Canberra Times Letters to the Editor: Labels limiting job prospects

Canberra Times Letters to the Editor: Labels limiting job prospects

While applying for APS positions I am precariously self-employed in a home office with too few clients.

With spring supposedly around the corner, I recently set out preparing for labouring work.


I picked up my steel-capped boots from Vinnies at Dickson — no problems.

Successfully dodging Braddon's metro-sexuals I managed to buy a fluoro vest from the ADRA op shop.

Loading up on PPE, I wandered into a store in Civic and asked for a warm fluoro jacket.


"For you? Really? You look too smooth for a rough job," came the response in a heavy Russian accent.

"Yes, for me. I need work. And I need to be safe and warm," I shot back, bemused to be once again labelled a square peg.

Watch out Canberra, you are leaving me fewer choices: I might shoot for comedy, or stoop to politics next, given I am not "smooth enough" for your countless APS desk jobs, and now seemingly "too smooth" to get out on your construction sites.

Craig Hodges, Kingston

The battle against dementia

A survey released by Alzheimer's Australia, Dementia and the Impact of Stigma, has found people living with dementia and their carers often experience embarrassing situations, feel socially disconnected and less competent.

The same survey also found one in two members of the public is frustrated by their lack of understanding about dementia and want to know more.

During Dementia Awareness Month this September, Alzheimer's Australia is raising awareness and understanding of dementia so people living with the condition can be better supported to feel less isolated and alone.

Without a medical breakthrough in the next 40 years, the number of people living with dementia is estimated to grow to 1.1million, with a cost to the economy of $36.85billion in 2056.

The survey can be found online at

I encourage your readers to find out more about dementia through our website or if they have any questions or concerns to call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

Maree McCabe, Alzheimer's Australia, Barton

Govt should buy Liddell

AGL has spent loads of money telling us it is getting out of coal by 2050 in order to pursue its policy of getting into wind and solar.

This is sheer madness. Liddell coal-fired power station which is owned by AGL is scheduled to close by 2022.

Other coal-fired power stations in NSW and Queensland will close within a decade. Thus Australia will not have enough base load power generation to keep the lights on in the future.

It's hard to understand why power companies like AGL and the government are fiddling while Rome burns.

Solar and wind are the worst two options in terms of power generation for the obvious reasons that the sun and wind can't supply dispatchable power.

The Turnbull government instead of doing so much talking, should do something decisive for a change and step in and buy Liddell from AGL, and also see if parts of the Hazelwood power station can't be salvaged.

The only way to free ourselves from all this green madness is to immediately jettison the Renewable Energy Target, the source of all our woes. And as for AGL it has lost me. I thought the mission of energy companies was to provide cheap and reliable power and not to tilt at windmills by pursing unproven environmental assumptions.

Alan Barron, Grovedale, Vic

Locals miss out at grand final

The AFL has announced that an international act, the Killers, will be the major act on grand final.

Again the AFL has overlooked the wealth of performing talent Australia has to offer. I have never heard of them and I guarantee on the day that many at the MCG and watching on television will never have heard of them either.

Come on AFL, support local acts and artists. Fans don't go to the grand final to see the half-time act, they go for the footy, stop wasting money on international acts and put it into local acts.

The crowds will still be there and would enjoy seeing home-grown performers and support the local music industry, rather than the international acts taking their pay offshore.

Alan Leitch, Austins Ferry

Carrier visit memorable

The visit to Station Pier by a USN aircraft carrier last week was the first aircraft carrier to enter Port Phillip Bay for 30 years.

The last one was HMS Invincible, which the RAN was going to buy from the UK, but after the Falkland Islands war the RN decided to keep this ship.

However HMS Invincible never tied up at Station Pier as the communist-run tug boat union refused to assist in berthing this ship so HMS Invincible turned about and left Port Phillip bay.

The weak John Cain government did nothing about these waterfront hooligans but Jeff Kennett did a decade later.

Adrian Jackson, Middle Park, Vic

Rejection of reason flawed

Claude Wiltshire (Letters, September 7) maintains that because the religious beliefs held by him and other same-sex marriage opponents are "morally well-founded" they shouldn't let themselves be swayed by reason.

History shows that refusal of religious zealots to be swayed by reason has had dreadful consequences.

In the absence of any rational reason why LGBTI couples shouldn't have exactly the same right to marry under the Marriage Act as heterosexual couples, reason dictates that there should be an overwhelming "yes" vote in the postal survey.

Bruce Taggart, Aranda

Taking the legal route

Rod Culleton is using the courts to go after the Attorney-General. Good luck with that!

M. Moore, Bonython

Not stoked about coal-fired future

If Malcolm Turnbull wants to keep coal as a power option them why not ensure that future navy ships revert to coal power.

They would look good on the horizon belching smoke. It would also mean introducing coaling stations around the coast and in the Indian and Pacific oceans to support our navy.

The procurement of colliers to support deployment of the fleet would mean even more shipbuilding jobs in South Australia.

It would be cheaper to do this than to support any nuclear fuel option. After the navy ships there can be a reversion of the railway system to coal so it could be looked on as growth industry.

No better sight than a steam train at full power.

Peter Harris, Belconnen

It's a Snow job

Your editorial ("Bold vision needed for vital gateway", September 7, p12) concludes that "if Mr Snow can pull all of this off then he's definitely the man".

