Duck season: A kind of tourism not welcome in this state
Victoria remains the only state that supports duck shooting (″Labor MPs voice ire over duck shooting″, 3/9). This means shooters from other states will flock to Victoria, increasing the numbers of native ducks and other bird species sentenced to maiming and death. This kind of ″tourism″ is unwelcome and makes a mockery of the Andrews government’s impending recognition of animals being sentient – meaning they have the capacity to feel and perceive their environment.
Jan Kendall, Mt Martha
There is no benefit to the regions
Regional Victorians are at last being heard by one-third of the Victorian Labor Party who have stood up to ban duck shooting. Duck shooting has no benefit to regional Victoria and is threatening the much more viable and sustainable nature tourism sector. Water bird populations have been in decline for years, and it is time for Victorian Labor to stop cruel duck shooting permanently.
Mae Adams, owner-manager, Venus Bay Eco Retreat
Come see what the choice really means
Daniel Andrews’ comment that Victorians are ″free to make the choice″ to kill our native birdlife for fun (or play golf) demonstrates ignorance, negligence and lack of compassion towards animals, the environment and regional communities. I invite him to come to our property during duck-shooting season to see the cruelty, disruption, destruction and pollution our natural wetlands and community experience.
Liz Filmer, Sale
Intelligence ducks for cover
Duck shooting is widely misunderstood. It’s a manly sport where the shooter can take his gun, hide among the bushes, set a decoy plastic duck on the water, use a duck-imitating whistle to attract the birds, shoot at them and then send his dog out to retrieve the terrified, helpless prey.
Upon retrieval, the bird’s neck can be quickly broken. Then the shooter can head home and tell his partner, ″Guess what I did today, honey? I outsmarted a duck!″
John Capel, Black Rock
Take a swing at compassion, premier
Ross Hudson (Letters, 4/9), thank you for trying to educate the premier on the difference between duck hunting and golf. Such a comparison indicates a lack of compassion or guilt, just ask any Victorian who sees the slaughter of our native birds and the disruption and pollution our fragile wetland environments and regional communities endure during duck-hunting season.
Elizabeth McCann, Newmerella
Bring the cruelty into the election
Forget the politics – duck shooting is just plain cruel. It’s heartbreaking to see helpless birds with blood oozing from wounds, bones shattered, eyes pierced, yet alive and abandoned.
In an average year, a third of a million native ducks are killed in Victoria, with tens of thousands left wounded. The Game Management Authority admits that wounding is an unavoidable part of duck shooting.
Fewer than two in 1000 Victorians are active duck shooters. As a woman, I object to my taxes heavily subsidising this ″sport″ for a noisy but declining group of men. In what sort of society does the infliction of pain qualify as ″recreation″?
There’s never been a cost-benefit analysis for duck shooting. Its supposed economic benefits are based entirely on unverified claims from shooters themselves.
Other states have outlawed duck shooting because it’s cruel. I urge all women – and empathetic men – to make this an election issue in Victoria.
Joan Reilly, Surrey Hills
A selfish plea
The Melbourne City Council is behaving very selfishly urging businesses to bring workers back to the city centre to give a economic boost to the shops. No thought at all for the smaller local suburban shops that gave good service throughout the lockdown and still do to the ″work from home″ customers.
Meg Paul, Camberwell
The future is electric
The call for “private enterprise to urgently step up and take on the challenge of backing green-energy projects” (“Private investment key to green energy”, 4/9) is timely. It segues strongly with Treasurer Jim Chalmer’s comments that the interest of superannuation policy fund members, funds managers, the interest of the budget and of the national economy are intertwined, if not inseparable.
Ross Garnaut and others suggest money is to be made by investing in decarbonising, presenting an opportunity for private enterprise and superannuation fund managers to put their heads together. It may well be that as superannuants we can be energised by the prospects of investing in an all-electric future, enriching us at every level.
Karen Campbell, Geelong
Tax me more, please
Please, increase my taxes and charges. I am a 76-year-old who has lived a comfortable life.
