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Readers rallied yesterday against the government’s prolonged detention and impending deportation of a family of asylum seekers taken from their home in Biloela, Queensland, in 2018. As readers pointed out, it’s still surprising that Australia’s policies could be so vindictive. Elsewhere, readers questioned how Tasmania will fare in Saturday’s election and discussed the eternal issue of Australia’s wage stagnation.

On the Biloela family’s 15 month detention

Penny Wright: The treatment of asylum seekers by Australian Border Force (and other parties, like Serco) can be so utterly vindictive and malicious. It’s hard to believe this is happening in this country I love — and yet I know it is. These are people who have committed no offence but to assume that this nation will comply with an international convention it signed up to in 1951. It is hard not to despair but somehow we must keep working to resurrect our collective decency.

On Tasmania in the election

Peter Wileman writes: A lot of truth in this article about our “clean, green” island. Our government has sold out the island time and again. We’ve had to fight against government support for Gunns wood chip mill, the destruction of the forests, huge maxi trawlers, the movement of cash from Tasmania to New South Wales via the pokies and so on. But at least we’ve got senator for life Eric Abetz. Heaven help us!

On wage stagnation

Rob Gerrand writes: Total wages are around $900 billion, 47.1% of GDP (which is $1.9 trillion). Therefore each 1% increase in average wages delivers a $9 billion injection into the economy, as it would all be spent. Conversely, the fact that wages grew in the year to March by only 2.3% compared to forecast growth of 3.3% means a $9 billion extraction from the economy. No wonder the economy is stagnant.

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