Heated hydrotherapy pools help ease the hospital queues.
It is a fact that hot water brings great comfort to the body and mind.
A hydrotherapy pool is heated to 34 degrees.
Movement and exercise in such a hot water pool give relief from the pain of arthritis and fibromyalgia.
It relieves the symptoms of brain and central nervous system damage and backache.
It also assists those preparing for, and recovering from, hip, knee and shoulder replacement surgery.
So why are the people of south Canberra denied the therapeutic benefits of such a facility?
A hydrotherapy pool should be an essential part of any well-planned community health program.
We have an ageing population. This type of therapy helps people take control of their own health and fitness and stay out of Canberra's hospitals.
Sadly, the hydrotherapy pool at the Canberra Hospital is to close. There does not appear to be any sensible or persuasive reason for this decision.
There is a heated pool on the north side at the University of Canberra Hospital.
It is only open to the public by appointment and at lunchtimes and is otherwise reserved for patients being rehabilitated following hospital procedures.
The south side of Canberra badly needs a hydrotherapy pool.
Is it too much to ask for a pledge that a properly heated hydrotherapy pool (34 degrees) will be part of the new Stromlo pool complex?
Until such a facility as this comes online, the Canberra Hospital pool should remain open so it can be used by those who currently rely on it for their pain management.
L. Klintworth, Griffith
Single storey way to go
Just as concessional dual occupancies built in backyards on "Mr Fluffy" blocks in the RZ1 (typical suburban) zones have to be single-storeyed (to preserve amenity, solar access, privacy, etc), so should those built anywhere in the backyards of blocks in the official dual-occupancies-in-suburbia (RZ2) zones.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
Spinning a line
The Kippax Group Centre Master Plan released by Mr Gentleman and Mr Ramsay on March 25 claims a key message from the fourth and final stage of community engagement was that the majority of people who participated support retail expansion of the Kippax Centre to the east over part of the existing Holt District Playing Fields.
This was based on a mere 243 responses to a dubious online survey.
The estimated resident population of the four suburbs surrounding the Kippax Centre – Holt, Higgins, Latham and Macgregor – that could have become engaged in the planning process was over 15,000.
Clearly, the government failed to engage the primary catchment group because it stopped representing the taxpayers, embraced the developers' proposal from 2017 onwards, and opted for spin.
Many would have become very engaged at the final stage had they been fully informed about implications of the developer's proposal.
The online question at the final stage of "engagement" should have been "How can the Kippax Fair shopping centre be modernised and expanded with minimal impact on the Holt District Playing Fields, an important public asset?"
It is also worth noting that of another group of people who participated in the final consultations by providing written submissions, 20 did not support the proposed retail expansion to the east over part of the existing Holt District Playing Fields while 13 supported it.
Incidentally, Kippax is named after a cricketer and all the streets in Holt are named after sportsmen and women.
How did the government miss the fact that it is sport that brings Holt people together?
Glenys and Phil Byrne, Florey
Drones a real problem
Rohan Goyne's excellent letter (Letters, April 1) highlights the problem of drones.
They are not coming, they are here in various parts of the city.
I hope to heaven that, for once, legislative action is taken to control them before they become a major problem.
We should not wait until they are such an unmitigated pest that our legislators are forced to stop staring at their navels and stop their internecine wars long enough to take action to solve a real problem.
The letters that have appeared previously dealing with the operation of drones in the south of the city should be a warning to our government that something needs to be done now.
As Mr Goyne suggests, perhaps their movement could be limited to our road system but even that would be too much for me.
I love my city and my place is quiet. I can listen to soft music and chat to people without having to raise my voice whenever a drone goes by delivering something to somebody which could just as conveniently be done another way that isn't intrusive.
Stan Marks, Hawker
Use boycotts tactic
Wing delivery drones (or any others) will never be quiet.
To provide a delivery service for low-cost coffee and food they must be cheap to make and fast to deliver.
There is one way to cause Wing to leave town; boycott the firms who pay them to deliver. Then at the next election boycott the government who protects Wing by saying they have no authority to regulate the noise and try to flick pass responsibility to CASA who state that drone noise "is not their remit".
