highett
Jenny must realize that her disappointment with Grace Tame’s “side eyes” is a side issue in Tame’s much larger mission for justice for abused women.
Glenda Johnston, Queenscliff
The Prime Minister’s main advisers seem to be God, Jenny and political strategists. Health experts and climatologists are routinely ignored.
Brian Rock, Beechworth
If we’re going to be subject to ‘rule by the Prime Minister’s wife’, I’d love to hear what Jenny Morrison thinks of refugees in indefinite detention.
Tim Durbridge, Brunswick
So Scott Morrison recruits his wife to retaliate against Grace Tame. Impressive.
Helmut Simon, Thomson
And I guess that would make the PM the MP for Honolulu.
The Aisens, Elsternwick
Although I disagree with the anti-truth protesters in New Zealand, I believe that everyone’s human rights must be respected. Playing Barry Manilow songs is a step too far.
Martin de Boerr, Coburg
Maybe Vladimir Putin isn’t really going to invade Ukraine; he just likes to watch western nations run around like headless chickens.
Marie Nash, Balwyn
Cheaper alcohol for workers! Did the Prime Minister add a barrel of beer to a barrel of pork?
Paul Murchison, Kingsbury