An unworkable idea

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An unworkable idea
In “Time to breach gates and claim the courses” (The Sunday Age, 27/9), your journalist suggests golf clubs should be “forced” to open for golf only between 10am and 3pm daily.

The rest of the day, there would be public access, “walking the dog, wheeling a pram, kids playing everywhere”, which overlooks the wear and tear on the courses with these suggested activities.

Given it takes on average four hours to play a round, that means one hour of tee times. With six-minute intervals, that means 10 groups of four , 40 players, only, per day, or 80 if there’s a two-tee system.

It’s unworkable, clubs would have to close.
Doug Perry, Mount Martha

It would be a magnet
Opening up Northcote Golf Course would allow many inner Melbourne children and adults to connect with nature and refresh their spirits.

The restored bushland habitat along the adjoining Merri Creek could be readily expanded, creating a wildlife haven for wallabies, kookaburras, echidnas, butterflies, and fairy-wrens. A new wetland, hgperhaps in the original Merri meander that looped across the site, would be a magnet for people as well as frogs, turtles, ducks and herons.

As suburban ‘‘densification’’ proceeds and backyards disappear, such an oasis will be invaluable for maintaining our sanity.
Ann McGregor, president, Merri Creek Management Committee, Brunswick

Where the blame lies
Watching what can only be described as unbelievably irresponsible behaviour on our beaches, it becomes even more apparent that no leader, government or organisation can control the behaviour of selfish individuals despite rules, regulations and pleas to common sense.

This behaviour further entrenches the notion that the blame for our current predicament needs to be firmly laid at the feet of individuals who refuse to follow rules and regulations and those who encourage them to do so.
Graeme Gardner, Reservoir

Got it in one
Annie Wilson (Letters, 3/10) says it all in her one-sentence letter – “We could have 100 royal commissions into aged care, all with damning findings, but nothing will change while profit comes before people.”

But it’s not just aged care, it’s the deplorable behaviour in banking, insurance, financial advice, the energy sector … the list goes on.
The privatisation of the TAFE sector for example, resulted in mind-boggling profits at taxpayers’ expense, destruction of a once enviable system and huge debts for students who gained nothing. The shameful state in aged care is just another example of destroying the public sector.

When shareholders are the primary motivation in a system that can be manipulated and the tax liabilities minimised, it enables the wealthy to exploit the community. It has become a system devoid of morality and driven by greed.
Bryan Long, Balwyn

At a crossroad
With mental health in Australia being pushed to the front of our consciousness in this era of COVID-19 the new Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma further emphasised the need to connect outside of the unrelenting and unhealthy landscape of social media (‘‘‘It just makes you want to throw your phone in the bin’’’, The Sunday Age, 27/9).

As a teenager and user of social media, this year in particular has presented to me a crossroad; removed from the university environment, am I to further disengage with my peers by laying aside social media or will I continue to use it despite the risks to my own mental health?

I chose to delete Instagram, which while disconnecting me from some has overall served as a welcome respite from the carefully curated and edited feeds of Instagram and reality TV stars.

But perhaps the bigger question is whether social media should actually prevail as its addictive nature and ability to shape the world continues to have an impact on our health and the fundamental nature of true connection.
Georgina Martyn, Port Melbourne

Where’s the protection?
In the 1950s, my father-in-law planted a dozen or so trees in the family’s Caulfield North garden – an English migrant, he was amazed at the rate of growth in Melbourne.

Last week all but one of the trees were removed by the property’s new owner. At a time when the planet needs all the help it can get, it seems extraordinary that the local council doesn’t have protections in place for established species.

Ideally, development and conservation work together hand in hand. My in-laws’ trees might have been enjoyed by the broader community for decades to come.
Oliver Dennis, Armadale

The reality is different
An orchestrated campaign by the National Party and agriculture interests recently claiming labour shortages picking fruit and vegetables is plainly transparent. The focus has been squarely on overseas and transient labour. A prominent Shepparton orchardist joined the chorus on ABC news at the weekend.

The reality is very different. Unemployment in the Shepparton region is sitting at 6 per cent.

There is no shortage of regional labour, but there is a shortage of fair pay and conditions in the agricultural sector, which has exploited cheap, transient labour for decades
Nick Roberts, Shepparton

Not built for this
Hotels are not built to quarantine people. They do not have anti-microbial surfaces, doors opened with the feet or windows that open at all. Deep cleaning is impossible because hotel rooms are often heavily furnished and carpeted.

Our forebears had it right – they had purpose built and staffed quarantine facilities. Even medieval Europe had quarantine facilities. Considering the alternatives, urgently building such a facility would be money well spent.
Janet Cohen, Caulfield North

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