Credit:Illustration: Andrew Dyson
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THE GRAND PRIX
Let’s make the race a truly national event
Good grief. The Victoria grand prix has been cancelled again. This is an opportune time to turn it into a truly Australian event by rotating it through every capital city each year. Premiers and territory leaders could, via Zoom, have a genial discussion, without political bias, and agree to share it.
The grand prix is just a pop-up event. (It was planned to run for three days in November). It does not need multimillion dollars’ worth of fixed infrastructure such as a stadium to run it. Every state and territory has space for a circuit, also an international airport and hotels to accommodate the drivers, their entourage and fans. The other states and territories could reimburse, in equal shares, the stands, fencing and security equipment that have already been provided by Victoria. Also, as this equipment is demountable, it could be packed up and shipped off to the next city until the scheduled weekend.
It would be a great way for all Australian revheads to enjoy the show, not just those who can afford to come to Melbourne. It needs to be organised on a clockwise loop, Melbourne and then Hobart, Adelaide etc so as to alleviate any political bias. (I do not include the federal government in this organisation as it has proved it could not run a chook raffle.)
Janette Strachan, Violet Town
There is little public interest in Formula 1 races
Now that the 2020 and 2021 Melbourne F1 grands prix have been cancelled, I suggest that it is time for the Andrews government to pull the plug on the race in future. If accurate attendance figures were published by the government, I am sure they would show a decline over recent years, testimony to an accelerating lack of interest in the event. The novelty has long since worn off. Given that the cost to the Victorian taxpayer and the improper use of a public park for the event, it would be a no-brainer to cancel future F1 races.
John Christiansen, St Kilda
Federal responsibility for the loss of our grand prix
Josh Frydenberg, if your government had managed the vaccination program with a minimal degree of competence, we might have had a grand prix in Victoria this year. But it did not, and so we will not.
John Uren, Blackburn
For our health and safety, ban all large events
Well said, Joy Hayman (Letters, 6/7). I too was astonished that the Victorian government had even contemplated going ahead with the Formula 1 grand prix, including the possibility of flights for this being exempted from planned arrival caps. If it had gone ahead, it would have been another illustration that multimillion-dollar events, such as this and the Tokyo Olympics, with profits for the few, were a higher priority than the health and welfare of the majority.
We can do better. In Victoria we have only just come out of lockdown, with no new COVID cases. To help keep it that way and for the foreseeable future, we need to ban large events, with their inherent COVID-spreading risks.
Rita Thorpe, Coburg
Focus on vehicles using renewable fuel sources
It is time that Victoria stopped supporting a dinosaur sport that glorifies the smelly, dirty, polluting fossil fuel industry anyway. The grand prix originally began to further advancements in vehicle and combustion engine technology all those years ago. How about we now initiate a similar competition for vehicles using renewable fuel sources? It could be an even bigger drawcard and money spinner.
Wayne Peterken, Berwick
Taxpayers have so much money with GP cancellation
Great news. Melbourne to be spared the grand prix for another year. Perhaps Melburnians will be allowed their park back. And think of the taxpayers’ money saved. What does it cost us? One hundred million dollars a year? What shall we spend it on?
David Cunningham, Castlemaine
Melbourne’s key goals
Losing another grand prix has highlighted the fragility of our events calendar. We need to focus on our core domestic strengths to build more large-scale, local events that can withstand the loss of overseas markets, while also reinvigorating our global events-winning efforts.
Four priorities would be to: Bring back White Night, the real one that went all night, which attracted over 600,000 people in 2018 and was killed off by the nanny state. Launch the Melbourne Festival of the Car to leverage our city’s huge interest in classic cars and all things automotive.
Launch the Melbourne Bike Festival, including an Albert Park, 24-hour bike race to leverage off and celebrate this booming sport. Also, re-establish the Victorian Major Events Company (killed off in 2016) to provide a strong platform to win new events to complement the current calendar.
Jeff Floyd, former CEO Tourism Victoria, Mount Waverley
What now for our city?
What a week it has been for two Jeff Kennett-era institutions in Melbourne. Crown Resorts is taking a battering before Victoria’s royal commission. The postponed grand prix has now been cancelled. It is time for a collective sigh of relief and for some social introspection into how we want our city to grow over the next three decades.
