Morrison’s admission that he now “doesn’t engage in day-to-day politics” must come as disturbing news to his constituents in the electorate of Cook. Does this mean that any backbencher does the same? Jan Bohan, Eastwood
On behalf of my gender, I can only be relieved that Morrison did not copy Tony Abbott and appoint himself minister for women as well. Or perhaps he did — which would explain a lot. Susanna Gorman, North Ryde
Morrison finally got something right: yes, can’t trust the government (especially his). Tanya Morton, Breakfast Point
Do we now have a greater appreciation of the character of the former PM? Anthony Grigor, Camden Park
I’m wondering why that old saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” immediately came to mind on reading the latest revelations about our former PM. David Harrold, Kellyville
The amazing part of this fiasco is that biggest ditherer (“it is not a race, not a competition”) could think that he could make decisions in so many portfolios. Winston Etingoff-Lourie, Bilambil
For a man who gave himself so many extra jobs to do, he still managed to achieve nothing.
Quite the resumé. Josie McSkimming, Coogee
For me, the truly astonishing thing is the former PM actually did something — and didn’t announce it. Peter Fyfe, Enmore
Cure for healthcare ills is obvious
Marie Healy’s reasons for stopping bulk billing present a compelling argument for the federal government to scrap Medicare payments for primary healthcare doctors and employ them on salaries in publicly funded clinics nationwide (“Why I’ve stopped bulk-billing after 20 years”, August 16). Jane Dargaville, Camperdown
The inherent goodwill and vocation of GPs serving their communities has been abused by governments for so long it has sapped the spirit of my colleagues.
The people who suffer are our patients, and the many medical students steering clear of general practice who will miss the privilege of being their GP. Ann Parker, Berrima
As a surgeon working in a busy public hospital, I think your GP’s letter highlights the crisis facing general practice (Letters, August 15). Not everyone realises the impact lack of access to a GP has on the whole health system. Our public hospitals are struggling at present, with long delays, gridlocked emergency departments and multiple cancellations, and GP issues are a major factor. Patients who can’t access a GP either present to emergency or do not seek treatment, often presenting later
with a much more complex issue. Our GPs are an invaluable and undervalued part of our health system. It needs urgent attention to attract more of our graduates and make general practice more sustainable. Bill Munro, Gosford
Emerging stories of the challenges of GP practice, as outlined by Marie Healy, are alarming for the Albanese government and all GP patients. If Healy had her time over again, she probably would not have chosen to become a GP, and it is very understandable why recent medicine graduates are veering away from becoming GPs.
It is becoming abundantly clear that, among its many areas of neglect and inaction, the former federal government has presided over the hollowing-out of Medicare. Rebates have been frozen for a considerable time, causing GPs like Healy to discontinue bulk billing, and threatening the viability of some practices. In addition, some specialist procedures have not even been allocated Medicare item numbers, meaning that no rebates are available. To add insult, the new health minister has recently discovered that the former government fudged the statistics on bulk-billing.
Voters rightly will be expecting the Albanese government to rectify the mistreatment of Medicare by a succession of Coalition governments, to restore some semblance of a first-rate universal health care system. The priority here demands that the legislated Stage 3 tax cuts be cancelled, and, as appropriate, other tax measures be either introduced or re-structured to ensure Medicare is properly funded and patients can rely on receiving health services at reasonable or negligible cost. Ross Butler, Rodd Point
ABC’s older viewers are its most valuable demographic
What absolute codswallop (“It seems Aunty has abandoned the kids” , August 16). Where are “the kids” of a Friday evening? They are out with their mates at parties, dance parties, the older ones at nightclubs, bars … wherever.
Where are the older folk who have supported the ABC through thick and thin over the past decades? Many of us in the autumn of our years are home on Friday evenings. Why? Various reasons – older age, chilly weather, creaky joints, loss of licence, poor public transport, poor health. Or, as in our case, we happily choose to stay home to be snug and comfortable after a delicious home-cooked meal, to watch the ABC.
