I read with interest Michael Gorey's article ("National park proposed for Mount Ainslie area", February 10, p.10) on the possible development of a National Park for the Mount Majura, Mount Ainslie, Mulligans Flat area in the ACT.
I was disappointed by his dismissal of a national park proposal around Ginninderra Falls just to the north of Canberra in NSW.
The ACT areas already have significant legislative protections within the Canberra Nature Park. The areas around the Murrumbidgee River and Ginninderra Creek corridors are about to be swamped by Ginninderry urban development houses, concrete and roads for 30,000 people unless action is taken to limit the 2017 changes proposed for NSW land rezoning from Rural E3 to Urban by the Yass Valley Council.
There is huge potential to convert the gorges and Ginninderra Falls area into a world-class conservation park with a focus on ecological sustainability and recreational and tourist potential.
Without an urgent rethink by Yass Valley Council the conservation park area will degenerate into a poorly managed fringe area on Canberra's northern suburbs.
Douglas Finlayson, Garran
Police target the Moore and Alinga streets intersection for dangerous pedestrian traffic in the public forecourt area outside the Health building.
In the best traditions of the "bold gendarmes" (Pirates of Penzance) the AFP ignores whole areas of Canberra where people cannot safely walk about even in daylight without being aware of how vulnerable they are to sudden violence (e.g. Glebe Park, broad daylight).
The AFP pounce on the elderly for daring to stand and think.
The traffic officers of Transport Canberra now have policing responsibility for East Row and Alinga (east of Northbourne).
As a former beat copper (1970s) I hang my head in shame at what community policing in Canberra has become.
Woden Plaza was a social hub of south Canberra in the 1970s. Woden Police took pride in safety for huge numbers of shoppers and families being entertained.
The disruptive, nasty, street crime element was kept under control.
One was written up in recently in The Canberra Times in something of folk hero status: spent most of his adult life in jail, police tried to help him in his teen years at Woden Plaza and elsewhere.
Contrast with the city area today: drunks, druggies, language, and urinating.
Not a policeman in sight most days. That is until those criminal pedestrians offend outside Health.
Christopher Ryan, Watson
Sleep is of value
Canberra Airport has regularly promoted its curfew-free status in order to advance its business objectives such as an air freight hub ("Sky's the limit for ACT", February 11, p.1). However, by definition those Australian airports that do have a curfew between 11 pm and 6 am do so to protect residents' sleep and avoid disturbance from aircraft noise overnight.
Why are community and public health interests given such low priority by the Barr/Canberra Airport duo?
Those living close to the flight paths would surely be adversely affected by increasing air freight traffic overnight.
Murray May, Cook
Not holding breath
In response to John Milne (Letters, February 14), I really do hope the Cotter Road service station/takeaway restaurant is never built.
The proposed site is near the sensitive lower Molonglo Nature Reserve, thus making it entirely incompatible for the intended activities. The proponents will say (like they always do) appropriate measures will be in place to ensure fuel leakages and fast-food wrappers will be confined to the site. If they achieve that it will be a world first.
Bill Gemmell, Holder
Strike up the band
It is deeply gratifying to hear that the newly appointed head of the ANU School of Music, Ken Lampl, has, according to school's website, "played alongside some of the world's greatest jazz musicians".
Perhaps, with some of the $12.5 million the school has been allocated across the next five years, he can re-establish the school's internationally renowned jazz department, which was so barbarically cut in2012.
Geoff Page, Narrabundah
Stephen Trask, in his article ("Ken Lampl named as new boss of ANU School of Music", February 10, p.6) states "the deputy head position is a first for the school". Not so. Previous deputy heads, then known as deputy directors, included Professor William Hawkey, and Professor John Luxton.
Angela Giblin, Lyneham
Base and baseless
Jacqui Lambie's rhetoric over Sharia law "taking over" Australia is baseless and misleading. The Koran instructs Muslims to "obey those who are in authority among you" (4:60). Lambie is using Islam as a scapegoat to further her own political agenda.
Khizar Rana, Walkerville, SA
Leave bail laws alone
The ACT Liberals should inform themselves better before asking for yet another review of the bail laws.
There is already provision for refusal of bail to a person already on bail who is alleged to have committed new offences.
In the ACT only a magistrate can grant bail if it is refused at the watchhouse and a new law was recently introduced allowing the DPP to effectively appeal the decision of a magistrate allowing bail.
What more do the Liberals want?
Jennifer Saunders, barrister and solicitor, Canberra
Time is wasting as the heat rises inexorably and nothing is done
As the temperature crept into the 40s last week, we were urged by AEMO and the NSW government to economise on our use of electricity to avoid "load shedding events" as happened recently in South Australia.
According to the Turnbull government, these blackouts are caused by over-reliance on renewable energy sources.
I used the NSW Department of Industry website to tally up the energy mix over here. If everything is on line, the major contributors are coal/gas thermal at 67 per cent, followed by hydro at 25 per cent, and wind at 4 per cent.
By population South Australians have, at best, a generating capacity of 0.0014MW per person, and NSW has 0.0024MW per person. But even with 175per cent more capacity per head, 92 per cent coming from steady thermal/hydro power, the recent hot spell shows the risk of blackout in NSW is still very high.
The story is not as simple as the Turnbull government makes out in its dishonest attacks on the SA government.
Mark Kenney's article ("PM told wind not to blame for blackout", canberratimes.
com.au, February 13) makes it clear the Turnbull government prefers a policy of deliberate deception to facing reality.
Their refusal to acknowledge that the world is in transition because of climate change gets more dangerous with each year they waste.
