John Quiggin ponders who might be Adani's silent partners, since it appears that no commercial insurer is willing to publicly disclose any involvement in the mine because of the financial and reputational risk associated with this project ("Adani can't build a mine on its own. So who are the silent partners?", July 24, p20).
It remains that the single biggest cheerleader for the Adani mine is the federal government. Perhaps they are the only supporter of the project and it is a worry for all Australians that our government might use our taxpayer money to prop up an otherwise unviable venture.
The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation is an Australian federal government body that has capacity and the inclination to underwrite the Adani mine at our expense. We take all the risk, and Adani gets any benefit.
We know the corporation has previously been approached, and we know that Adani has few if any other options to get their mine started. It will be a caricature of good governance if our government uses our money to assist in devastating our water, our climate and our Great Barrier Reef.
The corporation should make a public statement that they will not support an economically and environmentally destructive scheme such as the Adani mine.
Christine Carlisle, Mackay, Queensland
Fairness over politics
One of the longest serving, and finest, AAT members is a non-lawyer ("Appeals Tribunal needs overhal, review finds", July 24, p6). The essential quality for any member of any tribunal or court or commission is fairness.
Political history, ideological leanings, work history matter not unless and provided fairness rules. When miscarriages of the integrity of the review process occur bring the whole purpose of any tribunal into disrepute.
The mantra of the inaugural tribunal president was that it existed to serve. Not the government, not the applicant, but the gravitas of the review.
Christopher Ryan, Watson
Still time to stop for consultation
Wayne Hitches, program lead for the proposed Australian War Memorial demolition and expansion, promises us a public engagement plan late this year ("War memorial plans fan passionate views", July 25, p3). What sort of pubic "engagement" happens after a project is already under way? Instead we have a process of telling us what's happening, and perhaps asking our views on minor details so an announcement can be made that the memorial is listening.
One would have hoped that a Canberra Times poll that had 80 per cent of respondents supporting the former memorial director Brendon Kelson's call to drop the proposal would send a message to the memorial to pause and reconsider ("Insider readers panel", June 29, p33). So much for the democracy our war dead believed in.
This is not done and dusted yet, but the memorial is paying scant regard to the fact that the memorial belongs to all of us, not simply to the director and his board. There is still opportunity to go back to square one and engage in proper consultation if that's what the memorial wants.
Sue Wareham, president, Medical Association for Prevention of War, Cook
Put up a parking lot
Re: "Why cities should scrap car parking" (July 25, p22), I had to check the date to make sure it was not April 1.
All residential properties should have at least one off-street parking space allocated. This includes apartments as well as stand-alone housing. On-street parking should be available for short term visits only. Anyone working in Civic should be encouraged to use public transport (or ride a bike) so as not to clog up space for anyone wishing to do some shopping for an hour or so.
There is already not enough parking for visitors to Floriade and God help us if there is a large stadium also in Civic. Planning should be well under way for a large multi-storey car park for a minimum of 3000 spaces to cope.Wal Pywell, Wanniassa
There is already not enough parking for visitors to Floriade and God help us if there is a large stadium also in Civic. Planning should be well under way for a large multi-storey car park for a minimum of 3000 spaces to cope with stadium, Floriade, new convention centre, enlarged theatre centre, and any other harebrained ideas this government might have to clutter up the Civic area.
It is difficult enough already to fine a space to attend a nice restaurant for an evening meal already, particularly on a Friday night.
Wal Pywell, Wanniassa
Old hand for new political tricks
Peter Fuller (Letters, July 25) correctly identifies the benefits of the formation of a community-based party over independents, but as the failure of the Community Voters Party at the 2016 ACT election demonstrates it is nigh impossible for a third force to be successful.
The chances of electoral success of a new party will be hindered by the disengagement of many voters - in the federal election many did not engage until the last days of the campaign. Consequently the success of a new party would be enhanced if it were headed by a person with a high profile such as Michael Moore or Jon Stanhope.
Any chance of getting back in the saddle for the good of the territory, Michael or Jon?
Mike Quirk, Garran
Dutton's powers should be curbed
Your article "Mental health dominates asylum seeker admissions" (24 July 24, p11) is the best argument I have seen for Scott Morrison to get rid of Peter Dutton or at least curb the powers he is amassing. Mr Dutton's opposition to asylum seekers has nothing to do with national security.
I am currently reading Julian Burnside's Watching Brief which documents the appalling treatment Australia has inflicted on the "boat people" who came to us for asylum. This cruelty was covered up by the Howard government, and is still being hidden by the current government. Burnside points out that we are doing this in direct opposition to international conventions on human rights.
After World War II, and again after the Vietnam War, many thousands of people from Europe - including Germans and Italians, our erstwhile enemies - and Vietnam emigrated to Australia and have settled here to become fully integrated into our society.
According to Mr Burnside, the Coalition has a history of also trying to limit legal representation for these people, and they are trying to stop the press from reporting on the issue.
I was old enough to read for myself of the horrors that emerged from Hitler's concentration and slave labour camps. It would seem from Burnside's book that conditions in the detention centres are not a great deal better. Australia has enough on its conscience and now we are attracting well-deserved odium for our treatment of "boat people". We cannot allow this cruelty to continue.
Barbara Fisher, Cook
Cyclists don't fit traffic system
Recent letters about cycling on pedestrian crossings have displayed hints of a "them and us" mentality that is regrettable. Road regulation and safety is too important to be based on a contest of rights between competing groups and should instead be based on sound principles of traffic engineering.
The rules and practice for the use of pedestrian crossings were developed to enable pedestrians moving at between 3 to 5 km/h to safely cross a traffic stream of wheeled vehicles travelling considerably faster. This took into account the science of the speed, time and distance relationships as well as the human factors of driver reaction time, the field of view around the pedestrian, the braking performance of motor vehicles, and included a requirement for the pedestrian to give the motorist adequate time to stop. In order to be compatible with the dynamics of this system, cyclists were required to dismount and walk across crossings.
Changing the rules to allow cyclists to ride at up to 10 km/h has unquestionably changed the dynamics of the system. The time available for a motorist to see and give way to a cyclist has been reduced to half or less of the previous system. This has inevitably moved the situation in the direction where collisions between car and cycle have become more likely and, given that even in the former system there were collisions on crossings, this is clearly not a good move.
Roger Quarterman, Campbell
Be it on their own heads
Reading the Canberra Times report on the detention of an Australian writer on very vague charges in China would have left anyone in Australia or in any other country where there is a regulated and impartial legal system feeling outraged ("Hengjun moved to detention in China", July 20, p21).
I imagine most business people, or tourists, would be wary of doing business with or travelling to China, or North Korea. One solution to my mind would be for the International Court of Justice to name countries where the rule of law is frequently abused. If that was done then any person or persons seeking a visa to that country who were warned of the court's advice it would be on their head if they visited and things went horribly wrong. Any person who puts themselves in harm's way after being warned would deserve little sympathy.