The AFP wants to fingerprint journalists researching the Afghanistan special forces story. Adani wants the identities of the CSIRO scientists independently investigating its proposed mine's effect on groundwater. Whistleblowers are crucified.
This new Australian focus on intimidating and persecuting anyone working in the public good is evidently the corollary of our notorious oversight and enforcement failures. These include state and federal politics, property development, finance and insurance, aged care, irrigation, greyhound racing, unemployment services, private training and franchising.
The strange thing is we haven't acknowledged our new leadership position in the corrupt, broken-democratic world. We are too busy criticising, and being condescending to, other nations for not living up to the standards of free and open democracies.
Alex Mattea, Sydney, NSW
Bad call Adani
Adani requested the names of Geoscience and CSIRO officers assessing environmental issues for the Adani mine. It was only through freedom of information action that this was disclosed. Fortunately the names were not provided to Adani.
When asked to comment on this by the ABC on its AM program, Nationals leader Michael McCormack failed to defend the integrity of the CSIRO, Geoscience Australia or their employees.
Instead, to his great shame, he indirectly impugned these scientists by speculating about the motives of those involved in commenting on the Adani project.
McCormack should apologise for this failure and defend our public service more generally.
Keith Croker, Kambah
The moon made us one
We are about to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing.
Keep in mind that for Australians the landing day was July 21, 1969. We are, and always will be, one day ahead of the USA. The Americans will celebrate on July 20.
Most of us who were alive at the time of the Eagle's landing will remember where they were on that day. I was riding in an armoured personnel carrier crossing a dry rice-paddy in Vietnam.
Most of us who were alive at the time of the Eagle's landing will remember where they were on that day. I was riding in an armoured personnel carrier crossing a dry rice-paddy in Vietnam.J. J. Goold, Mudgeeraba, Qld
We stopped to listen on the radio to the landing. Every radio and nearly every frequency, including the Vietnamese, was broadcasting the event.
The American war in South East Asia truly came to a halt during that momentous event. For only a few moments in history, Mankind was as one.
J. J. Goold, Mudgeeraba, Qld
The growth fallacy
It is increasingly tiresome to see commentators extolling the virtues of economic growth largely based on population growth ("Canberra's economy booming thanks to population growth, housing market", canberratimes.com.au, July 15). If there is no per capita economic growth then the ordinary citizen sees little benefit, and may even suffer the diseconomies of growth such as crowding and pollution.
With population growing in the ACT by 1.8 per cent, then economic growth has to exceed that for there to be any per capita growth.
Dependence on the housing sector as a measure of economic success is also a concern. Housing causes capital widening, not deepening, and thus does not strengthen the economy in any meaningful way.
Graham Clews' comments (Letters, July 15 July) were valid. We do not need to butt up against the limits to growth before we say "enough".
Jenny Goldie, Cooma, NSW
Darroch was right
Former British ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, has been heavily criticised for telling the truth: that Donald Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal because the agreement was reached by Barack Obama ("Leaked memo by Darroch condemns Trump 'vandalism'", July 15, p10).
Like Sir Kim, the President's action seems to me an act of "diplomatic vandalism" or juvenile spite. Mr Trump isn't alone in having such a foible: trying to undo everything preceding political leaders accomplished has become almost routine.
I'm reminded of the actions of the Abbott government, which wound back many decisions of the Labor government as quickly as possible; most notably the carbon price and the NBN.
Australia's emissions were increasing before the carbon "tax" was introduced by Julia Gillard, decreased while it was in force, and have been increasing ever since its repeal by Abbott in mid 2014.
The NBN, set up in 2009 by the Rudd government, was "dumbed down" shortly after Abbott was elected, leaving a slow and unreliable patchwork of technologies. Did giving all Australians access to a fast and reliable telecommunications network smack too much of socialism?
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Enough is enough
The houses in our quiet cul-de-sac have over the past decade been incrementally purchased by the ACT Government and added to the public housing stock.
One of the many ACT Government properties is housing a family with two children. Since day one, the father has been horrendous.
There have been many attendances by police, distressing all surrounding neighbours. The outside of the property used to be tidy, now it looks like a tip.
Our pleas to Yvette Berry to address this untenable situation and to better manage tenancy standards with a waiting list so long have, as expected, gone unanswered.
Why is the ACT taxpayer expected to just put up with a "set and forget" approach by this Government while our rates and taxes are going through the roof?
The Barr government is failing Canberra residents miserably.
Alison Gerrard, Macquarie
Light rail flawed
Your editorial ("ACT economic growth partly contingent on light rail stage 2a", canberratimes.com.au, July 15) is correct in saying investment in light rail from Civic to Woden will (temporarily) stimulate the ACT economy.