This demonstrates a perfect circular argument: if he does the job, then he should get the job. Perhaps Malcolm Snow wrote the editorial?

Malcolm Snow certainly helped create the mess he is now going to spend our money cleaning up.

Malcolm Snow allowed Northbourne Avenue to be decimated, and his next demolition target is Commonwealth Avenue.

Traffic will be slowed from EPIC through to Woden. Buses and cars will both struggle to move past the slow trams but at least they will have nouveau-Snow decor to ease the pain.

Adelaide Avenue is at least in part a stormwater drain. When it rains as in the old days with lots of water, not the misting we get now, the tram will be under water.

The world's first submarine tram will be a tourist attraction, at least.

The Melbourne and Sydney buildings, among the oldest structures in Canberra, are privately owned. Why would ratepayers spend money on these relics?

Ratepayers are not anxious to pay for every initiative.

This appointment would be protested if only we had someone on the opposition benches in the Legislative Assembly. Buses already travel as far as Canberra Hospital.

Buses are better.

Warwick Davis, Isaacs

Uneasy on future

Your editorial ("Bold vision needed for vital gateway", September 7, p12) is timely in view of the recent appointment of Mr Malcolm Snow as head of the City Renewal Authority.

I am sure that many Canberra residents would share your hope for "an inspired and inspiring vision for a near-future Northbourne and Civic".

Such an aspiration has not been achieved in much of the recent and current development and redevelopment activities in Canberra and there are few signs that this will change.

A notable example is the West Basin activity, which I have no doubt will be a monumental mistake.

It is a matter of regret that this project was supported by the National Capital Authority while Mr Snow was its chief executive.

At a packed meeting in The Hughes Community Centre on July 27, 2016, his main contribution, as reported in The Canberra Times, was to observe that "the promenade proposal covered less than two kilometres of the lake's 40 kilometres shoreline".

This remark got the reception it deserved.

Mr Snow should be given a chance, but the Canberra community should anxiously await the appointment of his successor at the NCA in the hope that he or she will be willing to influence the future of these very important areas of the national capital.

G. C. Shannon, O'Malley

Treaty best course

The Referendum Council's report advocated an "Indigenous Representative Body" (IRB). This was against the popular thought of recognising our Indigenous Australians in the constitution.

Some people thought it would be a cumbersome process. It has not been accepted by the parliamentarians even for consideration.

In my opinion a treaty is a softer option. Is it not possible for our autonomous state governments to try this by creating a body to look after further exploration of mining, fishing, hunting and ceremonial issues of the Indigenous Australians?

Sankar Kumar Chatterjee, Evatt

Feeling reassured

It was so refreshing to have Planning Minister Mick Gentleman reassure us that our eyes and souls will not be polluted by the contents of documentation associated with yet another of this government's mates-related deals ("Dickson land swap deal faces scrutiny", Sept. 8, p1).

He'll find a way to ensure they never see the light of day.

Sean Allan, Kambah

Fury off target

Re Cheryl Smyth (Letters, September 7), there are many families in this world that have three or more children.

If, like the Cambridges, they can afford to bring these children up, clothe, feed and educate them, then good luck to them.

You would be better directing your ire towards those who have three or more children and rely on various forms of support from either government or community, or both.

Mark Sproat, Lyons

God bless you, Ma'am

To all those sour-lemon letter writers excoriating the Duchess of Cambridge for daring to contemplate bringing another child into the world, and royal-haters generally, may I refer you to the story of the five-year-old who wrote to Queen Elizabeth asking if she could have one of the Queen's swans, promising to treat it well and keep it in the bath.

Told by her mother that the Queen owned every swan in the realm, the little girl wrote a letter to the Queen, saying she loved swans, so could she be allowed to borrow one for a weekend.

Back came a kind and thoughtful letter from Buckingham Palace, saying that HM didn't own every swan, just mute swans on some parts of the Thames, and enclosing a booklet on "swan upping", the ancient custom whereby the "Queen's swans" were caught, tagged and released.

I'll bet that little girl will remember her Queen's gesture for the rest of her life. And hopefully, go on loving swans.

Christina Faulk, Swinger Hill



Why don't the gas and electricity retailers just give us all their cheapest rates up front?


Anne Willenborg, Royalla


I can't be the only Australian who has had a gut full of what we are currently experiencing with the unedifying childish behaviour being played in those that "playpen" on the hill in the national capital.

Which makes you wonder if we have finally reached the bottom and it is time to climb out of the hole or are they moving in more heavy machinery to did the hole deeper.

D. J. Fraser, Currumbin, Qld


The ACT Labor Party probably does not feel the need of outside advice, but surely the new third House of Representatives seat for the ACT represents an opportunity for Katy Gallagher, probably the most talented currently active ACT politician, to move from the Senate to the House, where she could make a greater contribution in the longer term.

H. Simon, Watson


Malcolm Turnbull is working to keep the lights on?

Am in the dark or did I miss when we became a third world country?

Gordon Edwards, Page


As President Trump and PM Turnbull talk up a nuclear war in Korea, they make decisions knowing that no members of the Trump or Turnbull families will be amongst the many thousands slaughtered and horribly wounded in this possible conflagration.

John Davenport, Farrer

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