After all the justifiable outrage this week about secrecy in government, the state government continues to treat the public with absolute disdain by refusing to reveal how much taxpayer money is being gifted to the multi-million dollar rugby league industry for the grand final (“Grand final up for sale in Super Bowl-style deal”, August 18). “Commercial in confidence” is another name for secret pork-barrelling. The people have the right to know how their money is being spent. Rob Phillips, North Epping
Public money for sport should go to bodies that boost female and Indigenous participation, create positive role models and reject homophobia. There should be a national funds pool, allocated by federally appointed decision makers. Hosting right disputes between state politicians and sporting officials have become grubby. Don Morison, Katoomba
Why should the NSW government (and the public) pay for the improvement of football ovals for the exclusive use of the wealthy and professional rugby league association? They make millions each year in sponsorships and TV rights. So let the rugby league pay for the upgrade of their own football ovals that are locked up day to day and not open for the use of the public. Helen Simpson, Curl Curl
The state is in debt and the money that would be wasted on stadiums needs to be used to improve the lives of all the people of NSW, not the few people who run sports. Why doesn’t the NRL do what the AFL did, and build their own stadium. Robert Pallister, Punchbowl
I would far rather see my taxpayer dollars spent on health, education, flood relief – in fact, almost anything rather than NRL infrastructure. If you want new stadiums, fund them yourself. Chris Hogg, Bathurst
The premier says he “will finalise as soon as possible”: NRL, two weeks; flood victims, six months and counting. Harold Kerr, Millers Point
It is ironic that the new premises of Atlassian, a giant modern technology company, resembles nothing more than an old-fashioned, untidy spool of string ( “Team anywhere lays anchor with tower in ‘silicon hills’”, August 19). Heather Johnson, West Pennant Hills
It is a bit hard for many of us to sympathise with Michael Koziol lamenting the fact that millennials, having turned 40, are now “solidly middle-aged” (“It’s time to face the fact: Millennials are now old”, August 19). Spare a thought for those of us have never heard of bands such as San Cisco and Client Liaison, but our memories of the Doors, Cream and Credence Clearwater help us remain middle-aged forever. Peter Nash, Fairlight
Reading the obituary to Peter Jeffrey Higgins, ornithologist, made me yet again aware of the wonderful number of Australians who do remarkable things but we never hear of them when alive (“Ornithologist wrote the book of Australian birds”, smh.com.au, August 19). I also occasionally see gems among the death notices. Keep up the praise of unrecognised heroes. Katriona Herborn, Blackheath
For poetic brilliance, linguistic mastery and psychological insight I nominate George Herbert, whose sacred songs have stood the test of time (Letters, August 19). Meredith Williams, Northmead
Perhaps with a little imagination we can reach some common ground: My heart aches, Maybellene, and a drowsy numbness pains my ding-a-ling. Roll over in some melodious plot, Beethoven, you never can tell what flowers are at my feet. Away! away! For I will fly, with no particular place to go. George Manojlovic, Mangerton
Dumping of Indigenous cultural centre a debacle
After the biggest cultural infrastructure spend in generations, why is it so hard for the NSW government to commit to an Indigenous cultural centre in the Cutaway that reflects the aspirations of First Nations people (“State dumps plan for Indigenous centre”, August 19)? The government has spent $380 million at Walsh Bay but can’t find, in its tiny policy heart, the will to support an Indigenous cultural centre. It is condescending to presume the Museum of Sydney can be rejigged for Indigenous culture. This is a museum designed to interpret the first Government House site. It is hard to think of a less appropriate place to celebrate and discover Indigenous culture than the museum that marks the site of European power and occupation. Is this cultural debacle about control or money? If it’s money, the government could always use some of the wasteful $500 million it is blowing on the unnecessary demolition and development of the former Powerhouse Museum.
Kylie Winkworth, Newtown
Way to go, NSW. Abandoning the stunning, uniquely Australian backdrop of the Cutaway as “Buruk”, an Indigenous cultural centre, for yet another sterile, modern culture, developer-centric concept, is pathetic, but certainly not inconsistent. Robert Caraian, Crows Nest
The area surrounding this golf club has some of the heaviest traffic in the whole of the eastern suburbs (“Waverley weighs in on drive to stop Royal Sydney renovation”, August 19). The loss of 600 trees will be catastrophic for the wellbeing of humans and wildlife. The majority of the replacement trees promised are shrubs that, besides looking “pretty”, will have little to no benefit for the wildlife. The community’s shade and cooling benefits, toxic filtration, water absorption and ambience will also be lost. There has to be a point when these issues have precedence over money, greed and profit. Mary Richard, Maroubra
Floods and fears
I was in Lismore during the flood. I saw houses around me with water up to their eaves (“Pain on the plains as residents weigh up limited options”, August 19). I heard the army helicopters that were rescuing people from rooftops. What I didn’t see was the ongoing trauma to children. The eight-year-old boy who, every night, packs a bag in case he needs evacuate; the young girl who asked her mother what is the word for “fear of rain”. These are the stories that are not revealed. Mary Dunne, Ocean Shores
The need for a better model of care for people with chronic and complex diseases is urgent (“A one-stop shop, from GP to specialist”, August 19). With so many people unable to afford the gaps charged in private specialist practice, the answer lies in a marked increase in public hospital outpatient clinics, with medical specialists supported by expert nurses and allied health professionals.
