As a Canberra resident who has lived with the loud, invasive delivery drones for months I feel very disappointed that Project Wing is setting up a permanent site in Gungahlin.
Good luck dear Gungahlin residents. Say goodbye to the peaceful amenity of your homes and suburb, and hello to flight paths being opened over your houses, noisy aircraft with recording devices on them, and goodbye to your birdlife.
The soundscape and visual landscape of our beautiful bush capital is about to change for the worse, forever.
I Kolak, Bonython
Lawnmower? As if
The Chief Minister, on ABC news on November 9, suggested the Project Wing delivery drones being used over Bonython sound no louder and as irritating as lawnmowers. It takes me about half an hour to mow the grass in front of my house.
I challenge the Chief Minister to stand near a Project Wing drone in their hover, delivery mode for half an hour and then tell me it sounds like a lawn mower.
Chris Vincent, Bonython
Ditch the drones
What is the public benefit of drone deliveries in northern Canberra ("Drone capital: Plan for HQ flies north", November 9, p1)?
The drones will bring further noise to northern suburbs. There will be an impact on wildlife, particularly Canberra's marvellous bird life. If there is an attempt to make the drones quieter the impact on birds will be greater. What about public safety? The trial in Bonython seemed to have inadequate public consultation – shouldn't the consultation have been right across Canberra?
The public benefits seem minimal – a few people will get slightly faster deliveries. The public costs as mentioned above, much larger.
We don't need drone deliveries in Canberra.
Rod Holesgrove, O'Connor
When it became known that Bonython residents were chosen to be involuntary lab rats in trialling a commercial drone delivery service, there was never any question that the lab rats' opinions, post-trial, would make the slightest difference to whatever the crafted "findings".
As always, "public consultation" here is just cynical window dressing; a box-ticking exercise, only.
The deal was already done, as we have come to expect of deals between this threadbare government and the private sector brandishing a bucket of money.
A commercial drone service in remote and inaccessible areas is both practical and potentially life-saving.
In the small and increasingly cluttered city state of Canberra, however, it is just ludicrous; a novelty indulgence for a few ordering mostly non-essential stuff at the expense of the safety, privacy, and quietude of the many.
A Whiddett, Forrest
What about the birds?
Although I do not live in an area yet to be directly affected, I am deeply concerned about the prospect of delivery drones in the ACT.
The noise issue has been canvassed widely: we are used to relative peace and quiet in our suburbs, broken mainly by the sounds of birds – an essential feature of what makes Canberra the bush capital we love.
My central concern is the effect that drones operating at these heights will have upon the abundant urban bird life of Canberra. It is not just the risk of collision and direct harm: the presence of these drones at the heights that our suburban birds frequent can only serve to disturb the birds and their patterns of feeding, nesting and breeding.
A range of birds use our property and the airspace directly above it and we will not permit them to be disturbed or driven away by unnecessary technological intrusion for narrow commercial advantage.
I note that until the present law is further clarified it appears that drones operating between 30 and 100 metres directly above my property without explicit permission may be committing trespass.
John Blount, Fadden
Some ACT government politicians and particularly Mick Gentleman seem to think that endless repetition of an economic mantra about drones will somehow magically cancel out unacceptable noise levels over suburban Canberra. Large drones have a known annoying and invasive noise profile.
Why is Project Wing even attempting to deliver more noise havoc on northern suburbs? A significant proportion of Bonython residents in the south can hardly wait to see the back end of them, so destructive are they of the community's quality of life, not to mention impacts on the local now missing birdlife.
Humans can't pack and leave so easily.
Murray May, Cook
Just a hitch with view
I suppose we should be thankful that the cryptic public private partnership delivering our new courts complex has included a high-up glass-walled section to enable an albeit very obscure view in and out of City Hill on the important University Avenue radial axis. However, I don't thank the pedant who insisted on two sets of what look like external roof maintenance staircases that ridiculously impede that view.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
Well done, Jack Pappas (Letters, November 10). In personally paying costs to a young man for accommodation, Magistrate Bernadette Boss has acted in a principled and humane way, and deserves praise, not censure, from the Director of Public Prosecutions Jon White. We wish all judges acted with such compassion and took steps in judgments to "render the deeds of mercy".
