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Letters to the editor: Fluffy fiasco big land grab

As I read that the ACT government apparently now has technologies to 100 per cent clean out Mr Fluffy asbestos from the Ainslie shops, giving it a "clean bill of health", all I can think of is that Barr is much like a Trump Trainwreck.

("ACT government finally moves to rid Ainslie shops of loose-fill Fluffy asbestos", canberratimes.com.au,  February 1).

How does the ACT government then justify demolishing 1023 homes that no longer have the asbestos insulation in them?

Why can they not apply the same methodology and technology to residential homes?

It appears more and more that the Mr Fluffy fiasco is the biggest land grab to take place in Australia, displacing thousands of law-abiding and tax-paying citizens.

And Barr is too spineless to call a board of inquiry.

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K. Grant, McKellar

Trump mandate

Nicholas Stuart ("It won't be long before Trump faces a reckoning", January 31, pp. 14-15) talks about the venom being engendered by Donald Trump, when most of the venom being generated is from the likes of the carping Paul McGeogh et al.

How long before the Trump-hating Clinton luvvies accept the legitimacy of the election, and the policies being implemented were clearly enunciated during the election.

Owen Reid, Dunlop

"Chaos" the headlines shout. Really? Sad, controversial, disconcerting, disrupting, harsh – yes – for the 100-200 people estimated by the American Civil Liberties Union to have been directly affected by the US migration ban.

But "chaos" – hardly!

The measure was promised by Donald Trump during his election campaign.

All he is doing is delivering.

If Americans don't like it they should take a deep breath and remember that they voted him into office.

Don Sephton, Greenway

The question posed by Mark Kenny – "What will it take?" ("Canberra's response either clever or mealy-mouthed", January 30, p.4) is spot-on.

What in the name of God will it take for the Australian government to distance ourselves from the hate-filled venom emanating from a crazed dictator in Washington?

I didn't live through the 1930s, but my own country's silence in the face of policies that demonise whole groups of people still fills me with dread.

Sue Wareham, Cook

Voting numbers

"What gives" Bruce Kennedy (letters, January 31) is that of the just over half of those eligible (and that doesn't include children and others so about 220 million) actually registered to vote. (About) 80 per cent  of those voted. This means there were around 125-130 million voters, 63million of whom voted Trump. Under the laws of the US, like here, you can win an election with less than 50 per cent of the vote.

Jevon Kinder, Murrumbateman

Heating up

Former US Ambassador to Australia, Jeffery Bleich, said "the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality".

Malcolm Turnbull, said "It is not my job, as Prime Minister of Australia, to run a commentary on the domestic policies of other countries."

Leaders around the world have spoken up about the inhumanity of Trumps (immigration) executive order. Turnbull should learn what fairness, humanity and leadership is really about.

Things may hot up for Malcolm in more ways than he expected.

Tony Wynack, Wanniassa

It appears that Malcolm Turnbull has finally found common ground with the majority of Australians on one issue – he doesn't have what it takes to be a Prime Minister of substance. When questioned why he hadn't bothered to speak out for Australians facing discriminatory treatment by the Trump administration Turnbull offered this classic wimp out: "It is not my job". Couldn't agree more.

Jon Stirzaker, Latham

Short circuit

After some consideration of budgets and bankers, Ross Gittins admitted he had, "supported privatisation of NSW's electricity 'poles and wires' mainly because [it had] presented the government with too much temptation to [gouge] their customers." ("Politics as a priesthood and the problem with being governed by bankers", January 30, pp32,33)

In context, I suspect that MrGittins is tending to the opinion that the cure was worse than the disease.

Privatisation of utilities has no history, globally, of producing cheaper supply.

Gary J. Wilson, Macgregor

Inappropriate attire

I fought the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983 in Victoria.

We had one fatality, a man who was on the fireground in shorts, T-shirt and thongs.

I was reminded of this when Isaw the picture of the resident ("Close call for residents as fire flares in Latham", January 31, p.5). His motives were good, but it is irresponsible to go dressed in sneakers and no shirt (not to mention other items such as a hat); it is equally irresponsible to display his picture in the Times.

Bob Gardiner, Isabella Plains

Asylum-seeker question

Can somebody explain to an old woman, once a refugee child in post-war Europe and then an eager young immigrant,  the reason behind our government's effort to dump asylum seekers onto a country more densely populated and less stable than the one where asylum was sought?

Meta Sterns, Yarralumla

West Basin proposal disastrous for now and future generations

No city has ever become famous for a housing estate. Yet here in Canberra we find our local government busy planning a housing estate for one of our central lakeside parks at West Basin.

Our current city fathers should remember we are not building a city just for today, but also for well into the future.

This is the same local government busy promoting higher population for Canberra and further urban densification for inner-city areas.

Do they not know densely populated communities need even more open space if they are to remain healthy and sane.

Our future city will need all the lakeside parks it can get.

Comparisons are sometimes drawn between West Basin and Kingston Foreshore. Let us not forget that Kingston Foreshore was a "brownfields" site of disused industrial buildings, prime for redevelopment.

To propose a private housing estate at West Basin is simply stealing public parkland, in no way comparable to rejuvenation of a post-industrial site.

West Basin has enormous potential to return to being a beautiful and popular recreational lakeside park with rejuvenated boat and bicycle hire, picnicking and a natural lakeside swimming beach.

Perhaps the name West Basin, in its raw simplicity, appears inviting to real estate concerns wanting location, location, location.

A name change, such as Menzies Park, should be considered together with proper safeguarding of the space as a designated public park for now and future generations.

