Unwarranted secrecy

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Unwarranted secrecy

One of the contentious matters relating to the new AUKUS security agreement is the manner in which it was secretly “hatched” and dropped on the Australian people as a “done deal” without discussion opportunities or serious explanations to be had.

I know we have seen this before on security, or even regarding “on water” matters with asylum seekers, but this mode of decision making falls far short of what should be expected in our liberal democracy.

There may be exceptions, such as a formal “state of emergency” or kinetic military attack, but this current security agreement matter does not appear to fit the relatively narrow range of occasions when such lack of consultation or even discussion is justified in our form of governance.
David Jewell, Surrey Hills

They’ve both let us down
The current Australian government does have an outdated Cold War mentality towards China and its foreign policy is too subservient to the wants of the USA.

However, the Chinese government has added fuel to the fire (and also damaged its global reputation) by bullying Australia with trade sanctions and insults.

The behaviour of both the Chinese and Australian governments has not been in the long-term interests of either nation.

We would hope that both governments could engage in some high-level, constructive dialogue to try and improve the relationship, before it is ruined.
Bill O’Connor, Beechworth

They are paid too much
Entitled tradies are paid too much if all they have to fuss about is having somewhere to take their tea break. They have a job, different to many who haven’t been able to work in this pandemic.
Raelee Hunter, Keilor Downs

Get the science right
Greens new kid on the block Piers Mitchem says “These submarines are likely to run on highly enriched uranium [HEU] – the same grade of uranium used in nuclear weapons” (“Greens pick anti-nuclear candidate to take on Frydenberg”, online, The Age, 17/9), as he prepares to take on Josh Frydenberg in the seat of Kooyong in the next federal election.

While the issue of nuclear submarines for Australia is highly problematic, it would be nice if the new Greens hopeful, and politicians in general, could at least get the science right. Nuclear submarines require 50 per cent enriched uranium-235 to operate, which is nothing like the actual 90 per cent enrichment required for nuclear weapons.

Yet again, the pronouncements of individuals vying for political office in this country demonstrate the profound lack of scientific literacy.

If nothing else, COVID-19 should have demonstrated the need for improved scientific literacy and clear messaging rather than political posturing and constant media spin.
David Kennedy, Balwyn North

Different strokes …
I’m sitting here overlooking Albert Park Golf Course watching the happy walkers with their throwing sticks and the dogs chasing the balls.

What if the owners changed their sticks for golf clubs and the dog balls for golf balls … oh, no, that would be golf, and that’s not allowed.
Keith Lawson, Melbourne

A worldwide disgrace
I agree wholeheartedly with Anne Summers (“Gillard’s treatment is our shame”, Comment, 17/9). It’s actually more than that. That our prime minister was treated with such sexist, vile, disgusting indignation was a worldwide disgrace.

When I saw Larry Pickering’s cartoons in Strong Female Lead on SBS, I was shocked and felt sick that he could stoop so low to sexualise the PM in this manner. Would he have depicted his grandmother, mother, wife or daughters like this? Basic respect for another human being and treating people with dignity and care are surely measures of a civilised society that operates with humanity. Let’s face it we haven’t just emerged from a cave, or have we?

So why can New Zealanders accept female prime ministers and love the current Prime Minister without abusing her? What is the difference between New Zealanders and Australians that allows the acceptance of a female prime minister yet we can’t?

This nation has no shame, nor do the likes of the Liberal Party and Alan Jones. Nothing has changed.
Mira Antoniou, Brighton

Spin over leadership
The latest rabbit out of the hat by our Prime Minister, the nuclear submarine deal with the USA and the UK, is another example of the lack of discussion and debate in this country.

Supposedly we have two houses of Parliament to develop, discuss and debate policy direction, but here we have an announcement that has blindsided the community and no doubt many of our elected representatives.
It appears to be another example of marketing spin not leadership, by this PM, to distract us from critical issues of mismanagement.

So many examples to choose from – sports rorts, car park rorts, vaccination debacle, quarantine debacle, the ongoing Christian Porter saga, lack of respect for women, poor refugee policy and so on … poor fellow my country indeed.
Denise Stevens, Healesville

This beggars belief
The selfishness of the construction workers beggars belief. Unlike thousands of other stood-down workers they are still raking in the big bucks.

They’re obviously divorced from reality, so while they’re having their tea and scones in the tea room (or should that be “tear room”), they can watch daily films of hospital ICUs.

If they value their job and want to keep working, get real, get vaxxed, or get out.
Kevin Ward, Preston

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