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This pub is an institution, it should be left alone


Take the offer
The offer by Mike Cannon-Brookes and Brookfield is a watershed moment and must not be ignored, yet AGL says it is not in the best interests of shareholders. Surely many of these shareholders have grandchildren whose lives should be of far more importance to them than greed. Someone needs to step in and not “brook” any nonsense on this wonderful opportunity.
John Cummings, Anglesea

Admission of failure
In response to the federal government using volunteers to reduce aged care staffing shortages, it is the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Association secretary, Annie Butler, who provides the only statement professing concern for vulnerable aged care residents (″⁣Volunteers to fill gaps in aged care″⁣, The Age, 21/2).
Volunteers will be able to answer phones, brush hair, help residents exercise and restock masks in order to free up paid staff for showering, wound dressing and medication management.
This is an inadvertent, but neat admission of the complete lack of specialised geriatric knowledge and care skills in the system, which was branded by the aged care royal commission as ″⁣pervaded by substandard care″⁣ and ″⁣a national disgrace″⁣.
Ruth Farr, Blackburn South

Appalling lack of care
The decision of the Morrison government to call on volunteers to work in aged care facilities is the most appalling example yet of its determination to shed as much responsibility as possible.
Aged care facilities need more trained staff better paid than they are at present. To attempt to avoid training and paying staff appropriately is shocking.
Dr Juliet Flesch, Kew

Look to Bolivia
After four years of separation, my partner and I have recently arrived in La Paz, Bolivia, to visit her family. Despite low vaccination rates stemming from a variety of complicated factors, every single person, rich and poor, is wearing a mask inside and outside. This is due to the fact that Bolivia is a deeply considerate and community-centred society. The arrogant and selfish maskless in shops and on public transport in Melbourne could learn something from the Bolivians, who have much less but care much more.
James O’Keefe, La Paz, Bolivia

No words for it
Wordle was fun until it served up ″⁣humor″⁣ (Letters, 21/2). When it rejected ″⁣slave″⁣ (telling me ″⁣not in the word list″⁣) I realised there was a more fundamental problem. Autocorrect, however, says it all: if you type Wordle, you get ″⁣wordless″⁣.
Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale

Goals with phonics
In retrospect, the ″⁣whole language″⁣ approach to reading was akin to introducing kids to football by demanding that they practise kicking goals from the boundary in a strong wind. Amazingly, most students in this era still learned to read (sort of). But without direct phonics instruction, the vulnerable minority were left floundering.
Peter McCarthy, Mentone

Crude intervention
It’s a matter of deep regret that the Coalition government has succumbed to propaganda and agreed to designate the political wing of Hamas as a terrorist organisation. This blanket classification is a further blow to the nearly 2 million Palestinians confined in Gaza, three-quarters of whom are women and children. Given the crucial role that Hamas plays in provision of basic services, this decision will add cruelly to the deprivation they already suffer.
It is a crude and blunt intervention that will only further entrench the control that Israel exercises over its Palestinian population, a control that Amnesty International has recently identified as a form of apartheid. If the government had any concern for justice and peace, it would be holding Israel to account for its systematic violation of Palestinian human rights.
Tom Knowles, Parkville

Wait a mo
The Prime Minister has abruptly flipped from ″⁣Scomo″⁣ to ″⁣Scaremo″⁣ hoping desperately to distract from strollouts on vaccination, climate change, aged care and discrimination reforms despite endangering our national security interests.
Kevin Burke, Sandringham

We need a plan
The transition to a clean energy economy can happen in an orderly fashion that avoids price jolts and protects workers and communities or can be a disorderly mess that causes disruption and pain. State and federal governments need a plan for coal closures and must work with generators to achieve a smooth transition. No more surprise announcements and government carping when companies make decisions that are in the interests of their shareholders. We need a plan. The head in the sand plan is simply not working.
Lynn Frankes, Kew

