Credit:Illustration: Andrew Dyson

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I was injured by a careless rider who then ‘legged it’

The trial of electric scooters in Victoria is being extended (The Age, 30/1). The riders are supposed to obey the road rules and wear helmets. Too often, however, they force pedestrians to either give way to them, or be hit. It is not only car drivers who assume they have right of way over pedestrians on all occasions where there are not explicit pedestrian crossings sign posted.

And in the interests of full disclosure, I am one of the hospital statistics. I spent two nights in hospital and had surgery because the rider of an e-scooter decided that he should block the bike path when I courteously let him know I was about to pass him on my (non-electric) bike. Rather than stay and help, he picked up his e-scooter and legged it.
Anne Rutland, Brunswick West

Will our roads be safe with influx of e-scooters?

So the e-scooter trial has been pronounced “an enormous success” by Roads Minister Melissa Horne and the government will now allow them on public roads from April 5. I just cannot guess what will happen when hundreds of unlicensed, uninsured, unidentifiable scooter riders with no requisite understanding of road rules start to mix with Melbourne’s traffic.
Don Relf, Mentone

A green approach but laws must be enforced

Every day I see violations of the electric scooter laws. While I can see the advantages for the environment of using scooters, at the same time their lawful use should be enforced. At least two people were killed in crashes involving private e-scooters in Victoria last year, and data from Monash University’s Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit shows more than 400 people were admitted to hospital in 2021-22 because of e-scooter accidents.

The scooters – or helmets only – are also left, without care, on pavements where it impedes the way for pedestrians; particularly the elderly and those with low vision. If there are laws for the common good, they should be enforced. The enforcement rate is woeful.
Dr Elizabeth Dax, Fitzroy

Force hire companies to offer no-fault insurance

E-scooters certainly are good if they help to keep polluting cars off the road. The problem they cause to pedestrians, however, has been ignored. According to your article, the insurance of scooter hire companies Lime and Neuron is void if a crash occurs while a customer is riding on a footpath or using the device illegally. And the government spokesman says public scooters will not be covered by a public insurance scheme, which is also the case for bicycles. There is no reason, however, that the government can not force the hire companies to provide no-fault insurance. What is the government frightened of?
Ross Hudson, Mount Martha

Who is responsible for the dumped scooters?

E-scooters etc are potentially beneficial, but can we clarify who regulates “abandoned” vehicles: police, local councils, other? To whom do I report a footpath-blocking vehicle, and who is liable – the renter or the company that owns it? These will become important questions if the vehicles are mainstreamed.
Keith Gove, Hawthorn


Stop the persecution

Richard Boyle (The Age, 28/3) has been caught out in an unfortunate reverse trifecta. In the first instance he was confronted by an employer, the Australian Taxation Office, engaging in an abuse of power. In the second instance by an employer who demonstrated an incredible incompetence in investigating his public interest disclosure. Now, in a third instance, by a judicial officer who has assumed all whistleblowers should be experts in black letter law.

In my respectful view, Judge Liesl Kudelka of the South Australian District Court has erred in her understanding of the legislation in two ways. Firstly, the Public Interest Disclosure Act was brought into existence to protect an employee, “David”, calling out an agency, “Goliath”, when it was apparent that Goliath was doing wrong. And the parliament did not expect David to be a king’s counsel.

Secondly, the act of making a public interest disclosure is an intellectual exercise that involves making a decision to blow the whistle, gathering the facts to ground a disclosure, preparing the disclosure and then tendering an allegation. Judge Kudelka’s judgment suggests it is just the handing over a document.

It is my view that the decision should be appealed to a superior court where more senior legal minds can re-examine the issue, mindful that whistleblowers are to be protected by the law, not subjected to a financial and psychological beating because of it. Finally, if I am wrong about the judgment, then the law is wrong. Irrespective of all that, Boyle is a hero, and federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus should use his Judiciary Act powers to stop this persecution.
Rex Patrick, former senator for South Australia

Dreyfus must act now

I have previously expressed my admiration of Richard Boyle’s courage in following whistleblower protocol in calling out wrongdoing at the Tax Office. Now I offer my full support to Kieran Pender’s excellent article (Comment, 28/3) and urge the attorney-general to stop the trial of this great Australian.

Boyle has suffered horrendously for five years. Mark Dreyfus, I have long been an admirer of your support for social justice. Please act now. Whistleblowers must be protected. Failure to act will lead to greater timidity in government departments and corporate Australia in calling out wrongdoing.
Charlotte Brewer, Shepparton

Wrong time for a rise

Here we go again – “Government backs minimum wage boost to meet living costs” (The Age, 31/3). The Fair Work Commission must look forwards, not backwards. As inflation starts to ease is not the time to grant a wage increase based on historical price rises.

