Sadly, we have fallen into the clutches of rulers who will not be happy until they have made Canberra look like any other city.
The lake is one of our great treasures.
What on earth can we do to stop this mob filling in bits of it? Specifically, the bit next to the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge: West Basin.
What sort of mind could even contemplate building blocks of flats in place of a lake and a view in such a prominent and important position?
I wholeheartedly support your correspondents Juliet Ramsay, Jack Kershaw, Murray May and others.
But what can be done? Help.
"A thing of beauty is a joy forever". A block of flats is not.
Respect while ageing
Oh, well said, Jill Sutton ("Aged Have a Role Too", Letters, January 25).
Jill has put the case for the care of and respect for the aged very eloquently.
This is how we "repetitious and increasingly balmy friends and relatives" (her words) would like to be regarded.
We are not part of a "system" to be investigated – we are members of the human race – still.
Not something to be harassed and abused by some over-worked and less-than-caring worker in an "aged warehouse" (my words).
Holes in tank stance
Max Brown criticises household tank capture of water (Letters, January 18, January 29) but does not provide the logical extension of his proscription of this interruption to the flow of water into rivers.
Either he proposes no lawn or garden activity, or he prefers to have fluoridated water poured onto lawns and gardens.
I realise fluoride will die soon after being sprayed onto grass and gardens so I am not claiming any build-up of poison in the environment.
Since using fluoridated river water, pumped back up to a town area from a treatment plant, is a zero-sum result: use captured tank water or pumped town water, Mr Brown is presumably proposing a ban on lawn and garden activity.
I don't claim to know the science of water consumption by plants but I suspect most of what I spray on my garden finishes up in the water table anyway. This campaign for the sanctity of rainwater comes on a day when loss of trees makes the front page.
We will lose many more once we ban the use of water on lawns and gardens.
It is the treescape in Barton we citizens are loath to lose for a mere useless tram. It is the trees in the Cotter valley that makes it such a wonderful picnic place; likewise Weston Park at Yarralumla, Telopea Park in Kingston, the Botanic Gardens at Turner.
There are others. Mr Brown is banning much more than water on lawns and gardens: trees make oxygen and provide cooling. The water must come from somewhere.
Signs leave bad taste
A development application has now been lodged to build a KFC in Wright in the middle of a residential area, opposite a children's playground.
The application proposes 17 illuminated signs, including an 8.5m KFC bucket sign. Signage at the under-construction service station/McDonald's on Cotter Road needed to be drastically curtailed to protect the night sky from light pollution to aid in the ongoing operations of the Mt Stromlo Observatory.
This proposed KFC is directly beneath Mt Stromlo.
Residents are once again writing their submissions to object to yet another thoughtless development proposal.
The government's policy of flogging sites to developers and leaving it to them to decide what facilities are provided is shown to be a disaster once again. We currently have no shops at all in Coombs and Wright, but if the developers have their way we will shortly have three places selling fast food burgers: two on the Cotter Rd and another in Wright.
This is happening under a government that promotes its healthy weight initiative, that claims to recognise that "consumers want choice in the form of readily available, competitively priced healthier food and drink options."
Steggall shows way
In announcing her candidacy for Warringah ('Steggall joins Abbott challengers', canberratimes.com.au, January 28), Zali Steggall correctly identifies the incumbent ex-PM as being "out of touch", a "handbrake on progress" and "out of step with his electorate".
These and other comments in her announcement apply equally to our own senator, Zed Seselja.
In the past, the Greens have fielded strong candidates and mounted a serious challenge, but ultimately fallen short.
What is required is a strong, centre-right, independent candidate to provide more appropriate Senate representation for the ACT. Would Canberra's Zali Steggall please stand up?
Better date for big day
Australia Day needs to be celebrated but not on January26, when in 1788 the First Fleet established a penal colony at Sydney Cove for mostly British convicts.