The fact that Fran Kelly will be on what sounds to be a fabulous program at the ripe old age of 60, heaven forbid, is something to look forward to. Many of the older folk staying home on Friday nights have a wealth of knowledge about “culture” in all its forms, much of it gained over the years by watching the ABC. They have more “culture” in their little fingers than a 20-year-old hip hop artist or comedian. Margaret-Anne Hayes, Turramurra
It is true that Australian workers are benefiting in the post-COVID jobs market. Perhaps we should shut down the borders and send home the visa holders more often (“We have issues but work isn’t one”, August 16). Graeme Finn, Summer Hill
Lack of merit
Recent events highlight the farce of so-called “merit selection” (“Agent-general’s job application needed ‘massage’, papers show”, August 16). A friend of mine applied for a government position in which he had been acting for the previous 18 months. A less experienced person from outside was appointed because, as my friend was told, “he did not sell himself in the interview and the other person did”. Another friend applied for a teaching promotion in her school. She was already doing the role unofficially. She was not appointed because the principal reasoned that they already had her at the school and the new applicant would bring other skills. Sue Martin, Clareville
It seems that a great deal of “massaging” is needed to fill not only this UK job, but also the New York one. Even then, things have not gone smoothly. Perhaps the answer to the problem is to ensure there are physiotherapists on every selection panel for these senior jobs. John Slidziunas, Woonona
The world’s biggest fund manager, BlackRock, will roll out the world’s biggest investment in grid-scale batteries in a country with some of the world’s largest deposits of minerals (“BlackRock to spend $1b on batteries in Australia as coal closures loom”, August 16). That country is Australia and Melbourne company Akaysha will make them. Now that’s a good news story. Ray Peck, Hawthorn (Vic)
Like Geoff Harding (Letters, August 16), I too remember the “Teach in the Sun” campaign in the UK. My recollection is that it attracted more ridicule and humour than any rush to the recruitment office. The life-size posters showed a young man standing on the beach, legs apart and dressed only in academic cap and gown and a pair of budgie smugglers. Brian Collins, Cronulla
Your correspondent rightly bemoans and deplores parent and student abuse towards teachers and principals (Letters, August 16). Sadly, they have taken their cue from the consistent denigration of teachers by politicians. While the politicians don’t advocate the violence, the denigration serves to encourage the disrespect that some will show subtly and others more physically. In addition to the workload and salary issues that need addressing, support for schools and teachers by society in general is essential if we want our children to be well-educated in whichever school they attend.
Bill Irvine, Goulburn
I once had a parent so verbally violent and defaming that I terminated the “interview”, telling her I would not proceed until I had a solicitor present. With that, she fell stunningly silent and I walked away. The student, a troublesome Year 9 girl, remained in my class but with a very different behavioural set thereafter. Brian Roach, Whitebridge
I agree with former principal Robyn Cupitt, but the other elephant in the room is the bullying and discrimination experienced by many older teachers from senior executives and young staff who are trying to climb the promotion ladder well before their time. Bruce Cuneo, Mortdale
I have, for the past two years, been involved with a public school to assist HSC students affected by COVID lockdowns. During that time I have seen how hard the teachers work, how dedicated they are to instil a passion for learning and how often they are called upon to fill in for other teachers. The current shortage of teachers is a disgrace and a blight on our community. We need to rally behind them to again lift their professional status. Just do it. Michael Blissenden, Dural
Ride the wind
When I was in Copenhagen, pre-COVID, I was excited to see the beautiful bridge to Malmo, Sweden, featured in the excellent Nordic thriller Bron/The Bridge (Letters, August 16).
I was also pleased, if not excited, to see the line of wind turbines sweeping across the water alongside the bridge. They looked beautiful: graceful and right. We will quickly get used to seeing similar ones off our coast. Susan Jones, Hamilton
May I remind your correspondent (Letters, August 16) that Sydney Hospital, the first hospital established in Australia, was established on the sale of rum. Indeed, the crest on the hospital coat of arms contains a sea eagle perched on a rum barrel, signifying the building of the hospital financed by the rum currency. Sydney Hospital’s motto is “Ut Primus Sic Optimus”, which translated means “As the first, so the best”. John Niesche, Paddington
Man of the hour
Among the daily gloom reported, a story gives joy and hope (“Cometh the hour, cometh the Mannix, a bush footy hero”, August 15). Seventeen-year-old Mannix Hunt steps up to guide the Barcaldine Sandgoannas to a grand final victory. In doing so, he lifts the spirit of a whole bush community. John Cotterill, Kingsford
Why do we kill animals when the risk to human safety is based only on human stupidity (“Crowds spell end for Freya”, August 16)? Tim Schroder, Gordon
Let’s keep the silo art itself and the NSW Independent Planning Commission can decide the fate of the billboard (“Glebe Island billboard up in blights”, August 16). Those silos are part of our heritage, as are the images on them. Along with the few remaining marathon blue lines and Olympic venues, they are a tangible reminder from 2000 of a magical two weeks. Lyn Langtry, East Ryde
Will be done
Further to the hope that the use of “unprecedented will be abandoned any time soon” (Letters, August 15), I will add my hopes that the phrase “anytime soon” will be abandoned “in the near future” or even just “soon”. Geoff Lyons, Lane Cove
The digital view
Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
Scott Morrison, a well-primed minister for everything
From Luckorks: “I don’t hold the hose mate, but I do control the mains water tap. What a juxtaposition to blame everyone else around you but want total control.”
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