Penleigh Boyd, Reid

Renewal offers hope

Finbar O'Mallon's report on the Left Renewal meeting of Greens in Canberra ("No policies, just division for the Greens", January 31, p.6) was a poor and misguided hatchet job.

Here are a group of mainly young people wanting to change the world and all O'Mallon has to report are gripes from opponents who attended.

Politics around the world is being shaken up. All that is solid is melting in to air and Left Renewal is an expression of that hope for a better world.

Capitalism cannot provide a future for us either environmentally or economically.

Left Renewal is one sign of a search for alternatives that empower ordinary people rather than make us slaves to the market.

Left Renewal offers a vision of hope for the future.Left Renewal will grow because it expresses hopes for a radical and democratic future and is an alternative to the hate mongers.

O'Mallon and the Canberra Times can do all it likes to malign these developments. They will not disappear.

They may increase because they raise questions about the sort of society we want and give answers to those questions that fundamentally challenge the status quo.

I am not a member of Left Renewal or the Greens.

John Passant, Kambah

Let's reclaim integrity

Congratulations to Pat Cash ("'Legal Cheating' claim rejected", Canberra Times, 31 January, page 39) on his comments regarding injury timeouts in the recent Australian Open, as "legal cheating".

It's quite noticeable how players recovered miraculously after the injury timeout. This was also noticeable during the match between Rafa Nadal and Alex Zverev when the latter received treatment for cramp. No doubt Nadal would also have liked a bit of the "magic spray" and a quick massage to get him through the match, but he didn't.

However, "legal cheating" appears rife in our society. We just have to look at the number of times some politicians have been brought to account for claims of questionable expenditure. This has been happening for many years.

We see it in the claims from some property developers in their development applications and multinational companies not paying taxes.

Their catchcry "we're working within the law".

We have been overtaken by greed, materialism and humanism.

When will those in authority, with the ability to change the legal loopholes or print the truth, stand up and reclaim "integrity" for our society?

Lead by example and stand up for what is right for the whole of our community and not just selected pockets of power.

Wendy Ellis, Queanbeyan

Expensive dud

To those few who say about the Ellerton Drive Extension (EDE) "Just build it", be careful what you wish for! Why has it been on the maps and debated for 40 years but never built? Because it's an obscenely expensive dud. Council's own traffic studies prove it will worsen traffic in many critical areas.

Trucks will continue through Queanbeyan's town centre and traffic on Monaro St (aka the Monaro Highway) will decrease by only five per cent.

What is certain is Queanbeyan-Palerang rates will increase substantially in three years' time to pay for the EDE when the temporary rates freeze is lifted.

John Barilaro, National Party MP for Monaro, claims "First and foremost I'm the member for Monaro ... I always look through the local member perspective of what is best for our community" ("Barilaro's stance on Council amalgamations won't impact Queanbeyan-Palerang", canberratimes.com.au, January 20).

John, start listening to your constituents who are white hot angry about the Queanbeyan-Palerang forced council merger and the fact the EDE would never have been approved if we still had elected representation.

The Nationals are gone in Monaro (and elsewhere in NSW) at the next election unless their government reverses council mergers and major decisions made by administrators.

Claire Cooper, Queanbeyan, NSW

Trump coverage

Fairfax media, please pay no attention to Neil Watson (letters, January 31) when he asks for the retirement of Paul McGeough and his "wearing ... and overblown" articles about President Trump.

They are the first thing I look for in the Canberra Times. There can be no such thing as "overblown" when it comes to this megalomaniac.

Jennifer Saunders, Canberra

TO THE POINT

QUID PRO QUO

I never thought I might be caught up in the Centrelink fiasco. A letter from Icon water informed me I might lose my water concession because their details on me didn't match my DVA Gold Card. DVA had me as Norman.E. Lee, and icon had me as Norman Ernest Lee. My sympathies go out to fellow Centrelink victims.

Norman. E. Lee, Weston

JOKER IN THE PACK

Monday's editorial (January 31, page 10) refers to Trump's 207 weeks still to go. Yes, interesting times. But what of the impact of the mid-term elections. Trump stymied by a Democrat majority in both houses? Now that would be interesting. A scenario for impeachment or resignation?

A. Rhodes, Cook

Donald Trump is making America hated again.

Bert Castellari, Curtin

BARR HIS ENTRY

D. Perry (letters, January 31) suggests Andrew Barr head to Queanbeyan with his billboards. No thank-you Mr Perry. We will be forced to activate our call-in powers to repel him if that's what it takes.

P. Stanford, Queanbeyan

The 'cool' capital? Nothing cool about billboards.

Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla

SOUND ADVICE

Recent letters have complained about the volume being too loud at cinemas, with Fred Schelb (letters, January 27) citing Rogue One at Woden. I saw Rogue One at Civic, and found the volume too low. I didn't feel like I was in the middle of an interplanetary battle.

Ian Douglas, Jerrabomberra, NSW

EARNING HIS KEEP

Peter Dahler begrudged the light rail project director's remuneration. (letters, January 31). Tram tracks have been laid for only about 100 years. There is (also) that newfangled electricity to deal with. Such rare knowledge is worth every cent.

John Simsons, Holt

CATCH UP, TREASURER

What a proud moment for Scott Morrison, beating his chest over Donald Trump's immigration policies. "The world is catching up with Australia." How deplorable and out of touch with humanity is this man. Failed immigration minister, failed treasurer.

Steve Clarke, Macgregor

STARRY SPARRING

So, Mundine will refuse to stand for the national anthem on Friday. I wonder if seeing the six stars on the Australian flag 30 seconds into the first round might bring him around?

Jeff Day, Greenway