The Greens’ attempt to enact affirmative consent ‘‘Yes Means Yes’’ laws for sexual conduct is gravely troubling.
With legal minds and social experts long calling it out as a naive and unenforceable idea around the world, the Greens continue regardless, using the ACT public purse.
While they won’t give specifics on ‘‘how’’ a person is to obtain affirmative consent for sex under their proposal, they also fail to acknowledge that consent can be ‘‘implied’’ by reciprocating or enabling an act.
No, they go further by wanting to remove ‘‘assumed’’ consent altogether.
Claims this bill amendment will ‘‘simplify and strengthen our criminal justice system’’ could not be more wrong. It opens Pandora’s box by reversing the premise of innocent until proved guilty, placing the burden of proof on the accused to prove innocence.
How will men be protected from false allegations and how will people prove their innocence without evidence?
Criminal convictions can only be made on the basis of evidence.
Under the Greens proposal a person accused of rape must be able to produce irrefutable evidence of consent to disprove the claim.
The Greens proposal falls short on the specifics, merely indicating that a person should be ‘‘satisfied on reasonable grounds’’ that consent was obtained.
This is already the case. The Greens must be specific on how consent must be obtained under a change of legislation.
The Greens also consider that ‘‘intoxication’’ removes affirmative consent. Really? Could both parties be intoxicated and accuse the other of rape the next morning?
An affirmative ‘‘yes’’ could be freely given when drunk and the other party hold a ‘‘reasonable belief’’ that consent was granted.
Regret is not rape, and no amendment to legislation should facilitate such a preposterous idea.
Personal responsibility and a burden of proof upon those who make accusations must prevail in order to protect people from miscarriages of justice under sloppy ACT legislation.
‘‘Yes means Yes’’ is great for the classroom. Not for the courtroom.
Sarah Powles, Macquarie
Low moan on drone
Re your article ‘‘Google gets ACT invite as it boosts drone test’’ (August 27, p3).
I was never canvassed or asked if I minded having drones fly over or near my property in Bonython.
If I was asked, I would say, ‘‘I hate the things and they should be banned as an invasion of privacy.’’
Where is this stunt headed?
E. Harris, Bonython
Leafless life of steel tree
I travelled north by Murrays bus on Tuesday and I had a chance to have a good look at the steel trees (poles) being erected all along Northbourne Avenue.
They are looking great, Andrew. Thanks. No leaves to rake up either.
I can’t wait to have them ‘‘growing’’ down Adelaide Avenue too.
I’m just heading to north-west WA. I might just stay there.
John Mungoven, Stirling
Getting hump on bump
I am at one with J. Sever (‘‘Speed bumps no answer’’, Letters, August 27).
There’s a plague of the wretched things.
One was installed recently in Kent Street, Hughes, on the north-bound uphill lane leading to a stretch of road needing no braking at all.
Where’s the sense in that? Let’s have a review of the speed limits rather than more of these ugly, unnecessary and rage-inducing protuberances.
In the meantime, those in the automotive industry manufacturing brake linings and suspensions are probably doing a roaring trade.
Robin Poke, Hughes
Suspension of disbelief
Concerning speed bumps. Has there been an estimated cost comparison between the accidents they prevent and the vehicle damage they cause?
Michael McCarthy, Deakin
The vandals run riot
The entire Barr government, and in particular Andrew Barr, Meegan Fitzharris and Shane Rattenbury, are front-runners for the award of an Oscar for the environmental vandalism and misery they have inflicted on the residents of Gunghalin and adjacent suburbs: a reduction in parking areas, dominating high-rise buildings with more to come, the unnecessary removal of trees and major disruptions to traffic flow with ever-changing detours causing traffic confusion.
Will we ever see the end of it? We are advised ‘‘yes’’ – in about two years’ time. For those who live on the south side of Lake Burley Griffin, don’t laugh, your turn is coming.
N. Bailey, Nicholls
A grain of truth
So our transport planners are building a new bus network from the ground up?
I suggest doing so is like building on sand. It is blatantly obvious that if you speak to all the regular car commuters and ask where are they going from and to, and when, you will actually be able to give the travelling public a transport network that that they will use.
Empty buses don’t bring in revenue. Work hand in hand with the councils and residents associations as they are there to help.
