The West Australian

Prisoners’ health risk ‘over cost’


The West Australian had an editorial (15/4) “Deaths in custody remain a national shame” and a two-page article “Why are people still dying?” by Rangi Hirini (News, 15/4). Just a reminder it is not only Aboriginal people who go into custody or jail for minor offences and die there. The nation that fixes a system that disadvanta­ges its most vulnerable can also address the problem for all its citizens. All in custody should be protected.

All people in custody and prison should be protected by Medicare, but none are. In WA the State pays for health and medical services for prisoners, and may cut costs by limiting availabili­ty. Health service delivery in prisons should be under the auspices of the Department of Health (and funded by Medicare), not left with the Department of Correction­s.

Ray Tauss, Campaign for the Prevention of Custodial Death

Bring in transporta­bles

The media has reported it is likely to take a long time to rebuild homes in Kalbarri, given the shortage of tradesmen everywhere in WA.

The City of Darwin had a similar challenge after cyclone Tracy on Christmas Day in 1974, exacerbate­d by the emergency evacuation to other States of a lot of the city’s population because of the lack of housing and services in Tracy’s aftermath.

Many of these evacuees wished to return as soon as possible, even though in most cases their dwellings were uninhabita­ble.

The solution to this shortage of suitable standard housing was found in the use of transporta­ble dwellings which could be placed n the properties in such a position that rebuilding of the permanent replacemen­t could done. Even in 1974 Darwin was far bigger than Kalbarri, but the solution was a success and the standard of accommodat­ion provided by these transporta­bles, which obviously included air-conditioni­ng, was such that many returnees, including those with young families, lived in them for a long time while they waited for their rebuild to be completed.

This era preceded Northern Territory self-government in 1978, so funding then was from the Commonweal­th, but it should not be beyond the capacity of WA’s Government to provide similar assistance to Kalbarri.

Graham Packer, Erskine

Drones could help

Further to my letter yesterday on the cyclone in the Mid West, and the importance of getting informatio­n by radio when power was down, in editing it was not made clear that it was not merely a lack of being able to charge phones and check apps for informatio­n, but that mobile phone coverage was gone, cutting the main way of communicat­ing with others.

In Puerto Rico, after communicat­ion networks went down in hurricane Maria in 2017 they sent drones up as flying cell-phone sites to restore some coverage.

I. Byers, Cape Burney

Poor performanc­e overall

The discussion­s concerning corporate bonuses and accountabi­lity at Australia Post are deflecting from the real issue as to whether Australian­s are receiving value for money from their national postal service. In the financial year 1999-2000 the corporatio­n reported a profit of $402 million. In 2019-2020 under Christine Holgate’s management the profit is now $53 million and to earn that she presided over $92 million performanc­e bonuses paid to the corporatio­n’s executives.

Letter service standards have decreased dramatical­ly over the past 12 years and Australian­s have endured a 100 per cent rise in the base rate of postage. Reflecting on the corporatio­n’s bottom line result its return on revenue for the $7.5 billion earned last financial year is 0.7 per cent, an abysmal outcome for any organisati­on.

The overall performanc­e of Australia Post would indicate poor governance at the political and board level. Australian­s are entitled to much better.

Trevor Holm, Dunsboroug­h

Albanese had a go, too

Sure, Prime Minister Scott Morrison overreacte­d in his use of language in response to a question on the issue of expensive watches by former Australia Post chief Christine Holgate, but Labor leader Anthony Albanese was also highly critical of the practice and asked “why was she still employed” particular­ly when many other workers had not had a wage rise for some time.

But as usual the Prime Minister cops the flak and Mr Albanese joins the chorus. Hypocritic­al in the extreme.

Don Rogers, Capel

Suspicious over this vow

Prime Minister Scott Morrison hand on heart promised that WA’s 30 per cent GST donation to the other States was locked in, and would never go up, I suppose? Well, I would be giggling all the way to the polling booth if I sold that to WA voters. No wonder the “secession” word keeps popping up.

David Lynch, Applecross

 ??  ?? Darwin after cyclone Tracy.
Darwin after cyclone Tracy.

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