This needs to be part of a major overhaul of the all but non-existent integration between general practice and the public hospital system, the barrier to which is the split jurisdiction, with public hospitals funded and run by the state, and out-of-hospital care by the Commonwealth. In partnership, GPs and specialists can develop novel care models of benefit to patient, GP and taxpayer, some ideally based outside the hospital environment.
In February 2019 the ALP announced that it would create, if elected, an Australian Health Commission to break down the Commonwealth/state divide with the funding of increased access to hospital specialist consultation as a first priority. Time now to implement both. Graeme Stewart, Palm Beach
Uprising around the world
How interesting that there’s reportedly a civilian uprising as a “mortgage strike” in Communist China because housing real estate “has become a source of discontent and anger” and is becoming unaffordable in the current internal economic circumstances (“Chinese home owners boycotting mortgage payments as economy sinks”, August 19).
Any mounting “acts of public defiance” in a nation with a population the size of China, and under an authoritarian administration, is possibly an ominous signal for potential internal disruption and upheaval. However, if this is happening in Communist China, it prompts the question of why there’s no civil uprising against our sustained national housing disgrace in such a small, wealthy democracy. Robyn Dalziell, Kellyville
Your correspondent is correct to ask “who moved beyond classical Anglicanism?” It is the modern
progressives who have moved and rightly so (Letters, August 19). They have moved in response to the vast increase in human knowledge about ourselves and our place in the universe that has occurred in the past 300 or so years. In seeking to reinterpret classical orthodoxy, they are following St Paul, who brilliantly reinterpreted the message about a radical but obscure Jewish prophet to make it intelligible to people living in a different and more sophisticated, Greek-speaking world. He did not change the core devotion to Jesus and his values but he did adapt the way people thought about Jesus. I am sure he would be both cheering on and admonishing the modern progressives from the sidelines. Graeme Sanders, Summer Hill
The Protestant Church was formed after disagreement over doctrine with the Catholic Church, and they have co-existed for centuries. Neither side of the Anglican Church will concede due to a fundamental disagreement over their understanding of Scripture. The best way is to live and let live, and for both sides not to judge, and leave that to the One who knows all hearts. Mark Olesen, Ryde
It is sad that nowhere in the letters from members of the Sydney diocese hierarchy is there a mention of the word “love”. That concept is central to both of the two Great Commandments given to us by Jesus Christ. Peter Wotton, Pyrmont
Your correspondent will need a very large committee for her project Pedants Unite (Letters, August 19) if she is to make even a dent on the deliberate mangled spelling of trade names, and that’s before getting to ordinary given names now appearing in a dozen different guises. Joan Brown, Orange
Your correspondent bemoans the spelling of an Australian company. She’s not alone as I too am a pedant regarding English. I believe, however, that where a company wants to stand out from the crowd and where it wishes to trademark its name, it is better for them to have any or all of: a unique way of spelling that name, or a unique combination of words, or both. Perhaps your correspondent could write to the company in question and ask why they chose that particular spelling for their name. Peter Butler, Wyongah
Bad spelling and grammar does not only make me grind my teeth, but roll my eyes. In my case, it is not just pedantry but a health hazard. Dorothy Gliksman, Cedar Brush Creek
Shouldn’t it be Pedants United? Chris Roylance, Paddington (QLD)
Signs of spring
The first koel in Northwood, NSW: 6am, August 19. Bill McLaughlin, Northwood
Just when we thought federal politics was getting boring, and too “nice”, Scott Morrison comes to the rescue, correspondents joked.
For some, the “hysteria” surrounding Morrison’s multitasking – i.e. appointing himself as minister to five other portfolios – was “sensationalist”. “I am disgusted with the media’s obsession with their fairy tale story of the former PM’s supposed attempt to become the sole ruler of our nation. How does their hatred of the man let them become so delusional?” wrote one correspondent.
Morrison’s supporters were hugely outnumbered by letter writers expressing their outrage about the Cook MP’s secretive behaviour. “We now know why Morrison could not hold a hose,” wrote David Wallace of Castle Hill. “His hands were already full as PM and as minister for numerous other portfolios. I’m assuming it was humility rather than an overdeveloped need for control that led him to keep it secret.”
And while Vicky Marquis of Glebe is looking forward to the one-man show Morrison the Miracle, Phil Peak of Dubbo has us worried – just a little. “I have appointed myself to the position of letters editor at the Herald. I am waiting in the wings should the incumbent become indisposed for any reason. I may never have to exercise any of the duties of the position but if I do, rest assured, dear readers, that all letters will be well scrutinised before publication. If you are an ABC viewer, a Wests Tigers fan, a cat lover or a devotee of lime milkshakes you may find your letter receives favourable consideration.” Pat Stringa, letters editor
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