The statement regarding provision of large scale temporary accommodation for homeless people being undesirable ("Homeless crisis requires emergency response", July 10, p1) by Ms Yvette Berry was a typical example of ACT government spin.
Ms Berry has previously said the people who were being evicted from their public housing would be settled in salt and pepper housing along main transport routes. That has not happened.
Our ACT government can waste money by the bucket full on light rail but it only makes token efforts to help homeless people.
One church member I spoke to told me that the only support they received from the ACT Government towards their homeless help program was a free needle exchange
Ms Berry's remark that temporary large scale accommodation is not desirable is perfectly true.
However it is far better than sleeping on a park bench covered with newspapers to avoid freezing to death.
Howard Carew, Isaacs
Control your cat
I have always loved cats, and they have been part of my life for most of its many years.
However, when they're allowed to run wild, they can cause enormous loss of our wildlife ("Killer pets go on Canberra death spree", July 10, p4).
I plead with fellow cat lovers to keep their pets under control by feeding them well and keeping them either indoors or within a secure outside area.
Doing this will not only ensure that they don't kill our precious wildlife, but in keeping them closer will mean that you can enjoy more of each other's company.
It's a win-win situation.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Housing, not a tram
The ACT government's decision to press ahead with the second stage of the light rail project without waiting for the necessary approvals from the National Capital Authority is certainly "courageous". It is also stupid ("Light rail decision courageous but risky" Editorial, July 5, p18).
It is a desperate and unprincipled attempt to get the project underway before a business plan has been prepared for it and, at the same time, to force the NCA into agreeing to this dubious project.
To suggest the extension to Commonwealth Park could "stand on its own" is ludicrous.
If one of the main drivers for rushing into this proposal is for an "economy-boosting infrastructure project" it would be far more sensible to put the borrowed money towards public housing projects of the same, or even greater, value.
Murray Upton, Belconnen
Bless you Sue
We are blessed to have Sue Wareham put Hugh White's recent defence paper into the context of our lives on this planet. ("Nuclear weapons must be rejected", July 9, p25).
In suggesting we even "keep the nuclear weapons option open" White is denying the unthinkable "apocalyptic scenarios" which might follow their use.
If we threaten to use nuclear weapons, then obviously there is a chance we might employ them to incinerate the cities of our enemies. Then what? If it comes to that point I'd rather not be around.
Let's spend our energy and resources on positive steps forward.
Our new PM took some leadership when seeking to block violent terrorism on Facebook at the recent G20. Maybe, as Dr Wareham suggests, he could initiate a bipartisan move toward signing the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which had its origins in ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons).
ICAN was founded in Melbourne in 2007 and won the Nobel peace prize for its work in 2017.
In continuing this proud tradition our national leader could not only confirm that Australians are interested in bigger things than getting their money back. It would also earn him great national and international respect.
Jill Sutton, Watson
Burst the bubble
If there were any doubt that a Canberra bubble exists, then the editorial "Barr's Senate reform call is welcome" (canberratimes.com.au, July 9) dispels it.
Canberra has state-type rights that no other city in Australia has; better paid and more secure jobs than most other parts of Australia and more Federal politicians per head of population than almost all Australians.
It is also the only part of Australia well known to all Federal politicians. Despite all this, it greedily wants more.
Senate reform is required, but only because over time the distribution of senators has unintentionally become extremely unfair to the most-populated states.
The ACT was merely a project office set up to facilitate the building of the national capital. Its task was completed decades ago. It is now merely a highly expensive anachronism.R. Salmond, Melba
Here is a suggestion to bring the distribution into line with current population distribution.
1. Incorporate Tasmania into Victoria.
2. Extinguish the ACT, and return its territory to NSW. The ACT was merely a project office set up to facilitate the building of the national capital. Its task was completed decades ago. It is now merely a highly expensive anachronism.
3. Reallocate the 14 saved senate seats to NSW (6), Victoria (5) and Queensland (3). Perhaps have two senate electorates (metropolitan and country) for each of the major states, with their sizes approximately equal.
I think that at a referendum the citizens of South Australia and Western Australia would vote for this fairer redistribution.
It is fairer, and because they would retain their share of senators they would not be disadvantaged.
R. Salmond, Melba
Fix the Senate
Re the excellent editorial "Barr's Senate reform call is welcome" (July 9, p14).
According to the Australian Electoral Commission data for the 2019 Federal election the lowest senate enrolments and quotas were as follows: Northern Territory enrolment 139,359, quota 35,010; ACT enrolment 295,847, quota 90,078; Tasmanian enrolment 385,816, quota 50,285.
All the other states had enrolments and quotas well over double and triple those figures respectively.
To get somewhere near the same quotas for the territories as for Tasmania, the Northern Territory should continue to elect two senators, but the ACT should be increased from two to four.