Accessibility issues
Raising awareness around accessibility is much needed and greatly welcomed (″⁣The push for Melbourne to be a totally accessible city″⁣, 19/2). But too right “the city is not always inclusive of the 17 per cent, more than a million people, who have disability.” Accessibility is an essential aspect of inclusion but there is much more to it.
I have extensive experience as a disability advocate in a professional capacity and as a parent. There remain systemic barriers in all areas of life where people with disability are not afforded opportunities to participate or it is presumed that there is a need for segregation. Education, housing and employment being key examples.
Also, we still have a fundamental challenge with attitudes. Low expectations, discrimination and ignorance still deeply flavour people’s understanding of disability. My adult son has high behaviour and communication support needs. He frequently must contend with exclusion, assumptions, being objectified; and then there are the disability slurs, which are a constant reminder that for many he has diminished value.
Melbourne needs to be accessible but we need to do the much needed companion growth and change to further see progress in the inclusion of people with disability.
Stephanie Gotlib, Collingwood

E-scooter dangers
On Friday afternoon, I crashed my bike trying to avoid an e-scooter that was swerving from lane to lane on the St Kilda bike path. The rider was not looking where he was going. I waited as I thought he would see me but at the last minute I locked my brakes and crashed. I ride this bike path every day and every day I see people speeding on e-scooters, young children riding at speed, people doubling children, and riders who have insufficient control.
It’s time to end the trial of these dangerous machines, at a minimum they should be speed limited to less than 15km/h, and how about some sort of competency test?
Greg Tanner, Elwood


Awake to the hyperbole
The pejorative claim by a correspondent that the woke left have hijacked the ABC is unconvincing hyperbole (Letters, 21/2). The ABC does have conservative views on its programs like Q&A, Insiders, The Drum and various radio shows. Perhaps they are not conservative enough for some. All too often though, some conservatives tend to confuse being challenged and criticised on assertions where the premises were not convincing enough to others on the program as being shouted down and vowing to never return. Instead, they retreat to their preferred media echo chambers to lambast the ABC from a safe distance.
Paul Miller, Box Hill South

The ABC dimension
As a devoted listener of the ABC since my early teens thanks to the inimitable Peter Evans, I have become increasingly disappointed with the one-dimensional view of the world provided by Radio Melbourne and Radio National. They have both become a mouth-piece for the inner-city Greens.
Radio Melbourne presenters are largely interchangeable in their views, and Radio National presenters are so woke, I am surprised they can get to work after a night of insomnia. News Radio provides the only respite.
Mike Pantzopoulos, Ashburton

Grosse Misse in action
Yes Ken (Letters, 21/2), but haven’t the tomatoes been disappointing this year? What about a dearth of tomatoes or a trauma of tomatoes as new collective nouns?
Peter Burton
(even worse gardener), South Melbourne

And away with them
The perfect end to Neighbours? They all sell up and move to Summer Bay.
Peter Venn, East Bentleigh

AND ANOTHER THING

Foreign affairs
Well, at least if nuclear weapons are used, they’ll meet their lower carbon emission targets.
Henry Herzog, St Kilda East

While kneeling in prayer, the PM thought he spied some Reds under his bed – but it was only the kids’ dominoes game. Could still be handy though.
Greg Curtin, Blackburn South

So will Scott Morrison be cracking the Russian intelligence codes in his next photo op?
Greg Lee, Red Hill

Wouldn’t it be far simpler all round if Russia applied to join NATO?
Graeme Rose, Stanley

Furthermore
So, which is more destructive, a 19-year-old with a bong or a middle-aged man with a lump of coal?
Alan Whittaker, East Kew

Mike Cannon-Brookes and Clive Palmer, the tale of two billionaires, one trying to save the planet, the other trying to buy an election!
Helen Pereira, Heidelberg Heights

Clive Palmer, getting your product known isn’t the answer. Getting it wanted is the answer.
Ron Mather, Melbourne

Winning an Olympic medal is a feat, winning as a stroke survivor calls for at least a statue.
Tony Haydon, Springvale

That’s funny, Bill James (Letters, 21/2), I feel the opposite. Bring back politics to the 7.30 report and stop pandering to our masters.
Peter O’Keefe, Collingwood

Aged care residents have enough nightmares, without inflicting Scott Morrison’s ukulele upon them.
Tris Raouf, Hadfield

My idea of freedom, trumpeted relentlessly by Clive Palmer, would be the absence of UAP advertising.
Colleen Heatley, Drouin West

Finally
Thanks, Ken Rivett. We’ve got a beneficence of beans and a tragedy of tomatoes.
Jill Sanguinett, East Brunswick



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