If I were living in SA I would be giving the bozos holding up lumps of coal in Parliament the flick, and investing in rooftop solar with storage as my route towards energy security.
Michael Williams, Curtin
In the grim austerity of postwar Britain, Aneurin Bevan told Parliament: "This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organising genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time."
Today we might say of Australia: "This continent is soaked in sunshine, blown by wind and surrounded by gas fields. Only a Liberal government could contrive a shortage of both power and natural gas."
Our inability to plan for essential infrastructure means we have neither a gas pipeline bringing north-west shelf gas to the eastern states (more profit in exporting it, folks!), nor massive solar farms in the Cooper Basin and WA, nor high-voltage DC transmission to form a truly national grid.
As the Chinese understand, this latter technology moves gigawatts over continents with little loss. All our energy needs could be met with only 0.4 per cent of our land under solar farms. Linking east and west, we could move supply from where it is generated to where it is needed. Distributed natural gas turbines using WA gas could provide local infill power.
Our power problems stem from a lack of vision and committment to ensure our economic future.
Coal is merely a fossil from the past. When politicians cease to be beholden to rent-seeking gas and coal barons, the better for all.
Prof. Michael Dopita, AM, Googong, NSW
Victims of power play
What is going on at ActewAGL?
I had exactly the same experience this summer with an "Actual" meter read error as Steve Anderson (Letters, February6), involving a disturbingly similar unit over-read on the meter and overcharge on the bill (about 410 units and $440).
Given the slew of letters recently on incorrect actual meter reads (and terrible meter read estimates) it would likely be only a tiny fraction of those who have had this experience, and that this has never happened to me before (could be the same for others?) one can only wonder what is going on at ActewAGL.?
Is this some sort of current system failure or something more Machiavellian?
David Barratt, Yarralumla
I refer to Anne Willenborg's letter regarding electricity pricing (Letters, February 13) and await with trepidation the prices the ACT's regulator will soon set.
No draft prices have been published. Historically draft or indicative prices were provided early in the year, prior to the price changes that occur later in the year.
There has been a lot of change at the regulator; the current commissioner appears to not want to release draft prices for electricity or what his decision is on how water tariffs are structured before he faces the little scrutiny afforded by the Legislative Assembly later this month.
I took the trouble to read one of the reports and was astounded by how out of touch the regulator is with the simple truth that electricity and water are essential services paid for by the people of the ACT.
Perhaps ActewAGL are preparing us for double-digit price increases and will cry boohoo about how nothing is under their control and the regulator sets the prices.
As the ACT government benefits from any price increases, I suspect there is a reason all is so quiet. Disturbingly quiet.
Maybe we will be hearing, after public hearings, electricity and water price increases to pay for the ineptitudes of the government.
It will be neatly wrapped in a package of economic horse doo-doo by the regulator with a neat economic bow on it.
Adrian Smith, Yarralumla
Bernardi the betrayer
Your correspondent, Mike Hutchison (Letters, February 13) accuses several others (of which I was one) of not understanding democracy because we believe Senator Bernardi should resign from Parliament following his departure from the Liberals.
I remain firmly of that view.
The senator was not elected for his individual merits or views but almost certainly by above-the-line voters choosing the party that had endorsed him as a candidate and placed him on its Senate ticket in a winnable position.
It is staggering to me that the electoral laws let him retain his office when he has clearly betrayed the people who put him there.
Charles Smith, Nicholls
Hold fire, Donald
If Donald Trump really wants to ensure that the US has "the security and safety to which we are entitled" (tweet of 8 February 8), the most effective way to achieve this would be to amend the gun laws and remove the ability of US citizens to slaughter each other. But, of course, it won't happen.
Anne Laisk, Weston
TO THE POINT
With politicians and bureaucrats being too gutless to tackle the problem, is it any wonder society is progressively being buried under the detritus of its addiction to mindless consumption ("Rubbish report reveals big rise", February 11, p.18)? Failure to eliminate the, clearly obvious, known cause represents dereliction of duty.
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
Perhaps Bill Deane (Letters, February 14) could clarify which war his grandfather fought in. It's hard to imagine the Anzacs of World War II would welcome a resurgence of religious intolerance and racial vilification. Things may have been different in the Boer War.
Peter Marshall, Captains Flat, NSW
In view of the decision of the Speaker of the House of Commons to veto a possible address from President Trump , could I respectfully suggest that Birmingham is the wrong place for President Trump to address a rally. Would not sending him to Coventry be a better option?
Maggie Watts, Calwell
High temperature records tumble while politicians pose with a lump of coal as if it were part of the solution rather than the problem. Madness.
Peter Campbell, Cook
Politicians' blame gaming over the nation's power crisis only generates personal limelight; it leaves the public in the dark.
M. F. Horton, Adelaide, SA
David Walker (Letters, February 13) is to be commended for his progressive views on baseload power but with dwindling light output after 7pm and insufficient wind is his argument an alternative fact?
B. Ritchie, Lyons
Just when you think that the Prime Minister couldn't possibly be a bigger disappointment, he announces some alternative facts on energy security. The bar is lowered even further.
Rob Ey, Weston
Given it was possible for Mr Morrison to smuggle a large piece of coal into Parliament, what's to stop a terrorist smuggling in a much smaller object, e.g. a gun?
John Galvin, Weston
ONE IN, ALL IN
What I would like to see (but undoubtedly will not): Julia Morris and Dr Chris Brown give a demonstration of the tasks set for the "celebrities" on I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here.
Ken McPhan, Spence
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).