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Your views: on JobSeeker, tackling climate change in SA and a germ-killing smart light

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on impending cuts to JobKeeper payments, a Liberal minister’s assertion that only the centre-right can deliver action on climate change, and a South Australian company’s move to launch what it says is the world’s first bacteria-killing smart light.

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Commenting on the story: Germ-killing smart light is a Buddy good idea

As a microbiologist, I feel I must comment on the reported performance of the germ-killing smart light. An 80% kill where pathogens are concerned is unsatisfactory as the infectious dose of many of them is low, depending on the organism anything from 1 viable cell/particle up to in the thousands.

The infectious dose can rely on a number of things including the hosts previous exposure and general immune status. Which brings me nicely to another matter – the exposure of humans to “germs”. Increasingly in children today we see a range of allergic responses often caused by their lack of exposure to immunogens as infants and toddlers. It needs to be remembered that there are far more beneficial microorganisms that surround us than harmful ones. The idea that it would be a useful thing to kill some bacteria on household items such as house keys is a spurious one and at its worst misleading if people think such a device is likely to protect them from infections.

Let’s hope that this product is marketed in an appropriate way otherwise my advice would be stick to soap and water and 70% alcohol for wiping surfaces as this will kill in excess of 99.999% of household germs. – Emeritus Professor Christopher P Saint

Commenting on the story: Nervous JobKeeper claimants should check Centrelink JobSeeker eligibility: Govt

If you go back to how it was for the unemployment benefit, people can’t survive on $750 a fortnight. To the people who complain about the unemployment benefits – well then you survive on it. There are times when you can’t even feed your family so the parent goes without. After the bills are taken out there is nothing left. Please don’t judge them: you have no idea regarding their situations. Be kind to one another. – Cathy Cox

I’m on a Disability pension. After rent, I’m left with $420. Why don’t pensioners receive an upgrade as I struggle to try to feed myself, car repairs, petrol etc? It’s just not enough. I can’t even remember the last pension rise. I’m 51-years-old and struggling daily. I know quite a few job seekers that squander their sizeable Centrelink payments on drinking, gambling and occasional drug use. What about a fair go for older Australians? – Leisa Chugg

I would like to know why pensioners aren’t treated the same as JobSeekers? A majority of them are never going to look for a job while receiving this big money.We deserve to get the COVID payment, too. Why are we any different? At least we have worked for our money, so we deserve it… – Jan Anyan

Commenting on the story: Only the centre-right can tackle climate change in SA

It is great that Minister Speirs is focussing on practical outcomes for environmental and climate change policy. The new urban greening body, Green Adelaide, has a tough task ahead of it. South Australia has the lowest levels of tree canopy cover of any major city in Australia. Other initiatives in this area, like the Greener Neighbourhoods Grants, seem to ignore the most ‘practical’ fix.

Since their introduction (by a Liberal Government), South Australia’s Significant and Regulated tree protections have been substantially watered down. Their original intention of stopping needless removal, but still allowing development has been lost. Retaining our existing tree canopy coverage should be a priority, not only from an environmental perspective and tackling climate change but also for the significant human health and monetary value that they bring to our suburbs.

The data shows our tree canopy coverage declining at an alarming rate. With increasingly smaller block sizes and a warming climate, it is becoming nearly impossible to replace each large tree lost. While the Significant and Regulated Tree Laws are the responsibility of Minister for Planning, I would urge Minister Speirs to encourage a review of the existing laws with the aim of reaching the tree canopy coverage goals outlined in the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide.

These goals are:

  1. For council areas with less than 30% tree canopy cover currently, cover should be increased by 20% by 2045.
  2. For council areas with more than 30% tree canopy cover currently, this should be maintained to ensure no net loss by 2045.

The majority of Adelaide’s tree canopy cover exists on private land and it is well recognised that there is not enough space on public land to offset the loss on private land never mind achieving these goals. This also means that many of the minister’s fantastic existing initiatives only go so far. That is why law reform in this area is so critical so that we can all live in a greener, cooler and more attractive city that supports both our mental health and the environment. – Tom Morrison

There’s great merit in David Speirs’ message to the extent that it is to depoliticise climate change and get on with practical action, building upon what SA has achieved already. Yet, political brinkmanship at federal level continues to be a turn-off for investors in clean energy.Only last week, the PM threatened to intervene in the energy market by getting taxpayers to fund a 1000-MW gas-fired power station in a marginal electorate.

Members of his government apparently have yet to attend meetings of the Parliamentary Friends of Climate Action convened by moderate cross-bencher Rebekha Sharkie MP. Are those who know it is essential for the public good to bridge the political divide on climate too busy or too timid to try?

Nationally, there’s no cohesive, durable plan for emissions reduction. Despite the national vacuum, ‘centre-right’ State Governments are demonstrating greater leadership on climate and energy than before – a very welcome development that SA seems to have pioneered.

It would be great to see a more detailed, up-to-date action plan from Speirs. The big challenge will be to get all representatives of South Australians, and ultimately, the national government, behind a positive forward-looking vision. Thanks to all the leaders – from grassroots level up – who are trying! – Jim Allen

Mr Speirs: we don’t need “more trees in the ground” – in fact, there’s not enough public land left in the city to account for what is being lost day in day out on private land. We need to leave what canopy we already have alone and provide stronger protections for trees in general. Having had the unfortunate experience of dealing with local council regarding tree-felling approvals, I know that your new “Green Adelaide“ body means absolutely nothing and that, despite what you say, State Government legislation is deferential to developers when it comes to clearing tree canopy in urban areas.

“Boldly and rapidly greening our cities to cool them and counter the urban heat island effect” means LEAVING THE TREES WE HAVE ALONE! – Alicia Siegel

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