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Your views: on lockdown, banana waste, Formula E and sole traders

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on reactions to SA’s shutdown, a local firm’s growing success, an electric Grand Prix, and claims small businesses should grow and hire.

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Commenting on the story: ‘Gobsmacking… travesty’: Liberal MP unleashes on own party’s handling of the shutdown

Thank goodness that at least one Liberal member, Nick McBride, can see past the blame game. One worker could not and did not shut down the State.

The government is making too much of using 20 SA Police resources to distract attention from their mistake.

Interstate experts immediately discounted the proposal that the virus had mutated and could be transmitted within 24 hours.

The resources would provide a better service by thoroughly investigating hotel quarantine and the error made by the committee to shut down SA. – Peter Vandepeer

The problem is the escape of the virus from the medihotel – not the pizza boy. It’s a waste of time having 20 police investigating that.

Put those resources into finding out how the virus escaped. And if they refuse to change the system, investigate daily rapid antigen testing of the hotel employees. – Mark Sheppard

This man is speaking the truth. Of course they have pinned it on one man. I thought it was a massive overreach in the first place.

We should have great concern how this government is managing Covid. We had a state free of it and we are flying in active cases. The pizza guy works at a hotel where some of these active cases live, but he must have caught it while buying a pizza? Really.

The simple answer is very often the best. Investigation should have taken place immediately. Rather late now I suspect, even with 20 detectives? Sounds like bullshit to me. Graham Bartlett

Good people, in hindsight, made a poor decision. They excuse this on their obligations to protect the community and for that we should probably forgive them.

However, those who lost out, mainly traders, self employed and contractors, should be compensated by the same community for which the poor decision was made for. – John Gibson

Lessons learned: Pay medi-hotel staff enough that they don’t need to work elsewhere.

It’s a risky job we’re asking them to undertake and it’s infinitely cheaper to subsidise their pay than to impose a sudden hard lockdown on the whole state.

Don’t put the blame on a foreign student who has been very deliberately left out of all Australian COVID-19 support arrangements, for not daring to admit to an under-the-counter job.

Test all medi-hotel workers weekly or as frequently as is needed to ensure any transmission of COVID-19 is rapidly identified. 

Relax! It could have been a lot worse. Ingrid Vogelzang

MP for MacKillop Nick McBride – stop making this a political issue. We in South Australia are some of the most fortunate people in the world. 

We the people care, our health authorities care, our police care and our government cares. No-one can afford this virus, let alone the shutdowns which result in wastage.

I challenge you Mr McBride to come up with a solution for businesses being able to sell/dispose/share their produce so it does not go to waste.

Think outside the square and stop putting down those who are caring the most. – Maria Morris

I have always thought that Nick McBride would have the intelligence and conscience that I am used to associating with the McBride family.

 Throughout this pandemic, South Australia has been the envy of the other states in how we have handled the threats arising from the virus. No doubt Nick has revelled in being able to point to how “his” party has been performing.

“When the going gets tough the tough get going” is a well-known phrase which Nick is applying to his colleagues – he’s going public and trying to make a name for himself . Well congratulations Nick, you have made a name for yourself which no doubt will be remembered by the electors come the next election.

The Transition Committee is working around the clock seven days a week attempting to keep the state ahead of the game. Nick McBride is prepared to condemn their behaviour when they are striving to stay ahead of the virus. Although they made the call to enforce the close down the investigators did not ignore all possibilities by going back to re-look at the facts with which they had been presented and detected the anomaly.

The committee acted on the facts as they knew them at the time and when they found out the correct situation immediately went public and admitted that they had been conned.

I really feel for the many small businesses which have suffered serious losses as a result of this episode – I have seen large businesses flout the directives to their own advantage so do not consider that they will suffer at all. As usual it’s the small guy who suffers.

Had the contact tracers and medical scientists involved not discovered this evidence we would still be in lockdown whilst they chased imaginary rabbits down non-existent burrows and our economy would be even worse off.

Nick, next time you open your mouth, change feet. – Ian Sando

Commenting on the story: What went wrong? Seven days that changed SA

Very interesting. Not everyone was critical of the media – here is my Facebook comment after the press conference:

Astonishing stuff on TV tonight – someone at the virus media conference asked about the logic of people working at a quarantine hotel having a second job. This was the root of the Victorian disaster but SA’s police chief suddenly became very defensive of this behaviour. Politics emerging you would have to imagine. – Ian McIntosh

The article was very long, full of details and full of implications. I think we sometimes forget that all the major characters in this drama are human and prone to error, especially when put under pressure. Indeed, many a reporter has been ‘duped’ as you have put it, by someone who was trying to relate an untruth.

A systemic approach is what is required to manage situations such as this and one has been applied quite effectively, just take a look at the current caseload for evidence of that. No system is perfect, that is why there is a notion of continuous improvement applied, especially in public health and cyber security.

