Drones must be stopped from ruining the bush capital

How sad it would be if the first city in the world ruined by the scourge of delivery drones was a city known as the Bush Capital; a city promoted by its government as the premier living destination in the country for its peaceful amenity, proximity to nature, and abundance of wildlife.

As a resident who lived through six months of the Bonython trial, I can tell you that my family and the majority of my fellow residents stopped thriving as we usually did in our peaceful enclave, and instead were reduced to surviving the invasive onslaught of noisy aircraft. All without consultation or warning from our government.

Wing's  Terrance Bouldin-Johnson. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Wing's Terrance Bouldin-Johnson. Photo: Jamila Toderas

I left my home with my children many times to escape the noise. It was unbelievable to us that the ACT government would throw us to the wolves as they did.

The people of Canberra did not lobby for delivery drones. They are not essential to our well-being or economy. What is essential is the peaceful amenity of our homes and suburbs.

It is deeply upsetting to learn Project Wing delivery drones are being allowed to fly in Gungahlin without the ACT government having a period of public consultation to ask our city if residents want or need them.

I am infuriated a private company is being allowed to destroy what makes our city a uniquely magnificent place to live.

I. Kolak, Bonython

Light rail party a hoot

A prudent light rail party sounds like a blast. I can't wait to go along and be thanked by the Barr government.

Thanks for accepting the loss of the bus service to your suburb. Thanks for accepting your children have no school bus service. Thanks for accepting the fact we totally ignored a petition of over 600 residents tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly requesting a school bus service for our children. Thanks for accepting our sham "public consultation" over the new bus network. Thanks for accepting the way we snubbed any requests to reconsider the new bus network.

I'm not anti light rail, but when it comes at a genuine loss of service to other Canberra residents it's a pretty hard pill to swallow.

S. Watt, Fairbairn

I'm not anti light rail, but when it comes at a genuine loss of service to other Canberra residents it's a pretty hard pill to swallow. Unfortunately a $100,000 (minimum) light rail sausage sizzle thank you celebration doesn't change anything.

S. Watt, Fairbairn

ACT Liberals on the move

The Canberra Liberals seem to be mounting something of a campaign for the next ACT territory election. There have been letter boxing, fake "surveys" and even reports Giulia Jones has been seen in public.

It's odd timing for a territory campaign, given a federal election is imminent. Unless of course they are trying to deliberately muddy the waters between federal and ACT issues. Surely they wouldn't be that sneaky.... would they?

Perhaps Zed, understandably reluctant to run on his record, is trying to confuse electors and to weasel his way back into the Senate by moonlighting in his old job.

He could possibly get away with it as no-one can remember who is actually the ACT leader of the opposition. Put Zed last.

Rob Ey, Weston

Einstein is not wrong

On Monday (Letters, April 15) Rod Matthews wrote that Newton's theory of general gravitation beats Einstein's theory of general relativity hands down. Now, Wallace Thornhill claims Einstein was simply wrong (Letters, April 16).

I point out to Mr Matthews that it's really all a matter of scale. Newton's thinking was confined to the Earth and the moon. NASA's considerations are confined to the solar system and its immediate environment. Einstein, however, was able to think about the whole universe and how it was created.

I ask Mr Thornhill this: if Einstein was wrong and the Alfvén-Perrat model of galaxy formation is correct, why does this remain largely unknown?

Mr Thornhill claims there is no black hole in the centre of spiral galaxies, but then writes that there is a central "donut" containing energy equivalent to the "mass of millions or billions of stars".

I ask Mr Thornhill why, in reaching this conclusion, is reference made to E=mc2, the core of Einstein's theory of general relativity, if Einstein was wrong?

Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin

Flat earthers are back

Just when I thought we were assailed by as much unscientific thinking as I could bear with global warming denial and even flat earthers making a comeback, along comes Rod Matthews (Letters, April 15). To cut a long story short, Newton's laws are fine for low speeds and reasonably empty volumes of space (like most of solar system) but they don't describe gravitational waves (now observed), black holes (now observed), the changes in frequency of radiation from binary pulsars (observed decades ago) or the bending of light when it passes a massive object (observed a century ago). Einstein gets all of those right. And even close to home you won't get Mercury's orbit quite right if you stick to Newton, while Einstein's equations are spot on. So "plausible" or not, Einstein was on to something.

Andrew Davies, Macquarie

Our second-class election

Here we go again. The opportunity for ACT and Northern Territory second-class citizens to cast a second-class vote to elect second-class citizens to represent us in Parliament.

This seems appropriate as it is very hard to consider recent parliaments as anything other than second class.

It will be very interesting to see if any of our prospective second-class citizen representatives undertake to at least try to elevate us to first-class citizen status.

Max Lotton, Fisher

Let's hear from candidates

Many of us do not want our voting decisions on polling day dictated by political party "how to vote" cards.

