Given comments recently made by economists and others now might be an appropriate time for the Federal and State governments to look seriously at creating an essential infrastructure project such as a high speed rail connection from Sydney to Melbourne via Canberra.
Not only would this provide a much needed stimulus to all the areas on the proposed track, it would also open up the country areas to the overflowing metro areas.
In addition it would have the added benefit of significantly reducing the impact of air pollution created by short haul flights between the three capital cities.
Australia is lagging behind in both efficient transport systems and large stimulus producing infrastructure projects.
Peter Davies, Kingston
In response to John Warhurst's article "A broad church of Christian voices" (canberratimes.com.au, July 4) I conclude I must now call myself a "religious" person rather than a Christian.
This is because I am proud to be identified as a participant both in the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) and in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) but, at the same time, am profoundly disappointed with the recent deeply divisive actions of the so-called Australian Christian Lobby as they persuade their followers to give money to the rugby millionaire, Israel Folau.
As Hugh Mackay has recently pointed out in his book Australia Reimagined (2017), all religions urge us to strive "for the deeply satisfying state of holiness (a religious word for 'wholeness') that brings a rich sense of meaning and purpose to life".
This striving for wholeness is what attracts me to the work of the ARRCC and what distresses me about the ACL's sponsorship of the notion that some categories of people will receive God's condemnation because of the way they were born.
If my refusal to join in this divisive practice renders me "religious" rather than "Christian" I can live with that.
I look forward to the first national ARRCC conference to be held in Canberra in December this year.
Jill Sutton, Watson
Fred Bennett (Letters, July 3) would have us believe that Australian Christians are a peaceful lot because they aren't calling for people to be punished for expressing their opinions.
The trouble is that cheering for people to burn in hell for eternity because of who they are isn't just offensive, it has real consequences in much the same way "casual racism" has very real consequences.
When you say a group of people will be burning in hell for the duration of some imaginary after-life you are saying they don't deserve the respect and equality afforded everybody else.James Allan, Narrabundah
When you say a group of people will be burning in hell for the duration of some imaginary after-life you are saying they don't deserve the respect and equality afforded everybody else.
This ignorant thinking translates directly into discriminatory public policy.
This is why God-botherers like Israel Folau and Fred Bennett should be shut down at every opportunity.
James Allan, Narrabundah
A great experience
Re: "Canberra needs to support creatives", (July 1, p.14).
I heard The People's Passion in Barton last weekend.
Composed by Glenda Cloughley and Johanna McBride, and performed by the Chorus of Women together with the children's choir, Luminescence, and an orchestra, it tells the story of the 1915 International Congress Of Women, and the major achievements that resulted from it.
It is an original work by two brilliant Canberrans who have composed and performed many works, both here and overseas.
It was well attended and enthusiastically applauded.
There has not to my knowledge been any mention of it in the media.
Like many female achievers who are female, Chorus of Women continues to fly under the radar.
It is not appreciated by Australians, or even most Canberrans.
Sports news is now realising the extraordinary achievements of Australian women as well as men, at least in tennis, soccer and surfing.
The benefits to young people of this recognition are incalculable. Women could stand taller still if their achievements in the arts were also celebrated.
Anthea Kershaw, Kambah
What a mess
On June 21 the ACT government released its City to Gungahlin Light Rail Project Delivery Report.
The report attempts to convince ACT taxpayers Light Rail stage one will cost only $872 million, in January 2016 prices.
I believe the project will have a Public Private Partnership cost of $1.355 billion in April 2019 prices.
The report contains two serious miscalculations. One was to give the cost in January 2016 prices. This is very misleading, if not unethical. Another was the erroneous discounting of all costs paid or to be paid to the contractor, from January 2016 through to 2039 (the end of 20-year operations period), at a rate of 7.52 per cent per annum.
This discount rate was used during evaluation of the tenders for the project, but has no place in determining the Present Value of future Availability Payments the government now has to make to the successful bidder.
By using this rate the government is saying that the average depreciation of money from 2016 through 2039 would be 7.52 per cent every year. This is obviously an error.
The correct, average depreciation rate is more like 2.5 per cent per annum.
This gives a real PPP contract price of $1.355 billion.
M. Flint, Co-ordinator, Smart
Canberra Transport, Erindale, ACT
Leave City Hill alone
Re "City Hill not driving light rail decision", (July 8, p3).
Given private residential development is clearly not suitable for Capital Hill and Russell, two corners of our world famous National Triangle, it follows such development is also unsuitable for City Hill, the third corner.
"One City Hill", a very dense, apartment complex, is being marketed despite not having National Capital Authority development approval.
