A TV program last night had a mum instruct her teenage daughter not to venture on to a remote beach for fear of getting trapped in quicksand.
The story resonated with the detection of high ACT cocaine use in wastewater analysis (Sunday Times, April 2, p1). Needless to say, the forbidden beach was the first destination of the daughter, just as drugs are tried in defiance of desperate parental pleas.
In both cases, well meant instructions and warnings are transformed into a cool challenge.
The wastewater analysis confirms what we have long known: dangerous illicit drugs are too available. We have also known making it an offence to consume them encourages consumption.
Wiser heads in cleverer countries have adopted the approach of making drugs boring. It may be counter-intuitive but Shane Rattenbury's suggestion of decriminalisation (Canberra Times, March 25) would give us the capacity to do the same here.
Prohibition hands control to criminals and stimulates demand in a marketing system virtually impossible for law enforcement to penetrate and disrupt.
Bill Bush, Families & Friends for Drug Law Reform vice-president, Turner
Tony Trobe's suggestion to allow dual occupancies throughout RZ1 residential zones (Canberra Times, April 2) may benefit developers, but it does not make sense for older downsizers.
We need to be within walking distance of regional or local commercial centres and the RZ2 suburban core zones already cater for this. These are usually within 200m of shops and provide for a mix of single-dwelling and multi-unit development. There is no need to change the character of RZ1 zones.
Most of the RZ1 Mr Fluffy blocks that Mr Trobe has identified for subdivision and downsizing are more than 200m from any shops and are unsuitable for the elderly who want to downsize.
Using the Fluffy blocks as a model is essentially randomly rezoning parts of RZ1 as RZ2 – very poor planning. And let's suppose I want to downsize by building a dual-occupancy on my present block. Where am I going to live while the development is taking place?
I don't think Mr Trobe has thought through the planning implications or the practicalities of his proposals.
David Denham, Griffith
As Stan Marks' letter suggests (letters, April 2), Mr Barr and the rest of the ACT Politburo seem hellbent on turning the bush capital into an urban jungle by lining the streets of Gungahlin with rows and rows of soulless apartments and filling them with tram fodder.
And they're doing it under the deceitful pretext that it's progress. It's not progress, it's regression.
Canberra's first-home buyers, those who can't afford the extortionate land prices the ACT government charges, are being forced into concrete layer cakes (tarted up with gaudy colours and glass) reminiscent of the brutalist architecture that blighted post-war urban landscapes and which proved to be a recipe for social disaster.
And it's not just Gungahlin that's suffering from the march of "progress" . Social engineering now threatens the city with boundaries of a "precinct' ' being carved out from both sides of Northbourne Avenue: more apartments, more tram fodder, more rates per unit area to fill the government coffers. If I lived in any of the suburbs designated as part of the Northbourne Avenue carve up, I would be very concerned. This is the ACT; you don't own your land, the government does, and history has shown us that the minister's call-in powers are an unstoppable force.
Lee Welling, Nicholls
Ian Warden can't have been paying attention during his school scripture lessons ("Is heaven bound to disappoint Canberrans?", April 2, p20). It was explained to us that we can't understand what it will be like in heaven, just as a child can't understand what it will be like to be an adult.
Nevertheless, it's hard to avoid speculating about it, as Ian did in his article. I can't help wondering about Rugby Union, the game played in heaven. The nature of the game will be quite different as penalties, the central part of the earthly game, obviously won't occur in the heavenly version.
Mike Dallwitz, Giralang
Ian Warden, whose writings I have enjoyed for 30 years, asks "Is heaven bound to disappoint Canberrans?" I really admire his faith. Several times he tells us, yet again, that he is an atheist. That means he is a person of considerable faith.
He has faith that he has no divine creator and therefore is a self-made man. He believes his life, and that of all of us, is just a remarkable accident and is totally meaningless. He believes that he has a body and mind, but no soul. He apparently believes that Jesus Christ and other spiritual leaders were just deluded fanatics. So Ian has considerable faith. Perhaps if some Canberrans reach heaven they will be surprised at three realities, who is not there that they expected to meet, who is there that they did not expect to meet, and most of all, that they are there. But would an atheist like Ian really enjoy heaven?
Robert Willson, Deakin
It seems Sunday is our ACT Day of Reflection and Repentance. Comments by Albert White in letters on April 2 and Paul Malone on March 26 about the Mosul madness in which we are participating are the only press comments I have seen.
I don't look at the Murdoch press, expecting none. Have any of our paid representatives raised this atrocity in Parliament? Our foreign minister courts Duterte Harry, going hundreds of kilometres out of her way to greet this homicidal monster on his home patch. What are we becoming as a nation?
A. Moore, Melba
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