Let’s have a meaningful discussion and debate during the election. Stuff not circus. Roger Johnson, New Lambton Heights
I am tired of questions that divert our attention from important matters. We desperately need the media to report on policies and review past performance. Our democracy depends on objective and insightful reporting. Stop reporting “gotcha” moments and focus on the big picture, for the good of all of us. George Williams, North Balgowlah
Two-track education is destroying Australia
Growing social divisions in Australia are destroying this country (“Private education is nothing special”, April 14). Jenna Price said the federal government funds school education this way: $3,282 per public school student, $9,694 per independent school student, and $10,788 per Catholic school student. If I want a Mercedes instead of a Kia, or a new hip next week at a private hospital, I’ll pay.
Private but state funded education creates two classes in our society where private schools select the best and those who are wealthy enough to pay for an exclusive education while the rest of us are forced to use an education underfunded public. It is time to create an education commission away from the whims of politicians and politics with funding linked to GDP, private institutions paid 100% by users and public institutions supported by public funds. Ian Kendal, Hazelbrook
It is right to despair at the incongruous figures between apprenticeship placements and completions. Our TAFE system has been decimated as successive governments snatch funding from this once magnificent institution. TAFE gave everyone a chance to qualify and find a good job at an affordable price. In addition to this, the teaching was led by passionate and competent teachers with great facilities.
Profitability prevents these privatized colleges from delivering at the same level. COVID-19 was the excuse needed to further erode TAFE and bring more courses online. A good example is the Richmond Equine Academy run by dedicated teachers who have been teaching courses in equine studies, trail riding and horse handling for decades. The last of its kind in the state, and soon it will close. It seems that not all skills are above learning online, even those that save lives. I might suggest this to the RTA when my kids apply for their driver’s license. Elizabeth Darton, Anse Lane West
Nearly 9,000 full-time TAFE staff have been cut since 2012 and yet the government wonders why we don’t have enough skilled workers anymore?
JobKeeper was extended to private universities like Notre Dame by the federal government, but was denied to all public universities as their revenues plummeted. In privatized childcare services, fees increase faster than the government subsidy. Unfortunately, the Coalition and the Labor Party contribute to this demise which coincides with the fact that Australia recently slipped to 39th out of 41 EU/OECD countries in terms of quality education. Indeed, the privatization of education is something to mourn. Helen Simpson, Curl Curl
Why don’t successive governments understand that funding private and independent schools continues to perpetuate class division in our country? It does seem like education is a good thing, if you can afford it. George Zivkovic, Northmead
The housing crisis won’t end until policies change
Absent policy changes, Australia’s housing crisis will continue indefinitely (“Rent crisis is another COVID hangover that will get worse”, April 14). The Prime Minister was right when he said tenants should buy. Subsidizing rents does not work. The subsidies only end up in the owners’ pockets. But neither the Coalition nor the Labor Party has the political courage to implement policies that would help solve the housing crisis.
Tax benefits granted to investors should be phased out. At the same time, the federal government should direct the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to require lenders to favor first-time buyers. In addition, interest payments for first-time home buyers should be tax deductible for a period of five to 10 years. Geoff Black, Cave Beach
There seems to be little to be gained for either major party by helping the struggling poor, and with rising rents their struggle is set to deepen (“Charity upset at JobSeeker backtrack”, April 14). We have a huge population of people living on the poverty line and our main parties expect charities to pick up the slack. The small parties that extend a hand of hope to these people are the only ones worth voting for if we want to help the most vulnerable. Genevieve Milton, Newtown
Here we are again in the mud as the main parties argue about how cruel they can be to genuine refugees (“Dangerous statement”: border protection in the spotlight after Albanese says he favors pushbacks rather than overseas detention”, smh.com .au, 14 April). All the more reason to support rational independents as the first step towards breaking this toxic and undemocratic duopoly.
PLA supporters may rightly feel disillusioned and disillusioned with the party’s performance in the early days of the election campaign (“Albanians Need to Sharpen to Win,” April 14). It was a clumsy start coupled with an insane strategy.
