I am one of the losers from the new Action bus network. I previously had a direct service to get to work each day but now have to change buses. The wait for the connection one recent day was 28 minutes, meaning the trip home took 90 minutes.
On average the trip to and from work is 70 minutes (up 15 minutes). In all my working life I have always used public transport. Using the new improved network for the last three months however has brought me to a decision to use my car, a choice which I am lucky enough to have.
This will save me significant time in my commute. I wish the government all the best for whatever it's trying to achieve in the next ACT election.
Peter Johnston, Charnwood
Sack the developer
Buying a dwelling unit these days doesn't look at all attractive, especially in the light of the article "Boost for owners' rights" (August 12, p1), which reports on prevailing barriers to trouble free living in flats and so forth.
The article also sets out laudable, but difficult-to-enforce legislative measures designed to deal with those problems.
They're more applicable to owner-occupiers, who, unlike many tenants, have more difficulties in moving out of troubled buildings. Absentee landlords are also affected.
It is time for a smaller-scale, multiple-dwelling development format (that could still be high-rise if required), and methodology, which caters only for bona fide owner-occupiers.
A group of them would form a body corporate or better still, a unit title company, before the event, and purchase a block of land (with maybe the help of professional facilitators, like registered planners and architects and lawyers).
That body would become the client, engaging the project architect and other design consultants, and entering into a properly constituted, comprehensive building and maintenance contract with a bona fide licensed builder.
There would be no ubiquitous (and costly) "developer"; the party, which, along with some related contractors, sub-contractors and investors, is reportedly causing and prolonging major problems with many of today's apartment blocks.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
Owner education is needed
Re Dan Jervis-Bardy's article on the new strata reform agenda in the ACT ("Boost for owners' rights", August 12, p1).
Hopefully this reform agenda will target the urgent need for education for owners and body corporate executive committees as our population moves from the family home on the quarter acre block to high rise living.
In Sydney Clover Moore has instituted a strata living course to educate owners and executive committees on issues related to living in strata complexes.
Canberra has historically been a city of homes with back gardens. It is now moving towards strata living. For many people this will be their first experience of living in a strata complex and the issues that arise.Elizabeth Thurbon, Campbell
Canberra has historically been a city of homes with back gardens. It is now moving towards strata living. For many people this will be their first experience of living in a strata complex and the issues that arise. Many find it hard to understand the difference between what is common property and what is their property.
Guest speakers at the Sydney City Council courses include strata lawyers, strata managers and insurance brokers. They cover a wide range of issues facing owners and executive committees.
They, in turn, benefit from the fact they are raising their business profile in the strata industry.
As Canberra moves rapidly to more and more people living in strata complexes, would it not be a be good idea to use some of the money the ACT government has set aside for community consultation to run such courses in Canberra?
I have previously had no experience in a strata community. I recently served as secretary on an executive committee. I found owners and executive committee members struggling to gain the relevant and necessary knowledge to participate effectively in a strata environment.
Elizabeth Thurbon, Campbell
Time to lawyer up
It would be absurd for the government to increase its burden of responsibilities for development when it already demonstrates monumental failings on existing responsibilities ("Boost for owner's rights", August 12, p1).
While only a government can enforce standards, we have towers of units across the ACT and Australia with structural failings and defects arising from a failure to build to standard.
Developers have the burden of notifying putative purchasers of changes to plans and the common law has set limits to changes outside which contracts can be cancelled.
Developers voting on issues which clearly affect their interests is already prohibited by common law. Surely other owners have the gumption to get legal advice on such issues and get such voting set aside, if allowing it to occur at all.
What do people think lawyers are for? Lawyers eat developers for breakfast. Get lawyers involved before rights are stolen.
Warwick Davis, Isaacs,
Give emotion a go
R J Wenholtz is weary of the footballers "cuddling and jumping on each other " in celebration after a victory. (Letters, August 12).
Why is a healthy human emotion something to spurn? Society has learned over the last five decades that men are also allowed to embrace their emotions. It is an important aspect of our innate being.
Witness the difference now in men's emotional, non stoic, involvement with their children.
Does the writer find them self being "weary " of that I wonder.
Elizabeth Blackmore, Holt
Good job Gillian
Congratulations to Gillian Triggs on her new position as the Assistant High Commissioner (Protection) with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. During her tenure with the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Triggs demonstrated her unwavering commitment to the rights of refugees and stateless persons as determined by international law.
I wish her every success in her new position where her formidable skills will be needed to protect the rights of these people on a world stage.
