What will you be thinking about during the silence on November 11?
I'll be thinking about those who are trying to make the world a different place to that in which competition between nation states has led to the loss of so many innocent lives.
The same thing has happened over and over in the years since 1918 and every tomorrow seems destined to herald the Last Post.
I know the answer, but who will listen to me?
In my despair, I will think of the birth of my children. How is it that such wondrous things can occur in a world which is so conflicted?
I know the answer, but who will listen to me?
Elections will be held next year, a chance for everyone's voice to be heard. I will seek out the candidate who promises to safeguard my grandchildren's future.
Is everything now safe for our future generations?
I know the answer, but who will listen to me?
My thoughts will end in outrage at the outlook for the future; in frustration at the inability of those who are adorned with the mantle of leadership to do so; in anger at the misrepresentations made by those seeking my vote.
What qualities are required of the person to lead our nation at such a time?
I know the answer, but who will listen to me?
Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Cameron (ret), MC, Campbell
Curtin's curtain call?
A rigorous audit of Canberra's suburb names would reveal that the then prime minister John Curtin unilaterally decided to supply uranium 235 from the Mount Painter and Pyramid Hill uranium mines in South Australia for the British to develop their nuclear weapons in July 1944.
This may lead to calls for the suburb of Curtin to be renamed.
History has many aspects of which some who suggest things may not be aware.
Rohan Goyne, Evatt
Mines no revelation
Historian Douglas Newton ("AWM is no place for merchants of death", November 7, p17) tells us that historian Greg Lockhart "reveals" that US mines laid by Australians in Vietnam in 1967 were subsequently lifted and used against our forces. When something that has been common knowledge for more than 50 years becomes a revelation to historians, they might usefully consider casting their talents elsewhere. Picking oakum comes to mind.
Bill Deane, Chapman
Apparently we have the money to review the life stories of people our streets are named after but we don't have the money to provide accommodation for our homeless, including the elderly and children.
At the federal level we can afford to spend half a billion dollars on expanding the War Memorial but not on providing food for over a million Australian children who are living in hunger.
As the daughter of a World War II soldier I suspect that this is not the priority they put their lives on the line for. We can't put the lives of the next generation in jeopardy in this way in our soldiers' name.
Democratic rule is supposed to reflect the desires and priorities of the people but currently seems to ignore us.
A. Guy, Ngunnawal
Reaction over the top
Having only recently returned to the ACT I have been disappointed with the barrage of correspondence questioning Bec Cody's motivation in putting forward a review of street names that may hurt some people.
Not having been enrolled here for the last ACT election, I know little about her but would have expected a more measured response.
There has been an outpouring of emotion from victims and their families and formal apologies extended to the victims of institutional sex abuse uncovered by the recent royal commission. Children were abused and not believed then.
Are we to continue to ignore those who were abused in other jurisdictions and by other people and show our disbelief by not acting yet again to condemn one of the most egregious of hurtful behaviours?
Other countries have had to deal with some pretty heinous acts of the past. Surely we can make a start by renaming Sir William Slim Drive, an act that would recognise that children who were abused then are now believed.
Ann Darbyshire, Hughes
Exploiting Anzac spirit
The conservative side of politics in Australia seems to know no bounds when it comes to cashing in on the Anzac spirit and hijacking it for political purposes ("Qantas under pressure to salute veterans on flights", canberratimes.com.au, November 4).
Having worked at the Australian War Memorial at the turn of the century, just as its modernisation and expansion phase was getting under way, I couldn't have agreed more with the sentiments expressed in Jack Waterford's recent piece "Time to pull the curtain on memorial industry" (canberratimes.com.au, November 3).
Anzac Day has morphed into an annual quasi-Australia Day, with cringe-worthy flag-draped "celebrations" that ooze crass nationalism.
The sheer scale of the budget allocated by Australia to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I compared to other nations' strongly suggests that our politicians see something in it for themselves.