Delay any further work until that is done, then build your network. Twenty-eight years of low patronage means there is a better way. The answer is the elephant in the room above.
Otherwise the Canberra travelling public will continue to wash away the sand from under your feet and turn their noses up at any plans you may have as they always have done.
Russ Morison, Theodore
WorkSafe? It figures
ACT Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones is spruiking about the number of Worksafe Notices imposed on work places in 2017-18.
A total of 37 infringement notices were issued, of which 36 of those were issued to construction sites.
Not wishing to appear to be cynical, but he also speaks about a higher level of inspections that were carried out by experienced WorkSafe officers. I wonder if it’s because there’s an ongoing inquiry into the effectiveness of WorkSafe?
Getting back to the number of notices issued, based on my rough calculations of 52 weeks per year, 96 prohibition notices equates to about 1.8 per week; 209 improvement notices equates to about four a week and 37 infringement notices less than one a week, hardly figures that would get too many excited as a result of the 4100 workplace inspections.
But I guess it does indicate to the responsible minister that ACT WorkSafe is at least doing something for its allocated budget.
J. R. Ryan, Phillip
Where priorities lie
It’s all about the politicians/party/parties. The drought, the energy policy, next election, etc.
Treaty with the First Australians, what’s that?
Michael Tang, Fadden
This week’s Four Corners reprised Tony Abbott’s question about why it was appropriate for him to lose the Liberal Party leadership after losing 30 Newspolls, but not for Malcolm Turnbull to go after achieving the same milestone.
History will show there was much more to last week’s leadership change than the Newspoll results.
For a start, and for so many reasons, Tony Abbott was a national embarrassment. He was the man who was going to shirtfront Putin and the man who knighted the Duke of Edinburgh. Didn’t we all just squirm?
But what will not be forgotten are the circumstances in which Malcolm Turnbull tallied up his Newspoll losses. On one hand he was fighting a very determined opposition who, taught and playing by the rules of engagement established by Tony Abbott, would do whatever it would take to secure the Treasury benches. But more than that, from day one Malcolm Turnbull was also fighting on a second front against a bitter fifth columnist.
Yes, there is no doubt that, like the rest of us, Malcolm Turnbull did not do everything right (no pun intended).
But to answer Tony Abbott’s question about why he and Malcolm Turnbull are different, the answer is as simple as it is basic: one of them, Malcolm Turnbull, is fundamentally a decent man.
Ian Pearson, Barton
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd is, in my view, quite right when he describes Tony Abbott and Rupert Murdoch as destructive forces on Australian politics and democracy (‘‘Rudd savages Abbott, Murdoch for wrecking Australian democracy’’, August 27, p4).
Tony Abbott, who said ‘‘There will be no wrecking, no undermining and no sniping’’ when he was deposed by Malcolm Turnbull, has since done all three of those things.
Tony Abbott is not happy unless he is in a political fight and, as Mr Rudd writes, focuses all of his energy on destroying his political opponents.
Mr Abbott did champion and implement one positive policy: he committed to a 26 to 28 per cent emissions-reduction target under the Paris agreement.
However, once he was deposed by Mr Turnbull, he argued against that target and used it as a weapon to help bring down Mr Turnbull – who duly capitulated.
As for the Murdoch media empire, it has been hard to find a positive word about Malcolm Turnbull, let alone Mr Shorten’s Opposition, in newspapers such as The Daily Telegraph or The Australian.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Erosion of democracy
Mr Rudd writes on the anti-democratic pattern of coups.
Both he and Mr Abbott were rolled for common reasons – the perception (if not the reality) that they had ceded too much authority to non-elected PM office staff.
If true (and we the public do not have ‘‘inside’’ knowledge), this constitutes a serious erosion of democracy.
Add the reality of appalling disrespect for ministers, senior public servants and defence chiefs.
To paraphrase, we (voters) will decide who governs, and the circumstances in which they govern.
It is not for incumbent PMs to disencumber themselves of the responsibility of governing (with ministers, officials, general MP committees, and relevant stakeholders).
Christopher Ryan, Watson
Light rail excuses
I am very happy for our town council. It has been given a face-saving excuse to cancel stage two of its tramway (‘‘Kings Avenue light rail a bridge too far’’, August 28, p9). It was a daft idea anyhow.
