NOT FIT TO WASTE TIME ON
WHY is Tennis Australia wasting time on an anti-vaxxer? Talking of looking for a medical exemption for one of the fittest men in world sport so that the gate takings go up. Check with Serbian media, you might get the right answer. He is fit or he is not fit to play.
Michael Thompson, Hadspen.
MELBOURNE TO HOBART
MY CONGRATULATIONS go to The Examiner for its coverage of Melbourne to Hobart. Papers in Sydney, Canberra and even Melbourne are besotted with Sydney to Hobart and supermaxis.
The Melbourne to Hobart is just as much, or even more, a test of yachting skill, and is one which is admired by fellow yachties. In any sport, coming up with a handicapping formula is tricky. I spent many years teaching that to statistics courses.
My yachting is strictly recreational, but it gives me an understanding of what is happening in major races around Australia, and Australia to overseas. Unfortunately, they never get the headlines.
Roderick Smith, Surrey Hills.
CLOSE BORDERS NOW
CLOSE borders, now. Impose mandatory masks, lockdowns, whatever it takes to return us to the virus-free state before our Premier bungled and let anybody in. Oh, for Western Australia's premier! The new criteria for border opening should be when the state reaches 90 per cent of our population having three vaccinations, not two.
The third vaccination, the "booster", should mean that we could reach that target by the end of April at the latest. The extra few months would be well worth it. The politicians are tweaking definitions, isolation criteria, etc, simply to excuse the fact that Australia doesn't have the required vaccines available and distributed to meet the reduced period of boosters from six to three months.
It's all very well to point to reduced levels of hospitalisation, but with the doubling of cases everywhere, including Tasmania, the numbers will quickly overcome our already overwhelmed hospitals and exhausted medical staff.
NSW is predicted to reach 100,000 daily cases very soon.
The rest of the world is returning to impose restrictions as Omicron gets out of control. Peter Gutwein, act now to redeem your total failure to keep us safe, and to live up to your previous promise to do so.
John Edelsten, Legana.
SHORTAGES AND POOR PLANNING
THERE is a worrying pattern that we need to be deeply concerned about, where government seems to be learning nothing as we enter the third year of dealing with the COVID pandemic.
Despite being told of the great planning that was occurring at every step along the way, we didn't have enough hand sanitiser, then we didn't have enough face masks, enough PPE for our front-line health workers, enough COVID tests, enough immunisations, and now we don't have enough rapid antigen COVID tests.
This is not just the result of poor planning but an urgent sign that we need all governments to rebuild Australia's manufacturing capability, particularly in healthcare and medical areas.
Rob Soward, Launceston.
TASMANIAN IS WARMING, TOO
THE article "Northern Tasmania's top tourist spots" (Examiner, January 2) will appeal to anyone with a love for nature or cool climate wines. But climate change adds another layer. For thousands of years, modern humans have thrived in a "global climate niche", a global average temperature range of 11 degrees Celsius to 15 degrees.
A recent report published by the US National Academy of Sciences calculates that even if global warming is restricted to 2 degrees, around 1.5 billion people could become climate refugees from the hottest parts of the world by 2050.
Relatively cool Tasmania will attract new migrants, and restricting the population to 650,000 - the 2050 goal of Tasmania's Population Growth Strategy launched in 2015 - will be a challenge.
However, Tasmania is warming too. According to the Tasmanian Climate Change Office, the surface waters off the east coast of Tasmania have warmed by approximately 2 degrees over the past 60 years, two to three times the global rate.
It's clearly urgent that the world heeds the IPCC Code Red report and cooperates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions fast. This year, Australians must elect a government that gets climate science and is prepared to make climate a priority. If we don't, our natural places, no matter where they are, will suffer, and so will we.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn, Victoria.
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