As Shaun Carney points out, Anthony Albanese’s personal story is of little interest, voters want to know what will be done to correct the years of incompetence and neglect on the other side. For example, the AMA has called for improved Medicare reimbursements and the increase in the JobKeeper allowance is a fundamental issue of social justice, supposedly a fundamental part of the ALP. Albanese needs to significantly up his game to demonstrate that his ability matches his ambition.
By the way, where are Penny Wong and Tanya Plibersek, the two most eloquent, intelligent and convincing members of the Labor leadership team? Ross Butler, Point Rodd
Australia has the mineral resources, solar power and people to be the world’s largest supplier of zero-emission products and materials, but we have been held back for a decade by a government lacking vision and climate policies and (“Electric car sector ‘appalled’ at rising oil subsidies”, April 14). obsolete by $6 billion while limiting the availability of electric vehicles in Australia.We squandered a golden opportunity for clean advanced manufacturing and ended up with millions of precarious, low-paid and low-skilled jobs.
Keith Woodward, Avalon Beach
Lack of integrity
Every Australian State and Territory has an Integrity Commission, but not our nation. Not good enough, Prime Minister (“Morrison Quits Federal Integrity Commission, Blames Labor”, smh.com.au, April 14). Col Shephard, Yamba
David Pocock is proving to be a real light on the hill in the ACT Senate race (“Political Football: Why Pocock Wants a Senate Seat,” April 14). With only two seats in the Senate, the ACT desperately needed a genuine, intelligent, kind and energetic independent candidate, free from party clutter, who could compete for the second seat held for nine years by Senator Zed Seselja, a right-wing liberal. faction member. Pocock’s campaign is gaining momentum and providing much hope in what is otherwise proving to be a daunting and predictable election campaign from the major parties. Sue Dyer, Downer (ACT)
China’s ability to dock warships in the Solomon Islands would be a concern not only for Australia, but also for our ASEAN neighbors (Letters, April 14). Certainly, with regional allies, we can match the public infrastructure funding that the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands is seeking. Such a “pork barrel” on a grand scale could be tolerated when it comes to regional security.
John Kempler, Baie Rose
In 2018, I heard Richard Marles, Penny Wong and Gareth Evans call for reframing Australia’s relationship with our Pacific neighbours. They argued that we must work towards true partnerships in the Pacific based on respect and mutual interests, not paternalism and strategic denial. Our current government, despite the rhetoric about partnerships, has continued to treat our closest neighbors as supplicants and strategic pawns. Solomon Islands’ recent decision was not only predictable, it was the inevitable consequence of an approach by our government that lacked both nuance and respect. Tony Judge, Woolgoolga
Those who switch to ABC Classic to avoid politics may regret their choice after enduring yet another incongruous and disruptive ABC TV promo of the day (Letters, April 14). I suspect we are frogs slowly boiled alive for full commercialization.
Alynn Pratt, Grenfell
There is a simple solution to the Sydney Swans free-kick problems. They should return to South Melbourne immediately (Letters, April 14). George Maniatis, Dulwich Hill
One word, please
Let’s not forget “every corner of the globe” (Letters, April 14). Keith Sutton, Leichhardt
Why are shutters used instead of closed? Bill White, South Grafton
And why must everything now be impacted? What’s wrong with affected? Ian Harrison Drummoyne
I’m appalled at the overuse of “multiple” when “many” would be more appropriate. Ronald Rosen, Kingsford
Why do so many people insist on saying “I would like to thank” when “I thank” is enough. David Griffiths, Wollongong
Where else can you steer from? According to WS Gilbert, the Duke of Plaza-Toro led his regiment from behind – he found that less exciting. Ray Seymour, Castle Hill
The current comment about supposedly redundant words seems hopelessly utilitarian. Devoid of imagination. Phrases must have rhythm, harmony, melody. Forget unnecessary pedantry and restrictive rules. Listen to him for uplifting and creative speaking and writing. Brian Haisman, Winmalee
Correspondent Lisa Clarke need not worry about being 58 because she is really only 56, adjusted for COVID-19 (Letters, April 14). John Burman, Port Macquarie
Online commentary on one of the stories that attracted the most comments from readers yesterday on smh.com.au
Albanese must fix more than gaffes to win over voters
Since Brian: “Like it or not, Scott Morrison is a master campaigner.”
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