Compassion for a family that has suffered enough

There is no reason to pursue removal of historic and beautiful Willow Grove from its present site. Now that the gardens and surrounds of this historic home have been ruthlessly destroyed by the bulldozers, against community protest or approval, the house should remain on site and be architecturally included as a drawcard for the museum, possibly demonstrating technologies and exhibits of the past; after all, the Powerhouse is meant to be a museum. Joy Paterson, Mount Annan

The good news is that after six-plus years, the great idea of handing the entire Ultimo site over to developers has been finally put to rest. The bad news is that the buildings may have been saved but the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo as the world knew it has been cancelled. The site has morphed into a fashion and design hub. Leaving behind the Boulton & Watt Steam Engine, LOCO 1 and the Catalina flying boat in a fashion and design environment will remain a stark reminder of the great injustice that took place in Ultimo. Garry Horvai, Pennant Hills

Willow Grove is, in itself, a museum piece. Why can’t the museum be built around that magnificent reminder of the past? Surely an imaginative architect or planner can prepare a better plan for Parramatta’s Powerhouse Museum. Alison Stewart, Waitara

The government has been responsible for some of the worst heritage destruction we’ve seen. Its “State Significant Development” infrastructure programs and relationships with private enterprise have seen off, despite the protestations of community members and experts, a multitude of meaningful, unique and heritage “protected” items such as federation homes in Haberfield, the Parramatta War Memorial Pool and Royal Oak pub, the only remaining art deco residential tower in Sydney and beautiful old figs in Randwick, to name a few. Marie Healy, Hurlstone Park

Trade deal suits UK – for now

Pardon my cynicism but I would not get too excited about the most recent trade deal our Prime Minister has signed with the Brits (“Trade hype takes the biscuit but will UK goodies be any cheaper?”, June 17). It’s all happened before. They will trade with us while it suits them but, just as they did before when they found new “best friends” in Europe, they will cut ties as soon as they decide Brexit was a big mistake. We will be once again those pesky, jumped-up colonials who are required to stand in the “aliens” queue when they visit the Mother Country. Nola Tucker, Kiama

While the trade agreement with the UK might seem like a good deal for Australian farmers, it is not so good for British farmers. Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is being disingenuous to suggest Australia’s lesser animal welfare standards can be excused by environment. Feedlots, sow cages and battery cages are not used here as a response to environment, they are used for profit and because our lower animal welfare standards allow them. British farmers justifiably fear that slashing tariffs and quotas will undermine them by creating pressure to cut standards to compete with cheaper, intensively farmed imports. Judy Hungerford, North Curl Curl

Hope amid despair

Jason Blaiklock’s story is inspirational (“CEO’s story: Once I slept rough, now I’ll sleep out”, June 17). His life journey shows there is hope for those experiencing homelessness and despair. Too often people are judged harshly and written off because of their circumstances. As a young teacher I was informed by a parent that children from housing commission were lowering our school image. I informed her I was a housing commission child. John Cotterill, Kingsford

Meat is the word

The Friends of Red Meat have announced a Senate inquiry into the labelling of meat-free products (CBD, June 17). Apparently, using the words meat, mince, sausage or chicken to describe meat-alternative products is upsetting them. The meat industry must be really worried about the growing popularity of alternative meat products. I’m not surprised, as many are very tasty. A simple solution is to label all those products as “non”, eg “Linda McCartney’s non-sausages”. They could still use all the meatwords while not claiming to be meat. Dennis O’Hara, Wanniassa (ACT)

Elitists under par

The indefensible male stuffiness, exclusivity and sense of masculine superiority of clubs like The Australian Club has a long, unedifying history. It was only in 2012, after 260 years, that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews permitted seven famous female golfers to join. It had been shocked into doing so by Augusta National in the US, which itself took 80 years to invite two women, one of them Condoleezza Rice, to join. Such bastions of privileged little-boy mentality do have
a right not to move with the times, as John Hewson says (“Gents in suits can’t rule modern world”, June 17), but it is at the cost of public derision at their obtuse irrelevance. Ron Sinclair, Bathurst

Rather than deride the members of the Australian Club, we should thank them for confirming that the myth of egalitarianism is just that, a myth. As for the women who have been snubbed, we are fooling ourselves that their acceptance would have marked a moment of change. It would simply have further entrenched the elitism for which the club stands. John Balazs, Randwick

No protection

In response to your correspondent’s query (Letters, June 17) about why footballers do not wear headgear as protection against head clashes, this is because there is, at best, disputed evidence that headgear does provide such protection. The brand of football with seemingly the worst record of concussions is the American NFL, where players wear helmets. My understanding is that headgear helps marginally, at best, because concussion injuries are generally caused by the head coming to a sudden halt, while the brain inside the head remains subject to the forces of inertia. Basically the head stops but the brain keeps moving until it whacks into the skull. Unfortunately headgear does not offer much of a solution to thatproblem. David Markham, Flynn (ACT)

Your correspondent is making incorrect assumptions about the protective power of headgear for footballers. There is no evidence that soft padded headgear provides any protection against the concussive injuries of head clashes or the head hitting the ground. They are equivalent to having a layer of thick hair or skin. At best they protect against soft tissue injuries to the scalp. The real damage done to the brain is the movement of the brain inside the skull. In fact, even the hard helmets worn by NFL players in the USA offer no protection and have almost encouraged players to use their head as an offensive weapon in a tackle. Note the terrible history of brain damage in these players. Pauline Paton, Centennial Park

Productivity problem

I can’t think the Coalition, during the coming election campaign, will make use of the information provided by the productivity commission that the past decade has been the worst for economic growth in the last 60 years (“Fall in productivity costs Australians $11,500 each”, June 17). Inop position, though, they’d be having a field day. Peter Cox, Gerringong

Cannot be Sirius

Brutalist, modernist architecture is appealing after all (“Sirius money: buyer snaps up $35m unit”, June 17). Philip Cooney, Wentworth Falls

Something fishy

Does a fish really rot from the head (Letters, June 17)? If so, by cutting off the head, can one prevent the fish from rotting? Don Leayr, Albury

Entitled jabkeepers

Which parliamentarians, over the age of 50, have been given the Pfizer vaccine in contravention of their own rules for the rest of us (“Vaccine shopping could delay rollout, GPs warn”, June 17)? Rod Miller, Epping

Defy directions

GPS doesn’t have to stop you discovering new places (Letters, June 17). We sometimes “disobey” and turn on to a random side road. The GPS never asks you to turn around, so it plots a new paths. We’ve made some wonderful discoveries. Try it some time. Bruce Horsburgh, West Pennant Hills

Where’s Gladesville?

With the move of 300 ABC staff (“ABC to relocate 300 staff to Parramatta” June 17), one can only hope the newsreaders will stop referring to Gladesville as “north-west Sydney”. Stephen Driscoll, Castle Hill

The digital view
Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
‘People are shopping around for preferred vaccines’: Rollout causes problems for GPs
From SWG: ″⁣Of course people are vaccine shopping. The way the government managed the Pfizer/Astra Zeneca debacle hasn’t filled many of us with confidence.″⁣

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