Australia Launches Coronavirus Tracking App
Australia Launches Coronavirus Tracking App

'Why I decided to install the COVIDSafe tracing app'

I'VE downloaded the COVID safe, Australian government tracing app and you should too. 

I'll tell you why in a minute. 

First of all one bouquet and two brickbats. 

The bouquet goes to Scomo and Annastacia and our other state and territory leaders. 

Have they got everything 100 per cent right? No. 

Have they got more right than wrong? Absolutely. 

I give Scomo 8 or even 9 out of 10. 

In an unbelievably tough situation he has responded tremendously. 

Bleeding hearts like me often wonder aloud whether our current system of politics always puts the economy before the people. 

Well on this occasion our government has stated loud and clear, people and the common good comes first. 

Make no mistake this is unbelievably painful for so many in our community and the pain will be felt for years to come. 

But when you look around the world there are not many other places you would choose to call home right now. 

Our prime minister has listened to scientific advice, brought our state premiers into the fold and acted in the best interests of all of us.

 Increasing the Jobseeker payment to something bordering on liveable and despite its limitations, creating the Jobkeeper payment were brave and good policy decisions.

Will you be downloading the COVIDsafe app onto your phone?

This poll ended on 30 April 2020.

Current Results

Yes

68%

No

31%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

 First brickbat goes to boutique progressive media outlets such as the Saturday paper (of which I am a subscriber). 

In recent editions it is hard to find a positive word to be said on the courageous decisions made by our federal government. 

Second brickbat goes to boutique conservative media outlets such as Sky News after dark.

 This is not the flu.

 And our government has not overreacted. 

Intensive care specialists around the world will tell you that one of the most difficult things about COVID-19 is that vulnerable people die alone. 

Those advocating the "let it rip" and "let's do business as usual" strategy of Sweden and other countries are essentially saying that some lives (the young and fit) matter more than others.

 I am grateful that we have not taken this path.

 There was a bitter irony in our Empire Theatre recently lighting up a tribute to our frontline health workers. 

I am the first to do the same but there is another group of people that are doing it very tough right now and that is our artists. 

Our creative artists be they visual, dramatic or musical are all a fundamental reflection of what it means to be human. 

This is not some elite fanciful notion but a reality for so many of us. 

Local artist Josh Arnold has brought joy and created community across rural and remote Australia.

 Towns doing it tough with the drought, schools bringing together students from diverse backgrounds have all benefited from the unique talents of Josh. 

He has given musical expression to countless schools and towns wishing to celebrate their unique identity. 

Right now due to COVID-19 there is simply no musical work for Josh. I understand that he is packing shelves for a local supermarket.

 This is good and noble work.

 And while I'm here can I salute all of our front line workers in the grocery business ensuring that all of us have all of life's essentials while we work together to meet this challenge. 

So if downloading an app means that Josh gets back to work sooner, that we can celebrate people's lives at funerals with more than ten people, that cafes and pubs and numerous other businesses can open sooner - then count me in.

 And finally a mea culpa. 

Rugby league I was wrong to be so harsh in a previous column. Will you forgive me? Just like the arts we need sport to be fully human and I for one can't wait for May 28.



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