In response to Tony Falla (Letters, June 13) I'll give you a very good reason to rebuild Canberra Stadium. I'm a quadriplegic, confined to sitting in a wheelchair, and had the pleasure of attending the Keith Urban concert at the stadium when he was here last.
But to get to my viewing location let alone enjoy the concert from where my carer and I were placed was far from being what anybody would consider as being enjoyable. After negotiating our way through the main entrance, we had to traverse around the perimeter of the venue, over badly cracked or broken up concrete areas or pathways, loose gravel and as well as areas of grass, to the rear of the eastern stand. We were then shepherded up and around the rear walkway to our sitting area which was along a downward sloping section. My carer was provided with a plastic fold up chair to sit on, while I could hardly see the show under/over the metal handrail in front of me.
Because of the sideways slope of the walkway we both had to constantly readjust our seating position. I then also had to constantly remind the persons seated in front of me to "sit down please". I'd love to watch the Brumbies or Raiders playing there, but how could I? Some might consider the venue to be perfectly good enough, but please spare a thought for people less fortunate than yourself.
Lud Kerec, Forde
Don't forget the swimmers
In the mounting excitement about the possibility of the Commonwealth government helping to fast-track the creation of a new Civic-based stadium , the Chief Minister and Senator Seselja seem to have forgotten about the need to plan for, fund and open a high quality and easily accessible public swimming facility in Civic, before the current pools disappear to make way for any stadium ("Will Barr's new stadium ever happen?", June 13).
Those experiencing ecstasy while visiting the redeveloped stadium at Parramatta are probably not aware of the high level of local community angst that is still festering over the demolition of its much-used local swimming facility in order to make room for the expanded stadium. Two years after the loss of its swimming facilities that community is still waiting for its new public pool complex.
Unlike stadia, public pools are used day and night, seven days a week, by a wide range of age groups, including water sport organisations. Continuity of public pool provision in Civic is needed to encourage and support the active and healthy lifestyles of a fast-growing population.
Sue Dyer, Downer
Take me to the sun in Cuba
I am too busy and too personally fulfilled to ever bother to read the letters to the editor page of The Canberra Times. However, my staff have drawn my attention to a letter in last Wednesday's paper. The letter's author, noting my columns' left-wing sympathies and my expressed horror (expressed in my critically-acclaimed columns) at what will become of Australia under the re-elected Morrison government, tells me to bugger off to Cuba to live there under a government more to my liking.
If only I could! Over the years I have unsuccessfully tried again and again to move to idyllic, socialist Cuba, to get away from an Australia oppressed by conservative governments. But choosy Cuba has always politely knocked me back on some ground or another. I have just applied again (hurriedly filing my application on 19 May, the day after our tragic election) alerting the appreciative Cubans to how I have even been taking Cuban Spanish lessons so as to be able to fit in readily in Cuba's paradise if given the chance.
The Cuban authorities say they will give me an answer in the fullness of time. Should my Trotskyite columns suddenly cease to appear in Saturday's and Sunday's Canberra Times, readers will know I have made my escape, to Cuba, from ScoMo's pentecostalist tyranny where, predictably, the police raids on journalists have already begun.
Ian Warden, Emeritus Columnist
No wonder we're all anxious
Of course ACT has extremely high unhealthy and potentially deadly anxiety levels ("Anxiety Capital Territory" June 13) which it appears is nearly matched by residents misery levels judging by the content of the letters flowing into the Canberra Times letters page everyday. Not a laugh anywhere.
Anxiety however has always been with us as a silent deadly killer just as deadly as smoking. Hopefully the major change may be that we may becoming more aware of it and are not hiding it anymore. Now that we recognise it how do we deal with it as a society and what priority do we give it is the next big step. Obviously the new technological age is having some additional negative effects on social interaction and social structure and the fact that everyone is now programmed as an achiever when a lot of the population will never genetically fit into that artificial category appears to be making life even more stressful.
Media and its control is always taken as a guide to the direction a society is moving in and current content suggests we no longer represent a social society but are rather rapidly moving towards becoming a more anxious capitalist society like everywhere else. Who knows what the future holds but it is always refreshing to appreciate that the original inhabitants of Australia before we took over represented a far more relaxed less anxious and more socially embrasive society while also holding far more respect for the environment they lived in.
Wayne Grant, Swinger Hill
Time to pull the trigger, yes
Chris Dutton's article on June 11 was titled Stadium view: Time to pull the trigger. It certainly is time to pull the trigger and kill this ridiculous proposal dead.
Ricky Stuart stated "Our fans definitely need it". They dont: they want it. I have no problem with that, but if they want it they should pay for it. It is extremely immoral to steal money from the majority of Canberrans to pay for a stadium only a small minority would regularly use. Football (all codes) is a commercial business. If the Raiders and Brumbies want a new stadium they should buy one. They wont because it is financially unviable. This fact provides a very strong reason for the government to not fund it with taxpayers money. Andrew Barr has lately been moaning that the Australian Government does not provide sufficient funds to Canberra. If it does provide more funds, he should spend them on what he thinks most Canberrans need not on what a few want.
R Salmond, Melba
No logic in Health secrecy
Andrew Brown writes ("Canberra flu cases spike" June 13, p3) that, "Fewer than five people had died from the flu in Canberra this year, authorities have said. But they have refused to give an exact number, citing privacy concerns." I don't see the logic in this, as the names are not being revealed.
John Milne, Chapman
An ex-Canberran's view
I'm a visiting ex-Canberran having spent the last forty years in China and Hong Kong. My question on Canberra transport: why not go for smaller light buses at greater frequency with fixed routes but no fixed stops?
We have that in Kong Kong, called the Public Light Bus service.(Van-zai in Cantonese). Seating up to 19, they fill in the gaps left by normal buses, the MTR (subway), taxis and trams. They are run by individual owners on assigned but flexible routes. The driver can pick up and drop off passengers wherever they like along the route.
If a new route or more frequent services are needed, the government simply puts them out to tender. Private enterprise ("aspiration"!) does the rest. It strikes me that Canberra's current obsession with fixed light rail and large buses is locking it into a cumbersome, costly and inflexible system. Surely - as your correspondents make clear - what is needed is more frequent services and more flexible routes.
Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay, HK
Time to move with the times
Crispin Hull warns that Australia will "fossilise in the late 20th century" if we keep making decisions on transport based on politics and ideology ("It's time to develop our transport policy", Forum, June 8, p31). He rightly focuses on the use of public transport versus cars, a highly inefficient means of travel, and in particular on inter-city rail and suburban light rail.
As Mr Hull comments, Australian governments "dither" on the subject of very fast trains, which are common in many countries, notably China, Japan, and several European countries, including France and Spain.
Parts of Australia's present train network may be stuck in the late 20th century, but others, notably the woefully slow Canberra-Sydney link, are fossils dating from the early 20th century. Although Australians depends on air travel to reach other countries, we would also do well to heed the the Swedish move ("The battle against 'flight shame'", Forum, June 8, p32) to use trains rather than aircraft for overland travel. It's time to move with the times.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
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