T. White, Evatt
I was alarmed, outraged and disgusted at the decision to deport a family from Bhutan because their 18-year-old son is deaf and could therefore be a drain on the system ("Family's fight for home", April 1, p1).
They have been in Australia for seven years and are a hard-working family.
Apparently, the government department included the following in a letter about the matter: "What is or is not in the public interest is entirely a matter for the minister considering each case on its own merit".
Perhaps, if the young man was an "au pair" and had connections in the corridors of power he and his family might have achieved a more positive result.
Many of our current ministers and members of Parliament are quick to espouse their Christian values.
These values include compassion, justice and empathy.
I find it difficult to find a scintilla of any of these principles in this decision.
We live in one of the richest, safest and multicultural countries in the world.
This decision is so mean spirited, and it certainly does not reflect the "Aussie way".
Minister, please restore my faith in my country and reverse this decision.
Tony Wynack, Wanniassa
Recognising our limits
Congratulations on your thoughtful editorial ("Rise to the population challenge", canberratimes.com.au, March 29).
Perpetual growth is indeed unsustainable on a finite planet.
There are always two sides to an issue but, in this case, it comes down to carrying capacity.
Liebig's Law (aka the law of the minimum), which was initially applied to plant growth, has now been broadened and basically says that growth is limited by the resource in least supply.
For Canberra, that surely must be water, particularly with the uncertainties that climate change brings.
We also have to remember that while Australia has "enjoyed" economic growth for many years, for the past two or so quarters GDP per capita has gone negative.
The population growth rate has exceeded the economic growth rate. In Japan the opposite has happened. GDP per capita has increased as the population has fallen.
It is GDP per capita that is a better measure of wellbeing than overall economic growth so, in comparing the relative advantages and disadvantages of growth in Canberra, let's talk about that, rather than overall growth.
Jenny Goldie, Cooma, NSW
Duo must be monitored
Would-be NRA vassals, James Ashby and Steve Dickson, despite the internationally embarrassing proofs of their arrogance and incompetence, have the bumbling ability and drive to turn some Australians towards gun-toting activities.
This was purely for the political, and possibly financial, gain of their fellows who seek the critical balance of power in the Federal Parliament.
Can Scott Morrison reassure Australian voters that both of these peripatetic pro-gun crusaders will now be monitored and investigated closely by the Australian Federal Police and other federal security agencies.
Sue Dyer, Downer
Living the lifestyle
As an average Canberran I proudly punch above my weight on climate change.
I have caused four times the emissions of the average person in the rest of the world.
My 100 per cent renewable electricity target disguises the fact I currently cause three times the emissions of other people.
My so-called zero net emissions target ignores half of the emissions that I cause; the ones that occur outside the ACT border from transport and from producing the goods that I consume.
Scientists reckon that global warming will cause the extinction of 7 per cent of all species. I believe that equates to 500 local ACT species.
If the rest of the world follows my example, we could double that number. Don't ask me to shed crocodile tears for the earless dragon.
It's only one of the thousand local species that stand between me and my lifestyle.
Leon Arundell, Downer
Back to reality, Bill
By putting populist fantasies ahead of facts Bill Shorten has just lost the election.
When voters find out Labor's renewables, electric cars, battery subsidies and all the rest will cost tens of billions of dollars but not change the climate one iota enough will swing behind ScoMo and co to put them back in power.
There is nothing Labor can do to stop China's annual carbon dioxide increases from swamping our puny carbon dioxide increases each year swamping our puny efforts.
These impractical fantasies will be paid for, at least in part, by continuing coal exports.
It has been said that reality is the last refuge of those who can no longer accept fantasy.
Shorten will have three more years in opposition to reflect on how true that is and to devise realistic policies that don't insult voter intelligence.
Doug Hurst, Chapman
EVs are no substitute
I assume the NRMA, with an effective monopoly on the provision of roadside assistance in the ACT and NSW, feels it is free to advocate policies that are against its members' interests without fear of losing their annual membership fee.
