Well, I and my family rode the new trams all day on Saturday and a marvellous experience it was!
Very festive indeed and a superb piece of tramway engineering - and only 22-23 minutes from one terminus to the other! Congratulations Canberra!
However, next week a new bus timetable goes into operation and we, in O'Connor, lose everything. The advertisements say "more buses, more often, seven days a week". But not for us in O'Connor.
We currently have two half hourly buses connecting us with Belconnen, Calvary Hospital, Dickson, the ANU, the city, the National Library, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery, Questacon and so forth. At weekends there is an hourly bus making these connections, and it also goes to the National Museum.
But next weekend almost all this goes - we have only one route, going only to Dickson and the city! Maybe the tram is being paid for by cutting most of the bus services out?
John Ward, O'Connor
Some things never change
Every time there is an election coming up and I see the pollies working the crowds all around the country I am reminded of Dickens' wonderful description of polling day in the (rotten) borough of Eatanswill.
Rotten boroughs may have been abolished, but some things never change.Barbara Fisher, Cook
He has an election agent assuring his candidate as the latter is about to go out to mingle with the crowd "There are 20 washed men at the street door for you to shake hands with; and six children in arms that you're to pat on the head, and inquire the age of; be particular about the children, my dear sir, it has always a great effect that sort of thing."
Rotten boroughs may have been abolished, but some things never change.
Barbara Fisher, Cook
I sympathise with visitor Adrian James, booked for parking on the grass at the recent running festival (Letters, April 17).
I had a similar experience when I'd just moved to Canberra in the mid-1980s and went back to Sydney for the Royal Easter Show.
Around the same time, the Canberra Food and Wine Frolic saw officials turn a blind eye to informal parking, such as the Parkes Way median strip.
I delighted in having moved to a more reasonable, flexible city, which recognized special events as being out of the ordinary.
Ian Douglas, Jerrabomberra
It won't happen that way
I wonder if T. J. Farquahar (Letters, April 17) truly believes that the billions of animals currently confined in small cages, pens, tanks or barns will be released at once as the result of the world going vegan overnight. It won't happen that way. As we continue the shift away from animal use producers respond by breeding fewer animals.
Animals are currently slaughtered while very young (often just weeks or months old) so there will be a short time-lag between decreasing demand and a reduction in the numbers of animals bred to be slaughtered. No one is going to breed animals they can't sell.
As for zoos, as these close animals would need to be relocated to sanctuaries as recently happened with Gaza Zoo.
Mike O'Shaughnessy, Spence
Fare from convinced
Michael Koziol's report "Bubble and trouble for PM as Victorian ads target Dutton" (April 16, p4) quotes Scott Morrison as saying "... I'm not a phoney. I'm not going to go around pretending I'm something I'm not."
However, Mr Morrison persists in trying to play the part of an ordinary, footy-loving Aussie bloke who likes to have a beer or two with his mates at the local pub, or cooking some snags for his friends on his barbie.
I, and I'm sure very many other clear-sighted Australians remain far from convinced.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Attack on renters
Recent months have seen a continuing assault by the ACT government on owners of rented homes, with punitive financial penalties now augmented by the effective removal of the right (among others) to prohibit pets.
So it's hardly surprising that the latest Allhomes quarterly report (April 11) has recorded continuing rises in Canberra rental costs, as those owners not already driven out of the market seek adequate compensation.
In particular, those owners who are not property investors and who are temporarily renting their place of residence to cover their own rental expenses elsewhere, now have little option but to assume a worst case scenario of damaged walls, urine soaked carpets and floorboards and angry, sleep deprived neighbours on their return and to set rents accordingly.
This is even for tenants who have no pet ownership intentions, as the legislation makes them impossible to distinguish at the time of renting from those who may not declare their current or future pets until after the rental agreement is signed.
It is these pet-less renters, now forced into the same market as pet owners, who are paying the additional resulting costs and who are ultimately subsidising pet owning tenants who previously paid a small premium to consenting property owners for the additional risks involved.
These pet-less renters are the real victims of Labor, who are knowingly subjecting them to higher rental costs in order to obtain perceived electoral favour with pet owners. As for the ACT Greens, who must surely be aware of these factors, it is another marker of their transformation from a party of compassion into that of ruthless, cynical politicians.
Terry George, Kingston
Question of cost
It is often claimed that electric vehicles will be cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vehicles.
The comparisons that I have seen fail to take account of the effect of fuel taxes.
In Australia petrol and diesel fuel attract an excise tax of 42c per litre.
It would be naive to assume that the Australian government could give up such a lucrative source of revenue without imposing a similar cost on users of electric vehicles.
A meaningful cost comparison would reduce the cost of petrol or diesel fuel by about one third or assume an electricity excise.
