Power, but at what cost?
Letters to the Editor
I ASSUME the average age of a Labor adviser is 13. Senator Hanson-Young made it clear the Greens would never accept a Liberal government. On that basis, the ALP needed to give up nothing to the Greens to hold government. It just needed to turn up at the Assembly and call on the vote. Gallagher would have won. We now have the prospect of endless ''renewable'' energy, which will quadruple prices for Canberrans. In 10 years it will be cheaper to have a petrol generator than pay usurious prices for grid electricity. Or move to Queanbeyan.
Whitlam said the powerless can remain pure. However, the Gallagher and Gillard governments show that a pursuit of power with no basis is eventually destructive.
Brian Hatch, Narrabundah
Protect our parks
THE NSW government has again compromised the environmental assets in its care. Following the opening of national parks to amateur shooters, now horse riders can access national park wilderness areas.
Wilderness areas are included in national parks because of their high environmental value, often due to the fact that they have not suffered significantly from human impact.
The NSW decision introduces an activity that will degrade fragile ecosystems through the spread of weeds and increased erosion. The decision flies in the face of the very reason for establishing national parks.
Rod Griffiths, president, National Parks Association of the ACT
MICHAEL J. ADLER (Letters, November 4) seems to forget that an ACT waste-water recycling process would be ongoing, actually enabling more water than now to be released from our waste-water treatment plant into the stressed Murrumbidgee-Murray system. Adler claims that the current Cotter Dam enlargement (CDE) will ''drought proof'' us.
About 12 years ago, our main back-up supply, the massive, slow-filling Googong Reservoir on the Queanbeyan River, was virtually emptied, not so much because of the drought but through problems (now fixed) with the Mount Stromlo treatment works, which could not process water from our main source, the gravity-feeding, more bountiful upper Cotter dams.
So, the triple-walled CDE is not needed to drought proof us, especially now that we have the Murrumbidgee-Googong pipeline. However, additional supply was required for growth, and clearly, a partially enlarged Cotter Dam and a recycling system would have been more nationally responsible, less local environmentally destructive, and cheaper than the current CDE with its overkill in design capacity and cost construction blow-outs.
It is apparently more about Actew and the ACT government trying to be ''commercial suppliers'' in the current Murray-Darling environmental, agricultural and Adelaide-supply reforms. However, the CDE will probably precipitate water prices that the Commonwealth, irrigators and the South Australian government rightly won't be interested in. Doubtless, the people of the ACT will have to make up the difference, and we won't be allowed any ''secondary water measures'' like tank subsidies, free run-off, etc.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
ACCORDING to Phillip Thomson's article in The Canberra Times (November 4) Bob Carr's solution for Labor winning the 2013 election is for him to act as Labor's clown and poke fun at Tony Abbott.
If this is a true reflection of Carr's view of Australia's electorate, it is no wonder that NSW Labor dug its way into the pits when he was the NSW premier.
Ed Dobson, Hughes
IN THE Sunday Canberra Times article, ''Bob the storyteller'' (November 4), we read of Bob Carr's travels, his loss of weight as an ''aftermath of his appointment of Foreign Minister'', his advice to all and sundry on subjects too numerous to mention. The one thing we didn't see was his justification for a total disregard for a fair and decent solution in the Middle East, dancing as he does to the 40-year-old Israeli tune of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Not much of a ''story'' to tell there, Bob.
Rex Williams, Ainslie
IT IS incredible that some economists, such as David Potts (The Canberra Times, p24, November 4), can believe that the destruction of wealth by hurricane, tsunami or war should be cheered, and seen as positive for an economy.
All the effort and money spent just to get back to where you were before the disaster could have been used to create new industries, jobs and wealth, instead of being wasted on reconstruction.
Bruce A. Peterson, Kambah
Football as football
''SURELY the time has come for soccer to join us in the 21st century and introduce video review technology?'' ( Sunday Canberra Times, November 4, Odds & Ends, Red Carded) … Since the sport is governed internationally by FIFA (where the second ''F'' stands for Football), nationally by Football Federation Australia (since 2004), and locally by Capital Football (since 2005), I would say … Red Carded: Still referring to football as soccer.
Surely the time has come for The Canberra Times (and the ABC for that matter) to join us in the 21st century and refer to football as football!
Neil Dunn, Fisher
Claim goes up in smoke
IT IS not quite fair of Colin Watson to claim that it took more than two decades for the 1950s research findings about cigarette smoking and lung cancer to be given much public notice (Letters, November 4).
In June 1957, the US Surgeon General announced the Public Health Service accepted that the evidence pointed to a causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer. In March 1962, the British Royal College of Physicians' report on smoking and health identified cigarettes as a cause of lung cancer and bronchitis, with a high likelihood that it contributed to other serious illnesses. This report was given wide coverage in print and broadcast media. Two years later, US Surgeon General Dr Luther L. Terry issued his landmark report that echoed the British conclusions about smoking and lung cancer. The report also flagged the likely role of smoking in a range of other serious diseases. This report prompted widespread concern about the health risks of smoking.
In 1958, only 44 per cent of Americans believed smoking caused cancer; by 1968, 78 per cent did. In 1964, 46 per cent of Americans smoked. But within three months of the Surgeon General's report, cigarette consumption had dropped by 20 per cent. This drop was not sustained, however, with the tobacco industry's counter-strategies proving remarkably effective for nearly 50 years.
As we now know from tobacco-industry documents, these strategies have included undermining the scientific evidence linking smoking and disease, advocating weak warning labels, providing a ''psychological crutch and a self-rationale'' to reassure smokers to continue smoking, and strategically positioning smoking as an ''adult'' activity.
Margo Saunders, Weetangera