The proposed relocation of public housing tenants to Weston Creek is a vexed and very emotive issue and difficult to discuss without being labelled a heartless NIMBY, as was the case with Dr Chris Braddick, ("We're not nimbies. We just love our parks ", April 6) who, I believe, had good intentions.
The best reason not to relocate up to 180 housing tenants to Weston Creek is the lack of community services for vulnerable people.
A quick perusal of the CONTACT website listing all community services in the ACT verifies this. Although the head offices of many community organisations are located in the Grant Cameron Offices in Holder, most do not deliver services from this location. The only services I could find located in Weston Creek are two seniors social groups, a men's shed, a post-natal depression group and a child care centre.
The Weston Creek Community Service amalgamated with Tuggeranong Community Service many years ago, resulting in most services being moved from Weston to Tuggeranong and Gungahlin, areas considered to be of higher need. There is no youth centre or service for vulnerable youth, no drug and alcohol service, no support groups for women who find themselves in public housing having escaped domestic violence, and no return to work programs.
Unless ACT Housing is considering relocating to Weston Creek only elderly men who like to build things, I suggest they take this into account.
Yes, I am a resident of Weston Creek and no, I am not a Nimby.
My sincere hope is the support services required for an influx of housing tenants are being planned as I write.
I am not overly optimistic.
Karla Ries, Duffy
Fine political mess
Thank you Canberra Times for the editorial on April 13, describing the progressive mess the ACT government finds itself in over conflicting priorities. Sadly, it can all be sheeted home to the purely political decision, enshrined in the Parliamentary Agreement of December 2012, when the Labor Party had to buy the last remaining Green MLA to stay in power, including an obligation to start laying tram tracks from Gungahlin to Civic sometime in 2016. The financial chickens are now coming home to roost as many of us have predicted for the past three years.
In particular, the editorial correctly mentions the ill effects of having to rehouse the many public tenants from along the Stage1 corridor, but could have elaborated on why.
On May 24, 2014, the Chief Minister signed a National Partnership Agreement on Asset Recycling.
Under that agreement, Mr Barr agreed to sell about $400million of government assets, in order to qualify for a $60million federal contribution to the Stage1 tram.
However, two vital conditions of the deal were that the government could not allow the public housing stock to fall below 10,848, and that some 1288 public tenants had to be relocated before June 30, 2019. Hence the current scramble to rehouse these tenants.
Barr expected that the sale of land along the Stage1 corridor, especially along Northbourne Avenue, would pay the government's deposit on the tram but it will cost at least $500-600million to rehouse 1288 public tenants.
The Stage1 tram alone, which will cost an absolute minimum of $1.3billion and most likely $1.6billion or more over 23 years (2016 prices), is completely distorting the development of Canberra, all done to buy the Green vote.
The Gungahlin-Civic corridor was chosen for Stage1 as the most propitious of potential corridors, but still falls short of being anywhere near economic.
How can any other corridor be considered viable? Stage2 to Woden has to be considered as no more than a pipedream promise and sop to Woden valley voters at the last election. It will never happen.
The government could yet even be forced to pull the plug on Stage1. What a mess!
Roger Dace (Letters 13, April 13) mounts a superficially attractive argument for allowing a young person to access their superannuation to buy a dwelling. According to Mr Dace, their hypothetical $400,000 Canberra house would double in value over 20 years, leaving them much better off than if they had left their money in super. What Mr Dace neglects to point out is that, if they wereable to cope with the monthly repayments of $2800 (at a low interest rate of 7 per cent) they would pay $310,000 in interest over the 20-year term of their loan.
To make the capital gain that Mr Dace predicts, the hypothetical property would have to appreciate by 3.5 per cent annually (twice current rates of inflation) over the period of the loan.
In an already massively inflated property marker, this is a heroic assumption. Perhaps that is why Malcolm Turnbull and almost all economists agree that using superannuation to buy houses is "a thoroughly bad idea".
Mike Reddy, Curtin
It is difficult to understand why our once Green MLA can't support his party's foundation green principles. Is he going to tell the golden sun moths that his Green/Labor government is about to trash their forever Ginninderry home (since eternity) for $980,000 as an "environmental offset" (whatever this means?) for land in NSW ("LDA reveals cost of farmland purchases", April 8)?
We are quick to deplore deforestation in Borneo to grow palm trees, thus trashing the orangutan's home, but don't seem to care about trashing other animals' homes to grow a housing estate!
Surely no amount of money should be able to purchase God's natural animal habitats – even for the Greens?
Level playing field
If negative gearing is so wonderful for mum and dad "investors", why not have it for "mum and dad homeowners"?
They can then deduct their mortgage payments from their taxable income and there would be a "level playing field" and, possibly, a damper on rising house prices.
At least, the "investor" would be less likely to outbid the "home buyer".
Peter Dahler, Calwell
Professor's nuclear muddle
If the only piece of military advice that Australian National University chancellor Professor Gareth Evans can offer the Australian government is to build nuclear-powered submarines, then his reasons for doing so are extraordinarily self-contradictory ("The most ill-informed, under-prepared, and psychologically ill-equipped president in US history", canberratimes.com.au, April 14). The only reason our government would switch to nuclear propulsion is to make our submarines much more potent against a rapidly expanding Chinese navy.
This is completely at odds with Professor Evans urging Australia to reduce its dependence on the US alliance by accepting China as a "global rule maker" and to accommodate its "sensitivity" towards policies intended to contain it.
Nor does this policy position agree with his stated commitment to nuclear non-proliferation. Professor Evans is clearly unable to decide as to whether he thinks Australia should accept China as either a friend or as a foe.