It is stage one of "The Barracks", a huge mixed-use development proposed for the west side of the hill precinct, with little public space and intrusive above-ground parking structures.
Included in the project is the privatised extension of Edinburgh Avenue to Vernon Circle. That urgently needed infrastructure, vital for traffic from Vernon Circle, should be government's responsibility.
"The Barracks" site should be bought back by the ACT Government for inclusion in an urgently needed, and binding, master design for City Hill and its southern environs.
Such a design would need to respect the precinct's heritage and ecology, along with its visual connections with the Central National Area, Civic, the lake, and the nearby and distant mountains.
The plan should not be bound by the current restrictive and cadastral subdivisions. It should be arrived though a properly conducted design competition.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
Enjoy Australian tennis
I feel for Judy McClelland's frustration with the "biased" tennis coverage on Australian TV. After 60 years I would have thought she would nearly be an Australian, and enjoy watching Aussies strive in international sport.
I too have suffered such bias. Unfortunately it is normally while I am in England visiting my daughter.
It is virtually impossible to obtain information on Australian sports personalities unless the media wishes to have a go at us colonials. "Sandpapergate" was a good example.
My daughter did not know Ashley Barty was the premiere female tennis player in the world until I told her.
So Judy McClelland, live in Australia, enjoy being Australian and barrack for Aussies.
If you want see some lesser lights playing, perhaps a subscription to Pay TV might be the way to go.
Dave Jeffrey, Farrer
He's just a naughty boy
M Moore (Letters, July 6) asks if Morrison is the new Menzies.
Sir Robert remains Australia's longest serving prime minister and was the founder of the Liberal Party.
He was a distinguished lawyer, an authoritative leader, an orator, and a formidable campaigner with a brilliant wit.
Scomo is an advertising man with a repertoire of slick escape clauses: "on-water matters", "the Canberra bubble" and "how good is that?"
They might divert attention but don't offer much solid ground. Well may we say "where the bloody hell are we?"
Morrison is no Menzies. But who knows? He may be the new Joh Bjelke-Petersen. So don't you worry about that.
Ray Edmondson, Kambah
TO THE POINT
TAKE THE MEDICINE
Victor Diskordia (Letters, July 9) thinks the Reserve Bank Governor is robbing the middle class rather than stimulating the economy. Dr Lowe has no doubt considered the overall health of the economy, made his diagnosis and prescribed the medicine. Sometimes the medicine is not easy to swallow.
Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook
JFK WAS WRONG
Ask not what you can do for your country, but ask what your country can do you for you in the way of dividend imputation credits, negative gearing, and tax handouts. My apologies to John F Kennedy.
Ian Webster, Curtin
WHY WE WARM CARS
The main reason to run a car engine to warm it before driving is to get the engine oil warm and circulating. Failure to do so increases bearing and cylinder wear. Vehicles that are in use 24/7, such as taxis, last three times the distance before wearing out.
Jack Palmer, Watson
BARNABY AN EXPERT
It takes one to know one ("Folau has a right to be 'dopey': Barnaby", canberratimes.com.au July 8).
Sue Dyer, Downer
CAR DE-ICING EASY
No one has mentioned the obvious solution to warming up your car. Start the car then lock the car. When the car is warm unlock it with your spare keys. If you are so cavalier as to not have a spare set then go back to first base.
Gordon Fyfe, Kambah
WHAT IS WEALTHY?
Further to recent political wrangling over the definition of wealth, there's H. L. Mencken's suggestion it is any income that's more than that of one's wife's sister's husband.
M. F. Horton, Adelaide, S.A
BARTY AN INSPIRATION
Great play at Wimbledon, Ash. It is refreshing to watch a player who doesn't grunt or scream, or put on prima donna antics from either gender.
Greg Simmons, Lyons
I can't speak for Ian Warden, but I can assure Judy McClelland (Letters, July 8) that I too would like to see more TV coverage of exciting and/or significant tennis matches that don't involve Australians. As a great admirer of Roger Federer, I greatly enjoy watching any of his matches, but especially those against another great player, Rafael Nadal.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
STOP THE WHINGEING
Judy McClelland (Letters, July 8) complains Wimbledon television coverage is biased towards the Australians. She asks if Ian Warden might share her views.
As they are both whinging Poms, I offer the equivalent of 10 pounds each to assist there (hopefully) permanent return to the "mother Country".
Jeff Day, Greenway
SAY A PRAYER FOR ME
Scott Morrison is now extending his prayers in every direction. What a pity that none have been directed towards the unfortunate asylum seekers who still languish on Nauru and Manus, victims of the disgraceful, inhumane policies that Morrison himself has played such a large part in promulgating.
Peter Crossing, Glengowrie, SA
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