Bread and circuses, the AFL and politics

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Matt GoldingCredit: .

Bread and circuses
Anthony Albanese says Tasmanians deserve a football stadium. I agree with Richard Flanagan (Comment, 29/4) that in fact they deserve housing and health over bread and circuses.

Susan Ball, North Carlton

Struggle Street ignored
Congratulations to Richard Flanagan in exposing the real needs of Tasmanians as opposed to Anthony Albanese in the prime minister’s commitment of federal funding towards a football stadium in Hobart. It is appalling that the overwhelming need to look after those struggling to survive in all aspects is ignored and privileged AFL is going to gain from this. Is this right and just? Who is this government looking after?

Christine Baker, Rosanna

No shelter here
How many homeless people will the stadium hold?

Dax McHarg, Wilmot, Tas

But the Quolls may be
Welcome to the Tassie Quolls, fierce and fair dinkum.

Greg Curtin, Blackburn South

Please, listen
Yes, by all means put in safeguards to deal with abusive citizens at local council meetings, such as reported at a City of Monash council meeting last week, but what we are seeing is a desperate, aggressive plea to be heard. In the long term, we have to deal with a fundamental breakdown in public dialogue.
The signs of a breakdown are everywhere. We no longer disagree – we cancel others. We spend hours online in our echo chambers reinforcing our prejudices and fuelling intolerance. What’s more, when there is public debate, it often falls into the hands of media personalities who drive a particular agenda. As a society, we need to relearn how to speak respectfully and listen deeply to each other. We need to imagine what this looks like in political settings, at work, in schools, online and in our daily interactions with others. If we don’t, we’ll continue to see bizarre and aggressive outbursts like those this past week.

Kirk Weeden, Frankston

Money not needed
After growing up in the lap of luxury, and amassing another fortune himself, I doubt that Rupert needs or even wants his mother’s money (″⁣What Murdoch’s mother left him in her will″⁣, 23/4).

James Tucker, Greensborough

Allowing tolerance
I agree with Jon Faine (Comment, 23/4). The dictionary definition of tolerate is to allow the existence, occurrence or practice of (something that one dislikes or disagrees with) without interference.
Quite frankly, if I was the one being tolerated I would feel very offended.

Phil Alexander, Eltham

Greening car parks
In response to “Can we ‘green’ car parks? (23/4), yes we can. More needs to be done to help create healthy and liveable cities in a warming climate. For high-rise car parks, green roofs and walls with plants is the best approach and there are evidence-based guidelines to guide city planners and designers.
As a recent horticultural masters graduate, my last group assignment was to ″⁣re-nature″⁣ an asphalted car park. Tree selection can provide shade and cooling in summer to counter heat island effects and soak up stormwater runoff. Grow a variety of plants with attractive features across the seasons (leaf colour and flowers) to help passersby connect with nature, however small, which is so important with many of us living in built-up environments.

Rose Peterson,

Include asylum seekers
Isn’t it time for us to include asylum seekers and refugees as immigrants in the annual ″⁣migrant intake″⁣ and embrace them as people with skills who can make a contribution here socially, culturally and economically?
They are here already. The current cost of detention would save more than enough to pay for rapid assessment and deportation of any potential ″⁣terrorists″⁣.
The shameful politicisation of ″⁣boat people″⁣ post-Tampa dates back more than 20 years. Surely it’s well past its use-by date and we can move on to a more positive, humane and fair future for all people who come to live here?

Anne Austin, Flinders

Rooms for rent?
To ease the shortage of affordable rentals in Melbourne especially for students and people on low incomes; let’s bring back the concept of people with houses renting their empty rooms. People who live alone might like the company.

David Moran, Fitzroy

Go ahead without us
I agree with Geoffrey Robertson (Comment, 29/4). The British should feel free to perform their quaint little ceremony this week.
Just leave our country out of it.

John Rawson,

Why the intake?
Why is this government allowing another 400,000 migrants when we cannot accommodate the people who are already in Australia ?

Doug Springall, Yarragon

Voice without results
I intend to vote Yes in the upcoming referendum but with little expectation it will do much, if anything, to materially improve the lives of Indigenous Australians. It is clear that continuing down the same path as now, with the same government policies and programs, has not worked.
Something different is required and we may as well try an Indigenous Voice if that helps, but sadly I feel it will be just a symbolic gesture that makes us feel good but has little practical effect on the ground. I hope I am wrong.

Greg Hardy,
Upper Ferntree Gully

Duck for cover
If the Americans can enshrine in their Constitution the right to arm bears (as a New Yorker typo once said) then we can arm our ducks.

Greg Malcher,
Hepburn Springs

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