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Canberra Times Letters to the Editor: Selling off chunk of Canberra’s crown jewels a despicable act

The Barr government has earmarked $38 million for the West Basin Foreshore Development. This proposal is not about giving young Canberrans a vibrant entertainment and recreation area at the lake edge – that could be done at West Basin for a mere fraction of the cost.

It is not about giving the government revenue from a housing/business estate – that can be done elsewhere such as the proposed high-rise tower complexes in Woden (Canberra Times, June 3).

It is not about enlivening Canberra City – the development will further detract from and compete with Civic.

It is not about beautifying the city – it will grossly uglify the city by obliterating our lake views with dense masses of buildings that will be looked over from the proposed Convention Centre, City Hill, Vernon Circle and Commonwealth Avenue.

It is not about giving Canberrans a great recreation resource – the public will get 550 metres of an eight-metre-wide concrete promenade as well as some service buildings and the odd dinky garden. All the parkland lawns and trees will go to make way for the apartments works that follow on from the foreshore.

There will be no public parking for families with small children for events like Floriade.

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The $38million is about taking considerable lakebed and parkland to advantage the owners of the proposed apartments.

The Barr government is planning to commence the foreshore work this year and although one-third of the lake infill development is the site of the first row of buildings and a road, there has been no release of any master plan for the building estate or the bridging of Parkes Way.

The West Basin City to the Lake Development is absolutely about selling to developers our public lakeshore parkland – a sizeable chunk of Canberra's crown jewels. This is a despicable act of irresponsible planning that needs an impartial review now.

Juliet Ramsay, Burra

Move would pay off

J.Coleman (Letters, June 5) erroneously suggests resourcing policing services to enforce the road rules would mean the light rail implementation and bus repaint would need to be forgone.

However, proper rigorous enforcement of the road rules would be revenue positive with the additional voluntary revenue flowing to the ACT budget bottom line.

While the public transport improvements are needed to deal with congestion, an ancillary benefit could be that transport would be readily available for those deemed unworthy to hold a driver's licence should the road rules be properly enforced.

Bill Gemmell, Holder

Kyrgios looks foolish

Despite a new coach, the tide of abysmal performances by Nick Kyrgios rolls on. He doesn't need a coach, he needs a psychiatrist and a bloody good one at that.

His on-court body language is simply dreadful and he seems oblivious to how embarrassingly foolish he looks to the millions of viewers worldwide.

It surely must have occurred to him by now that in the event of the slightest sign of a meltdown, his opponent – invariably of a lesser standard than he – suddenly takes his game to a new level.

Following a couple of double faults and a smashed racquet, he simply implodes and is like a spoilt brat who when given out, gets the sulks, picks up his bat and ball and goes home. What a shameful waste of an extraordinary talent.

Tony May, Pearce

Beware of Woden bid

The folk at Woden should be very wary of the new "unsolicited bid" for a $100million development proposed for the Woden Town Centre.

This bid, ("Towers could revive Woden", CT, June 4, p1) lodged as a development application only two days after the public consultation on Territory Plan variation DV344 for the Woden Town Centre Master Plan closed on June 2, should be treated with suspicion.

Not only does it seriously jeopardise proper consideration of the master plan submissions but it appears to be a boost for the ill-conceived Woden tram line, especially as it is being backed by some already closely associated with the ACT government planning group.

Murray Upton, Belconnen

Chinese prevail

I was at Canberra airport early on the day of the Beijing Olympic torch relay and it was full of Chinese students.

Later the capital was inundated with buses carrying more Chinese students to this event. They took up front-row positions all along the route to ensure television cameras would not pick up any anti-China sentiment. A member of my family demonstrated and was caught on Commonwealth Bridge by these students, who surrounded her and poked her with the ends of their flags, telling her to go back to England.

It was a menacing situation and she had to be rescued by police. I am still outraged that this happened in our democratic society.

Angela Douglass, Kambah

Traffic plan flawed

What does the ACT government think of the NCA's multiple proposals to deliberately impede the traffic flow on Commonwealth Avenue in order to enhance the avenue's "crucial ceremonial and symbolic role" (Canberra Times, May 23)?

The most bizarre of the proposed changes (although by no means the most harmful) is the planned removal of the pedestrian underpass at Albert Hall and its replacement with a pedestrian crossing and traffic lights.

As other letter writers have pointed out, the planned changes would result in major traffic congestion and would regularly inconvenience a great many Canberra residents.

The changes would delay not only private cars, but also buses, trams, taxis, motorcycles, tradesmen, delivery vans and emergency vehicles.

It is unacceptable that in the two weeks since the proposed changes were released by the NCA, the ACT government has made no public comment. The people of the ACT deserve to be told now whether the ACT government supports the changes or is opposed to them.

Kaye Berry, Pearce

US, Israel worse than China

So now we see Four Corners this week trumpeting the so-called insidious actions of China in influencing the people in Australia. This is the latest ABC drama which, when compared to the absolute control the US has in relation to our foreign policy, makes the Chinese look like "babes in the woods".

Then if you care to consider the devious machinations activated by Israel in influencing academia through grants, free political trips to Israel, controlling at least one-third of both the political parties by way of political and financial support, and their constant support through Murdoch publications in this naive country, the Chinese are obviously just the subject of more ABC media "false news" when compared to the US and Israel, whose dirty deeds never receive any media exposure.

Rex Williams, Ainslie

A job for police

The Sydney-centric Tony Abbott saying commandos should be used to counter terrorist attacks in Australia is ridiculous.

Regular army commandos (4RAR) are based only in one place: Sydney. Army reserve commandos are also based in Sydney plus Melbourne but they are at their civilian jobs mostly and reservists can't be used in civil police matters anyway. Terrorism can occur anywhere where police are present but the army is not. The action of London police this week shows that police can handle a crisis promptly. Australian police may need further training and better leadership but the successful proactive prevention of terrorism in Australia is better than a reactive response after terrorism has started.