I have ongoing employment with a salary of just under $100,000, have a good super balance and together with my wife own our own house in country Victoria. In the past 20 to 30 years I have observed a widening rift between the rich and poor, a decline of the social security system, the loss of bulk-billing medical services, a reduction in funding for research and the ongoing loss of habitat and biodiversity.
We desperately need more money for health, aged care, disability services, housing and a declining public service. On top of all of this we have the massive challenge of climate change. I implore the government to discard the proposed stage three tax cuts and instead consider increasing the taxes and charges for all of us who can afford to pay a bit more.
Clem Sturmfels, Ararat
Field of excellence
Vince Rugari (″School teacher gets top marks″, 4/9) quotes Sydney Swans footballer/teacher Robbie Fox: ″You forget how hard it is to manage 24 kids for the whole day.″ I hope an outcome of the jobs summit will be a teachers’ pay increase for their Australian economic and social contribution that matches that of elite athletes.
Andrew Smith, Leongatha
Be brave on skills
The increase in the income that pensioners may earn by $4000 is a step in the right direction but it does not go far enough. The new limit of about $12,000 equates to less than a day’s pay a week for a skilled person. The government needs to take brave action and not baby steps to fill the skills shortage.
Barry Lizmore, Ocean Grove
Halve the tax cut
Here is an idea Anthony Albanese. Halve the amount of the stage three tax cuts and use the money saved to pay off debt and support low and middle-income earners. I’m sure the wealthy would still appreciate a windfall in their pay packet.
Paul Chivers, Box Hill North
Simon Gardiner (Letters, 2/9), while I acknowledge convent living was severe for many women and children, I would like to present another side of Abbotsford Convent. In the early 1950s, my sister (around 10 years) and I (pre-school) lived there for over a year. After living in war-torn Italy and shunted around many camps, the nuns provided us with safety, security, predictability, food, warm beds and a nice garden and meadows to play in. It was a community and everyone knew who we were. The nuns we knew were smart women who managed the convent and school as well as any large corporation. Our memories are more positive.
Grazia Marin, Essendon
There was a winner …
Serena Williams was beaten in three sets by Australian Ajla Tomljanovic, who had to contend with a vocal and one-sided crowd. At the end of the match, Serena was interviewed at length, while Ajla was left unnoticed and alone by her chair. Serena did not once mention her opponent, let alone congratulate her.
When Ajla was finally interviewed, she spoke eloquently and sincerely about Serena and her achievements, but there was still no recognition from the interviewer (or the crowd) for her own performance.
Margaret Smith, Point Lonsdale
End the space race
With world fuel and energy not only in short supply but ultimately finite, and prices increasing accordingly, can anyone please explain why we are wasting energy wholesale by sending rockets into space? To what end? Haven’t we done enough damage to our planet without fouling up space? If the money spent on the space race was used to improve our environment we would all be better served.
Helga Anderson, Black Rock
The efficient factor
Productivity, the word of the moment, is being used by many commentators either as a pejorative term or in a misleading way. It is neither simplistically ″more pay for less work″ nor ″less work for more pay″ (Letters, 2/9). The key sentiment behind productivity is efficiency.
The term better embraces the notion of increased benefits for given inputs, working smarter, and raising the quality of work and, concurrently, of the products and services it produces. Sustainable wealth can only flow to employers and to workers alike when businesses are competitive, flexible to change, innovative, skilled and contented – in other words, efficient.
Dennis Richards, Cockatoo
Longer consultations with doctors increase wait times but are better for patient outcomes. By abandoning bulk-billing, doctors can spend more time with individual patients, and so provide more comprehensive service, as they are no longer pressured to run quick, six-minute bulk-billed consultations (“Bulk-billing crisis drives up GP wait time”, 3/9). By remunerating doctors who bulk bill more for longer consultations, medical outcomes would be improved, so community need for so many GP services would be reduced with potential to improve wait times and to be cost neutral.