Jennifer Ashton, Ainslie
The wrong threat
You report ("Intelligence jobs predicted to increase", August 12, 8) there may soon be 40,000 plus jobs in the national security industry. That is people fighting spies and terrorism and all that sort of stuff.
But how many people are working on the real and existential threat to Australia that is climate change?
I would suggest, if you count academics and public servants, possibly a few hundred. Australia's national policies are so far out of whack one can only cry with rage.
Rod Holesgrove, Crace
Our greatest challenge
Ronald Elliott (Letters, August 12) has sketched the enormity of the challenge for there to be substantial reliance on renewable energy.
To put it in terms of data readily available from the Australian Energy Market Operator, there have been 10 instances since May 15 when the wind farms have only delivered around five per cent of capacity during the evening winter peak hours when there is little or no solar generation.
Even if the current wind farm deployments were increased 10 fold, and taking account of the available hydro capacity, these wind conditions would lead to a shortfall of 18 gigawatts of power if our coal and gas fired generators were not on line.
Snowy Hydro 2 will only deliver two gigawatts of power. So, we would need the equivalent of another eight Snowy Hydro 2 projects with enormous water storage capacity in order to dispense with reliance on coal and gas.
The Federal government is to be congratulated for starting Snowy Hydro 2 and the evaluation of another Bass Strait cable.
Those who demand more action should bear in mind the simultaneous projects that will be required to adapt to the predicted increase in droughts.
John Smith, Farrer
Spend money wisely
Labor MP Andrew Leigh says recent figures show Canberra has been dudded by the federal government on transport spending ("ACT short-changed on federal transport spending: Leigh", canberratimes.com.au, August 11).
Let's hope if the ACT does do better in future that such funds are used on sensible projects such as bus rapid transit, and not money wasters such as stage 2 light rail.
Leigh should listen to former Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, who recently stated that given the very low benefit-cost ratio (BCR) for Light Rail Stage 1 "no fiscally responsible government would or should have proceeded with the project, just wait until you see the business case and BCR for Stage 2".
Murray May, Cook
To the point
GOOD, BAD AND UGLY
The trouble with Donald Trump and those who vote for him is that they see themselves as "good guys", and those who differ with (or from) them as "bad guys". Emotionally mature people realise we are all capable of bad as well as good. It is only from accepting this we can find fellow feeling with those whom we perceive as different.
Michael McCarthy, Deakin
GET IT TOGETHER
As I sit here beside the pool in tropical Bali I wonder, from afar, how pathetic us Aussies are at looking after our environment. Our non five star hotel has reusable glass water bottles, the cafes use paper straws and the capital city is using odds and evens car number plates to reduce pollution. Can we at least try a little? We need to wake up before it's too late. Maybe it already is.
Doug Hodgson, Pearce
THE GREATEST SCAM
I read that scammers are using the NBN for their scams. I thought NBN itself was the scam.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Vic
CLEAR THOSE WINDOWS
The objective is ice free windows. You can a) cover the entire car, b) cover the windows only, or c) do what I do. Invest in a good rubber squeegee, a rag or paper towel and warm water. Pour an amount of water onto the windscreen (enough to melt the ice top to bottom then quickly squeegee it dry. If you aren't quick enough and the warm water ices, repeat. Complete for rest of the car.
Myles Parker, Kambah
FORGET THE MOON
In this era of modern communications, and having recently been subjected, for a whole week, by all channels to the wonders of television from the moon, I ask why it is that SBS cannot reliably transmit from any local tower to my place 20 minutes north of Canberra?
Chris Fowler, Bywong, NSW
SPOT ON PAT
Perhaps it's all part of the circle of life, Rafiki (Campbell's cartoon, August 12)?
Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW
IS NUKE, IS GOOD
D Mackenzie (Letters, August 12) argues the ins and ours of small nuclear reactors but neglects the huge advantage they have over renewables. Once installed they provide base load power 24/7 for decades, produce no carbon dioxide emissions, take up less room, kill no wild life and, best of all, get up the noses of the Greens. Ideal.
Doug Hurst, Chapman
China will exert it's authority in Hong Kong and the Twitter generation will express surprise and disappointment. Why? If China does nothing it signals that if you protest loud enough and long enough you get your own way. The collapse of communism in Russia caused decades of social and economic upheaval. China must act before it gets to the precipice.
Roger Dace, Reid
Barr's posturing over fuel prices is pathetic given the planning failures that brought this about. Canberrans can remember when each suburb had its own petrol station. They have been overtaken by developers (usually for apartments) on Barr's watch. Competition is now non-existent.
Bob Howden, Kambah
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