Dr Kristine Klugman, Civil Liberties Australia
Thank you Jack Pappas for your well-stated views (Letters, November 10) on the actions of Dr Bernadette Boss.
I could not agree more. There should be more of it, and I will be more than happy to contribute to her envelope funding.
Keeping people out of the incarceration side of the justice system should be a priority, unless totally necessary.
The $50 versus the many hundreds of dollars (per day) to keep someone incarcerated seems quite a good return to the public purse.
It would also help in solving the overcrowding of our jail.
Perhaps the relevant directorate in our local government could set up an envelope fund for magistrates to help in this regard.
As for Jon White, SC, Director of Public Prosecutions, surely he has better things to do with his time.
From his regular comments to the press that his office doesn't have the resources to do its job, maybe he should manage his resources a bit better.
Bruce Phillips, Watson
Terror unit step too far
Allan Orr is billed as "a counterterrorism and insurgency expert" in The Canberra Times article by Erin Pearson of November 11 "Shoot-to-injure plea by specialist", November 12, p1). He is quoted in that article as suggesting that Australian states "...create a separate agency of intelligence officers and arm them with high-powered weapons and access to helicopters..." in order "to track those on the country's terror watch lists". Counterterrorism is turning into an industry.
We have specialist "experts" like Dr Orr, who recommend more specialist antiterror police and spook units, which require more political supervision by way of public servants, which need new ministers to look after them, who need expert advice from the likes of Dr Orr, and so the circle is closed and the snowball of the anti-terror industry grows. And, of course, in the process lots of antiterror management and consultancy jobs are created for political mates.
I'm yet to be convinced that the existing resources available to the AFP and state police are insufficient to manage the very minor threat of terrorism in this country. We stand a much better chance of being killed in a road accident than we do of being killed by terrorists, and I think there is a need for cold showers all round when considering the need for the kinds of extra units that Dr Orr is recommending.
Gordon Soames, Curtin
Vision not so splendid
I was most intrigued by the article devoted to Dr Allan Orr's vision for a new Australian counter-terrorism force. Highly trained, heavily armed intelligence experts with falcon-like aerial response whose sole mission it is to stand ready to respond to a terrorism incident, swoop from the sky, shoot to maim and then I imagine fly back to their hidden lair to drink cocktails and dance to Steppenwolf's Magic Carpet Ride.
T. J. Farquahar, Ainslie
Re: Scott Morrison's "demand" (Muslims must 'work closer with police"', November 12, p4). This is politicising dog whistling at a time when respect for the dead and injured and a call for community cohesion is needed. The PM knows full well that Muslim leaders in Australia have decried terrorism and terrorist acts. He also knows there are many different groups of Muslim faiths, just as there are Christian. Does he call out for Christians to reject white male alt-right violence? It seems clear that this man has been a long-term mental health sufferer and drug user, perhaps self-medicating to manage his mental demons.
We shouldn't, and don't, "demand" a "call out" about his mental illness, which is likely the primary driver of his actions, not his faith. But the PM's simplistic and self-serving blaming of a whole faith, setting the expectation that they should be able to prevent a recurrence, is just another reason why we see a loss of respect for political leaders.
Steve Blume, Chapman
The dark art of faking
Magic is the art of distraction and now, so is politics. I saw Jurassic Park with real dinosaurs. I saw Star Trek with real aliens. I saw The Walking Dead with real zombies.
Then I saw Sarah Huckabee Sanders's tweeted video clip with real editing changes and a "faked" version of what hundreds saw live and that was filmed. Resign now before somebody hands in a faked resignation for you.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Vic
Cricket's parking glitch
Caden Helmers ("Has Australian cricket hit rock bottom?", canberratimes.com.au, November 2) and the ACT government just don't get it. It's not playing on a week day, it's not little known players, it's not Cricket Australia – it's parking.
When will the ACT government realise the preferred mode of transport of 90per cent of the Western-world's population is the motor car. It's not light rail, it's not the bike, it's not the bus; it's the car.
And if they want Canberrans to attend a cricket match, or any other sponsored event, they have to provide adequate parking facilities.