It wasn't until 1804 that Matthew Flinders named Australia on a hand-drawn map, after circumnavigating the continent and mapping its coastline.
Linking a celebration of Australia to the establishment of a British penal colony makes little sense. It was only on January 1, 1901, that the federation of the states was constituted as English territory, the Commonwealth of Australia, with the king of England as the titular head.
That is why I am in favour of Australia Day being a day to celebrate Australia for all modern-day Australians and not tied to a historical English, or any other, event.
There are many things to highlight and be proud of in our history and in the present day, and many things of dubious value and unpleasant occurrences to be aware of that need acknowledgement. Some to celebrate, some to commiserate.
It should be a day for all Australians to recognise the contributions of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, migrants and their descendants. That is why I have been promoting September 1, the beginning of spring as the perfect day for Australia Day.
It is already Wattle Day and formally symbolises the start of new growth, new beginnings, new life and development of all kinds.
These are things that all Australians can rejoice in.
Concern over disease
I am very concerned about the state of the trees along Denman Drive.
They appear to be diseased and some seem to be dying.
As this is quite close to the National Arboretum, surely this must be a concern. Is anything being done?
Sign of a tough treasurer
Chris Bowen appears intent on establishing a reputation as a potentially "hard-nosed" treasurer in the Paul Keating mould. His reported statement ("Franking credits battle heats up", January 31, p.5) that retirees affected by Labor's plan to end tax refunds for franking credits are free to vote for another party, smacks of duplicity.
The policy, in effect, is penalising retirees for holding shares compared with other asset classes.
Not only will it severely affect the incomes of many retirees but it will also have a dampening effect on the value of shares particularly, for example, banking shares which they hold.
His statement clearly indicates that Labor thinks the present government is in such bad odour that an election defeat is a certainty and that it can get away with this deeply flawed policy to help build up a financial "war chest".
If Labor does win the election he will certainly make a doubtful claim that he has a mandate for his policy.
If Labor loses some marginal seats because of this policy that it should have won, then an intransigent Chris Bowen will be to blame.
John Hutchison (Letters, January 21) claims that with refundable franking credits "most retirees, and their super funds, paid almost no tax".
He is apparently referring to SMSF (Self Managed Super Fund) pensions where income in the pension phase is tax-free, although income in the accumulation phase pays 15 per cent tax.
Refundable franking credits and zero tax SMSF pensions are different issues.
Scott Phillips exposes the unfairness and flaws of non-refundable tax credits in "The glaring problem with Labor's dividend franking policy" (January 16, p. 27).
Making franking credits non-refundable does not solve zero tax SMSF unfairness.
Most retirees do not pay "almost no tax". The ABS says there were 3.6 million retired people in Australia in 2017. The ATO says there are close to 600,000 SMSFs in Australia, with 43 per cent of members in pension phase in 2016.
So with about two people per SMSF about 500,000 retirees may be paying zero tax out of 3.6 million.
However, I agree that this is still unfair. For example I receive most of my income as a retirement pension which is fully taxed at the marginal rate.
If I received the same amount from a SMSF I would pay no tax on it.
I preferred Labor's previous tax policy where earnings on assets supporting income streams would be tax-free up to $75,000 a year for each individual.
At least this was fair and easy to administer unlike the disconnected tax system we currently have.
I would even be prepared to pay more tax in a fair system.
Listening to the PM on the radio recently, he confidently stated that Australians have "moved on" from the events which resulted in him becoming Prime Minister.
He is either out of touch, or in denial, or both. I for one have not moved on and can assure Mr Morrison that I will not be moving on while our parliament and his party remain poisoned by the presence of people such as Abbott, Dutton, Abetz, Hunt and Barnaby Joyce.
I may not like the alternative government's policies, and am not a fan of their leader, but last year's shameful events will not be so quickly forgotten by many of us who have been Liberal voters for many years.
Your editorial of January 30 ("Time for a rethink on bikie laws") makes the argument that achieving uniformity of anti-bikie laws in Australia is more important than protecting bikies' human rights.