To suggest that Australia lags behind any country on the uptake of electric vehicles, and therefore petrol vehicles should be banned, is akin to suggesting sobriety should be banned because teetotallers are lagging behind wine aficionados in shiraz consumption.
Just as the tipple of choice reflects individual preferences, the vast majority of Australian consumers have shown they prefer comparatively low-cost cars that can have 800km or more of range added in five minutes at thousands of convenient locations around Australia.
Until electric vehicles offer a comparable amenity they cannot be considered a substitute for petrol or diesel vehicles.
It is time the NRMA stopped pandering to the handful of its members who can afford a Tesla and went back to representing motorists.
Stephen Jones, Bonython
The bleeding obvious
The budget provides $3.9 billion for the emergency response fund to deal with natural disasters; but that only deals with the symptoms, not the cause.
Rather than just respond to natural disasters, which are becoming more frequent and are of greater intensity, wouldn't that money be better spent seeking to minimise and or prevent those natural disasters from taking place?
Maybe that will happen once the bleeding obvious becomes apparent to this government. Namely that it is climate change that is causing and or exacerbating those natural disasters.
Once stupidity reinforced by obstinacy and obtuseness sets in, it is very hard to dislodge, particularly when it touches upon self-interest, lubricated by rivers of money and greed.
Jon Jovanovic, Lenah Valley, Tasmania
Politics of power
Why do we pay so much for electricity? Because of years of short-sighted government decisions designed to win votes, neglect of infrastructure, privatisation, pandering to coal-industry lobbying and a lack of leadership in energy policy.
The latest announcement to hand out taxpayers' money to help pay consumers' power bills is mind-boggling.
Bruce Boyd, Bruce
TO THE POINT
Did anyone hear the word "sustainable" in Frydenberg's budget speech? Or "greed" for that matter.
The more he gives to the higher income earners the more they want, be it power companies, banks, or people, and indeed the Coalition itself.
Their willingness to keep exporting coal for the sake of unsustainable economic growth while denying the greater consequences is horrifying.
Laurelle Atkinson, St Helens, Tas.
FIRE SAFETY ISSUE
Private certification for occupancy of new buildings has reduced the ratio of apartments meeting fire safety standards.
A key issue is very flammable cladding, mostly Chinese.
Linda Vij, Mascot, NSW
NO LAUGHING MATTER
As Ukraine gets close to electing a comedian as its next president, will Australia be the next country to follow this trend?
Bill has a slight resemblance to Stan Laurel, while ScoMo resembles Oliver Hardy, or dare I say, Benny Hill.
At times they do give some good lines, with some mixed performances, but in May, one will become comedian-in-chief. That will look good on their CV.
Chris Mobbs, Hackett
GET RID OF THEM ALL
Given our Parliament has proven itself incapable of implementing the will of the people, at the forthcoming federal election there should be a proviso that none of the existing 150 MPs stands again.
Stan Green, Bondi Junction, NSW
SIGNS FOR THE TIMES
Our trams should each carry a set of stencils so they can paint military aircraft-style kill silhouettes of whatever they take out. I am already preparing stencils of my pergola, Hills Hoist and guinea pigs for when Stage 2 inevitably crashes through my backyard in Woden. By then light rail will have over-grazed the environment and we can indulge in another Canberra tradition: the cull.
Michael Barry, Torrens
SPEED LIMIT ONE OPTION
Due to the incidents since light rail testing began, I suggest a three-month 50 km/h speed limit for vehicular traffic along Northbourne Avenue.
That would defuse a rather volatile mix and allow us to become familiar with the operation of light rail and the higher volumes of pedestrian traffic.
Herman van de Brug, Kaleen
AIMING AT HANSON
Great pick-up Bob Hall (Letters, April 1) but I, and I'm sure countless others, also noticed Pauline Hanson's gaffe. But had it been anyone other than Hanson, would you have even bothered with your letter?
Alex Wallensky, Broulee, NSW
Email: email@example.com. 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).