The ultimate goal must include a single pool of funding, distributed according to needs and models of care appropriate to 21st century medicine.
The next step is to set up an Australian Health Reform Commission to lead the way. Even if the beginning is decades late, the journey must not end with a single step. graeme stewart, palm beach
As for this new friendship between Perrottet and our Daniels, I don’t know whether to feel elated or downright miserable. Paul Murchison, Kingsbury (VIC)
Converting the train would be cheaper than a new stadium
In your article, you complain that the state government is offering to spend “hundreds of millions of dollars,” “the cost of several new schools,” retrofitting guard compartments to improve safety on trains (“Havoc denies Sydney world-class status,” August 31 ). An alternative argument is certainly that the government could have retrofitted the trains with the hundreds of millions of dollars it squandered on a stadium that is only used intermittently by very few people. Pam Timms, Suffolk Park
The notion that the city of Sydney has, or ever had, any chance of becoming a ‘world-class city’ is ridiculous, or at least it has been for the last 40 years. As someone who grew up in Sydney and enlisted in the army in 1960 and has seen a lot of the world in his life, I can assure you that is the case. Later in life work took me to Sydney fairly regularly and I found it noisy, way too busy, dirty, bustling streets and uninviting. The central ends of George Street and Pitt Street resemble a red light district more than part of a “world city” and the state government’s machinations of traffic, stadiums, tunnels, etc. have only compounded the disaster. It’s not for nothing that thousands of Sydneysiders have left for the regions and other states.
Ian Usman Lewis, Kentucky
If a few days’ train strike means you’re not a world-class city, then bad news for London. In the 30+ years that I have traveled there I have never seen a subway or rail strike and they have had at least five in the past three months. There is much more that makes a city. Michael Berg, Randwick
The government is threatening “more radical measures” to take down the rail union. Perhaps it could take a leaf out of the union’s own playbook. Railway workers have blacklisted trains for defects often considered minor, and only run Australian-made trains on certain days. Perhaps the government should respond in kind by awarding any railway worker with a minor defect, such as a an undone button or a slightly disheveled appearance, and on certain days require all workers to produce a birth certificate proving they were made in Australia. DougWalker, Baulkham Hill
A friend wondered why masks are mandatory on public transport “since there are so few of them”. “What, COVID?” I asked. “No, no,” he scoffed. “Public transport.” Mickey Pragnell, Kiama
I don’t believe either Perrottet or the union. Too many half-truths from both sides. Tim Schroeder, Gordon
Bringing the best of the West to the Bastion of Privilege
I’m in my final year at Sydney Uni and I’m from western Sydney, so this news resonates with me (“Bastion of Privilege Reaches Less Wealthy Students,” 31 August). I have met Sydney University students who were no further west than Parramatta which really shocked me, nor have I met many students from western Sydney. Politicians and urban planning think tanks are pointing to us as the future, with our new subway and our new airport and our population boom, but my perception is that the university has only treated itself as the uni for east Sydney and the west Sydneysiders were simply a statistical anomaly. Kudos to the new VC for making this a priority of his 10 year strategy. Naosheyrvaan Nasir, Quakers Hill
Skills are the future
The last time Australia “woke up with a start” was 50 years ago (“Visa, Training – let’s have it all,” August 31) to an economy threatened by a skills shortage. The migration of skilled workers was certainly pushed, but more as a makeshift than as a solution. In this more enlightened age, all states also began massive TAFE expansion programs. In NSW, from the early 1970s to the early 1990s, hundreds of artisans and other skilled workers were recruited to teach at TAFE colleges each year. New colleges were built and old ones enlarged. Thousands of young Australians have attended and completed largely free TAFE courses.
