Letters to the Editor
ONE OF the best ways to avoid childhood obesity is to let children walk to school.
Dr Sandy Slater of the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois recently found that the odds of students being overweight decrease if they live in communities of higher walkability.
But three out of every 10 ACT schoolchildren live on streets that have no footpaths, and a senior TAMS official told last week's Planning and Development Forum that, in his opinion, it is not generally worthwhile building footpaths on those streets.
Canberra continues to build new streets without footpaths. Meanwhile Rob de Castella (quoted by Ewa Kretowicz in ''From ladle to grave'', Sunday Canberra Times, October 6, p1) has found that almost 3 per cent of ACT schoolchildren are morbidly obese. Ms Kretowicz reports that Katy Gallagher has released $2 million in funding for obesity programs, and has sensibly called for a ''whole rethink'' on increasing weight across all age groups.
In a city where so many people lack access to footpaths, we need to reconsider the extent to which we can avoid obesity by providing footpaths that will allow people of all ages to safely walk to their local schools and shops.
Leon Arundell, Downer
Palmer's a caring sort
IF YOU think Clive Palmer's PUP has lowered our parliamentary standards (if that is possible), just think how things would be if Gina Rinehart had formed her own party and paid candidates to stand under her banner, Rinehart for Rinehart (RFR).
Palmer has at least shown that underneath his large exterior there is a glimmer of social justice, which is more than can be said for Rinehart.
D.J. Fraser, Mudgeeraba
Priorities out of order
MORE than 100 people attended a rally in support of the ACT's gay marriage laws as a High Court challenge to the bill looms even larger.
Wow, I'm flabbergasted, Mr 1909 votes is over the moon because 120 people attended the ''Equal Love'' rally on Saturday.
Pales to insignificance when you consider the hundreds to well over a thousand that have attended rallies, public meetings, etc, not to mention the 8641-signature petition produced for the Canberra International Dragway construction or even the refurbishment of the old site that the then ACT Liberal government banished to the wilderness.
ACT Greens, Labor and Liberals, you are becoming a joke with your personal agendas and outlandish proposals. Build the dragway, fix the damaged roads and signs, lower the rates, clean up the accident damage on every corner for a start, as is your duty as nothing more than a municipal council.
Michael Attwell, Dunlop
Consult, or insult?
WHAT a way to engage Uriarra Village residents in ''consultation'' - by effectively calling us bloody-minded, rhetoric-loaded, uninformed, politicking, posturing liars? (''Energy firm's 'insult' angers villagers in solar farm stoush'', Canberra Times, October 12, p3). Mr Antflick provides too much misinformation to correct it all. Suffice to say he has refused to provide Uriarra Village with any real details of his proposal - not even a map of the solar power plant site, which we had to copy from his company's website before it was removed following the announcement that it would be built. Can anyone say ''genuine consultation''?
Cassandra Walker, Uriarra Village
Injustice demands action
OUR attorney-general asks why should same-sex couples who want to be married have to travel overseas to achieve their aim.
We might well ask why people who wish to die in a dignified manner have to go overseas.
Will he also introduce a bill legalising euthanasia in the ACT?
Roger Smith, Scullin
Doubt over terms
FAR BE IT from me to doubt the knowledge of self-proclaimed Trotskyist expert Jack Waterford. (''Be glad Brandis is able to read'', Sunday Canberra Times, October 6, p21).
However, if that is the case, why does he use a Stalinist insult - Trotskyite - to describe the revolutionary Marxist left?
Either he is an epigone from the Stalin school of falsification or he is a paid popinjay of profit.
I'd put my money on the latter.
John Passant, Kambah
Petty attacks must end
LABOR MPs' attack on the Coalition MPs' expenses claims could, if I were not feeling so charitable, be described as ''chickens coming home to roost''.
Though I hope that the opposition MPs raise the bar a little higher in ethical behaviour than the previous lot, and, to use another adage, ''play the ball and not the man/woman''.
There are too many important issues in our country for the petty personal politics to continue even one minute longer.
David Sykes, Holt
Misfits hold sway
ONLY in Australia could one find an amateur buffoon-like politician such as Clive Palmer putting together a ragtag bunch of probably unsuitable and unlikely political misfits and as a result control the legislation in a Senate representing 23 million people.
Where are the people with the qualities of Fred Chaney, Don Chipp or John Button these days?
Rex Williams, Ainslie
Abbott's vow undone
IN BRITAIN, the Tories have sex scandals (''RSVPs still coming out of paperwork'', Canberra Times, October 12, p1) while Labour is undone by rorting.
Here, the Tories seem to take a more comprehensive approach, what with the Peter Slipper affair and now various MPs' travel claims.
Didn't I hear Tony Abbott say, in his victory speech, that he was going to keep politics off the front pages?
Jennifer Saunders, Canberra
Focus on the majority
I would be more impressed if the ACT government spent its time, energy and taxpayers' money on issues concerning the entire population of Canberra, instead of trying to please a minority.
L. Buckley, Duffy
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