11 May 2020

Probing the polls: supporting visa holders and getting back on the footy field

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Jarrod Croker

Canberra Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker could be on the field again by 28 May. Photo: Canberra Raiders.

As the curve continues to flatten, the COVID-19 impact continues to play out across every corner of the community. Last week we polled you on whether governments should extend their helping hand to people on working visas and international students.

The response was mixed: “No, it’s not our responsibility to take care of them. If flights are unaffordable, just like the Australian Government has done for our citizens, foreign governments need to step up to get their own citizens home from Australia.”

“This is truly a time for Australia to think of its own citizens first,” said one reader.

Others disagreed.

“The visa holder I employ pays the same taxes as everyone else so she should be entitled to support just like the others,” said one reader, and another agreed that “if they pay tax they should receive what other taxpayers are given”.

Our question was: Should Australian governments extend economic support to visa holders and international students?

There were a total of 1161 votes cast. You could choose to vote No, we’re not responsible for other countries’ citizens. This received 41 per cent of the total, or 481 votes. Alternatively, you could vote Yes, visa holders pay taxes. They deserve help, too. This option received 59 per cent of the total, or 680 votes.

Our question this week is whether the NRL is right to begin competing again on 28 May. As Tim Gavel wrote, many objectors to the NRL’s proposed resumption have questioned the motives of the league.

“Objectors also query why the NRL should be permitted to return when the vast majority of the community and sports are adhering to social distancing and essentially staying at home.

“Would the visual of players in full-body contact for 80 minutes establish a sense of complacency and result in the rest of the community believing they can do likewise?

“Proponents and advocates have stated they will be doing all they can to ensure all COVID-19 quarantine and health measures are maintained. There has also been the suggestion that playing would lift the spirits of a community at such a difficult time.”

Readers were also not convinced about the value of the proposition. “Surely the NRL can’t be that selfish???,” asked one, while another suggested the NRL should “Have new rules”.

“Give each player a 1.5-meter long rubber stick. If a player touches the player with the ball with the stick it is a tackle.”

And from another commenter, “It would be a saner world if nurses got paid like NRL players and NRL players got paid like nurses”.

So what’s changed socially? Are we ready to start watching footy players barrelling into each other, even if we can only do so from a distance?

Our question is:

Should the NRL resume competition on May 28?

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