Manuka Oval has nowhere it can provide parking for a crowd of 20,000. Areas that were once available have either been in-filled or made illegal.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground has maintained parklands around it which are made available during major events at a very reasonable cost ($10 last year). We used to park among the trees on the median strip of Canberra Avenue for major events at Manuka Oval, but now that will cost you a $100 fine and three demerit points.
Now the government wants to turn it into a light rail corridor. It's just not cricket.
Phil Cheney, Waramanga
Irving Street bad enough
Amalgamated Property Group is to build an additional 156 apartments in Irving Street, Phillip ("Apartment tower planned for Woden with more to come", November 9, p10).
This is in addition to hundreds of more apartments under construction for Ivy in Irving Street and the apartments recently completed at Trilogy, also in Irving Street.
Parking is at a premium at the moment with the ice skating rink and public servant parking taking up most available parking space.
Add another 1500 cars when the two other projects are completed and this will be one of the busiest dead-end streets in Canberra. We are already seeing bottlenecks at the intersection of Irving and Launceston streets. What is the ACT government and its elected representatives and the developer going to do, if anything, to take the pressure off an already congested road?
And, by the way, I hope the quality of building at Ivy and the Oaks will improve from Trilogy apartments. Some 14 months later, we still have defects being fixed.
JR Ryan, Phillip
Scheme needs tweaking
The proposed ACT compulsory third party motor vehicle insurance scheme would operate like Robin Hood – but in reverse.
Rich people would receive $900 a week in "income replacement" benefits.
Poor people would receive only $400 a week, even though they would pay the same insurance premiums as rich people.
It would be simpler and fairer to rename these benefits as "cost of living" benefits, and to pay all people the same amount. The allowance could be set as a proportion of the average income.
Leon Arundell, Downer
TO THE POINT
WHO'S PAYING FOR BUS?
I wonder who is paying for Scott Morrison's bus? Since it's clearly an electioneering exercise I hope it is not the taxpayer.
Warwick Budd, Nicholls
HERE'S AN IDEA
Now that the acronym LGBTIQA+ has two vowels, one could do something with it (as in Scrabble). Perhaps Aquitable?
Michael McCarthy, Deakin
What a political careering combo: Mark "Pit Bull on Valium" Latham and Pauline "The Northern Nightmare" Hanson. Together, they'd not only frighten the horses; but scare, the pants off a scarecrow.
Howard Hutchins, Chirnside Pk, Vic
ON WRONG TRACK
Unions ACT's attack on plans to implement the ridiculously biased recommendations of the ACT's first citizens' jury on compulsory third party vehicle insurance is to be commended ("'Driven by greed': Unions launch advertising campaign against CTP changes", November 9, p12).
Both the outcome and the process are deeply flawed.
Gary J. Wilson, Macgregor
Never thought Caligula would be back. But there he is, alias Trump, flying whirlybird-like in ever decreasing circles.
Soon he'll vanish up his own fundamental orifice. May it be quick.
Barrie Smillie, Duffy
THE NAME GAME
The present director of the Australian War Memorial is Brendan Nelson. According to the Remembrance Day article on pages 10-11 of The Canberra Times of November 10, a former director was Brendon Kelson.
Will the next one be Brendin Selson?
John Milne, Chapman
QUEST FOR INFORMATION
Now you know why we need whistleblowers and WikiLeaks ("Gagged: A brazen attack on Parliament and the public interest", canberratimes.com.au, November 6).
Kenneth Griffiths, O'Connor
As an Ahmadi Muslim who lives by the motto "Love for all, hatred for none", I'm devastated to hear about the terror attack in Melbourne and my heart goes out to the innocent victims.
I pray that those who are still injured make a complete recovery and I would like to thank the police officers who responded so quickly.
Foad Munir, Southport, Qld
MEANS NOT JUSTIFIED
Crocodile tears are easy. If Scott Morrison was really concerned he would have worked on a more humane, compassionate solution to protect our borders. The end never justifies the means.
Janet Rickwood, Greenway
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send from the message ﬁeld, not as an attached ﬁle. Fax: 6280 2282. Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Canberra Times, PO Box 7155, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610.
Keep your letter to 250 words or less. References to Canberra Times reports should include date and page number. Letters may be edited. Provide phone number and full home address (suburb only published).