If we're going to start boarding planes in order of our contributions to society then I can think of a whole slew of people I'd prioritise ahead of professional soldiers.
In no particular order, the sacrifices of CFA volunteers and volunteers in general, full-time carers, nurses, teachers, parents of children with disabilities, whistleblowers and paramedics, among many others, are far more worthy of acknowledgement than those of military careerists who signed up knowing they'd likely only ever be engaged on duplicitous political follies in asymmetric warfare theatres.
As well as being handsomely remunerated and celebrated annually, ADF personnel have a lower risk of death or injury than the average worker.
So I hope the soldiers don't mind waiting while the rest of us board first.
James Allan, Narrabundah
Here's another name
MLA Bec Cody could add the name of disbarred lawyer, Paul Coe, to her list of offensive place names. Coe has a crescent named after him in Ngunnawal.
Christopher Smith, Braddon
Race to the death
The "race that stops the nation" has claimed yet another life.
The trainer said "it could have been worse and someone could have been seriously injured".
"Someone" was and he died. He was the five-year-old, Cliffs Of Moher, another victim of the "disgrace" that stops the nation.
Chris Doyle, Gordon
Canberra is a bike city
Your editorial (November 5) is mildly disparaging about suited commuters who do not use bicycles, and it fails to commend our administration for its excellent and ever improving provision of bicycle facilities.
"Canberra will never be known as a cycling city"? Not so.
When I arrived in 1964 I uncrated my bicycle, and from then on was able to commute from Watson to Black Mountain. Wearing a suit, as was customary at the time.
An innovation was Canberra's first bike path, beside Dickson Oval, where cycling on footpaths had previously been forbidden. The idea has grown, with more paths, increasing priority, pedestrian-operated traffic lights and permission on zebra crossings.
Notably, these cycling facilities are prioritised wherever road construction occurs. For longer distances, bicycle carriers on buses are a facility that must be unique in world cities.
Canberra is an excellent cycling city, and is continually improved by our wise administration.
Jack Palmer, Watson
Bushfire plan flawed
M. Sirr proposes that deciduous trees be widely planted as protection against bushfires (Letters, November 7), and on the face of it, this seems like a good idea. However, he or she overlooks some potential problems.
First, there is the enormous amount of time, effort and expense that would be required to plant the number of trees that would be needed to make a difference – if they would in fact make a difference.
That last point brings me to the other possible problems with using deciduous trees.
Deciduous trees may hold back a bushfire while they retain their leaves, which are much less flammable than eucalyptus leaves and pine tree needles. However, deciduous trees are much less of a barrier to rampant bushfires when they have lost their leaves.
This brings me to the most important problem with using deciduous trees as fire breaks: the accumulation of dead leaves beneath them. While these leaves are not as flammable as dead debris from eucalypts, they are still fuel for a bushfire, and it is hard to see who would take on the removal of all the accumulated leaves.
Deciduous trees may not be the saviour that M. Sirr imagines.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Mixed message on waste
Curious how dutiful the ACT government is in reducing landfill by now proposing a waste levy when a year ago it halved the weekly recycling volume collected from apartment complexes across Canberra.
Over-full recycling skips now mean a lot of recyclables are simply dumped by countless apartment residents into rubbish skips.
But evidently that's OK and cheaper. Making the tenfold-inflation rates rises for apartments easier to swallow, naturally.
After all, as the Greens avow, apartment living — from this to substantially rebuilding every new complex riddled with defects – is just so sustainable.
Alex Mattea, Kingston
Politicians carry the can
Greg Pinder's response to Mike Pezzullo's "Officials don't decide the public interest" speech (Letters, November 5) prompts me to relate the following.
In the early 1980s, as a subject specialist in a government department, I provided advice to the minister through the departmental executives, with no diminution of the advice.
The minister decided otherwise and when told, I got angry and went to tell my immediate boss. He was not in but came back while I was standing outside his office letting fly to some of my colleagues about the minister having made a blatantly political decision.
