Travel exemption for shady mogul? How?

Travel exemption for shady mogul? How?

How on earth does someone who "is at the centre of several investigations and a major class action over the death of 38 residents from COVID-19" obtain a travel exemption to fly to Athens from the Department of Home Affairs ("Mogul facing legal action leaves for Greece", January 3)? Kerrie Wehbe, Blacktown

I was sickened to read about an aged-care home mogul, who lives an extravagant high life, while people died in his care, and while conditions in two of his homes “deteriorated to an appalling levels amid the [COVID-19] crisis”. This case exemplifies what is wrong with the current concept of aged care. No aged care facility should exploit its vulnerable residents in this way. There is a simple way to put this right. Abolish for-profit aged care. Mutualise all facilities, so residents and their relatives become owners and insist that quality care is provided. Geoff Black, Caves Beach

A worthy cause

Despite the challenges thrown up by COVID-19, I wish the McGrath Foundation every success with their fundraising at this year’s Pink Test (''McGrath nurse fund takes hit in COVID Test'', January 3). It is critically important we support everyone with cancer, not just those with curable early stage cancers. Like Luise, I am one of the lucky ones in that despite being diagnosed with incurable breast cancer, I too have access to one of McGrath's 20 specialised metastatic breast care nurses. However, I am keenly aware the majority of the 10,000 people living with incurable metastatic breast cancer in Australia do not have access to any breast care nurse, let alone a specialised metastatic breast care nurse. Andrea Smith, Balmain

Empty promises

Regarding the COVID-19 vaccine Greg Hunt says their goal is to under promise and over deliver (“Workplace laws may let bosses mandate jabs”, January 3). That would be a nice change from promises that remain on the shelf gathering dust. I doubt anyone believes the Morrison government is capable of over delivering, except on pre-election funding to Coalition seats. They no longer enjoy our trust or confidence, so should forget about promises and focus on governing morally and ethically. I expect more people believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy than in government promises. Graham Lum, North Rocks

Public path works

Public education again shows a student can achieve a quality education that provides an affordable pathway into a successful life after school (“Public schools produce the numbers in Sydney’s north”, January 3 ). John Cotterill, Kingsford

Not quite green

Your article makes no reference to the source of electricity required to run electric vehicles (''Energy chiefs accused of 'unjustified' electric vehicle sales forecast'', January 3). According to the most recent data on the Australian government’s energy website, nearly 80 per cent of electricity generated in Australia is from fossil fuels. Coal accounted for 56 per cent of electricity generated. Electric vehicles still rely on electricity that is generated mostly from non-renewable sources. They are environmentally friendlier but not quite the lean, green mobile machines they could be. The cost of electric vehicles, the environmental impact of recycling their batteries, road usage taxes and the supply of public re-charging facilities will also need to be refined before these vehicles present as a viable alternative. Shane Joseph, Marsfield


Heavenly stairway

Not steps but spiral stairs are a fond memory for me (''Mountain to climb: documenting Sydney’s greatest steps'', January 3). As a blow-in from the bush, my first encounter with a spiral staircase was on my first day working at the Sydney GPO (now The Fullerton Sydney Hotel). I ascended on this corkscrew from the locker room/cafeteria area, one floor above to the Interstate Telephone Exchange to bundy on for my shift. Today the spiral staircase in the Queen Victoria Building reminds me of similar flights. Gloria Velleley, Belrose

Phones too smart?

Caitlin Fitzsimmons' article should be a warning to all of us ("Smartphones dial up 'nomophobia' for 99 per cent of users'', January 3). Like the car (or EV), or the wristwatch, smartphones were invented by us and are used for our information and convenience. Most of us would feel lost, even naked, without one: we have become dependent on our own creation. I frequently see people so totally engrossed in recorded music or podcasts, via their smartphones, that they are oblivious to human vocal company. Could this presage the demise of live concerts? Perhaps even worse, smartphones are increasing in capability at such a rate that their users will need no other source of information, putting this newspaper and all others at dire risk of obsolescence. Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin (ACT)

  • To submit a letter to The Sydney Morning Herald, email Click here for tips on how to submit letters.

Most Viewed in National