At the end of the 80s, the crises began to ease, but in the mid-90s the wheels fell out. The rot began with the disastrous “Training Guarantee Act” and the rise of profit-oriented vocational training. We had 20 years of building TAFE, then 30 years of its systematic destruction. Half a century later we are back where we started – in crisis. peter russell, coogee
Has the federal opposition just added the Australian idiom (“Who got a golden ticket to the jobs and skills summit”, smh.com.au, 31 August)? The inexplicable refusal to participate in a worthwhile political forum could now be described as “Spitting the Dutton”. Barry Ffrench, Cronulla
Justice for Lyn
Judge Ian Harrison has delivered the correct verdict in Chris Dawson’s murder trial (“From an Infatuation to a Murder Conviction,” Aug. 31). I am impressed by the determination of the family and Hedley Thomas to see justice done for Lyn. However, it is disappointing that the judge dismissed evidence from the Crown of Chris Dawson’s violence against Lyn because she had not complained to her family nor had she observed any signs of physical violence. He should know that many women suffer silently and secretly. An unhelpful comment in an otherwise impressive judgement. Monica Fletcher, Turramurra
“If events change, I’ll change my mind.” So said economists Paul Samuelson, John Maynard Keynes, or even Winston Churchill, depending on the source (“Labour to honor tax cut vow: Treasurer,” August 31). Well, Treasurer, events have changed and you must heed the call of the growing number of groups and individuals in the community to reverse legislation that will give $188 billion to Australia’s wealthiest 20 per cent. Many of those constituents may not thank you for doing the right thing, but the remaining 80 percent will, thinking of the money to spend on the services and facilities that benefit everyone. Catherine Moore, wattle
Prime Minister Albanese’s refusal to give up tax cuts makes him appear more and more like his predecessor – stubborn. sandra burke, Cremorne
Let’s not get too excited about the tax cuts passed in 2019. Just wait for the Greens and Blue-Greens to come together in the Senate and oppose them and force the Labor Party to rescind the tax cuts. David Pocock already sings this song and does him good. Peter Nelson, Moosvale
Life is no longer a beach
Jenna Price summed it up (“Beach Vacation? Prepare to Get Pricked,” Aug. 31). Growing up in an inland coastal town, every second person seemed to have a beach shack. You wouldn’t live there. There were few jobs, no secondary schools, the car would rust and the sand flies would eat you. But by Christmas this cabin would be stacked with family and assorted followers. Alternatively, Dad would pitch the tent at a beach campsite with basic facilities. Others would rent a unit or house for a few weeks. There were offers for low and middle earners. Unfortunately, today, as campgrounds are morphing into “resorts,” short-term rental prices are skyrocketing, and vacation homes are viewed as wealth creators, these options are becoming increasingly out of reach and unaffordable for many. Maybe it’s a sign of the times. Sad really. peter singer, Arrawarra Headland
It is so sad to hear of the death of Mikhail Gorbachev (“Ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who helped end Cold War, dies”, smh.com.au, August 31). He was a great man who was instrumental in bringing the Cold War to a peaceful end. His policies led to freedom for the people of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and both he and Ronald Reagan spearheaded efforts to contain their respective countries’ nuclear arsenals. One shudders to think how the Cold War would have ended if the then Soviet leader had been a hardliner. Peter Jones, Rathmines
If only there were more people who Adam Abbasi-Saccas had the ability for objective self-reflection and the willingness to deal with their own shortcomings (“Cursed: why I’m imperfect to a fault”, August 31).
It requires neither sackcloth and ashes nor self-flagellation, but only an open admission of human frailty, abandonment of denial and blame, and a little effort in constructive self-improvement. That would give me bonus points. Adrian Connelly, Springwood
The weather here may be too cold for our bluebottles, but the crisp morning air did not prevent the young magpie from ambushing me on my morning hobble (Letters, August 30). John Finlay, Blayney
Relax, Pete Fyfe (Letters, August 31). Try being called “Nigel, no friends” for years or having strangers sing you “We’re all making plans for Nigel.” I would be happy about a shortening of the name. Nige(l) Vertigan, Wentworth Falls
The shortening of my name makes me little more than a speck on the horizon of insignificance. Dorothy Gliksman, Cedar Brush Creek
I once taught a class of two students with the same last name, just in different languages. One was Whitehead, the other was Capobianco. Don Leayr, Albury
Your correspondent’s realization that he underestimated the percentage cost of the new stadium relative to total infrastructure spending by a factor of 100 may give him a reasonable perspective on waste (Letters, August 31). Ross Krippner, Bangalow
To solve the ongoing problem with Elgin Marbles, they could be moved to the new Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta on the basis that proponents of this bizarre enterprise have clearly lost their marbles (Letters, August 31). Kent Mayo, Uralla
The digital gaze
Commenting online on one of the stories that got the most reader feedback on smh.com.au yesterday
The tax cut debate is selling the country, the economy and the future short
Out of Smack, City of the Fallen: ″Of all the issues that require tough decisions for Albo and the Labor government, this is the most obvious decision that would cost him the least political skin and improve his standing with the majority of players.″
- To submit a letter The Sydney Morning Herald, email email@example.com. Click here for tips on submitting letters.
- The Opinion newsletter is a weekly collection of views that challenge, support and inform your own. Sign up here.