Voice details needed
Given that some Indigenous Australians are calling for more information about the Voice to parliament (″Sharing their voices″, 21/1), it is more difficult to argue that such details are unnecessary and will be determined by parliament after the referendum is passed.
It is becoming clear that many Australians, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are not prepared to simply vote for a broad principle. Many probably don’t trust politicians to fill in the details later. For Indigenous Australians, that lack of trust is well justified.
Reluctant as it may be to respond to the opposition’s demands, it seems inevitable that the Albanese government will have to provide greater clarity about the Voice.
Rod Wise, Surrey Hills
″Sharing their voices″ provides perspective on the challenges that we face in improving the lot of our Indigenous brothers and sisters. The Voice is an important step, but it is only a step. Let’s look for reasons to support it, instead of listening too much to those who push against it.
David Brophy, Beaumaris
The article ″Can we recognise ourselves? Just a year ago we persecuted Djokovic″ (15/1) is derelict in the absence of another important truth. Novak Djokovic was only in detention for nine days in the Park Hotel, where many people rightly seeking asylum have/had been incarcerated for nine years either on Manus Island or other detention centres. Djokovic’s situation at that time in no way could ever be compared to the plight of those incarcerated. We must recognise the brutality/criminality of our treatment of refugees: many still languishing in our communities with uncertain futures. We will always carry this shame – while Novak Djokovic has the freedom to play tennis.
Judith Morrison, Nunawading
It was very reassuring to hear the Qantas spokesman state that when there are engine problems during flights the policy is to always turn around rather than keep on going.
John Hennessy, Montmorency
The loss of inter-library loans (21/1) will be greatly felt in my house. With a young family of avid readers in a rural area, we rely on the service for our children to access books that aren’t available in smaller rural libraries. With no book stores in the area, it has been the library that has helped my children to read so many series of novels that we simply couldn’t access or afford to buy. I do hope it is soon restored or I will have some very frustrated readers in my house.
Donna Lancaster, Inverloch
The report ″Billions not helping to improve school results″ (20/1) is hardly surprising.
Since 2018, the MySchool website shows that total funding per student at our local government high school has increased by just $1 a student.
Yet billions have gone to private schools that have built swimming pools and sporting facilities, large school camps and grandiose halls and theatres.
The money is simply not going to the schools where it will make a difference, and our school certainly hasn’t got much bang for its extra buck.
James Thyer, Northcote
Victorian Liberal senator Jane Hume is critical of the federal Labor government for overturning a ban on the Commonwealth public service substituting Australia Day for another (″More staff opt out of Australia Day holiday″, 19/1).
She reasons that January 26 presents an opportunity to show ″unity by acknowledging our common values on a common day″, but this rationale flies in the face of a reality that increasing numbers of individuals, groups of individuals and organisations do not share those ″common values″ represented by that particular date. Under this circumstance, persisting with a January 26 Australia Day will not provide that unifying outcome that she asserts is lagging – and could cause increased disunity.
Brendan O’Farrell, Brunswick
Plan B. Do nothing
Your correspondents who suggest that filling NSW’s vacant Senate spot with Tony Abbott will ensure the Liberals’ demise (Letters, 21/1) are pressing the wrong button. The “do nothing” option would achieve the same result more efficiently and with much less pain all round.
Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale
Look at me. Look at me
Jet-skis are designed for hooning. If you watch a jet-ski and a recreation/fishing boat travelling at the same speed you will see that the jet-ski throws up a wall of spray while the boat slips through the water.
Then there is, of course, the noise. Sounding like a lawn mower with a defective muffler, the jet-ski can be heard on-shore even if it is a long way out. They are attention-seeking craft. Get a few together and the ″look at me″ competition is on.
What is the answer to reclaim some peace on our beaches? Adequate noise suppression would be a start. Maybe a governed maximum speed?
Pudding on the fits
I go into convulsions when I hear quite educated people say “the proof is in the pudding” instead of the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Peter Buxton, Somers
Fluffy, flat, useless
Humans landed on the moon in 1969, and yet now, once again, we have useless fluffy, flat balls at the Australian Open, which result in often seemingly endless rallies, to the detriment of players and spectators. This issue has been an embarrassing bugbear of this event for many years, and the boffins still cannot get it right.
Tim Nolan, Brighton
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