What you said: Do religious chaplains have a place in public schools?
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What you said: Do religious chaplains have a place in public schools?

Each week The Canberra Times polls a group of committed readers on a range of issues. To join our Insiders panel to have your say and be in the running for prize draws, go to canberratimesinsider.com.au

Full survey results are published in each Saturday's newspaper. This week we look at responses our Insiders gave about change in the nation.

City Hill, pictured in 2011. Land to the west of the park, which is bounded by Vernon Circle, will be released for development.

City Hill, pictured in 2011. Land to the west of the park, which is bounded by Vernon Circle, will be released for development. Credit:Graham Tidy

Do you agree with the ACT government's argument that religious chaplains are incompatible with the secular operation of public schools?

Yes 69% No 27% Unsure 4%

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I agree with the ACT government stance on religious chaplains being incompatible with secular schools. Religion is a matter of choice, if students feel that they require religious guidance, they may be better to attend church.

School chaplains are not allowed to proselytise so why remove them? They are a valuable support to staff and students. There may be many students who have no one else they feel safe to talk to. The politically correct brigade are making this an argument about the separation of churches and state - balderdash.

I think the chaplains have helped some young people, but philosophically it is a contradiction to have them in secular schools. They were certainly cheap. To replace them with social workers, for example, would cost a lot more.

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I feel very strongly that there is no place for religious chaplains anywhere on our public education system. I also believe very strongly that religion should only be taught from the perspective of history and not from a doctrinal perspective. I think it would be beneficial for our school students to learn about different religions and their history. But there is no place for “teaching” christianity or any other religion as a religion.

I would like to see guidance counsellors in high schools with teaching quality and additional training to assist students with career, courses and how to access other social services such as beyond blue BUT all students must have regular access.

I am sure some chaplains have excellent skills, but as they have to be connected to a religion, this is completely incompatible with secular education. Students with issues need professional assistance from people who are qualified to deal with them.

Getting rid of chaplains seems ideological rather than using whatever resources are available to help our students. Which is also tied to violence in schools, we need as much professional help as we can get to make our schools safer.

Chaplains in schools provide valuable help and a moral compass to students and staff. No one forces people to interact with them. Churches are providing a free valuable and voluntary service. Why waste money on yet another inquiry when the government will probably ignore its recommendations anyway? The solution is stricter discipline on the perpetrators of violence, and maybe the chaplains can help some of the students perpetrators and victims.

Do you agree with the proposal to raise London Circuit to increase the amount of developable land in the heart of Canberra?

Yes 11% No 67% Unsure 22%

The proposal to raise London Circuit is just another subsidy to land developers. It will also lead to increased traffic congestion as it seems the existing flyover will be replaced with traffic lights.

I'd prefer to see more done to assist in the development of our town centres and suburban shopping centres rather than the current preoccupation with increasing the developable land in Civic.

We need to have a lot of other roads fixed before we start to worry about raising London Circuit. What about a flyover on the Barton Highway and Gundaroo Drive.

Really, are we so desperate for "developable land" in the heart of Canberra? Or in any part of Canberra? Not every square metre of land needs to be covered in concrete. Same applies to the infill of any of the green spaces that make Canberra such a beautiful place to live and give it it's unique character. Remember that old song (yes, cheesy I know) about paving paradise and putting up a parking lot? Once every available space is developed then cities become interchangeable. Might as well live in Sydney or Melbourne. People are attracted to certain aspects of a city and decide they'd like to live there. Too many decide the same way and all of a sudden the very things that attracted to you an area are covered in buildings or roads (or parking lots). And we don't do too well with returning areas to their original condition.

The ACT government seems intent on building apartments and office blocks on every piece of vacant land. The government has no right to destroy Canberra's open spaces and beauty. Have they ever stopped to think that they are not the last generation that will call Canberra home?

Why would you want to use London Circuit to increase the amount of developable land in the heart of Canberra? There is already considerable traffic going through the centre of Canberra and this would only increase the congestion.

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London Circuit and associated roads are fine as they are. Keep the green space, plenty of land for buildings elsewhere.

The London Circuit brain fart will most likely end up like all of the other daft plans like lowering Parkes Way, stadium in the city, geothermal pool in the lake etc that the ACT Labor government has come up with in the recent past.

A truly wasteful idea to wreck a proper grade-separated road and replace it with a controlled intersection. This should be subject to a proper benefit-cost analysis, including the environmental cost of additional greenhouse gases generated by requiring trucks and cars to stop and accelerate. Why give up valuable public asset to benefit politically-connected property developers?

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