I am sick of Ian Warden's comments ("Canberra Nimby a dying breed", July 2, p20 and previous) criticising of Yarralumla. In the latest article it was of being NIMBYs. He is totally wrong. Yarralumla is a very mixed and inclusive suburb. It was built before the lake so most houses were "govies". Many still are. Ours, which we bought 34 years ago, is a govie monocrete we have extended.
Sure, as the suburb is now near the lake and inner-city and an attractive location, a lot of old ex-govies are pulled down and McMansions built in their place. But that is still a small number. In my street (near the lake) we had three houses with housing commission tenants who were wonderful neighbours. Only when their kids grew up were they moved to smaller units and the government sold the houses – sadly for us. Yarralumla still has one of the highest social housing of suburbs in Canberra.
When we did one of the many submissions for the Brickworks we wanted social housing included, but the government wanted housing they could sell for a lot of money so declined that suggestion. In a previous anti-Yarralumla rant by Ian he said we would never have a Mosque, making the assumption we were racist. Well, we have a Mosque here and have had it for over 30 years, and many Muslim and other religious groups live in our suburb due to the Embassies, and we have a Halal butcher and takeaway. We have a suburb Christmas party each year and the mix of races and social strata that comes is very broad, and many of us have street parties too. We are a very welcoming and inclusive suburb. I suggests Ian visits the suburb instead of making prejudiced statements from a position of ignorance.
Caroline Fitzwarryne, Yarralumla
Robert Brooks (Letters, July 1) states the distance between Earth and the sun "varies measurably" and that the sun's radiation varies, thus varying the "heat reaching" Earth.
While this is basically true, it doesn't adequately explain the generally steady rise of global temperatures in virtual lock-step with the even more persistent rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.
Mr Brooks also argues that the sun is "dragged about ... by the gravity effect of mainly the three major planets Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune as they periodically align". Even if this were so, it is very difficult to reconcile with the way global temperature has been rising since about 1910. However, the combined mass of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune is a mere 0.1292 per cent of the sun's mass: It seems rather unlikely to me that, given their combined mass and their distance from the sun, these planets could have any significant effect on the sun's position or radiation output.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Money and drains
According to Tom McIlroy's article ("Canberra to Tasmania? States want their share of decentralisation", July 1, p4) "Tasmania has just 2.6 per cent of federal public service jobs". However, it has just under 2.2 per cent of the country's population and the explanation for more federal public service jobs than one would expect for its size is the numerous attempts over decades to prop up an ailing economy and more importantly to gain votes.
Moving more jobs there would just be money down the drain. Money that would be better spent on improving people's lives by increasing welfare benefits which results in more spending in the local area. It is about time politicians accepted the new reality of the 21st century that there will never be enough jobs for everyone.
Making people live in poverty is not the answer, but increasing taxes so that all can share in the country's wealth is a good starting point.
M A Ellis, Bruce
The PM promised
Keith Hill (Letters, July 1) asks why we bother having a parliament and electing representatives and still have plebiscites. Because, Mr Hill, my federal member is Andrew Leigh whose opinion on the subject is diametrically opposite to mine. It goes both ways, "anti" members are unlikely to fully represent the "pros" either so, as there seems to be a concentration of voices in Parliament who proclaim that "every" Australian or a certain per cent want this legislation, we the "antis" have a right to be heard and counted away from the overheated atmosphere of Parliament. Come to that the "pros" should also be counted away from the hothouse. This issue is too vital to be carried in the contentious atmosphere of Parliament. Besides, the PM promised.
J Halgren, Latham
I believe Julia Szego is right to say: "Maybe for more revealing results [from the census] we should also ask, 'do you believe in a supernatural being?"' I know people – including in my own family – who believe in God/higher power/creator being but for whom organised/institutional religion is a step way, way too far. I suspect if the question Julia suggests – appropriately worded – were to be asked as a standalone question then a substantial majority of Australians would answer "yes". That would say much about the spiritual makeup of Australian society which the current "religion" questions in the census fail to address.
A lot of people who believe in a higher power but do not "belong" to a religious organisation see organised/institutional religion as made up of rules and rituals and obligations rather than as a means of expressing one's belief/faith in a community environment. The challenge for organised/institutional religion is to convert belief in a "higher power" into attendance at church/mosque/synagogue/temple. Insurmountable? Perhaps, but possible.
Don Sephton, Greenway
So little space – so little patience – to respond to your editorial (July 1) and to the plaintive letters ruing the Barr government's harsh taxing of the citizenry. However, in obvious explanation, Barr does it with arrogant impunity because he knows he can get away with it in this undiscerning Labor town. Those of you who voted for self-government and keep voting like sheep for Labor, right or wrong, are reaping what you sowed. And as a credible Opposition is non-existent, I fear no credible relief is in sight anytime soon.
A Whiddett, Forrest
Plastic bag ban flawed
So the Greens would like NSW to ban single-use plastic bags ("Greens urge NSW to fall into line...", July 1, p10). Although well-meant, the ACT scheme which encourages shoppers to reuse heavy-weight reusable bags (available, all too cheaply at about 10¢, from the supermarkets) has proved a serious failure! Personal observation suggests that few shoppers remember to bring their bags back for repeated use so the bags go to the tip instead of the much lighter single-use variety. If the scheme had been properly thought through, shops would have been required to replace the old single-use bags by bio-degradable versions — the regulation defining how quickly the bag must degrade, of course.
John Rogers, Cook
Before Peter Tunnecliffe's family and the media destroy the careers of several people I suggest that they type "surgical maggots" into their search engine ("Family's agony over father's treatment in aged care home", July 3, p1).