While still not as fair as having same as the states, trying for that would be like flogging a dead horse.
Re the six-year term problem; we should advocate for all elections to be double dissolutions held every time February 29 rolls around.
We could make it a public holiday.
John F. Simmons, Kambah
Beat the drought
Pete Arkle of NSW Farmers challenges us city-living, cafe-latte sipping folk to take drought seriously. (Letters, July 9).
Why bother? The tap here still works. The lakes are still full and our new diet of political crow makes carp taste great by comparison.
Mr Arkle is way off track: we should be talking about "drought stupidity". In particular, hydro geological ignorance:
This extends to not understanding the difference between aquifers, aquitards and aquicludes, "passive aquifer recharge" versus "aquifer storage and recovery", evapo-transpiration versus riverbed leakage, and how these underly both the Darling River fish kills and Turallo Creek's with its tiny weirs.
Where are the pollies who actually understand the promise of small-scale pump-store hydro linked to high-pressure HDPE grids, to provide secured water for Guyra and Stanthorpe; not just bigger dams?
A clever nation would apply new drought-proofing everywhere. It's needed to ensure water and food security for people, the environment and enterprise.
Hand in hand, city and country folk could declare "war on drought", learn about ignored new knowledge and easily win.
We might then make a start on bridging both the massive city-country divide and improving our hydro geologically incompetent governments.
The best way to cook carp? Hot smoke it with pepper, garlic, chillies and salt.
Dr Peter Main, Higgins
More sticker shock
Like many Canberra residents, we received our water bill last week.
While constantly surprised at the price of water, even I was stunned to see a bill of $6,188 for the winter quarter.
Icon had mis-read the meter, with the current read showing 1000 kilolitres more than actual. A simple clerical error, and to be fair, after a phone call the bill was promptly reduced by about $5000.
But as my wife reminded me, a good reason to stay away from automatic deductions
Steve Anderson, Forrest
Pot calls kettle
So the British ambassador thinks the Trump administration is dysfunctional. What does he make of his own lot?
M Moore, Bonython
TO THE POINT
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?
Hugh Dakin (Letters July 8) decries the lack of public facilities in the developing suburb of Whitlam. How many new suburbs have all public facilities from the word go? When we were building in Hughes in the early 1970's a colleague said: "Why are you going right out there? It's half way to the cemetery".
Ian Lamb, Weston
THE EARTH IS FLAT
With reference to calls to have letters from climate change deniers expunged from the letters page, I draw attention to my difficulty in getting letters published supporting the truth of a flat earth. Just because 99.999999 per cent of scientists believe in a spherical earth does not mean it's true.
Ian Webster, Curtin
Re "Call for Manuka' revival" (July 9, p1). The ACT Government only does a minimum of maintenance. When things break they opt for the cheapest fix. Barr is fixated on shiny new things and does not appreciate that with good maintenance urban spaces are pleasant places. That encourages growth.
Lance Williamson, Stirling
ASH DID US PROUD
Ash Barty did not fail at Wimbledon. She did all Australia proud.
Stuart J. McIntosh, Canberra
NO INTELLIGENT LIFE
Efforts are being made to ascertain why people bag Canberra. I suggest it is because there is no sign of intelligent life. I'm here for the money, not the culture.
Gerry Murphy, Braddon
STOP HASSLING ME
How do you stop phone calls from so called NBN advice? I had five, three from an 02 number and two from an 07 number, in one afternoon. We have been told the NBN doesn't advertise by phone. How can we stop these nuisance calls?
Therese van Pelt-Penders, Page
POWER AND PASSION
I support the sentiments of Anthea Kershaw (Letters, July 10) re the The People's Passion in Barton last week. It was the best ever performance by the Chorus of Women with splendid soloists. Full marks to Glenda Cloughley and Johanna McBride.
Jenny Goldie, Cooma, NSW
I'M NOT A WHINGER
A whingeing pom I am not (Letters, July 10); more like a broadminded Australian citizen. The Canberra Times omitted my observation: "We are constantly being told what a multi-cultural country Australia is which makes me wonder how many other viewers share my frustration".
Judy McClelland, Griffith
DON'T BUY HAWKE'S NEST
I object strongly to taxpayers' money being spent to buy Bob Hawke's family home. This mongrel, along with Whitlam, stuffed this country. Tell the bloody Labor Party or the CFMMEU to buy it. They think he was a good bloke.
N Timms, Yeppoon, Qld
MINING IS RISKY
I was saddened to read of the death of a coal miner west of Gladstone early on Sunday. Apparently this is the fourth mining fatality in six months in Queensland. At the risk of being morbid; is everyone in northern Queensland still convinced coal mining is the answer to their jobs shortage?
Paul Wayper, Cook
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