Reverend Dr Vincent Zankin, Rivett
Humans v animals
Barnaby Joyce argues that there is a choice between human wellbeing and animal wellbeing. For example, in regard to forestry operations he thinks there is a choice between "possums or people". His arguments for the Adani mine would be based on the same logic, that is, people's needs should take preference over the Great Barrier Reef, no matter how far these people are from our shores and how deliberate are their policies to expand population and economic growth despite their own environmental issues. The logic of Barnaby and other Adani supporters is scary.
Barnaby should note that people are a species of animal not so genetically different from apes and like all animals require clean air, unpolluted waters and a sustainable living environment.
Barnaby may argue that is oversimplistic and as a creature higher up the evolutionary scale his needs are greater than apes. But my comeback is that Barnaby's logic also has its failings. For instance, by advocating the Adani mine, Barnaby is not giving preference to people over animals but is giving preference to one group of people over another. He is giving preference to coal users overseas over those who rely on the Great Barrier Reef for a living.
This is clearly against the longer term national interest as Barnaby's logic leads to the demise of our own economic assets. It also fails to recognise that more complex needs require more complex solutions apart from digging holes in the ground. Barnaby should snap out of his Third World mentality and start thinking of the welfare of his own constituents, the farmers. Under his logic we will end up with large tracts of destroyed and unusable areas that cannot be used for farming, tourism or fishing.
He needs to look to the longer term and work out who are the winners and losers. This might inspire him to move beyond short-term political expediency and act in the national interest.
Robyn Vincent, McKellar
Paul Bowler (Letters, April 13) makes a very good point: Why isn't the Indian government providing the $1 billion concessional loan that Adani is seeking in respect of its proposed new coal mine when all the coal is to be exported to India to generate electricity there?
The whole thing is an Indian project that just happens to be located in Australia rather than in India. Why should we Australian taxpayers be providing concessional finance to an Indian venture? If the venture is so important to the prosperity of India, let the Indians finance it.
Don Sephton, Greenway
Short memories allow the government of America to use Hitler as their benchmark of evil.
S.W. Davey ("Hitler's monopoly", Letters, April 13) suggests Stalin and Pol Pot; however the crimes of war committed by the US to ensure their global dominance do not rate a mention.
Let's not forget the A Bomb, NAPALM, and Agent Orange, the fallout of which is the long-lasting effects of that ecocide in Indo-China. Radioactive dirty bombs used in Iraq, while not a gas strictly speaking, should also be accounted for. Using Hitler as an example is one way to deflect attention away from the sorry history of the imperium, and last but by no means least, the conga line of corporations that imagine and produce ever new methods of mass destruction.
Peter Curtis, Waramanga
Credibility in decline
One Nation seems to be fast losing any credibility of being a viable alternate political force to the LNP, ALP and Greens in any future electoral contests, with some weird and wacky comments over the last few weeks.
The latest claim – that the ABC is colluding with IS and placing our overseas ADF personnel at risk – is ludicrous, following on from boycotting Cadbury's Easter eggs because they have been certified as halal.
Oh, that's right, the ABC is biased in its reporting of political policies. Apparently some political party agendas should not be analysed beyond the party that proposes them; that is, all of the social issues that could be affected by those policies must not be explored apart from their targeted objective.
Every ideology that refuses to be scrutinised thoroughly usually has some sort of hidden agenda and it habitually emphasises its fashionable viewpoints and gets very shirty if alternative issues are noted in those policies.
I used to compare my community and social outlook against that of our political representatives and had One Nation slightly in front of the LNP, ALP and Greens but it has lately dropped sharply down the greasy pole of credibility to now languish at the bottom.
Graeme Brewer, Biggera Waters, Qld
TO THE POINT
After reading Megan Doherty's article ("A year to get over birthday card from Zed", April 13), maybe Zed Seselja should consider leaving politics and to work for a charity such as the Salvation Army or the Red Cross, where his community spirit could be put to good use.
John Milne, Chapman
WHITE ASYLUM HOUSE
Presidential contradictions, unprecedented diplomatic rudeness, backflips, sidekicks offering red-faced apologies – the first 100 days of Trump will be filed as "beyond satire". The lunatics have taken over the US asylum.
Barrie Smillie, Duffy
REIN IN MINORITY
I support Phil Brown's defence of public housing tenants ("Care for refugees? Why not your neighbours?" April 7), however the minority who are irresponsible tenants are those who fuel local community concern. If the ACT government took firm, speedy action against these miscreants, public opinion would improve.
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
Should I be concerned that I agree with H.Ronald regarding "infantile music fans" (Letters, Canberra Times, April 13)?
Maria Greene, Curtin
BIG CARBON FALLOUT
Neville Exon (Letters, April 13) asserts that carbon dioxide produced by burning the 60billion tonnes of coal from the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine "will not add to global warming". In fact, burnt for power generation, it would produce 128.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the principal cause of global warming.
Patricia Saunders, Chapman
The plan of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to name and shame the companies that breach unspecified requirements and standards is absolute and unmitigated codswallop ("Public name and shame proposal", April 11, p18). They're shameless.
Gary J. Wilson, Macgregor
MAD, BAD TRUMP
Gareth Evans' analysis of The Donald at a book launch recalls Caroline Lamb's remarks about the poet Byron – mad, bad and dangerous to know.
Thos Puckett, Ashgrove, Qld
The South Vietnamese would be thanking their "lucky" stars the 1000-kilogram bomb Trump unleashed against IS tunnels wasn't available during the United States invasion of their country. After all, it had enough of the US' other silent killers dropped by B52s.
D.J.Fraser, Currumbin, Qld
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