It is quite possible that the maggot infestation was left in place by conscious decision. Maggots take three to five days to mature and when taken to the hospital about "50 full grown maggots" were found in Mr Tunncliffe's cancer lesion(s).
As a student nurse I have applied, under direction, various unconventional treatments with good effect to geriatric patients' chronic pressure ulcers (bed sores).
It was explained to me that if such treatments were reported to medical authorities any doctor responsible would be debarred. That is consistent with the "call for the government to investigate" by Canberra Hospital's clinical director of emergency care.
Gary J. Wilson, Macgregor
Jack Waterford ("Watchdog without teeth", July 1, Forum p1) is unquestionably right: self-interest will always trump public interest. Self-regulation, for instance, has never, ever worked, regardless of the vocation and noble intent. I know from bitter experience. Our intrepid Auditor-General has been refreshing in her candid findings; no doubt she will be banished for her forthrightness.
A watchdog without teeth is no watchdog; it is merely window-dressing, an abject abdication of responsibility to put public interest ahead of private interest.
A Whiddett, Forrest
It is disappointing that Jack Waterford again uses the privilege of the Comments page ("Watchdog without teeth", July 1, Forum p1) to mislead the public about unions, this time about our views on an Independent Integrity Commission. Mr Waterford made not effort to contact UnionsACT before making incorrect assertions about our submission. Unions in Canberra support the establishment of an Independent Integrity Commission, and one that has wide and strong powers to root out serious misconduct among public servants, politicians and political party officials. We will stand against and call out corruption wherever we see it. For Mr Waterford to resort to tired union bashing in his inaccurate description of our submission is sad and does his reputation a disservice.
Alex White, UnionsACT secretary, Dickson
Exempting the ACT police force from outside investigation (July 2) is not a good idea.
I imagine the Queensland Police would have dearly liked to have Fitzgerald barred from investigating their behaviour.
The NSW police would have loved to have the Woods Commission muzzled.
This is not to say that we do not have a police force that we can take pride in.
However, all parts of our society need the existence of integrity bodies with the power to bring the inevitable bad apples to account. Bad apples have the unfortunate effect of spoiling the rest of the apples.
Howard Carew, Isaacs
Payment cold comfort
Malcolm Turnbull has just given pensioners a small one-off payment to cover rising heating costs, in sharp contrast to his own permanent annual $17,000 pay rise.
What sort of unrealistic self-centred world does he live in? After using up the payment within a few weeks some pensioners will have to go back to bed with their electric blankets to keep warm while he can choose which of his many heated houses he will live in. He needs to get real if he wants to be re-elected.
Audrey Guy, Ngunnawal
Has anyone considered that President Trump explodes on Twitter to distract everyone from considering the consequences of his potential order to bomb North Korea. Trump would not be the first Head of State to use war to build voter support — Maggie Thatcher had her Falklands War. Murdoch produced his notorious "The Empire Strikes Back" headline.
Thatcher had her party and many Brits eating out of her hand. President George W Bush had his "Mission Accomplished" media moment on a US aircraft carrier near Iraq. I'm sure he did not mean to cause Global Terrorism, hundreds of thousands dead and millions of refugees. North Korea has thousands of artillery guns along the Demilitarised Zone. Seoul lies in range of those guns, never mind their missiles to use against Japan.
If Congress and the US High Command get distracted by Trump's endlessly appalling tweets then this time millions will die as South Korea and Japan burn. US aircraft carriers are huge targets for nuclear-armed suicide squads. Now US generals might have to consider disobeying Trump's order to bomb North Korea — a US military coup d'etat?
Rod Olsen, Flynn
TO THE POINT
Robert Brooks (Letters, July 1) stretches credulity by trying to link Galileo's discoveries with an anti-climate-change argument. The only real comparison, and quite ironic, is that Galileo was a scientist attempting to convince the ignorant (in his case, the all-powerful Church).
Eric Hunter, Cook
With electricity prices leaping from July 1, in all fairness may we expect that the feed-in rate for power generated by solar panels will increase accordingly. The fourth quarter of "guestimates" of my gas use has just occurred. Is there anyreason why the readers of our electricity meters cannot also read the adjacent gas meters, so that we get accurate billing?
Michael Adler, Gungahlin.
SEND HIM BACK
I wish we could deport Mr Abbott to his country of birth. He is the worst example of a new immigrant who is ungrateful and disloyal to his adopted country and its leadership.
Mokhles K. Sidden, South Strathfield NSW
For goodness sake, PM, call a leadership spill and openly invite Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton to stand. The condition should be the winner stays, the losers clear off altogether. Good luck with that idea.
Linus Cole, Palmerston
With battalions of bureaucrats, legislators and overseers protecting their turf, another layer would merely serve to provide sinecures forGilbertian charades, under the guise of which, the tumbril of corruption would rumble on guillotining truth and integrity in public administration ("Watchdog without teeth", July 1, Forum p1).
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan
THAT'S MY PARTY
The Prime Minister tells me that voters are sick of personalities ... Iam a voter, and I am actually sick ofpoliticians telling me what I amsick of. Incidentally, my wife hasrequested that we start a war on"wars on things". As soon as someone founds the anti-cliché party, I'll be voting for it like a rat up a drainpipe.
Jeremy Gregson, Cook
Were Australian legislators really committed to the "national interest" they would be focusing the power of Cellebrite on terrorists in plain view, i.e, "disrupters" like Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, and covert corporate fictions like Ikea ("Centrelink taps anti-terror tech to extract phone data", July 1, p6). Be ambitious, think big.
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan
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