Federal Politics


Live export shame

PAUL MALONE's article ''Live export trade leads to dead end'' (Sunday Canberra Times, November 11) should be required reading for all our federal politicians. Paul argues convincingly that live animal exports provide a limited economic benefit to a small vocal sector of the population that could be offset by meat processing in Australia.

Mahatma Gandhi is quoted as having said: ''The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated. I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.''

As a nation we should be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves for allowing this trade to continue when we know what the likely outcomes will be.

Evidence on the ground of ongoing abuses could however be much harder to obtain in the future because of the embarrassing exposures by Four Corners and others.

As Malone notes, our federal politicians could well gain more votes from taking a principled stance and stopping the trade than from allowing it to continue.

Clive Williams, Forrest


Thirsty work

THE PLACEMENT of ''This city has a growing thirst'' (November 11, p7) in the ''Garbage Capital'' section implies that a significant amount of water is thrown away.

Sixty per cent of water used by a Canberra household is returned to the river system, an even higher proportion in newer suburbs with smaller blocks.

Doctoral scholar Walter Reinhardt claims that the use of thirsty plants is an easy way to waste water. Along with exotic street trees and irrigated parks and ovals, green gardens act as suburban airconditioners.

Because of roof and paving, over a year the water evaporated from an average Canberra garden is commensurate with the block's undeveloped loss, ''wasting'' little more water than the natural environment.

Canberra's decision makers seem to agree with Reinhardt's devaluation of the benefits of irrigated gardens. They use price settings to discourage outside water use (from taps).

John Bromhead, Rivett

Counting the cost

ROBIN TENNANT-WOODS says tip fees don't reflect the true cost of dealing with our waste and should be raised to $300 a tonne.

She says additional costs include the cost of finding more land (''What a waste: Mugga tip is filling up fast'', Sunday Canberra Times, November 11, p6).

But surely marginal grazing land around the bush capital is fairly cheap.

Anyway, what she also forgets is that her calculations must include the cost of raising the cost. That is, if tip fees go significantly higher any cost/benefit calculation must include the cost of routinely picking up the mountains of rubbish people will dump in every lane and park to avoid soaring charges.

Tradesfolk are already offering discounts if clean-up/waste-disposal is excluded from their quotes for work around suburban houses, to avoid inflated commercial tip fees.

Michael Jordan, Gowrie

Kicking an own goal

I HAVE to take issue with Neil Dunn (Letters, Sunday, November 11) for a subservient view of what to call soccer.

Soccer is just one of a number of football codes and has no more right to be called football than any of the others.

Just because soccer, which perhaps due to its international popularity appears to operate like a corporate multinational in the world of sport, claims the word ''football'' as its own to use as it sees fit does not mean we have to toe that line.

I think our own local brand of footy just as meritorious of the term and I know the Americans share a similar view of their code.

Tony Malone, Amaroo

Name of the game

IT IS surprising that Neil Dunn (Letters, November 11) is unaware of the correct name of the sport which he espouses. FIFA's Statutes define that sport as: ''Association Football: the game controlled by FIFA and organised in accordance with the Laws of the Game.''

Similarly, the constitutions of both FIFA and Capital Football define the sport as: ''Football means ''Association Football'' as recognised by FIFA from time to time.

Football includes the games of football, soccer football, indoor or five a side (futsal) football and beach football. As is commonly known, the word ''soccer'' derives from the word ''Association'' in the name of sport. Accordingly, it is quite appropriate for The Canberra Times, the ABC, the many clubs with ''soccer'' in their names and the public generally to call the sport, Association Football, ''soccer''.

Long may the Socceroos enjoy their sport.

Peter Lawler, Calwell

Just the job

AFTER SEEING the way she related to Prince Charles (''Capital embrace a hit as royals leave their mark on city'' and ''Chocolate treats provide sweet relief from naming controversy'', Sunday Canberra Times, November 11, p8), I think that Canberra should make Barton woman Alyson Richards ''Ambassador-at-Large for Canberra'' during the centenary next year.

John Milne, Chapman

Tip for reporters

IN YOUR article about the Mugga Lane tip filling up (November 11, p6) you refer to its early filling costing ''the ACT government'' millions. As is nearly always the case, actions taken by the government are taken on behalf of citizens who must in one way or another bear the cost.

Early closure of the Mugga Lane tip may well cost millions, but in fact the cost will have to be borne by Canberra ratepayers.

It would be better if, as a general rule, reporters refrained from referring to ''the government'' as if it was some remote entity of independent means.

Leon Webcke, Gordon

Horse sense

WHY ARE horse riders being granted access to NSW wilderness areas (Rod Griffiths, Letters, November 11) when they are already riding on many trails ''across more than 110 reserves'' (Draft strategic direction for horse riding in NSW national parks and reserves)?

In Kosciuszko National Park (KNP), where the wilderness includes fragile alpine areas that are particularly vulnerable to global warming, horse riders already access substantial areas of the park.

Their impacts can be seen and smelt at all horse camps in northern and southern KNP and at huts that the horse riders frequent.

Compaction of the earth, trampling of plants, erosion at and near water courses, feed spills, and increasing proliferation of weeds should not be countenanced in national parks and reserves.

The NSW government has taken a retrograde step and at a time when it has axed 350 positions from the Office of Environment and Heritage including 150 front-line workers.

How can the the horse riders' impact be scientifically and adequately monitored with such cutbacks? How can the Horse Riding Code even be enforced?

Judy Kelly, Aranda