Morrison is lengths better than economically inept Labor Party
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Morrison is lengths better than economically inept Labor Party

Jan Gulliver (Letters, September 11) must have a selective memory if she thinks Prime Minister Scott Morrison was a failed immigration minister.

He was the one who stopped all the illegal boats the previous Labor government let in, when they all said it couldn't be done.

We will be paying for this massive Labor blunder for years economically and socially. If you're worried about education did you complain when Julia Gillard sent off $500 million dollars to Indonesia to fund Islamic schools?

You say we can't afford this government, are you forgetting that before the Rudd/Gillard era we were billions of dollars in surplus, only for the Labor government to put us billions of dollars in debt.

I guess that is why a lot of Australians in less affluent cities think that people in Canberra are out of touch.

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Gulliver also claims Morrison hates LBGTQ children yet the Liberal government was the one that allowed a vote on gay marriage.

Labor, in their six years, did nothing.

As for hatred of unions, maybe you should ask the last great Labor leader Bob Hawke about what he thinks of unions, especially the CFMEU types.

Scott Morrison, during his time as minister for Social Services also cut down on the number of dole bludgers; that is for the educated, people that don't want to work who want us to pay for them.

Morrison gets things done.

What would you rather? A doer or a puppet who has stabbed his own party leader's in the back numerous times?

Ian Pilsner, Weston

Church and State

I am deeply disturbed by the actions and utterances of Prime Minister Morrison. In his recent speech at Albury ("PM's Sermon on the Murray", September 7, p. 4.) and his interview with Fairfax Media ("Religious freedom forms key part of PM's canon", September 8, p.4.) he appears to ignore the traditional separation of Church and State. He vows to change laws to protect religious freedom; a freedom clearly already protected in the Constitution.

He argues strongly that there should be no curbs on "Christian" traditions but fails to realise that as Prime Minister he has to govern for all Australians; and as a multi-racial, multicultural and multi-faith country he should not be attempting to protect only those of Christian faith, especially as a member of a very small section of that faith.

Most Australians would like to see a stronger wording in the Constitution enshrining, more clearly, the separation of Church, and all faiths, from the State.

A politician's faith or religion should be kept private and should have no bearing on the matters of State they have to consider.

Murray Upton, Belconnen

'Love Australia'

Mr Morrison is big on "loving Australia". If he was genuine he would do something about enforcing the Government's main environment law which according to recent research has failed to prevent an area of native vegetation the size of Tasmania being cleared since the law was enacted. "Loving Australia" means protecting those features that make Australia what it is — its wild country and globally significant and unique species of plants and animals.

Rod Holesgrove, O'Connor

Careful on culture

PM Morrison says he won't be "a culture warrior".

Whatever that phrase means, he seems to be making an exception when it comes to freedom of religion. But will his proposed laws, allegedly to protect freedom of religion, also protect us in regard to freedom from religion, for example not having laws coloured by political leaders' own religious beliefs?

Will they also specify the right of Muslims and other minority faiths to practise their beliefs without fear of being demonised?

And how will they be linked to Mr Morrison's comments in regard to freedom of speech?

Finally, will these "new generation" laws be intended to override any existing similar laws such as the Federal Racial Discrimination Act, in particular Section 18c, and the Human Rights Acts of the ACT and Victoria?

As usual, the political thought bubbles are filled with no more than hot air.

Eric Hunter, Cook

Leyonhjelm's lament

According to Senator David Leyonhjelm, those calling for an end to the hideously cruel live export trade are actually "racist".

"The people who buy our sheep are brown and those who don't want to sell them our sheep look down on them," he told parliament. "Just imagine if these brown people tried to stop us eating ham at Christmas by refusing to sell us pigs".

This is a totally ridiculous statement because those calling for an end to live export are not attempting to stop "brown people" from eating beef and lamb.

They are merely trying to end the export of live animals. But, if the brown people refused to export their live pigs to Australia, because of the suffering they knew they would endure at sea, I would wholeheartedly applaud them.

By making such a compassionate decision they would have clearly demonstrated that they were far more principled and civilised than we are.