Dr Harley Powell, retired,
Green the city
Even though Sally Capp’s Greenline project is now smaller, it is still good value for money and worth doing (“Business analysis shows river project stacks up”, 3/9). Melbourne and Sydney have the least tree cover compared to other Australian cities. A study, conducted by the University of Technology Sydney, found that Hobart was the “greenest” capital city in the country, with 59 per cent covered by tree canopies, whereas Melbourne was lowest at 13 per cent.
The benefits of trees have been well-documented and financial support from the state government, which continues to chop down our native trees in great numbers, must be forthcoming. And as Rory Hyde, associate professor of architecture at Melbourne University asks, “What price can you put on returning life to the river?“
Ray Peck, Hawthorn
Digest these facts
Thank you Jessica Irvine (4/9) for advising that we don’t need expert financial advice for simple matters, but the analogy falls a bit flat about heart surgeons and indigestion. As a young doctor I was in theatre once with an eminent cardiothoracic surgeon who was performing a thoracic approach to fundoplication, as surgical management for gastro oesophageal reflux (indigestion), before there were useful tablets to take. Be careful – sometimes indigestion isn’t reflux, but is incipient cardiac disease.
Dr Clyde Ronan,
Move more on animals
Agriculture Minister Gail Tierney and the Victorian government are to be congratulated on the proposed legislation to protect animals from cruelty. So why stop there? Horses being whipped, ducks wounded and dying after lengthy periods of injury. All sentient beings like us.
Michael Appleby, Geelong
Kicking own goals
A plainly incorrect decision has directly resulted in a team’s elimination from the AFL finals. The ARC system responsible for the decision was intended to prevent plainly incorrect decisions from occurring.
Brisbane won and the result should stand but football fans deserve more than the AFL’s cynical offering.
One might expect an acknowledgment of the error (or at least that there was some ambiguity) but, true to form, the AFL stated the correct call was definitively made. We can only hope that this is just another case of the AFL stating something it does not actually believe to support its officials and that action will be taken behind closed doors to prevent this from happening again.
Although this approach is typical for the AFL, it is wholly inadequate and doesn’t even attempt to address the legitimate grievance felt by Richmond supporters. How can justice be seen to be done without an admission that a failure even occurred?
Edward Smith, Prahran
Night and day
With the finals in progress, once again as in recent years, most of the games leading up to the grand final will be played under lights. But the big one will be played during daylight, lessening the viewing experience through sun glare and shadows from the stands if it is a fine day. Why is this so?
John Rawson, Mernda
The roar of the wave
If you hold the MCG up to your ear in September you can hear the ocean.
Elizabeth Long, Collingwood
AND ANOTHER THING
Can we consider the tax-free threshold of $18,000 annually as the starting point for how much pensioners can earn before their pension is affected? It would be equitable and less confusing.
Melanie Carter, Largs Bay, SA
Workers were better off when a lot more of them were members of trade unions.
Malcolm McDonald, Burwood
The fact that Opposition Leader Peter Dutton and many in his party vetoed the Jobs and Skills Summit, shows how little concern they have for the needs of those they represent.
Betty Alexander, Caulfield
It would be a pleasant change if the new government can find someone other than a retired army officer for the next governor-general.
John Walsh, Watsonia
It is great that Bryan Fraser got an ″amazing″ response just for buying a coffee (Letters, 3/9). I think it’s ″awesome″ when someone says ″too easy″ when I buy mine.
Greg Hardy, Upper Ferntree Gully
And then there are those times when you order your coffee and the barista responds, “Too easy” and proceeds to give you something you didn’t order.
Claire Merry, Wantirna
It seems schadenfreude comes in blue and white too. Magpies could now be ailurophobes methinks.
Mark Morrison, Camberwell
That wonderful phenomenon that rolls in every September. You can set your watch to it. The Colliwobbles.
Damon Ross, St Kilda East
Will LIV golf show what a legitimate alternative it is to mainstream golf and form a women’s tour? Don’t think so.
Paul Miller, Albury
Ajla Tomljanovic. Grace personified.
David Cayzer, Clifton Hill
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