Labor’s undignified attack on Premier shows lack of respect


situation. Berejiklian has served this state well in spite of the carnage that is the Coalition. Maggie Kirkpatrick, Brunswick Heads

Illustration: John ShakespeareCredit:

The recent spectacle of Berejiklian in Parliament attempting unsuccessfully to answer questions from opposition members was reminiscent of heckling crowds in Life of Brian, ironically men dressed as women. As a GP often helping those dealing with the mental health aftermath of such bullying I felt great compassion for her and admiration for her in managing to stay composed. Most of us despite not always supporting her political decisions could not help but admire her service during the bushfires and dealing with COVID. Some compassion is called for until the truth of this modern day tragedy unfolding before our eyes is revealed. Louise Dolan, Birchgrove

I don’t necessarily barrack for either side but the persistent interjections, nay hectoring, by the Member for Swansea and especially the Leader of the Opposition during question time in Parliament on Tuesday did little to endear them or enhance their cause or party. Juvenile delinquents are better mannered. Madam deputy Speaker’s countless warnings and calls for order were both inept and futile. What a deplorable display by all involved. Berejiklian is the Premier and a human being. On either count, let alone both, she is entitled to respect. Edward Loong, Milsons Point

Give the lady some slack! George Fishman, Vaucluse

A private personal life is one thing, a secret one another

There is a key difference between keeping your personal life private and keeping it secret (Letters, October 14). Many people in the public eye manage quite successfully to keep their partner and children out of the public glare. Julie Bishop has walked this tightrope skilfully over many years, choosing when and where to let the media into her life. But attempting to maintain a secret personal life is always fraught with danger as the Premier has found out. This is where her lack of judgment surfaces. When she sacked Daryl Maguire in 2018, she should have immediately made their relationship public. As Premier, it was a duty she owed to her colleagues, her party, the Parliament and the people of NSW. There was a clear potential for a conflict of interest, if not a real one, at that point. Richard Horsburgh, Ashfield

If the Premier had disclosed her relationship with Maguire to either the NSW Governor and/or the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, she would have gone a long way to mitigating perceptions of conflict of interest. She would also have provided herself with a person with whom she could seek advice if she was unsure about a specific situation. Deborah Evans, Marrickville

Does the Premier’s behaviour pass the pub test (“Premier’s lover fixed pub meeting ministers refused“, October 14)? Peter Mahoney, Oatley

Many communities will remember Berejiklian for her arrogance. Communities whose only crime has been to seek to preserve their heritage. Indigenous, colonial and natural heritage are routinely disregarded and destroyed. Community assets such as pools, parks, bushland are arbitrarily given over to stadiums, toll roads or high-rise. Community consultation is a one-way conversation. Adverse findings from parliamentary inquiries count for nothing. Much permanent damage has been done, much of it for corporate gain. I don’t see this government’s attitude changing any time soon. Bob Edgar, Westmead

Illustration: John Shakespeare

Illustration: John ShakespeareCredit:

The woman who has successfully steered us through this health and economic crisis has fallen in love with the wrong bloke. As a result, governance of NSW is being held hostage by two men, one a discredited former Labor leader, the other a man who enjoys shooting elephants for fun (”Leadership in balance as Maguire faces ICAC”, October 14). Ain’t love – and democracy – grand? Peter Skinner, Beecroft

Steve Smith was suspended for 12 months over the ball-tampering scandal and told he could not be considered for leadership for two years for essentially saying the same thing as Gladys Berejiklian. That is: ”I don’t want to know.” While I know the job of Australian cricket captain is more important than leading the state of NSW, surely the same standards should apply? Andrew Cronin, Robertson

Half-baked energy policy makes everyone a loser

For years we have been hearing that we have been losing billions in renewable energy investment in this country because we lack an energy policy (“Renewables held back by arbitrary government policy“, October 14). Now, on top off this lack of leadership, this government is granting millions in taxpayers’ money to prop up an ageing power station that will close in 2029. It was bought for $1 million from the government and subsequently valued at $720 million. What happened to not backing winners? ​Peggy Fisher, Killara

The heart of the matter is that to be on the road to a renewable energy economy we will need to make inroads at the next elections and invest in renewable politicians. Steve Dillon, Thirroul

So it seems coal is dead and gas is dying (“Old king coal dethroned by solar power“, October 14). Yet our federal government seems wedded to outdated fossil fuel technology, while doing everything it can to stave off the future green alternatives. This stubborn resistance to reality is a legacy of Tony Abbott’s disastrous leadership and the continued flow of donations from the fossil fuel industry into party coffers. Time for them to move on, or move out. Neil Ormerod Kingsgrove

Save our ferries

I live in Manly. When the east coast lows come in, the South Steyne ferry holds up against horrific conditions despite waves coming over the bow and hitting the fly bridge. As a regular commuter to the Quay, I feel safe, if not a tad squeamish. These Queens hold 1100 passengers and the proposed new line only 400.