Jenny Moxham, Monbulk, Vic

Decision they'll regret

Sussan Ley and Sarah Henderson, MPs for Farrer and Corangamite respectively, having reneged on their campaign to ban the live sheep trade because they are now ministers and must tow the party line, could prove to be an encumbrance for the Liberal Party in the forthcoming election.

G. Wilson, Macgregor

Political pattern

PM Kevin Rudd got rolled when he was preparing to impose a resources rent tax on reluctant miners.

Julia Gillard promptly abandoned that plan.

Malcolm Turnbull got rolled when he was talking about getting tough with power companies and possible ceiling price. His successor, Scott Morrison, promptly moved away from any kind of tough talk and the status of pre-coup announcements on energy pricing is now moot. Is there a pattern here?

Gordon Soames, Curtin

The Liberal family

I just viewed the most recent episode of the UK's 'Mock the Week'. It had the amusing line "If the conservatives were a family they would have a social worker by now". My reaction: "If the the Liberals were a family ..." you can guess the rest.

D. Lewis, Murrumbateman, NSW

A ballsy effort

The message I take away from the three French heroes who used sporting equipment to subdue the knife-wielding attacker in Paris this week was that you shouldn't mess with petanque players. They have balls and aren't afraid to use them.

M. Moore, Bonython

Little desire to listen

Sue Dyer's call (Letters, September 12) for far better planning of the Dickson centre precinct is a specific example of a much wider malaise with respect to planning in Canberra.

On Monday night [September 10], I attended a full house Albert Hall meeting organised by the University of Canberra's Institute of Governance and Policy to share and consolidate community concerns about planning and development in the ACT.

Issues discussed included the impact of planning decisions on Canberra's heritage values and urban form.

What struck me about this event was the massive values cavern between those present, including members from a wide variety of community associations, and the ACT government.

On the one hand, we have groups seeking meaningful, respectful collaboration and a commitment to sensitive, environmentally conscious development that is actually planned (or sometimes simply doing nothing at all).

On the other, we have a government involved in rampant, disproportionate overdevelopment that ignores environmental values, and which barely asks, let alone listens to, community opinion and wants.

There were references to no consultation at all, or sham consultation at best.

Overshadowing and poorly placed high-rise in Woden was mentioned.

The West Basin debacle was described in detail. Existing parkland is about to be converted to dense apartment buildings on the lake shores.

I was left with the overriding impression that the ACT government is simply out of touch with what a large section of the community wants for Canberra, in respect to both desired urban form and genuinely listening to the community.

Murray May, Cook

Old issue with Israel

Re: "A team of wild horses drags viewers to sculpture paddock", September 8, p3).

The article talks about the sculpture being made to commemorate the charge of the Light Horse Brigade at Beersheba in the Israeli desert on October 31, 1917.

There was no Israeli desert for another 31 years.

Last year our former prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull joined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of this occasion, proclaiming this as an example of our close relationship.

What contrived nonsense! Australia was fighting with other allied forces in Palestine, as maps at the time show.

There were no Israelis and no Israel in 1917.

Gwenyth Bray, Belconnen

Small mind from big city

Elizabeth Farrelly's opinion piece "Why I welcome Sydney traffic" (Forum, September 8, p2-3) is a thinly veiled discrimination piece on the out-dated "Why would anyone live in Canberra?" debate. It's these kinds of socially elite, click-bait journalistic attempts at "I'm better than you" because I live in, what I believe to be, a more "desirable" city than you, that keep alive the compare and despair mentality that is at the root of all discrimination.

People choose to live where they live for a myriad of reasons and choose to settle on a place where they feel connected to people they love.

Margaret Burns, Yarralumla

Inquiry needs barristers

The inquiry needed at ACT Health does not need a national figure to conduct it ("Scrutiny on culture", canberratimes.com.au, September 11).

The ACT Bar has plenty of barristers experienced in interviewing witnesses, which is what is required here.

Appoint 10 barristers as joint and several inquiry agents, within whatever weird and wonderful structure our lost government will dream up, rather than just utilise an inquiry mechanism provided in our territory laws.

