Letters to the Editor


CERTAINLY, we must cherish our surrounding natural areas (Editorial, ''The ACT needs to flaunt its natural assets'', March 2, p14). Ginninderra Falls is such an asset, still in private hands, and remains inaccessible to Canberrans and tourists alike. It awaits buyback for the creation of a national park to include the scenic grandeur, not only of the Ginninderra Gorge, but also its close link to the adjacent Murrumbidgee Gorge. The area's public gazetting for future generations is now urgent, as housing proposals are afoot, coming close to the gorges and the waterfalls themselves.

Monies will always have to come from a number of services, especially the ACT, the major beneficiary by far. Some of us may be unsure that the falls are on NSW land, just a few kilometres from the border at West Belconnen. Our association fully expected the recent reply from the NSW government saying that its purchase was not a current priority, while fully acknowledging the area's conservation value and recreational opportunities.

So, its over to our Chief Minister Katy Gallagher to take the helm. There could well be federal support, and other sponsors. Let all this current media talk of mentioning Canberra's ''liveability'' amount to more than words.

Christopher Watson, Ginninderra


Reining on her parade

LEAVING aside that Therese Rein's husband contributed to the asylum seeker problem (''Former 'first lady' wants more humane approach to refugees'', March 2, p8) no critic of the current policy has yet said how many more should come and how they will be housed, fed and employed.

Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla

ISN'T Therese Rein wonderful? Aren't we lucky to have her beaming from the front page of The Sunday Canberra Times telling us ''It's time we looked to our humanity and compassion''. We need more people like her speaking out.

Such a shame she didn't share this insight with her husband last year, who introduced the most inhumane, lacking in compassion policies for asylum seekers Australia has ever seen. Pardon me while I vomit into my Weetbix.

Judy Aulich, Giralang

ON THE front page Therese Rein said ''it's time we looked to our humanity and compassion'' when dealing with asylum seekers. Ms Rein goes on to say that we should be accepting more people from the war-torn Middle East.

During her thankfully short sojourns as ''first lady'', Ms Rein was strangely silent on these issues.

Her bleating at this point in time reminds me of the wise words of Aesop - ''It is easy to be brave from a distance''.

T J Farquahar, Ainslie


Minimum wage for MPs

IT WOULD be appropriate for all members of this government to spend the next month on $493.70 a week for two reasons.

First it will give them a valuable and possibly humbling insight into just how difficult it is to survive on the minimum wage, let alone anything less than that. Second, it will contribute significant savings that might be redirected into the pockets of the proposed ''green army'' (''Hunt's front-line troops on low pay,'' March 2, p11).

W Book, Hackett


Manufacturing spin

PAUL Malone's provocative, ''Spread the spoils of automation'' (SundayFocus, March 2, p18), suggests the apocryphal, perhaps anecdotal, exchange that took place between a Ford Motor Company executive and Automotive Workers Union, Walter Reuther (1953-54), while inspecting a Cleveland, Ohio, automated production line.

Executive: ''How will you get these robots to pay union dues?''

Reuther: ''How will you get these robots to buy your cars?''

With employment in industry rapidly reducing globally, ''the manufacture of consent'' (Walter Lippmann's 1922 prescient observation), courtesy of the merchants of spin, has outpaced production of material things. The richest 85 people in the world, ably assisted by global corporations, especially banking, pursue a Gordon Gekko greed-is-virtuous philosophy, using every marginally legal device to evade making contributions to infrastructure, through which they extract their ill gotten gains. The IMF and World Bank presage the corporates, smoothing their paths by imposing structural reform, i.e. lowering wages, raising taxes and privatising everything in public ownership.

That delicate flower of democracy, which Churchill described as superior to other forms of government, has long ago been treacherously poisoned by lobbyists and ''external'' forces.

In 1973 Salvador Allende was overthrown. Gough Whitlam in 1975, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard met the same fate, merely because they stood between big business and its avaricious appetite for untrammelled profits. Obscenely ''rewarded'' CEOs, in the mould of ''Chainsaw Al'' Dunlap, project their incompetence onto workers, treating them dismissively and demanding their time and expertise be charitable donations!

Albert M. White, Queanbeyan


Mixed messages

WITH reference to the article in The Canberra Times (March 3, p3) outlining minister Corbel's plan to almost eliminate rubbish going to landfill by introducing a bio-energy plant. Buried in the article was the phrase ''the plant would still produce carbon dioxide''. How is this plan reconciled with Corbel's vision to eliminate carbon-based generators from Canberra's power requirements.

Ed Dobson, Hughes


Refugee Women's Day?

I WONDER what International Women's Day celebrations Scott Morrison organised for the asylum-seeker women and girls fleeing rape, torture and murder who are imprisoned in Australia's concentration camps on Nauru, Manus Island?

John Passant, Kambah


ABC biased? Boring

THE ''bias'' word has been thrown about in relation to the ABC. At a local level, 666 is guilty of a more heinous B word. Boring. If the daytime presenters on 666 wish to conduct their personal book club meetings and special interest discourse, by all means do so in your own time and at your own expense.

If they wish to have a listening demographic outside of the 2602 postcode, please stop interviewing ''fascinating'' academics and mates who are having ''truly wonderful'' book or gallery launches and provide the great unwashed with information that has relevance and interest.

If 666 is in need of guidance, go back and listen to the broadcasts that were aired over January and take a few notes. If there was ever a case for Canberra being the dullest place on earth, 666 is the prosecution's key witness.

Tony Robb, Weetangera

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