Recent terrorism in Australian has been carried out only by lone nutters, anyway. Worse is non-political terrorism in Australia, which is carried out by nutter husbands who kill their wives every week.

Adrian Jackson (infantry officer, retired), Middle Park, Vic

Suspicious sickies

In 25 years of working as a doctor, I have taken three days off for acute injuries and when my mother had a massive stroke.

I am the regular recipent of tea room diatribes from staff that run out of sick leave.

My response is usually not sympathetic.

My residents are predisposed to calling in sick on days that bookend their free weekend or a stretch of days rostered off work.

I often get a last-minute phone call from residents who call in sick, which means the doctors who are present are required to work an extra shift. Some get sent home from a day shift and are asked to return for night duty that cannot be filled in otherwise. It is common knowledge that a substantial proportion of sick leave in my clinical area is used for recreational purposes – I have even seen sick staff having a nice day out when they were supposed to be in bed and resting.

In some consultations, patients who are clearly well enough to go to work ask for a certificate to allow them time off work, which I routinely decline, to their chagrin.

Sick leave is intended to be a privilege that benefits the unwell worker's recovery but has a high level of associated abuse.

Dr Joseph Ting, Carina

Pray for humanity

Having a lot of money does not translate to having a lot of brain. President Trump is living proof of that (With his London tweets, Trump again embarrasses himself and US, canberratimes.com.au, June 5.) We can only join with progressive Americans to pray that humanity does not suffer too long at the hands of their intellectually changed president.

Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW

Koran's carte blanche

An Ahmadiyya Muslim, Khizar Rana of South Australia, has provided ordinary citizens with some reassurance that the Koran 5:32 can be viewed as deploring violence and extremism [Letters, June 6].

A problem for unbelievers is that there is too much in the Koran which endorses exactly that. Koran 4:92 implies that believers can kill unbelievers. 5:51 forbids believers to take Jews or Christians as friends. 8:12 instructs believers to strike off unbelievers' heads; and 8:36 says believers must make war on unbelievers. So do 9:73 and 66:7. And why? Because 98:1 describes unbelievers are the vilest of creatures.

Let's be clear. There is much in the Koran that is compatible with the better passages of the Hebrew and Christian Testaments. However, the vehemence in so much of the Koran does not find parallels in the latter, even if the latter do accommodate references to the baser elements of human nature.

What civilised Muslims must do is deplore the considerable number of Koranic passages that give carte blanche approval for the recent London and Melbourne butchery; and indeed that of Paris, Brussels, Nice et al.

Patrick Jones, Griffith

Threat in division

The threat of terrorists is growing on our shores day-to-day. Their agenda is to divide us with fear and hatred; to create an "us versus them".

This is further fuelled by the likes of senators Pauline Hanson and Cory Bernardi who want to ban "Muslim immigration". Let us come together to solve this problem through education and conversation rather than fear and hatred. As a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, I try my utmost to educate my colleagues and friends about any misconceptions they have about my religion, and how these terrorists hide behind the veil of Islam for their personal gains.

That is what each one of us needs to do: have a conversation, look out for each other.

Think of the Muslim doctors and nurses that run the emergency department, rather than the terrorist who called himself a Muslim. We are in this together and these terrorists will never win.

Monus Shaikh, Woodcroft, SA

TO THE POINT

ALERTS WON'T HELP

High alerts and increased security are bullshit. You can't prepare against terrorism. Its very nature is unpredictability.

Gary Frances, Bexley, NSW

NO EASY WAY OUT

Apparently Mike O'Shaughnessy (Letters, June 5) thinks that death by shooting is less humane than death by starvation or disease.

Mike Dallwitz, Giralang

FOETUS IS HUMAN

I agree with Rita Joseph (letters, June 5) that the foetus is a human being. Our society opposes capital punishment for very serious crimes, such as murder. How then can we support the choice of anyone to inflict the ultimate punishment on an innocent human being in the womb?

Nick Stuparich, Bruce

CLIMATE CRIMINAL

A spokesperson for Donald Trump has reassured us that her president believes in climate change. Plenty of climate change denialists believe in climate change, they just don't believe in human-induced climate change. Trump, along with some politicians in this country, belongs to this category, and they will be regarded in future as climate criminals.

Catherine Moore, Charleys Forest, NSW

DUTTON UNTRUTHFUL

Well done Jane Keogh (Letters, June 3) for exposing Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's lies about asylum seekers. Yes, the innocent will continue to suffer until more good people speak up.

Marie Wells, Holder

POT SHOT AT POLICE

The incident at Melbourne airport reminds me of some lines from The Gendarmes' Duet: "We're public guardians bold yet wary, and of ourselves we take good care. To risk our precious lives we're chary, when things go wrong we're never there!"

Jack Monaghan, Lyneham

ENOUGH OF ABBOTT

If the Liberal Party is indeed a "broad church", isn't it time that the front, back and side doors are slammed firmly in Tony Abbott's face so that we are spared his ramblings?

Graeme Rankin, Holder

KANGAROO CULL CRUEL

Isn't it about time the Canberra Greens actually stand up and do something about the cruel kangaroo culling in this city? After all, that is what they are about, aren't they?

Ian Pilsner, Weston

HIDDEN CODES

The 2017-18 telephone directory has no list of post codes. Is it another cost cutting measure of Telstra? It used to be handy.

Sankar Kumar Chatterjee, Evatt

Email: letters.editor@canberratimes.com.au. Send from the message field, not as an attached file. Fax: 6280 2282. Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Canberra Times, PO Box 7155, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610.

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