G. Wilson, Macgregor
Questions on energy cost
Minister Shane Rattenbury, who has charge of the ACT government NEG negotiations, has repeatedly stated that the ACT government has signed contracts with energy providers to deliver the 100 per cent renewable energy target, which is all very well.
For the sake of transparency, he should answer the following questions.
What will be the average reduction in household energy prices from these measures which has been modelled by consultants or ACT Treasury?
Where can an electricity customer access the evidentiary studies which support any projected average reduction?
If there is no average reduction projected, why not?
What are the energy providers and what forms of renewal energy are part of the 100 per cent target and in what percentage?
What are the provisions in the contracts for complaints and for the process of seeking redress for customers when there is an unplanned cessation in electricity services which generate a loss for the customer and where are these contracts publicly accessible, and if not, why not?
Are customers expected to take these matters on blind faith?
Rohan Goyne, Evatt
Irony of junkmail
Amid the kerfuffle over banning single-use plastic bags interstate, it was nice to think that Canberrans were in the vanguard of the war on waste.
Yet that would be complacent.
It is ironic if not hypocritical that companies trading on or in sustainable living get away with junkmail letter-drops in our city.
I refer not just to paper leaflets, which might be compostable. Try 8-inch fridge magnets bearing the contact details for real estate agencies, left in a letterbox clearly marked ‘‘No Unsolicited Material’’.
Some offending material doesn’t even make it off the street.
Try 286-page trip hazards shrouded in shiny plastic and strewn about footpaths. These from a DIY furniture store which has recently declared it will facilitate recycling of its own products.
Likely the packaging and format of these materials are aimed at circumventing litter laws.
At $5000 per offence, prosecution would go some way to repairing the damage done, if not also help restore Canberra’s environmental credentials.
Alternatively, put a bounty on the stuff.
That trip hazard is said to be complimentary yet is priced at $3. Retrieving a couple of dozen would make for a bookcase’s worth of store credit.
Mark Dawson, Turner
TO THE POINT
Here’s the difference: Abbott fell due to his own deficiencies. Turnbull was destroyed by those of his own party who would not vote in Parliament for what the party room had decided.
Gavin Gostelow, Casey
CAPTAINS CHANGED AGAIN
Do sporting teams change captains at half-time when they are behind on the scoreboard? The answer is no. Politicians should learn from sport. Fight the battle to the end and accept defeat with dignity.
Greg Blood, Florey
OPINIONS AREN’T FACTS
Tony Abbott thinks his opinions are fact. He doesn’t understand they are only opinions. The greater truth of climate change remains. This affects all humanity.
Robyn McIntyre, Bonython
HOME AFFAIRS DISORDER
It surely must be proof of the Peter Principle that a Home Affairs super minister could not get his own home financial affairs in order.
Chris Klootwijk, Macarthur
PARTY OF BLOWHARDS
If I hear another reference to the Liberal Party as a ‘‘broad church’’, I’ll throw up. The Liberal Party belongs to the bigots and the blowhards. No one else need apply.
Bronis Dudek, Calwell
MORRISON’S CLEVER GAME
So Dutton has been rewarded for his treachery by keeping his ministry. I wonder if Morrison has played us all superbly and made us all look like mugs?
Colin Smeal, Holder
MAD MONK’S LABOR HERO
The mad monk’s hero is Bob Santamaria who caused the split in the Labor Party. Now Tony can congratulate himself for destroying the Liberal Party.
Maria Greene, Curtin
DOING IT ALL FOR US
Looking at Tony Abbott’s expression on telly tonight I could almost hear him thinking ‘‘the things you put me through; the things you make me do; and I do it all for you’’.
S. W. Davey, Torrens
The problem with Peter Dutton’s unseemly grab for more power seems to have been its reliance on ACT Senator Zed Seselja’s ability to count past 10.
David Headon, Melba
RAKE’S A TOP DOCO
Rake for PM. Top marks to our ABC for another outstanding production in Rake. These documentaries are so incisive.
Philip Winkworth, Campbell
HERO OF THE LEFT
Allow me to offer my heartfelt thanks to Tony Abbott for destroying the hard right of the Liberal Party. Well done mate. You’re a true hero of the Left.
A. Jordan, Page
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