Australia

Viral state of origin bordering on the ridiculous

In the interests of perpetuating the traditional and essential animosity between NSW and that state to the north, can I point out that Queensland's rate of testing for COVID-19 is far below that of NSW on a per-capita basis. The Queensland Premier may say that "there's more community transmission down there" ("Border war: 'dreary' NSW v 'ridiculous' Queensland", May 17) but on a per-capita basis, Queensland's testing rate is less than half that of NSW. We are the ones who should be wary of letting the untested masses from the north flood into our carefully checked state.

John Croker, Woonona

Illustration: Matt Golding

Illustration: Matt GoldingCredit:

John Barilaro and Dominic Perrottet discredit themselves and embarrass us by criticising Queensland for putting health and safety first. Our northern neighbours had every right to close their borders. NSW is in no position to tell Queensland how to manage the virus, considering the Ruby Princess debacle. Arguments continue as to who is responsible for these gross errors of judgment but there is no escaping the fact that it occurred in our state and on our watch.

Graham Lum, North Rocks

While Queensland remains determined to annex itself from the Commonwealth, does it run the risk of becoming a banana republic?

Garth Clarke, North Sydney

Crop-growers must cotton on

Those who grow water intensive crops like cotton and rice do so on the driest inhabited continent on the planet (''Cotton all pumped after rain transforms dustbowl'', May 17). This unsustainable production is driven by large corporate agri-businesses who seem to callously plunder our environment. Then there’s our supermarket duopolists who gut our primary industries by forcing farmers to complete solely on price, with the ‘best practice’ benchmark set by a third world subsistence farmer. The decision makers of these big businesses don’t care about the people, the cultures or the environments their decisions are damaging. They only care about shareholder profits.

Graham Hansen, Denistone

Political pugilism

John Barilaro says “I realised all I have done since I have been leader is fight.” (“Barilaro regains his confidence to stay in politics”, May 17). That statement typifies the cultural behaviour across politics. It took a world-wide pandemic to get politicians to actually work together. Surely the time of the 'biff-up' politician has reached its use by date. If we continue to accept that politics is about “fighting” to get ''their way'' through the system, then the system needs to change. This new world now upon us needs to be led by people who know how to work together, not tread over each other in a rush to get their own two-dimensional victories. Can a leopard ever change its spots?

Neville Williams, Darlinghurst

Between the epiphanies of Andrew Constance and John Barilaro, the Eden-Monaro section of the Princes Highway may well be renamed. Will we see a flood of political pilgrims on the Road to Damascus?

Michael Holland, Turlinjah

Poverty portents

Steven Hamilton presents convincing arguments for improving the structure and extending the duration of the JobKeeper program ("JobKeeper must go the distance", May 17). Similar arguments could be applied to the JobSeeker allowance, which the Morrison government has decided will revert to the pre-pandemic allowance of a manifestly inadequate $40 a day. One would hope that our Prime Minister would not want to be remembered for casting more than a million Australians into poverty for the sake of his government's financial balance sheet.

Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin (ACT)

Selective truths

The prediction that parents driving kids to schools will clog the roads (''Transport to feel pressure from full-time school'', May 17) combined with the revelation that two inner-Sydney selective schools have kids from more than 150 postcodes attending, shows the selective system is broken. Surely now it's time to face facts and revert to the original design that had students meeting the cut-off criteria only attend their closest selective school, diminishing the cost to taxpayers and commuters.

Allan Kreuite, Roseville

Migration mirage

Your article (''Labor MP wants more partner visas to lift economy'', May 17) leaves out an inconvenient truth. Labor already tried a “massive” increase to migrant visas at the last election, via their open-ended parent visa. However much Labor may expunge this Shorten-era episode, it’s a matter of record that voters weren’t buying. Rather than respond upfront to Kristina Keneally’s migration salvo, Anthony Albanese is hiding behind Andrew Leigh and Julian Hill.

Stephen Saunders, O’Connor (ACT)

Julian Hill says “regional Australia especially needs people who will settle down, buy houses, send their kids to school and become active community members”. That fairly accurately describes the family from Sri Lanka whom I last heard we had imprisoned on Christmas Island. Perhaps he could help them return to being those people in their community.

Mavis Steele, Port Macquarie

Football news:

In the network appeared pictures of the new guest form Arsenal. Its texture resembles marble
Luis Suarez: Coming back from an injury is always difficult, a little scary
Alexander Zinchenko: training In Manchester City is just murder. People are fighting for a place in the line-up
Antoine Griezmann: Winning La Liga and the Champions League with Barca is a dream. I would like to finish my career in the USA
Agent Dembele: I Don't think Ousmane will leave Barcelona
Real intensified in the negotiation of Kamwenge. The club wants to sign midfielder Rennes in the summer
Jan-OGE Fjortoft: Liverpool dropped out of the competition for Werner for financial reasons