Who would want to be defined by a gambling monopoly that preys on the vulnerable and a car race that closes down inner-city suburbs for extreme carbon emissions to enrich a few oligarchs? Mr Kennett has moved on into obsessing about his football team, and I think we should move on too.
Gabriel Dabscheck, Elsternwick
Why the secrecy about …
Why would Daniel Andrews instigate a royal commission into Crown Resorts without the terms of reference covering the gaming regulator (The Age, 7/7), when it obviously has some serious questions to answer about the way it does (or does not do) its job? Is he afraid of what might come to light?
Russell Brims, Bentleigh East
… our gaming regulator?
Unfortunately most of our politicians’ points of view are expressed too often by waffling and arm waving without disclosing any vested interests. While a royal commission is taking a good look at Crown, the gaming regulator appears to be sacred. Is there something therein that we are not to talk about, or perhaps not even to know about? Is it above scrutiny or perhaps just unclean? Surely Victoria has moved on from the murky practices of the past.
Ralph Tabor, Pakenham
Where do we go now?
In my early 80s, with Parkinson’s disease, I am like many who need some assistance to remain at home. My husband does a great job but, also in his 80s, can no longer support on his own. We have not been able to find a provider who can deliver a consistent service.
We then wrote to Aged Care Services Minister Richard Colbeck who “shared my concerns” about the system. It became clear to me that nothing is likely to change and many people like me are left without the right support. The nominated holder of my package receives 40 cents in every dollar of my package, regardless of the service it provides.
I want to stay at home with my husband but need federal aged care support. After engaging multiple providers, giving the organisations feedback and an opportunity to make change and in turn writing to Senator Colbeck, I am not sure where to go from here. I am tired and vulnerable.
Margaret Scanlon, Camberwell
The very fortunate few
If only my son were enrolled at St Joseph’s College in Sydney – “Students receive Pfizer shot ’in error‴ (The Age, 7/7) – instead of living in a supported residential service for serious mental illness and intellectual disability. He and other residents (in the vaccine rollout’s group 1b) would have had their promised Pfizer by now.
Wendy John, Malvern
The haves and have-nots
Will the staff at St Joseph’s College also get a Pfizer jab before ordinary Australians aged under 60 who must wait for availability? Privilege camouflaged with justification.
Ludi Servadei, Malvern East
Whose job is it really?
Why is a military man running the vaccine rollout? Isn’t that what the Prime Minister, Health Minister and health officials are paid to do? Is it so Scott Morrison and Greg Hunt can avoid scrutiny at press conferences? Or because the rollout has been so badly managed it is beyond the scope of those supposed to be in charge? It does not instil confidence in the process.
Jen Hooper, Box Hill
The freedom to travel
It is no real wonder that Australia is fielding its second-largest team in history to the COVID-delayed Tokyo Games. It is a way to get off the island (to another, albeit, but up, out, off and away, nonetheless).
Sarah Capper, South Yarra
Putting trust in experts
Chris Uhlmann – “The COVID lie is about to be exposed” (Opinion, 7/7) – says that it is time for politicians to “take back control from the experts”. In their support for state governments, voters have shown how much they prefer decisions being recommended by people who know what they are talking about, ie experts, rather than by people who do not know what they are talking about.
Brett Byrne, Southbank
A delicate balancing act
Why wasn’t Chris Uhlmann’s article on the front page where it belonged? The first common sense approach to the risk and reality of balancing vaccination, virus and the impacts on learning, working and life in general.
Jan Harkin, Blackburn
United, working together
Re “Businesses step up for vaccination” (The Age, 7/7). This is a perfect opportunity for unions and employers to come together in dealing with the health crisis. Ensure all workers are vaccinated at or through their workplaces. Clearly, Scott Morrison and the feds are unable or unwilling to roll vaccines out, despite the appointment of a military man to “arm” the population. The feds can then just revert to the role of supplier.
Marshall Toohey, Fairfield
Oops, Dr Coatsworth
How come Dr Nick Coatsworth doesn’t sign in when entering that cafe in the latest ad to promote vaccination? Shouldn’t that be part of the message as well?
Wendy Poulier, Ferntree Gully
MP’s shameful behaviour
Your correspondent (Letters, 6/7) says of Julia Banks: “Rather, as a member of a team who owed loyalty to a party, a more constructive approach would have been to seek change from within”.