The cost of providing a road system has to be met somehow. At present the excise contributes to this. It is fair that electric vehicle users contribute an equal share.
Fred Bennett, Bonner
What ANZAC day means
Anzac Day what's it really for, is it just for those who went to war. To be with mates with whom they bled, and honour those who now lay dead.
Yes, but Anzac Day is for you and me, to give our thanks for living free. To those who paid the highest price, their life for ours, their sacrifice.
To give our thanks to all who serve, those at the front and in reserve. Doctors and nurses behind their masks, and animals for their special tasks.
For kin and close friends who have cried, for their loved ones who had died. Those who nursed their wounded kin, who never would be well ag'in.
For families who will never know why, their own Anzacs break down and cry. For saddened warriors tired and lined, the horror of war etched in their mind.
Pomp and ceremony has its place, so long as it is done with grace. Don't need our leaders acting vain, who didn't serve or feel the pain.
So, Anzac Day is for you and me, a sign of peace and living free. For those who died express regret, and keep this day, lest we forget.
Wal Brewer, Florey
It is amazing that the constituents in the respective electorates of Peter Dutton and Gladys Liu are being blamed for the insensitive and loathsome comments that have been made by these politicians.
Their excuse that they were reflecting the feelings and concerns of members in their electorates when they uttered such vile sentiments is a total cop out.
Even if it had been true that they were reflecting the expressed sentiments from a few members of their community, they alone are responsible for repeating and promoting such bigotry.
These elected leaders must shoulder personal responsibility for their comments and the moderate members of these communities who do not wish to be scapegoated in this way should express their outrage at the ballot box for being used as a vehicle for the expression of such bigotry and intolerance.
Annette Gilmour, Melba
A missed opportunity
With many attendees at last week's Climate Election Candidates Forum, I was most disappointed that Labor candidate Alicia Payne chose not to avail herself of the opportunity to outline her party's climate and environment policy and to answer questions from potential constituents ("Alicia Payne and Stop Adani group lock horns over candidate forum", canberatimes.com.au, April 17). There was no apparent intention to "wedge Labor".
Having attended two community events organised by Ms Payne, my impression is that she is not confident dealing, unaided, with climate and environment, two issues of critical importance to the community and to any incoming federal government.
Patricia Saunders, Chapman
SHOULD FOLAU BE CENSURED?
Israel Folau believes the Bible. Surely he is more to be pitied than censured.
Mike Dallwitz, Giralang
MEMORIAL TOO PRECIOUS
Surely the best way is to sustain the country they fought for.
The environs of the War Memorial are too precious to be eroded.
Beautiful trees where the kookaburras laugh and cockatoos screech are surely what they wish to be remembered by.
Jean Doherty, Ainsle
It's more than heartening to see Dr Brendan Nelson energetically defending the Australian War Memorial's need to expand ("A home for stories that heal", April 20, p28).
Maybe now he will be able to find at least a little alcove or portico to commemorate the Frontier Wars which are no less a part of our history than the more recent wars for which he plans to provide many additional cubic metres.
Geoff Page, Narrabundah
It reminds me of Robert Preston in The Music Man and the River City bubble starts with 'b' and that rhymes with 'p' and that stands for pool ("The PM who is forever blowing bubbles," April 17, p5).
Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW
NO GOOD FOR AGED CARE
The Anglican Church proposal to construct two-storey townhouses suited to the aged in Campbell is nonsense.
Two-storey housing is not a suitable option for the aged.
Any proposal for the aged should be on a single level in suitable locations preferable close to shops.
Robert Knight, Bungendore
SAY NO TO DRONES
I certainly don't want drones deliveries to continue. We don't need more noise in our environment and the impacts on birds can't be good.
Bird numbers are already declining dramatically and we should be doing all we can to protect them.
I will be boycotting any companies that are using the drones for deliveries.
Kathryn Kelly, Chifley
Very sad to see the damage to Notre-Dame particularly seeing it often when living in Paris.
But couldn't help thinking what a shame it is that there is not the same media attention to the loss of important natural areas or loss of a species.
After all a human creation can be rebuilt but a species lost is gone for ever.
Rod Holesgrove, O'Connor
That august ideological outfit, the Institute of Public Affairs, has left out only one thing in its designs for Oz 2.0, as now again urged on Coalition parliamentarians. Malcolm Roberts for Prime Minister seems to be the only oversight in their wildly fringe manifesto.
Alex Mattea, Sydney
ROAD TESTING NEEDED
I find myself nodding in mutual recognition at various letter writers recounting appalling driver behaviour on Canberra's roads.
Periodic retesting, with five yearly licences that expire and can only be renewed after passing a practical test might help instill that driving is a privilege, not a right.
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