This account comes across very much as a “he said, she said” account and conjures up images of two people gossiping over the garden fence about something or someone. It also implies that the media are innocent in all this. It’s a fact of life you need conflict to generate news so you can attract viewers, listeners or readers. Based on that observation I would argue they ask inflammatory questions to generate news, and I would concede this isn’t always the case.

When we look at the overall situation as it stands now, I would much rather the overreaction for three days than a widespread outbreak in our community. Thank you to the health and government authorities, and to the media as well. – Bob Sibson

Well done! Sound account of great failure by the entire public policy making apparatus. – Bob Catley

Are you going to run the special report by Tom Richardson everyday this week?

Extremely biased. How the authorities have managed to do anything let alone control a disease in a pandemic is amazing, if Tom’s extraordinarily long piece is any indication as to their competence.

I am sure that Tom is a very good journalist and normally rises above the pack mentality that is witnessed when journalists are craving that “one big break” but this article is very ordinary. Don’t try to tear down the people who are doing their best. – Wayne Powell

Great summary. There seems a serious reluctance of certain media to examine the Government’s actions, and more so their inactions.

Why? Maybe fearing retribution? Breakfast radio has been weak on the main three (Marshall, Spurrier, Stevens) whilst FIVEaa mid-morning much more forensic. We miss Matt Abraham’s forensic analysis and probing questions. No Today Tonight and a Seven News that now repeats news and advertises itself to fill time. Oh for a Peta Credlin. – John Lewis

The disease started with the ABC and now everyone is catching it, including Tom Richardson who has gone one step further. 

We no longer have ‘authorities’, we have ‘governing authorities’. Please, when will it ever stop? – Matthew Buck

Commenting on the story: Banana waste technology begins to bear fruit for Adelaide company

Great article Andrew! Very positive, inspiring and interesting information. – Helen Kelly

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

A media personalty’s recent, mean-spirited attack on Adelaide’s international reputation for its fabulous Arts events might have explored some of the creative vision which inspired those early Fringe, WOMAD and Festival organisers.

Surely Adelaide events planners can accept that fossil fuel car races are not the future and had to stop at some time. Worldwide environmental and sustainability objectives drive electric vehicle policy support at all governance levels. Is there a creative way  for Adelaide to incorporate e- Formula into South Australia’s exciting attractions? There will be jobs for all the providers on and off the course.  

The Formula E championship is currently contested by twelve teams with two drivers each. The sport features electric-powered race cars similar in style to the hybrid-drive cars of Formula One. Racing generally take place on temporary city-centre street circuits, 1.9 to 3.4 km (1.2 to 2.1 mi) long. It is international. 

Building on over five seasons of all-electric city street racing, the Championship boasts one of the best sporting calendars in the world, with 14 races in 12 of the most progressive cities across five continents. Go Adelaide! 

And as for taxing environmentally friendly E-vehicles, their cost benefits should applauded and accounted as climate change capital, not punished. – Julanne Sweeney

Commenting on the story: Are complacent sole traders holding the SA economy down

I wonder if the trend for sole owners to not employ staff therefore creates/sustains more sole operators? – Joe Mullan

In our case with a small business, the hidden costs of growing more that would require going to employ staff just doesn’t make sense financially.

We can buy in short-term whatever small business owner we require, and like us they are prepared to work and if we don’t get good service we can pivot and change suppliers rather than deal with endless grizzles and paperwork. Unions etc don’t get involved and no wages bills with all the legals to harass us.

We only employ business owners like us that provide services to multiple clients. Staying small has its benefits in we can do the lot ourselves and earn far better than as an employee. If needed, we do the lot and get recompensed a good income for the times we do that. So it’s really a good model of how to earn well, be our own boss, and live a simple life. In Europe, they would be saying in a country location that is perfection.

So many here are more interested in the dole than working and who in their right mind would sift through that lot then take on all that pain. I have tried many times here, and having managed staff for many years in a previous career, it is a real full-time job and I had staff that were really excellent workers. I don’t need that time commitment.

That is the real reason small businesses don’t want staff. We have all we need and are flexible in what we require. It’s like a part of the economy knows how to be productive and work only in that group. Too many small business operators have ended up earning less than their employees in the accommodation industry. Most unemployed have twigged to this and would rather get paid per hour with all the extra add on benefits than actually set up a business. No risk, just turn up and do your hours, slow things down then get paid or worse claim harassment/unfair dismissal if their work standard is questioned.

Small, one-person businesses are very flexible; work just their niche and pivot quickly, as we have three times with fires and double Covid changes affecting our turnover.  

It’s time people realise maybe these small business owners have it worked out, and the costs of staff and headaches are so bad that it kills wanting to grow. It’s a jump that just does not flow through profit to the bottom line for many small operators. I would love to double in size, but the numbers say I would earn very little more, be wedded to lots of angst and strain for very little. – Name supplied

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