I would not expect anyone to show loyalty to an organisation which has members who think it is appropriate to touch somebody up, whether publicly or privately. For heavens sake, Parliament House is a work place. I only wish Ms Banks had slapped the miscreant and loudly called him out. Embarrassing people like this and highlighting their offensive behaviour will stop them in their tracks.
Keith Hawkins, North Melbourne
Seeking an opposition
There is widespread censure of the federal government from everywhere – except the opposition. But do not expect trenchant criticism from Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese. The best he can muster is a cringeworthy “zinger” every two or three weeks, followed by a “aren’t I clever” grin. And policy has to be “safe” to avoid offending the ALP’s warring stakeholders, American billionaires or talkback hosts. It does not matter how bad this government gets, without a vocal articulate opposition it will romp it back.
John Laurie, Riddells Creek
The right to govern
In 1988 the Russians left Afghanistan with their tails between their legs. Now the Americans have done the same, leaving Afghanistan in the hands of Islamic fundamentalists otherwise known as the Taliban (World, 7/7). The Taliban have driven out two superpowers who invaded their country, inflicting massive loss of life on the population. They deserve to form government.
Brian Sanaghan, West Preston
Make it a simple he/she
I refer to “Quest to scratch “he” from letter of the law” (The Age, 5/7). Surely the matter could be resolved in every case by using “he/she”. That would not further bastardise the English language and, at the same time, cover those of uncertain or bisexual or transexual inclination. The use of the pronoun “they” refers to more than one person in every case.
Frances Awcock, Melbourne
The problem with ’hu’
I take on board the recommendation to replace “he” with “hu” for “human” in legislation (Letters, 5/7). However, “hu” sounds like who, especially if we use it more generally. For example, “Hu’s coming to dinner” is not going to work. However if “they” are coming to dinner, how many place settings do I need? Why don’t we try “ze” instead?
Joan Callahan, Abbotsford
It’s time to go, Jeffrey
With all the power elements of his premiership, Jeff Kennett has let we members know that “his” board at Hawthorn Football Club refused to renew Alastair Clarkson’s contract beyond 2022. Eighteen months in advance, a new appointment, without time to gain broad experience, is appointed with the rubber stamp of Kennett’s board. It is to be hoped that he will now similarly arrange his departure without a Collingwood-style upheaval resulting from a president with too much dominance staying for too long.
Jenni King, Camberwell
Please, it’s only July
I have just read, in a department store email, to “lay-by now for Christmas”. This is unfair. Millions of people have enough to worry about without being pressured about a day that is 5 months away and which will not be a priority for a long time yet.
Jen Gladstones, Heidelberg
AND ANOTHER THING
So long, GP. You won’t be missed.
Kevin Summers, Bentleigh
Victoria should be magnanimous and let SA have the GP back.
James Lane, Hampton East
Well, with both the F1 and Moto GPs cancelled, that should reduce state government debt.
Ross Ogilvie, Woodend
No grand prix = less air and noise pollution. A respite for all.
Ruth Clemens, Richmond
Julia Banks, you get my vote.
Carole Ruta, Brighton East
Give us his name, Julia.
Mary Learmonth, Northcote
Is Malcolm doing a better job than Albo? When we voted for him, maybe we were endorsing a prospective Labor leader.
Robert Humphris, Malvern
An interesting picture of Morrison (7/7). Does the barrel in the background contain pork?
Colin Mockett, Geelong
Tanya and Kristina, step up now. Julia Banks has handed you the next federal election.
Christine Hammett, Richmond
Rome had Nero. We have Dan and ScoMo.
Bruce Severns, Toorak
Surely our government has seen enough malpractice and illegal actions by Crown to withdraw its licence.
Ken Courtis, Golden Square
Australia’s problem: an incompetent and corrupt federal government and a cowed and ineffectual opposition.
Kim Bessant, Footscray
Re the PM’s four-stage pathway out of the crisis (Wilcox, 7/7). Just follow The Yellow Brick Road.
Wendy Brennan, Bendigo
Note to PM: It has always been a race. Business leaders have now confirmed it.
Giuseppe Corda, Aspendale
Will the army take control of any of the PM’s other responsibilities?
Diane Maddison, Parkdale
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