The same can be said of the similar investment that would provide rapid bus transit between Civic, Woden, Tuggeranong and Canberra airport.
More importantly, the long term economic benefits of investment in rapid bus transit will be about double those of the same amount of investment in light rail.
Leon Arundell, Downer
It has come to this?
What has our country come to that we can condone, or worse, ignore, the death of a young man who came to our country for help as a refugee?
How can individuals in both major political parties enable and condone something which would have been utterly abhorrent to their parents?
Where is our rule of law? Where, Australia, is our common good and our humanity?
If this were your child or my child we would be calling for justice. But this poor young man's death, will not even rate a mention in the media in one week's time.
Be sad Australia, a large part of your political freedom died with that young man.
Gerry Gillespie, Rural
Australians for Refugees,
Console the land
The land is crying. This was evident in a recent show on the ABC on the drought.
Maybe we need to honour it more. Less deforestation, less use of toxic chemicals, conservation of aquifers, more mixed planting to attract bees and other insects and small animals.
Everything is interconnected. Each extinction threatens our own existence. Maybe it needs to be danced to and sung to as indigenous people do and did.
There is no way we can better show respect to our veterans than to conserve our beautiful bushland and the wildlife it nourishes. Our oceans and rivers need respect.
Hopefully not too late to reverse the damage we have wreaked. Energy for this is simmering.. may it flare.
Jean Doherty, Ainslie
Seven miles from London's Belmarsh Prison where journalist Julian Assange was incarcerated three months ago the UK government held a two-day "Global Conference for Media Freedom" attended by 1,000 carefully-vetted journalists.
Assange's only "crime" was exposing war crimes, subversion and corruption by the US and British governments, such a "crime" motivating the British to again allow the USA to dictate their foreign policy knowing that such "crimes" carry an extradition to the USA for a sentence of 175 years for an Australian citizen, one who has received no assistance from our government.
It was against this backdrop the British government convened such a conference. A more obvious example of hypocrisy could not be found, anywhere.
Rex Williams, Springwood, NSW
TO THE POINT
CYCLE LAW SILLY
I totally support the arguments of N. Hardy (Letters, July 14) against road rules allowing people to cycle across pedestrian crossings. This is bad law, giving cyclists a dangerous false sense of security. In the unfortunately likely event of a cyclist being injured or killed any case for damages or prosecution against the motorist would have to prove the cyclist was not exceeding the required walking pace.
Max Brown, Mawson
GIVE US A BREAK
Just received my rates assessment for 2019-20. It wasn't as bad as feared at 5.1 per cent above the previous year. That said, the increase over five years was 71.6 per cent, and, over 10 years, 148.9 per cent. That's an average increase over the last 10 years of almost 15 per cent per annum. By any measure that's outrageous.
Don Sephton, Greenway
TOO MANY SECRETS
Much of the debate about press freedom is the product of the public sector's tendency to over-classify documents, often to avoid scrutiny and embarrassment. Would it be possible for the government to agree to the Press Council establishing a discrete panel, chaired by a retired Federal judge, to which journalists could refer information and documents classified "confidential" and above before publication. The panel would determine whether publication represented a threat to national security.
Roger Dace, Reid
Why is there such a fuss over pensioner deeming rates? The problem is easily fixed. Either the bank pays the rate of interest which the government deems to be paid or the government uses actual income returns which they can obtain from the ATO. Pensioners are being treated as second class citizens. Not acceptable!
Jacqueline Burnett, Bonython
WHAT ABOUT OPPRESSION?
The trend identified in "Women closing the gap with men in wealth stakes" (July 14, p5) comes as no surprise. It has been coming ever since the drive for political liberty began to erode archaic mores and practices. What a pity the modern left is more alarmed by the embers of those ugly behaviours in secular-democracies than the oppressive fires raging in theocratic-dictatorships.
Peter Robinson, Ainslie
KEN'S TOUGH GIG
Ken Wyatt's greatest challenge when it comes to implementing the Uluru statement is to bridge the gap between the ears of some of his Federal LNP. That would be no mean feat given some of the recent ill-informed comments.
Graeme Rankin, Holder
In the face of much ado over a referendum on indigenous constitutional recognition, it may be helpful to be guided by Napoleon Bonaparte's observation that a constitution should be "short and obscure".
M. F. Horton, Adelaide, SA
NO REFERENDUM REQUIRED
Wrong, Douglas Mackenzie (Letters, July 13). Increasing the number of ACT senators would not require a referendum. Our current entitlement to two senators stems from an Act of Parliament. Increasing our number of senators could also be achieved by a Commonwealth Act of Parliament without a referendum.
Frank Marris, Forrest
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