My boss said, "Come in here!" He would usually say "sit down Simmo" but this time he stood behind his desk and said: "Shut up and listen! The minister puts his job on the line every three years, you don't, so he is entitled to make political decisions you're not! Your job is to provide your very best advice irrespective of your politics or anyone else's, including the minister's. You can argue for it as much as you like because you think it's best but irrespective of your opinion, once the decision is taken it is your job to make it work as well as possible. Got it?"I said "Yes Mick" and he said, "Well go and get on with it."
I followed that advice religiously, even after I left the public service and became a private consultant.
J. Simmons, Kambah
Let adults make choices
I have an issue with politicians dictating to the general public how they can and can't spend their money.
I have lost money playing the pokies but that was my choice.
The ACT government has flagged big changes for the gaming sector which I do not agree with.
Jane Halton, former head of the Federal Department of Health and Ageing, has said that gambling is not as bad as smoking.
I agree. Is the excessive consumption of tobacco and alcohol not an issue?
What will the government do to address this issue?
What is the cost to our public health system from alcohol/tobacco-related illness?
What next? Reduce/restrict the number of outlets licensed to sell these products?
Restrict the amount of alcohol/tobacco the general public can purchase in any given day/week?
I don't think so. That would be in the too-hard basket. I would like to say to politicians, stop treating people like babies who can't look after themselves. Adults can and should be able to make their own decisions about their lifestyle (educate them, yes, but at the end of the day it is their choice).
It is time for you to release the apron strings or ban pokies, alcohol and tobacco altogether. There are more important issues.
Phil Nicolls, Monash
Smoking in casinos
As justification for taking a position on the Crown board, Jane Halton suggests that she would not accept appointment to the board of a tobacco company: "there is no level of tobacco smoke that is safe". Casinos like Crown are uniquely exempt from anti-smoking provisions in their high-rollers' facilities. No doubt Ms Halton will be taking a strong line.
H. Simon, Watson
TO THE POINT
Mark Latham has joined One Nation. What a stroke of luck for the LNP, Labor and the Greens.
J. Bradley, Isaacs
LEARN FROM PHELPS
The rise of independents is inevitable. Will Dr Brian Owler feel the constraints of party membership on the independence of his thinking? Think again, Brian. Kerryn Phelps's personality and experience could influence the other crossbenchers for the good.
B. Smillie, Duffy
Will Turnbull wear his famous leather jacket for that appearance on Thursday's Q&A; special?
T. Puckett, Ashgrove, Qld
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
Can somebody please explain the difference between a think-tank and a lobbyist, apart from the obvious fact that the latter is possibly only a single individual?
G. Wilson, Macgregor
IT'S FINE AS IT IS
The AWM is big enough. Most people have only half a day to explore it. It would be a travesty to demolish Anzac Hall. The AWM is mainly a place of reflection and sadness. The hardware of war could be stored elsewhere.
Jean Doherty, Ainslie
It's taken two years to come up with a "trusted messenger" to serve as ambassador to Australia. Will the Donald have shot his messenger before he has a chance to take up the post?
A. Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW
Magistrate Boss is to be applauded for donating $50 to a homeless man in her court. Her critics should be ashamed of themselves.
C. Smith, Kingston.
What proponents of a "trackless tram" for Canberra do not tell us is that this technology has only ever been implemented in one city in the world, Caen in northern France; and that there it was a complete failure due to unreliability. It is now been pulled up in Caen at great expense and replaced by a conventional tramway.
Victor Isaacs, Downer
As a former marketing executive, Prime Minister Morrison should know that having a good product to sell is basic to success. Because of factional in-fighting, or maybe incompetence, the Coalition can't develop a coherent policy package. Instead, we see pork barrelling and insubstantial thought bubbles.
Keith Croker, Kambah
If Mark Latham is the answer, then One Nation is stuffed.
M. Moore, Bonython
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