Letters to the Editor
11:30 PM The Mr Fluffy saga is at a critical crossroad that presents a unique opportunity for creative and sensitively developed housing alternatives in Canberra's established suburbs.
Your headline "Plans protect residents" (June 28, p18) completely reversed the core meaning of my letter, which was that resident groups (and other public-spirited third parties) are the only parties in the ACT that stand between good, principled, long-term city planning and the stampede for short-term development profits and local government revenues.
There is a simple answer for each of us in dealing with multinational tax-dodging companies.
I note, with a degree of wonderment, that the recent ACT Budget has been greeted with a deafening silence.
Graham Downie's excellent article on the Gungahlin tram project should be required reading for all Canberrans.
Jack Waterford's article on ASIO ("Is ASIO toeing PM's line ahead of election?", Forum, June27, p1) hit the nail on the head.
I note that despite the warnings of its own advisers, the ACT government is this week going to release the addresses of all Mr Fluffy properties.
Will Steffen and Barbara Norman have come up with a proof of how we are really in favour of light rail: just remove the opponents from the poll and we are left with a majority in favour.
Architect Tony Trobe calls for a radical simplification of the ACT's Territory Plan.
Will Steffen and Barbara Norman ("Light rail poll: Liberals' views should not be counted", Times2, June25, p5) have come up with the remarkable conclusion that, if you exclude the people who oppose the light rail proposal from survey results, most people support it.
Coroner's findings highlight the serious failings of mental health services in the ACT.
I must have missed something on the justification for light rail.
The royal commission is nothing more than a Liberal Party "witch hunt" against the AWU and Bill Shorten in particular.
I am devastated that Coles are to take over most of the Supabarn stores.
The recent ACT Budget is nothing short of an outrageous fleecing of ACT ratepayers. As if the extortion is not bad enough, the government has the gall to send out expensive glossy brochures telling us how the appalling rate rises will be spent.
A social conscience is a self-replicating torment. We feel guilty over the child labour that makes our clothes.
Knife-wielding "Brutus Bill" Shorten of The Killing Season is fast becoming "Sell-out Bill", at least as far as workers are concerned.
The problem with town centres is a lack of coherent planning by the ACT's governments.
The State of the Regions report criticises the juxtaposition of Canberra's town centres, while failing to acknowledge that land form determined the geographic distribution of the towns.
In his article on the light rail proposal ("Rail supporters miss mark", Times2, June 12, p1) David Hughes compares the proposal's benefit-cost ratio unfavourably with the London Crossrail BCR.
Studies have shown that even today's buses along the same route are faster and more efficient than light rail can ever be.
The majority of Canberrans may well like light rail, as a concept, but not necessarily like the one proposed.
Clearly there is "unfinished business" at the Australian War Memorial to bring it up to contemporary expectations of its role in reflecting our war history.
In the present flurry of commentary about the causes of the housing crisis, it is astonishing to see what has already been claimed and what instead has failed to be pointed out upfront.
Policies that bring the community together and promise an improvement in our quality of life should be something we all strive for.
We need to get our heads out of the sand and recognise the way we get around in Canberra has to change.
The PM's tough talk about cancelling one's citizenship for taking up arms against Australia is rather limp.
Instead of barging ahead with the dumb, virtually wholesale destruction of the fine 1950s Bauhaus-style apartments and their landscaped spaces along Northbourne Avenue ("Govt pushes forward to knock down public housing blocks", June 4, p1), the government should call design and money-for-land tenders for the comprehensive redevelopment of the places, with a binding condition that the subject buildings and spaces be preserved, restored, and put to good appropriate uses.
No tax is popular; a tax that increases faster than prices may cause a stir, but a tax that starts eclipsing incomes is going to end badly for someone.