Andrew Constance is the member for Bega. What personal knowledge does he have of harbour crossings, notwithstanding that he is a fine politician? The ferries are built like Fort Knox. Years ago, the hydrofoil and jet cat were cancelled regularly but not these Clydesdales . They are the work horses of the ages. Why not refit these icons at Garden Island or Nowra and provide many jobs at a time when jobs are at a premium? I implore the state government to rescind this decision. John Partridge, Manly

It’s really sad to read about the South Steyne, unloved and rotting away. She was a mighty ship built in Scotland during the Great Depression and sailed to her home port of Sydney under her own steam. This meant that on the first day of her long service plying the harbour she already had 22,000 kilometres on the clock. Stewart Smith, Tea Gardens

Sub-standard conduct

It is no wonder that the voting public has lost trust in politicians and no longer listens to them. The revelation that the public were told our new submarines would cost $50 billion when it was known by the Finance Department that the real figure was much higher is truly shocking (“Defence ‘lied’ over true cost of submarines”, October 14). Just think how many schools, hospitals, disability services, university places, aged-care services and medical procedures could have been provided with this known cost overrun of billions. This from a government that says it should be trusted to run the economy efficiently and do a better job than the Opposition. Anne Parkes, Balmain

Snail mail

Despite all the advances in the modern world, it appears that, except for encrypted electronic communication, the most secure method of conveying information is a letter in a sealed envelope (“Australia Post could be forced back to daily delivery“, October 14). As a doctor, I decline to fax or email referrals of a confidential nature and ask that those who may send them to me do not. One incorrectly entered letter or number can have someone’s private details ending up at the local hairdresser. Limiting postal deliveries has increased the time it takes for me to receive important information, and for my patients to obtain things such as scripts or results in the mail. With Australia Post’s current profits having “soared” I can see no justification for the cost-cutting step of limiting deliveries to every second day. Ruth Ratner, Northbridge

Truth in numbers

In his analysis of Australian governments’ dealing with the pandemic, Chris Uhlmann describes as “ridiculous” the fact that European Union countries keep their borders open while Australian states close theirs (“The harsh lessons the pandemic has taught us”, October 14). He glosses over an important fact: European union countries suffer thousands of infections and many deaths a day. Australian states do not. I would consider this a wise, not ridiculous, management decision. Naomi Roseth, Mosman

Group testing

I can see how Julie Power and others may be conflicted by their need for multiple medical assessment of the disease (“Am I weird or wasting resources to get a COVID test?”, October 14). I would think given the infection rate of coronavirus, one can never be too cautious – particularly when testing capacity in NSW has not been a limiting factor. It is interesting to note that countries experiencing high rates of the virus with limited resources have started using a strategy that was first proposed in World War II – group testing. Testing samples from many people at once has shown to save time, chemical reagents and money. Jack Dikian, Mosman

No merci

In the 1950s our Form 1 French teacher, a religious brother who seemed to be about one page ahead of us in the text book, would hold periodic “clean-up sessions” – his term for vocabulary tests (Letters, October 14). At the conclusion of a test he would administer one cut of the cane for each mistake. Strangely, his style of teaching did not engender a love for the French language at the time. Sacré bleu! Gerry Foley, South Turramurra

Teachers sometimes gave the cane for seriously bad behaviour and sometimes for trivial indiscretions. Once, for the latter, I was targeted for a caning in front of my class. Feeling somewhat unjustly judged, I invited the punisher to “give it your best shot” to the cheers of my classmates. He did and quite brutally. Afterwards I looked the punisher in his eyes and told him his efforts were “pathetic”, he could “do better than that” and he should “have another go”. To even more cheers from my classmates I held up my now injured hand in invitation and anticipation, however, the punisher, looking confused and demoralised, scratched his head and exclaimed: “Moffat I’ll never understand you,” and then he stormed out of the room to the wild cheers of my classmates. I was never caned again. Phil Moffat, Allawah

ICAC cracked

One has heard of documents falling off the back of a truck but electronic devices destroyed by a tractor is a new one for me. A mobile and a tablet, one under each front wheel (“MP’s devices destroyed by tractor: ICAC”, October 14)? Leo Schofield, Potts Point

Is this a rural MP’s equivalent of “the dog ate my homework”? Philip Cooney, Wentworth Falls

A Guy is a Guy

There’s a song for every occasion. Doris Day nailed this one with “my secret love’s no secret any more”, when she sang Secret Love in Calamity Jane. Eerily prescient? Vivienne Mackenzie, Port Hacking

Party people

I wonder if Scott Morrison would be so forgiving of a Labor premier who maintained an ongoing relationship with a partner who was subject to a corruption inquiry (“Key questions emerging from Berejiklian’s scandal”, October 14)? Greg Thompson, Bega

Consider how Julia Gillard would have been treated if she had been in Berejiklian’s circumstances. Trevor Taylor, Port Macquarie

Office romance

Rule No.1 of all workplaces. Never have a relationship with a fellow colleague. It pretty much always has a messy ending. John Swanton, Coogee

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