LETTERS: AFL Grand Final a political diversion
COLUMNIST Mike O'Connor (C-M, Sep 8) claims the Palaszczuk government is attempting to hide its "economic woes" behind its success in landing the AFL Grand Final.
Regrettably, he has also turned his guns on Chief Health Officer, Jeannette Young, alluding, with obvious implications, to an "edict" that she has passed.
But he misses the bigger picture.
The federal government also postponed their full budget figures until October because of the havoc COVID-19 has wrought.
The Australian economy has had its biggest contraction since records were first collated in 1959 with almost $35 billion lost in economic activity since the pandemic began.
Annual growth contracted by 6.3 per cent which is the worst annual result since 1931.
Net debt is set to soar to more than half a trillion dollars by June 2020-21.
Unemployment is expected to be 10 per cent by year's end.
Another 400,000 hapless workers will be added to the one million already out of work.
Queensland is not without its challenges but remember we are all in this together.
Francis Carroll, Moorooka
NO ONE is in denial that the Queensland economy, along with the Australian economy, is in a bad way and needs resuscitation.
No is denying restrictions are playing havoc with people's mind and body and no one denies that coronavirus can be deadly.
What harm can the distraction from doom and gloom constantly highlighted in the media do with the grandeur of the AFL?
The biblical references Mike O'Connor used were dramatic to prove his points, but would be lost if you are not a Catholic, and have no impact.
However, to most Victorians, or should I say, followers and fans of the AFL code, it is a religion, for the fans are true devotees no matter where, when or how it is played.
Yes, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was at the media photo op with a football and a huge smile, as O'Connor admitted.
It was an opportunity she ran with, letting the AFL relocate here, and I'm sure ex-premier Peter Beattie would have done the same.
Coronavirus has brought out the best and worst in people, and most people are trying their best with all the changes occurring and embracing codes they may not have normally followed and are learning to adapt.
The assumption that "It's not important to the mass of Queenslanders who don't follow AFL" would be off the mark.
Queenslanders consist of many southerners who have lived here for many years (including myself) and have followed the AFL code continuously, and they are beside themselves that an AFL Grand Final is to be held at the Gabba.
It's not the "G", as all who have been there know, but AFL is alive and most would be grateful for that.
If left to stay in Victoria with the ruling of Premier Daniel Andrews, the AFL would have had the last rites administered and been dead and buried.
Let the Queensland people have a distraction from all the worry of the economy due to coronavirus or budget deficits, if only just for a magical moment.
Susan McLochlan, Caboolture South
ONE wonders how COVID-19 restrictions, such as social distancing, can be complied with, with 30,000 spectators allowed to attend the AFL Grand Final at the Gabba on October 24.
This is not that far short of the ground capacity record for an AFL match of 37,423 involving the Lions last year.
Last week, capacity for the Lions-Collingwood game was capped at just under 16,000 because of COVID-19 concerns.
Apart from maintaining social distancing inside the stadium, how will it be possible to do the same when crowds are entering and exiting the arena?
Another concern involves public transport to and from the game. Buses are usually crowded for hours before and after the event.
Unless appropriate and effective procedures are put in place, one has to be concerned for the likelihood of COVID-19 infections spreading among the community as a result of the event.
Bob Meadows, Mansfield
BUDGET FORECAST IN LIMBO
DOES Treasurer Cameron Dick think Queenslanders are a bunch of idiots?
Who in their right mind would elect a government with such a pitiful economic record without any idea of its fiscal policy?
"Vote for us and we might tell you our spending plan afterwards" seems to be Labor's election mantra (C-M, Sep 8).
Is the state prepared to buy a pig in a poke?
Next month we'll find out and if the Treasurer's assessment of the Queensland electorate is correct.
Queensland can't afford Labor's sorority of amateurs to continue squandering taxpayers' money like drunken sailors.
Richard Marman, Meridan Plains
RIGHT TO KNOW NOW
YOUR series of articles condemning Right to Information roadblocks by government departments such as police, transport and the Department of Premier and Cabinet, as well as dozens of state-owned companies, is commendable (C-M, Sep 8).
But I believe that not only should the time allowed to access RTI be shortened, it should be immediately available and never hidden in the first place.
A classic example of hiding information from the Australian public was seen a few months ago when after 45 years of requests for the release of the so-called "private letters" between John Kerr and the Queen, they were found by the High Court of Australia to not be private at all, and were subsequently published for all to see.
For too long, the public have been treated like fools by those in power, reminding me of that famous line from the movie A Few Good Men, where Jack Nicholson shouts out "You can't handle the truth".
I will vote for any major party that says that after their first 100 days in office they will give instant access to those who want RTI for any reason whatsoever.
Valdy Kwitowski, Salisbury
LEADERSHIP DRIVEN BY FEAR OF VIRUS
COLUMNIST Peter Gleeson (C-M, Sep 7) condemns the fear and alarmism behind Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's stubborn refusal to reopen the state's border.
He is right to do so. As he notes, Queensland, along with most of Australia, has, by international standards, suffered comparatively lightly from COVID-19.
No doubt, during the March lockdown, border closures might have been justified by a new virus of unknown potential danger and the need not to overburden medical resources.
But why, given the cascading economic and personal loss and damage now apparent, does the government persist in a Joh Bjelkie-Petersen-style parochial attitude without the compensatory economic benefits Joh gave us? Could it be for electoral purposes?
Polling suggests popular support for the parochialism of border-closing premiers, extraordinary as that might be.
Could it be to distract attention from a surging state debt hardly helped by growing public servant salaries?
As for those popularity figures, might they, founded on that fear and alarmism, reflect a population in peril of succumbing to Stockholm Syndrome - an irrational affinity with one's jailers, in this case premiers who prevent freedom of movement?
John Kidd, Auchenflower
DON'T CUT JOBSEEKER
I AND I'm sure many others who are on JobSeeker are starting to stress and wonder what we're going to do when January rolls around and we're back to our pre-COVID payments.
Does the government even think of the stress and suffering this is going to cause many people who have finally been able to eat decently and pay their bills on time?
These are the people who are spending the money that is helping to keep some of the shops open and people employed.
So please tell me why the politicians think it's a good idea to put so many people below the poverty line again and be a strain on the community, charities and their families.
Surely a permanent boost to JobSeeker would be a good thing for everyone.
Karen Campbell, Wynnum
Originally published as AFL Grand Final a political diversion