Peaceful protests against vaccine mandates deserve attention | The Canberra Times

comment, letters-to-the-editor, letters to the editor, anti-vaccination protests, covid-19

Your article on Friday that suggested links between threats against Hunt, anti-vaxxers and every terrorist organisation you could think up over morning tea was sensationalist fear-mongering with no real connection to local news and spurious connections with reality. You didn’t report on the pro-choice protest in Canberra a few weeks ago. Probably because it was boring, with a couple of hundred calm but vocal and colourful Canberrans from all walks of life protesting coercion and force against teachers, nurses and others who aren’t keen on the vaccine. Possibly because it might’ve been costly for you to send a reporter. In refusing to report on peaceful protest, you frustrate and exasperate people who are being ignored by politicians’ spin doctors and battered by the public. People whose polite letters and peaceful protests you ignore, until they seek more extreme protest to catch your attention, then you ignorantly lump them in with incels and racists. People who are sick of the brown-nosed tripe you publish on Andrew Barr; sycophantic opinion dressed up as news. I am seeing it online: ordinary family folk finding each other online for support because we’re isolated by restrictions and alienated by your biased reporting. Publish fair reports on peaceful protest, or you are to blame for unrepresentative stunts and radicalising people. How did Australia get into this situation? We are becoming a far-right insular nation and it’s frightening. The Liberals will be in power forever because Scott Morrison uses the Trump playbook and it works. Liberals are aided and abetted by the Nationals, the UAP, Craig Kelly, One Nation and Sky. We need genuine, alternative policy and argument from non-conservative parties. There is nothing. Where are Labor and the Greens? Even while Glasgow was taking place those parties were silent. They should be ashamed. Albanese might be a nice guy but he is a most uninspiring leader and politician. Morrison is no diplomat but he is a very clever politician. Because of the ACT government’s short-sightedness, sports such as cricket, rugby and football in the ACT are being denied the opportunity to host games in major competitions, such as world cups, because the government refuses to invest in the state-of the-art stadiums and other facilities now required by event organisers. No doubt, other sports will be similarly affected in the future. Wise governments understand that sometimes saving money is a false economy; spending money is necessary to make money. Not only will this budget-conscious small thinking mean lost investment and employment opportunities in Canberra, but it is also a missed opportunity for the government to raise Canberra’s profile as a tourist and cultural designation. Sports lovers across the ACT region will also now not have the opportunity to see world-class players, which has the potential to diminish the growth of those sports at the grassroots and junior levels. So, Sports Minister Yvette Berry’s claims the ACT is committed to securing major sporting events in Canberra now seems as hollow as an empty Manuka Oval during next year’s T20 cricket World Cup. In the five Australian states where voluntary assisted dying (VAD) laws have been enacted, the principle on which the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997 (the Andrews Bill) was grounded, namely that VAD laws are bad and should never be allowed, has clearly been rejected. Moreover, opinion polls regularly show a majority of Australians support VAD in principle. Nevertheless, the Morrison government remains obdurate in refusing to acknowledge that, with five of the six states having enacted laws permitting VAD in carefully defined end-of-life circumstances, VAD is now part of the fabric of Australian law. The principle espoused by the Andrews Bill is an anachronism. The government is well aware that there are diverse views on VAD in the community. Yet it persists in imposing conservative religious-based views on the residents of the territories. Discriminating against the residents of the self-governing territories in this way makes a mockery of self-government. It is, in my view, yet another failure in good government for which the Coalition should be held accountable. Many Canberrans despair that our money is being lavished on the tram when other city services, including healthcare, are chronically underfunded. Canberra’s tram is as much an economic debate as it is an environmental or urban design issue. The NCA is currently seeking public comment on the ACT government’s proposal to raise London Circuit to the level of Commonwealth Avenue to allow the tram to proceed further south. The NCA will not be assessing the ACT government’s fiscal priorities nor the environmental impact of the tram proceeding further south. That is not their role. The NCA will only look at the proposal from the point of view of its conformity to the National Capital Plan; primarily urban planning and aesthetic issues. The ACT government has adopted the AWM approach of submitting its desired works application in stages. This way, for example, you might get approval to raise London Circuit before having to seek NCA approval to cut down the Himalayan and Atlas cedars