The Canberra Alliance for Participatory Democracy (CAPaD) has approached candidates for election to the three ACT House of Representative seats and the two ACT Senate seats, and invited them to lodge on its website, a personal candidate statement in response to a series of vital questions. All statements will be available at www.canberra-alliance.org.au.

The value of the CAPaD candidate statements to the many voters, who accessed them at the ACT elections in 2016, was that they could compare the personal responses to these vital questions, both across and within parties, using materials prepared by the candidates themselves, rather than their parties.

The statements from the 15 elected MLA's who submitted statements in 2016 are still accessible on the website and make interesting reading.

Knowing what political candidates say about themselves can help us to make our own decisions about them.

Bob Douglas, Bruce

Folau is a true believer

Some people, including the CEO of Qantas, think Israel Folau deserves to lose his job for alleged "homophobia".

Even though he faces significant loss of income, Folau refuses to back down or apologise, saying he puts the Bible before his job security. And that's the thing, if Folau is guilty of anything, he's guilty of believing, in a literal sense, what is written in the Bible and of quoting those words publicly.

People who want Folau banned, really want the Bible banned. That is the effect of banning public discussion, quotation and publication of passages from the Bible that are deemed to be offensive to some groups of people.

D Zivkovic, Aranda

Bring us the facts

What I want from the Canberra Times, is a full, in-depth independent resume of my local federal political aspirants (not a press handout).

I want to know their background, qualifications and possible voting inclinations. In the case of the current seat holders standing for re-election, I need to know what they actually voted for and against in the last parliament.

This information will achieve far more than 1000 opinion pieces.

Geoff Piddington, Gowrie

Parke punished for truth

The withdrawal by Melissa Parke as ALP candidate for Curtin for criticising Israel's more than 50-year occupation of the West Bank reflects poorly on her party and politics more generally in Australia.

She is a victim of having spoken the truth in Australia whose major political parties support Israel's regime, which she has likened to the South African system of apartheid. According to former South Africans, now Israeli citizens, this is a fair comparison.

Ms Parke, a former lawyer for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Gaza, is well qualified to speak on the worsening situation in Israel, but her party, including Bill Shorten, does not want to hear or change its policy. Instead, Australia, regardless of who wins the May 18 election, will effectively continue its support for daily intimidation against Palestinians, who have no vote, and the expansion of illegal West Bank settlements.

Graham Downie, O'Connor

To the point


Doug Thompson wonders if there is a "dark motive" for the Australian War Memorial not participating in the Culture Loop bus service, beyond already having sufficient parking (Letters, April 15). I imagine it also doesn't want its car park being used as a free park-and-ride hub.

Ian Douglas, Jerrabomberra


Australians knock Canberra from afar but, when they come here, expect their capital to be exemplary. Federal election candidates take note.

Jack Kershaw, Kambah


Has there ever been a more inept coverage by political correspondents in Australia as Bill Shorten promises to spend this nation's savings and remains completely unscrutinised? Explain yourselves.

Brad Crossling, Canberra


So the ACT government proposes to spend over $100,000 on the party to launch light rail. And I thought spending taxpayers' money on painting rainbow roundabouts was over the top. But what I find saddest, is that when I look at the ACT opposition, I still couldn't vote for them. The ACT really needs a viable opposition.

Kim Fitzgerald, Deakin


The most important election issue is the environment and climate change. LNP politicians are fond of telling us that we shouldn't saddle our children and grandchildren with debt to fund our lifestyles. Future debt will be irrelevant if we don't leave them a healthy environment.

Keith Hill, Isaacs


After Liberal Senator James McGrath's high decibel debut on Q&A on Monday night I wouldn't be surprised if he became a regular on Sky News After Dark.

T. Puckett, Ashgrove, Qld


A radio commentator said in regard to President Trump's response to his knowledge of WikiLeaks that he might be "acting dumb". Acting?

Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Vic


Dutton's assertion Ali France used her disability as an "excuse" for not living in Dickson was the equivalent of Steve Waugh's folklore sledge to Herschelle Gibbs in the 1999 World Cup. When Gibbs dropped Waugh on 56, Waugh apparently said "Hersh, you've just dropped the World Cup".

Ray Armstrong, Tweed Heads South, NSW


It is wrong to imply Einstein's theories are wrong (Letters, April 16). They have passed every direct test. Spiral arms in galaxies are caused by gravitational instabilities predicted by Newtonian calculations. Particle jets from black holes are electromagnetic in origin, arising from a disk of plasma gravitationally bound to the black hole, and seen in the "picture" of the black hole in the centre of our galaxy.

Bruce A. Peterson, Kambah


I had to laugh when I saw photos of Folau's tattooed arms, recalling that his god says "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you". (Leviticus 19:28).

Fred Pilcher, Kaleen

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