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Your views: on lockdown, quarantine and electric cars

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on the issues surrounding SA’s shutdown order, and fairly taxing electric vehicles.

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Commenting on the story: SA to lift lockdown early after pizza bar lie misled officials

SA Govt have learned nothing. We were lucky and should follow Victoria’s new policy. Employ quarantine staff direct and ensure they don’t have another job. It’s a no-brainer. – Chris Evans

Never waste a crisis. This crisis has shone a very strong light on serious flaws in the management of hotel quarantine, particularly in the areas surrounding employment practices, let alone hygiene practices.

Overall the state has clearly been well managed through this pandemic. But mistakes will inevitably happen and the real error is in refusing to acknowledge such basic reality.

The Victorian commission provides a very clear guidance. Those employed within the hotel quarantine system as a condition of employment should not be permitted to work elsewhere, and should be compensated accordingly.

The circus around the pizza bar employee can’t be allowed to distract from a full internal review of the current quarantine system. This should include at least one or two people who have not been previously involved. It shouldn’t take more than a week. – Jerry Johnson

Assuming it is the case the stay-at-home lockdown was triggered by the evidence of this individual, it would clearly have been worthwhile to confirm its accuracy to the fullest extent possible in the limited time available beforehand.

For example, by informing him of the seriousness of the intended response to his evidence, and asking him whether he wanted to add or change anything.  Offering him assurances that no penalty would be imposed for any infringements of the law exposed by any new evidence he might provide in the next half hour.

The authorities got this wrong. They need to learn the lesson and move forward. I have no interest in punishing the authorities for errors made in this fast-moving high-stakes risk-management scenario. However, I want them to be 100% focussed on stamping out this outbreak while minimising collateral damage, not on making excuses or scapegoating. – Catherine Birch

Prof Spurrier said the Woodville Pizza Bar was still a major concern and anyone who picked up a pizza or visited it during the alert period of November 6-16 are still at risk.

They should still quarantine and seek testing: “The message is, if you have had a pizza or gone in that bar during that period of time, you are still at risk,” she said.

“The virus is spread by close contact – the longer you are in close contact, the more at risk you are, so if you work with someone, you are more at risk.”

How does the lie actually change things, as the person worked there during the ten-day period and therefore could have infected many more people? – Graeme Crook

Thank you SAPOL,  Dr Spurrier and all the team (Tracers)  for your long and hard work. 

The very clear and concise reporting to us,  the public,  is to be commended. – Lorraine Rehn

I am alarmed to read that the pizza worker at the centre of the SA lockdown has been identified in the media as a temporary visa holder.

 This now compromises his ability to stay in Australia, not only legally, but the threats to him by members of the public may endanger his personal wellbeing and those close to him. Whilst we all have personal opinions about the actions of this man, identifying him using his visa status does a lot more harm than good. This is a very dangerous piece of information for those who intend to use it for nefarious purposes. 

The use of his visa status also inflames the way immigrants are portrayed in society; this is quite unfair given that the public does not know his entire backstory and nor should they it is not in the public interest to know precise details of his personal status.

 It is not yet proven why this man lied and whether he has any legal representation to answers questions by SAPOL for the Taskforce.

I believe it would be necessary to allow this man to receive legal advice before any further disclosure of his personal details is made public. Has he received legal advice? 

 Can we please ensure that he is legally represented, it would be a great tragedy if this man were later found deceased because of the pressure and scrutiny that is being placed on him, which could have been avoided. 

It is an emotional time for everyone and vilifying one individual is not going to serve any purpose whatsoever.

This also brings to light the great divisiveness within our society. Had this man been receiving financial assistance (which he is currently not able to obtain due to his visa status) he may not have been working two jobs to support himself.

And what do we know of the employers? Worker exploitation among temporary visa holders is rife in the hospitality industry and this is perhaps another example. Yet we victim blame (Mr Marshall sure has thrown this guy under several buses) and turn a blind eye to the structural barriers facing this man, who has to fend for himself  to survive in our society during a pandemic. 

On the information now available, as a temporary graduate visa holder he has presumably gone through the process of completing a qualification in Australia and is transitioning to make Australia his home hence, “temporary graduate”, a pathway to permanent residency). 

It is a wonder anyone from outside of Australia would ever want to step onto our shores again. – Christina Lien

I hope we here can be the voice of reason, though we may be trumpeted down by the language and purpose of The Advertiser, with its use of inflammatory language regarding the pizza worker.

Making people scared of not telling the truth isn’t going to help. What will help is creating, as our government has been careful to do so far, a climate which is non-judgemental – we only want to know what we need to know.

In particular, whether or not (my guess) this person lied because he was working beyond the limited number of hours permitted by his student visa, it is important to recognise that if people are working illegally, it will often be with the collusion of the employer. In other words, non-judgemental is the word of the day as the worker may be taking the flack for somebody else.

Encourage people to tell the truth without fear of consequences if they are breaking administrative rules. – Cathy Chua

Commenting on the story: ‘Cluster-thud’: Businesses demand compensation after ‘serious failings’ exposed

Mr Haese should take note of what Mr Gannon said. The only flaw in the process is Mr Haese’s thinking. Would he rather be embroiled in a Victoria-style lockdown for weeks, or deal with the outbreak as soon as possible.

The State acted in good faith and applied common sense restrictions in a timely manner. The lockdown impacted all of us, most of us financially in one way or another. It’s not just businesses that are impacted.

Mr Haese needs to stop grandstanding just to get his name into the media. – Bob Sibson

Thank goodness we have a whole dedicated structure working to find answers to this huge Covid-19 dilemma who don’t just sit there bleating to the media about who is at fault and where can we get compensation? – Bob Lott

Commenting on the story: Electric vehicle tax might short-circuit in Parliament

As an electric vehicle owner, I’d support user charges for all vehicle – but only if they were based on the environmental and costs incurred by the particular type of vehicle.

That would mean a substantial increase in usage charges for heavy vehicles (which cause disproportionate road maintenance costs), and diesel vehicles (which cause particulate pollution).

Conversely, electric vehicles use regenerative braking and therefore produce less brake dust than their liquid fuel counterparts.

The ACT has abolished stamp duty on new electric vehicles and provides registration concessions. It’s high time other jurisdictions did the same. – Richard Scherer

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