An increase measured against future price expectations guards against wages not going backwards, but it is too late for that now. Anything else is compensatory hindsight and only likely to fuel inflation, thereby encouraging a circular wage-price spiral.
Douglas Shirrefs, Yea

Come on, fair’s fair

Would that company profits and CEOs’ salaries and bonuses were held to half the CPI or better still, nothing, as the big business lobby always advocates for workers.
Judy Loney, Drumcondra

Put fans’ wishes first

Sam McClure talks about “anti-night grand final crusaders” (Sport, 30/3). May I remind him that according to the annual AFL Fans Association survey (The Age, 6/3), those so-called crusaders represent the views of 73 per cent of footy fans.
Tim Wood, Doreen

The right to play footy

What a brilliant, life-affirming moment Bulldog Jamarra Ugle-Hagan provided on Thursday night, with his match-winning, five-goal haul and symbolic stance against racism. He followed up the performance with a quotable quote too: “I’m just a boy trying to play some football.” All players should be afforded this basic opportunity, free from the taunts of racists.
Matt Dunn, Leongatha

Towards a cleaner game

Maybe it is time the AFL ditched its gambling promotions during televised games and at the games, and replaced the time with an education campaign about supporters’ racist and booing behaviours. Even Collingwood coach Craig McRae has said “I’m not a booer”.

The campaign should require every club to write to all their members and include all clubs’ social media and websites. Perhaps it should be ongoing so it is front and centre in people’s minds. We do not want another Adam Goodes episode.
Mira Antoniou, Brighton

Many renters are hurting

The elephant in the room with the rental crisis is the enormous number of properties that have switched from long-term rentals to the short-stay market. It amounts to tens of thousands of properties across the country. While it is the landlord’s right to do this, the government should look at offering incentives for landlords to return to long-term rentals if it is serious about fixing this crisis.
Jeremy Bartlett, Thornbury

Risky travel for media

I can understand why Daniel Andrews did not take journalists on his visit to China. Journalists searching for their “gotcha” headline may endanger their personal safety in a country that locks up provocateurs.
Peter Carlin, Frankston South

Our state’s man of action

Give me a premier that gets so much done for Victoria (maybe his success entitles him to a little arrogance) over one that marks time and does nothing. State politics is very different from federal politics and those problems of sanctions, human rights et el should be left to the federal government.
Judy Kevill, Ringwood

Deeming’s work and role

Your correspondent says Moira Deeming has been suspended from “her parliamentary duty and responsibilities” (Letters, 28/3). In fact, she is still able to attend parliament and represent her constituents’ interests. She has simply been suspended from attending the Liberal Party room for nine months and has lost her position of upper house whip in the party, which is perfectly entitled to take such measures when it deems (no pun intended) them necessary.
Alan Bailey, Camberwell

A justifiable response

Your correspondent says Aunty Joy Murphy’s comment – “This has caused grief that the community will be left to deal with long after Mr Obama has left Australia” – after she was dropped from the former president’s speaking event in Melbourne “seems an overreaction” (Letters, 30/3). Am I really reading this response in 2023?
Merrin Kelly, Connewarre

Hard hit by the GP

What is happening to Melbourne when the demand for trams to move crowds to and from the Grand Prix (that slavish and unprofitable cult dedicated to the car) is seen as more important than providing vital public transport services on tram route 11 (incidentally nowhere near the Grand Prix)? The route 11 bus replacement from Coburg to St Vincents Plaza would be better suited to be used on the petrol heads visiting south-side. Yarra Trams needs to check its priorities.
David Grant, Northcote

Our obligation to vote

I was surprised by the “open letter’ from Nye Coffey, the Australian Electoral Officer for Victoria “strongly encouraging” Aston residents to vote in the byelection (The Age, 31/3). Isn’t voting still compulsory under the law in Australia, and not something that needs to be encouraged?
Peter Kay, Carlton North

Slowing down the drivers

Re “‘Little’ streets fail to stop car clash” (The Age, 30/3. Solving the problem of motorists refusing to share these streets and obey new speed limits can be easily fixed by strategically placing some speed humps and permanent “road safety cameras” in them.|
Mark Kennedy, Sebastopol


Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding


Donald Trump being finger printed – I’d like to see that.
Reg Murray, Glen Iris

I would like more detail on why the opposition leader is being so divisive on the First Nations’ Voice.
Louise Johnson, Richmond

The Voice: Yes. It’s time.
Teresa McIntosh, Keysborough


Perhaps Andrews went to China without a journalist because he hopes to come back with one.
Simon Clegg, Donvale

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like journalist scorned.
Geoff Hall, Somers

Is Andrews’ trip minus a media presence a version of Michaelia Cash hiding behind a moving whiteboard?
Mary Cole, Richmond

I suppose we’ll get the belt again. I don’t want it. I haven’t liked it ever since primary school.
Ken Courtis, Golden Square

Now is the time to observe the Andrews regime’s ritual burning of public monies at Albert Park. Enjoy the conflagration.
Kevin Summers, Bentleigh


Kerri Sackville (31/3) and I belong to different generations but share a deep disillusionment with the US. As world leader, it’s lost its credibility.
Tony Haydon, Springvale

Allowing Daisy Pearce (31/3) into the opposition rooms before Geelong games would be akin to handing over your game plan to Chris Scott.
John Nash, Altona

It’s a touch ironic that mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has taken legal action to stop mining on his family farm (31/3)!
Tom Stafford, Wheelers Hill

Nineteen Eighty-Four all over again. It appears Winston Smith’s job is secure with the rewriting of our literature.
John Old, South Melbourne

Re the coronation. Charles, just keep repeating “only working royals …″⁣
Anna Summerfield, Bendigo

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