The wrong question is being asked

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The wrong question

Courses in crisis management for company professionals stress the importance of communication and teamwork. Simulations then teach us how hard this can be when information is incomplete or confusing.

Compared with these professionals, the politicians, journalists and doctors thrust into the COVID-19 crisis were amateurs: untrained, inexperienced and underprepared for crisis management. The question we should be asking about Melbourne’s “great lockdown” is not “how did we allow this to happen?” but “why are we surprised that it did?”

And the crisis may not be over. Even now, we are making decisions that could prove disastrous, and future generations may well ask: “How did we allow this to happen?”
Mike Sanderson, Drouin

Naive thinking
There are now basically no rules for isolation – a unanimous decision of our political leaders. It is noteworthy none of these leaders has any scientific qualifications, and the medical advice has not been provided to us.
Praise for the work done by scientists and mathematicians over the past three years has been missing from the same people claiming to motivate students to study STEM subjects.

The increased risks, if unjustified, will be easily explained by politicians saying there has been a change in the environment.

The average resident shows little respect for the rules just cancelled and the thought that they will stay at home if infected with COVID-19 is naive.
Howard Brownscombe, Brighton

They’re ready to go
Progress is unlikely ever to come from protecting the status quo.

Jacqueline Maley (“Tony Abbott was a friend to working women. Yes, you read that right”, The Sunday Age, 25/9) correctly claims the federal government’s equivocations about expanding paid parental leave and childcare “just look like excuses for protecting the status quo”, and it’s time we recognised the damage such hesitation may cause.

When we’re struggling to fill vacancies during historically low unemployment, it’s surely worth looking at all measures to use the resources already at our disposal.

How easy would it be to boost the 62 per cent female workforce participation rate? Look no further than those simple family-friendly measures to enlist more working mums, and unlock an existing workforce. This opportunity for real progress must not be delayed.
Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale

Ditch the tax cuts
Surely, the idiocy of increasing interest rates and cutting taxes at the same time should be obvious by now. Particularly after the UK’s latest mini-budget. It just turbocharges inflation and guarantees poverty (and unrest).

Increase taxes sufficiently and there would be no need for interest rate rises, the cost could be spread over those best able to afford it, there would be more equitable wealth distribution and social programs would be more affordable. But even in Australia, the Labor government uses a reverse Robin Hood economic theory to further entrench inequality.

Anthony Albanese must ditch the Coalition tax cuts forthwith and increase taxes.
John Laurie, Riddells Creek

It’s easy for some
The article “Investors call for greater detail on AGL green plan” (Business, 1/10) clearly outlines the risks to investors in companies like AGL leading the pack in transitioning to renewables.

Forsaking reliable profits from traditional fossil fuel sources will frighten many investors. They will say it is easy for billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes to take risks with his investments but what about the small investor relying on dividends to fund their retirement?

Companies like AGL may need to consider shielding smaller investors from calls for more capital investment and protect their dividend income while going through this bold policy shift.

Short-term pain for long-term gain is definitely the mantra in these times when action on reducing CO2 emissions should be the No.1 priority for all companies – especially those exploiting our fossil fuel resources.
Graeme Lechte, Brunswick West

It worked for me
I recently developed COVID-19. Unrelated health issues and my age put me at higher risk of hospitalisation.

From the time I reported my positive rapid antigen test, my experience with our Victorian public health system, and the steps taken to prevent me being hospitalised, have been superb.

Phone calls were promptly answered by empathetic, well-trained staff. There was daily, proactive follow-up on my progress by nurses who had access to my medical history.

When I developed complications, the causes were quickly identified by a staff doctor, diagnostic tests organised and medications dispensed through our local pharmacy. Hospitalisation was avoided – well done, our public health service.
Graham Oliver, Camberwell

Not what they hoped for
The news that casual workers without access to paid sick leave will be stripped of paid pandemic leave sits oddly with Labor’s ambition to support the neediest.

Coupled with the determination to keep the unemployed beneath the poverty level, this decision really leaves one wondering how people in insecure employment or unable to obtain work are expected to survive.
This is not what many voters hoped for from a Labor government.
Juliet Flesch, Kew

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