If we don't trample on their rights like the rest of Australia, you seem to be saying, the ACT will continue to be overrun by these undesirables.
Does this mean that you also support the Australian government's oppressive detention regime for asylum seekers arriving by boat?
If we didn't disregard their human rights like most of the rest of the world, wouldn't they continue to travel here?
There has been a lot of discussion about Labor policy regarding franking credits and the impact on pensioners.
There are other low, or zero, income earners who would be negatively impacted by this change, not just pensioners.
My late primary school-age student was left a small inheritance by her grandfather; not a lot but enough to help her out if she went to university or buy a small car when she reached 18.
I invested half the money in shares for her. The imputation refund might only have been $100 or less but for a 12-year-old $100 a year is a lot of money.
As she received no other income and was entitled to the tax-free threshold and to be taxed at normal rates why should she not have the refund?
If you can get anyone to care about petrol prices in the ACT, good luck to you.
The outrageous rip-off has been going on ever since we moved here in the 1960s.
The Thursday price rise in particular used to infuriate me.
I doubt that trying to start a furore on the subject in an election year will do you any good.
Neither of the pusillanimous political parties will be willing to forgo "petrodollars" for the sake of one seat.
Shine a light
Has anyone noticed a lack of working street lights in your area?
There's been a lack of working street lights along streets in Lyneham for a week or more.
There have been no street lights working on Lambert, Blackbutt, Ashton, Gill and Earle streets plus Baines Place.
There are only three street lights working on Archibald Street and reduced numbers of working street lights on Lewin, Longstaff and Mackennal streets.
This seems to happen every summer in recent years.
TO THE POINT
HARD TO NOMINATE
Not only are the Australian honours unrepresentative, they are so jolly hard to nominate for if you are nominating for a lower order. I made a successful nomination last year but only thanks to the recipient's daughter as to date of birth, education and the multiple interests of the recipient. Presumably those of High Court judges and the like are more easily available online.
Jennifer Saunders, Canberra
A BRIDGE TOO FAR
Morrison's pre-election cash splash is so frenetic that soon he may promise to build a bridge where there is no river.
T. Puckett, Ashgrove
Bill Deane's letter (Letters, January 30) stating, among other incredible barbarities, the following in reference to the state of mind of this land's original inhabitants "the first day of a neolithic people's journey into modernity" is even more ignorant and offensive than our own prime minister's column in last Saturday's Canberra Times. Modernity indeed.
John Rodriguez, Florey
JOURNEY INTO DARKNESS
Bill Deane's odious letter on "Australia Day" (Letters, January 30) displayed not just a lack of understanding of the issues but also an ignorance of Aboriginal history post colonisation, when thousands of Aborigines were wiped out in the name of "progress". I eagerly await the day Deane begins his own "journey into modernity".
Jon Stirzaker, Latham
IT'S ALL ABOUT ME, ME, ME
What is it about letters to the editor? Full of complaints, whinges, not about what effects others, but about what affects them and their view of the world.
Patrick O' Hara, Isaacs
END ABUSE OF RIVERS
Hear, hear to Barrie Smillie (Letters, January 31) about the ridiculous practice of growing rice and cotton in Australia. We are far exceeding the limits to which we can abuse our rivers.
Sue Wareham, Cook
A NEW DAY TO CELEBRATE
Why can't we just celebrate First Antipodean Penal Colony Establishment (2nd Attempt) Day in harmony? It's the least we can do to recognise the achievements of those wretched convicts and their military gaolers in ensuring the success of the Federation referenda.
David Jenkins, Casey
WE NEED MORE TREES
Re the tree in Franklin St, Manuka. Of course let's preserve our leafy trees when appropriate. But how about increased plantings of tough, deciduous trees in the middle-aged suburbs, for example Woden Valley, instead of constant voluble pressure for more in the old leafy suburbs.
Gail Allen, Pearce
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