LETTERS: Drawing a line in sand on borders
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a change to the Queensland-NSW border zone, to take effect from October 1 (C-M, Sep 23).
A limited set of additional north coast NSW areas will be included in the border zone and effectively all parts of Queensland will be included in the zone.
If they have ventured into parts of NSW (or Victoria) outside the border zone in the previous 14 days, people will have to quarantine if they come into Queensland.
Residents of other parts of NSW remain barred from Queensland unless they have been outside of NSW (and Victoria) for the previous 14 days, in which case they too can enter Queensland and they too can do so without quarantining.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young puts restrictions on people coming to Queensland from areas she declares as COVID-19 hotspots.
Queensland Health explains a hotspot as an area that has had a lot of COVID-19 cases or is at risk of having a lot of cases.
Most areas of NSW have had minimal cases. Evidently these areas are seen by the CHO as being at risk of having lots of cases through people freely travelling to them from areas which do have cases.
It is bizarre that areas such as Broken Hill and Inverell are believed to be at risk of having lots of cases and their residents are a risk to Queenslanders while residents of north coast areas of NSW frequented by holidaymakers and tourists from Sydney where there have been cases (though only a few) are not believed to pose less risk to Queenslanders.
Palaszczuk, Deputy Premier Steven Miles and Young strike me as power crazy.
Ross Drynan, Innisplain
BLIND Freddy could see that Queensland border restrictions should have been eased considerably some time ago with most leading health experts saying there were no real reasons for such stringent measures to remain in place.
The recall of the ADF for other important tasks is justified.
For Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers to call the action "bizzare" and "disappointing" was puerile and unfortunate considering the excellent work the ADF does when it is called on to rally for whatever the task.
Unlike the QPS, they just get on doing what they are told to do and do it without fuss or redress.
Jim Anderson, Innisfail
IT ISN'T TRUMP'S COURT
COLUMNIST Miranda Devine (C-M, Sep 23) ignores the most important issues in her support of US President Donald Trump's indecent haste to appoint a new "conservative" Supreme Court judge to replace recently deceased "liberal" judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
It is unfortunate that the US Constitution allows the President and Senate to appoint judges for life based on the likelihood their judgments will be influenced by their personal religious and political views rather than the right of all citizens to equal and fair treatment before the law.
Ginsburg's efforts to end discrimination based on sex are now widely accepted by both the Left and Right.
While Trump's personal morals are clearly not held by conservative Evangelical Protestants and Catholics, he has forged an unholy alliance to buy their votes at the coming presidential election. This is not morally defensible.
Trump's Republican supporters in the Senate are showing extreme hypocrisy by breaking their highly publicised reasons for denying former President Barack Obama the ability to nominate a replacement when a Supreme Court judge died during the final year of his administration.
The extreme inequality and political partisanship in the US, where self-interest, rhetoric and fake news so often trump honest logic and goodwill, poses a threat to sensible democracy both in the US and elsewhere that hopefully will be resisted during the election.
Donald Maclean, Fig Tree Pocket
THE 2020 US presidential election is shaping as a train-wreck at which the first responders will likely be the Supreme Court.
For this reason alone, the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg should be urgently filled to prevent the possibility of a 4-4 deadlock on a crucial decision.
The core of the problem with modern final courts is that so many judges pay scant heed to that principle which above all should inform their deliberations - the notion of "original intent".
If laws drafted in a simpler age seem no longer fit for purpose, it is not the function of final courts (on whom there are no effective constraints) to change them.
An honourable jurist can go no further than drawing the incongruity to the attention of those who are elected to make and unmake laws.
When judges arrogate to themselves a legislative function, the law itself is brought into disrepute and the rule of law is thereby threatened.
If judges ceased to function as social engineers, it would not matter whether as individuals they were to the left of Lenin or to the right of Genghis Khan.
Under such conditions, the only criterion for selecting a Supreme Court judge would be legal expertise - and it would be irrelevant whether Ginsberg's replacement were a Democrat or a Trump supporter.
Terry Birchley, Bundaberg
CHOOSE TALENT NOT RACE
THE Queensland Firebirds and Super Netball should hang their heads in shame.
It seems they have forced Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke to apologise for selecting her players based on their ability, not their race, during Super Netball's Indigenous Round (C-M, Sep 23). What cringeworthy times we live in.
I assume the Firebirds will be forced to take the knee before their next game in a public act of contrition.
I have to wonder what other gifted and acclaimed Indigenous sportsmen and sportswomen might think of this?
How would the likes of Yvonne Goolagong, Lionel Rose, the Ella brothers, Arthur Beetson, Mal Meninga and Cathy Freeman react if it were ever suggested to them they were granted their opportunities to flourish in their respective sports on the basis of their skin colour?
Super Netball has now established a sticky little precedent for itself. How to condemn racism on one hand, and practise it on the other.
Good luck with that one.
Crispin Walters, Chapel Hill
STOP FARE EVASION ON BUSES
I DON'T know how Brisbane City Council's bus service can make a profit or even exist.
I took a trip from Loganholme to South Brisbane the other day to see my specialist.
Passengers had to use the centre door of the bus to get on and off as the front door was locked.
On my way home I sat beside the door and watched the passengers getting on and off, and the number of people who didn't use their Go cards was unbelievable.
The majority were but students there were also mothers with children.
The only way I can see to fix this problem is the old way. Have a ticket office at each bus station or have a ticket inspector on the bus.
As taxpayers the rest of us shouldn't be paying for their fares.
Ray Evans, Beenleigh South
COST OF WORK FROM HOME
COVID-19 has had some benefits. We have many people now working from home, if only for a few days a week.
This reduces the number of cars on our roads and our carbon footprint. Isn't that what we all want?
Not all private businesses or even public servants are being provided with the necessary computer hardware required for staff to do their job.
Considering the costs associated with the home-based work set-up, it can be a big ask for all employers to set up staff like in the office.
Many staff have simply opted to buy their own computer hardware, such as bigger and multiple computer monitors, keyboards, and even office furniture so they can carry out their roles safely and efficiently in their home environment.
Most are more than happy to do that, and have already done that, as they see ongoing savings in transport costs and the time lost commuting.
Let's hope that when this virus finally leaves us, those who have outlaid a big chunk of their own cash, will continue to be afforded that work-from-home option.
Allan Gray, Collingwood Park
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Originally published as Drawing a line in sand on borders