We need to identify victims of bullying and the perpetrators. The short time frame dictates multiple heads of inquiry, just as occurred in the royal commission on institutional abuse.

ACT Health staff and all associated parties deserve a brisk short inquiry, with the witness protection available under a Commission of Inquiry. Otherwise no one will feel safe to come forward.

W.Davis (retired barrister), Isaacs

Road to more problems

Drake-Brockman Drive runs along the southern boundaries of Higgins and Holt, leading down to the new Ginninderry subdivision.

Traffic, particularly construction traffic, on the road has increased substantially in recent months.

In July, the speed limit on the road was reduced from 80km/h to 70km/h, and contractors spent some three weeks or more putting in line markings, bus stops and pedestrian safety traffic islands. The glaring omission was the provision of bike lanes.

Today more contractors are at work – removing the paintwork put in only six or seven weeks ago. Will the new traffic islands follow in being removed?

This new industry on the road raises several questions: What is the purpose of the changes so soon after completion? Will bike lanes be included this time? Who is paying for all this extra effort?

David Wade, Holt

Umpire deserves respect

Billie Jean King, like other defenders of Serena Williams' actions at the US Open, avoids a crucial point that applies in all sports.

Players can complain about decisions, they can say a decision was wrong, and they can argue with umpires and referees.

What they cannot do is question the integrity of the officials.

By calling Carlos Ramos a "thief", Williams was implying that he was crooked.

Far from Ramos "crossing the line" as King suggests, it was Williams who shamefully crossed a line and brought herself and the game of tennis into disrepute. By so doing, she squandered the sympathy many people might have had for her situation.

Yes, there is sexism in sport just as there is in society, and it should be opposed and eliminated.

But accusing professional, highly regarded officials of dishonesty is not the way to go about it.

Steve Ellis, Hackett

TO THE POINT

COALITION OUT OF STEP

Scott Morrison has said "The NEG is dead!". So is the Coalition. A government not prepared to act effectively on energy and climate change is not fit to govern. Sixty per cent of people agree that climate change is a serious and pressing problem and we should be taking steps now. The government is out of step with the people.

Darryl Fallow, Stirling

NOT VERY CHRISTIAN

Is Mr Dutton, who attacked Mr Quaedvlieg under parliamentary privilege, one of those Christians we've been hearing so much about lately?

Brian Smith, Conder

OUR SPORTING CULTURE

The last census showed the percentage of Australians calling themselves Christians has been in steep decline, from 88 per cent in 1966 to 52 per cent in 2016. If that trend continues less than half the population will be nominally Christian by 2019. Only 32 per cent of Australians attend church at least once a year; 43 per cent attend a sports match. Scott Morrison is wrong when he says we are a Christian culture. Our culture is sport.

Peter Williams, Campbell

WOMEN SOLUTION FOR LIBS

The Libs ought to have a short-term quota rule until they reach 50 per cent women. Then they should go to selection by merit, and fill up the second half. With women.

Mike Saclier, Curtin

LEAST OF OUR PROBLEMS

Stop worrying, Dick Smith. ("Overpopulation will destroy Australia", advertisement, September 10, p5). Population's nothing. You are right of course, but with these utterly incompetent Libs and Labs we are going to fry, be drowned or starve to death, before those numbers even matter.

Barrie Smillie, Duffy

TRY BUSES YOURSELF

Any MLA, or Transport Canberra executive, who supports the proposed bus network should surrender their ratepayer-provided parking and car and use the service.

J. Coleman, Chisholm

IRONIC TIMING ON RUOK?

How ironic that "RUOK?" Day [Thursday, September 13] occurs as ACT Health is yet again the focus of concern. The collateral damage of mismanagement includes the families of employees and former employees, who weren't asked "RUOK?" and weren't assisted when they were not "OK".

Lyn Pepper-Budge, Yarralumla

THANKS HOSPITAL STAFF

We presented to Canberra Hospital on Tuesday night with our sick child. The staff in paediatrics, radiation as well as triage were just wonderful – hard-working and kind. Thank you for looking after us so well.

C. Hampson, Canberra

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