further down the track. If making a submission to the NCA, good luck, but don’t think it is the NCA’s role to bring the ACT government to its proper senses. It is good to see our Agriculture Minister David Littleproud celebrating and supporting the achievements of our farmers (“Just some of the reasons to celebrate Aussie agriculture”, November 19). He refers to government investment in technologies to “strengthen their resilience in the face of ever-present challenges”. Other ways of supporting our agriculture industry would be to ban fracking for CSG mining and phase out coal mining, both of which directly threaten farmers’ water supply. Coal and gas are also emissions-intensive fossil fuels. Their use has contributed to the increasingly severe drought conditions which threaten famers’ livelihoods. Neither can farmers be expected to carry the full burden of reducing methane emissions, when the production of natural gas is a major contributor. The sooner we transition away from these dangerous pollutants the better, for agriculture and for the broader community. Having reached such a high vaccination rate and effectively minimised the threat, why in the ACT are we still testing for and recording COVID cases? Where is the logic? The severity of the threat is now comparable to the dangers of catching the flu and we don’t test and quarantine for that. The health system can clearly cope as we have abandoned masks and almost all other measures. Many of us have been less than impressed with Australia Post’s performance in recent years, so it’s nice to be able to point to some severely praiseworthy improvements just becoming obvious. This week not one but two parcels I ordered on different days from Sydney both arrived on my doorstep in less than 24 hours. Even better the notification of impending arrival for the second gave a two-hour delivery timeslot that turned out to be spot-on. I can only congratulate Australia Post (and the merchant) on implementing what seem to be truly effective systems and practices. Scott ‘Three Word Slogan’ Morrison is out now spruiking “can-do capitalism” and complaining about “don’t-do government”. Perfectly good points – capitalism is certainly what’s got us into the mess of fossil fuel companies dominating Australian politics, and the Coalition has been famous for not doing a thing about vaccines, quarantine, carbon pricing, refugees, and Robodebt. We need a new slogan. How about “must-go Morrison”? Not to harp on, but could the sociable ladies and gentlemen who, on a night out, are so wont to regurgitate their dinner and drinks onto the footpaths of Braddon and the CBD, favour curry over all other offerings. The dogs don’t like it and on the dawn walk for coffee, it will save me a dislocated shoulder or a fall as they lunge off track for burger and fries. Caden Helmers’ analysis of the Paine affair ( “Cleanskin captain no longer”, November 20) suggests that Australia’s cricket captains are held to greater account than our top politicians. So true: we learned long ago politicians only play the game that best suits themselves. Cricket, we thought, was above such chicanery. While politicians are probably beyond redemption, I trust we can still hold out hope for our cricketers. While not condoning the actions of Tim Paine, one has to question the motivations of the person who publicly released the private text messages after four years. Should the the coming cricket tour be renamed as the Sackcloth and Ashes tour? As a precautionary measure, no doubt the English captain will have his phone on aeroplane mode for the whole of the proceedings. Why are the current daily COVID statistics not classified by age, vaccination status and gender? These data must be available and clearly are of public interest It is time for the haters to give it a rest . Somewhere in my bedside drawers I have a pair of boxer shorts with the Australian flag on them . If they touch my private parts am I liable to prosecution? In 1977, I gained a position as a cherry picker. After six hours, I had picked $7 worth of cherries. I also had two others jobs, teaching piano and tutoring kids in maths. For both I charged $2 per half-hour. I had about 12 students in total. I never went back to the cherry orchard after that first day. I only have three words to say about Rory McElligott’s letter on ScoMo’s miraculous Glasgow moment (“Good heavens”, November 19). Brilliant, hilarious and spot-on! He may no longer be officially that welcome on Sky News, but it seems that post-COP26 Joel Fitzgibbon could easily win any Nationals or ScoMo-Liberal pre-selection he cared to stand for. In fact, were that to happen, Angus Taylor would have to be nervous about losing his ministerial energy and “emissions reduction” job to him. Professor Beeson (“Can China pull off greener rhetoric?”, November 18) disdains Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” as being little more than a rhetorical flourish. I doubt the professor would approve the rhetorical flourish in the article’s sub-heading calling Xi’s concept “a safer goal going forward”. The Prime Minister’s favourite saying at the moment is that “governments should stop telling people what they can and can’t do”. He has a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that this isn’t just empty rhetoric by repealing the Andrews Bill.


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