Walking recently at West Basin, I'm sure I observed the rarely seen Pink-tailed Worm-lizard and the Northern Corroboree Frog. I was delighted to see growing several clumps of the critically endangered Brindabella Midge Orchid (first discovered only in 1992).
Several pairs of platypuses and their offspring frolicked on the shallow, shaded water's edge. The Aboriginal art, on the rocky outcrops near ANU, as always, was impressive.
As evening fell, I'm sure I saw a pair of endangered Australian Painted Snipes foraging in the reeds and soft mud. I thought I heard the distinctive sound of wild Brumbies galloping through the Yellow Box Grassy Woodland.
My walk finished, with kangaroos grazing nearby, as a brilliant sunset glowed over a shimmering lake with views unobscured to the Brindabellas.
How lucky are we to have this gem available to all Canberra's citizens and so close to the city centre. Surely, the ACT government is not serious about development plans in West Basin.
John Mungoven, Stirling
For more than six months the people of Weston Creek thought we were getting a lovely new park outside Cooleman Court. How wrong we were.
All we got was concrete and coloured steel. It is a cold and depressing place with no protection from the weather; just some dead grass and a few low plants. Very few people use this so called park except for occasional brave smokers and as a dumping place for trolleys.
I hate to think how much was paid for the work done to create this monstrosity. I guess this is part of Andrew Barr's vision of a vibrant Canberra. What's happening to our beautiful bush capital?
Robyn Saunders, Weston
While I sympathise with Andrew Geraghty (Letters, August 28) and his experience at Canberra Hospital I would say be grateful for the small mercy of an appointment that was only 45 minutes late.
Over the last few months my partner has needed to attend another regular clinic at the Canberra Hospital and she, along with many others, has had appointments that were three hours late.
Requests to the Health Minister for information about the number of appointments seen on time at this particular clinic have thus far yielded no useful information.
Data about the timeliness of buses is routinely collected and provided on the internet (https://www.data.act.gov.au/Transport/On-Time-Running-By-Week-First-Stop-Only/diwx-p2be).
However, it would appear that no equivalent information is made available about clinics at Canberra Hospital (assuming such data is actually being collected).
I wonder why that is?
I should point out that my partner's treatment and the staff were excellent. The problem lies with the way the health system is managed and resourced by the government.
Jim Derrick, Florey
A horrible time
What a horrific state Australia's politics is in.
Both sides of politics are currently in support of unlawful refugee imprisonment, abuse of adults and children in detention centres, the expropriation of our gas and water supplies for the benefit of private shareholders and offshore interests, increases in the sale of coal in exchange for short-term jobs over a long-term future, the blocking of renewable energy to serve vested interests, large cash donations to political parties, the arrest and charging of whistleblowers who are attempting to defend our national interests, the suppression of a federal ICAC and the lap dog pursuit of US imperialism in the Middle East.
This is to name but a few of the issues. What a shameful, despicable, unChristian list for our Liberal and Labor parties. Our politics are a reflection of our personal greed, self-interest and lack of humanity.
Poor fellow my country indeed.
Gerry Gillespie, Queanbeyan, NSW
Idiot in chief
Harry Davis and Thomas Mautner (Letters, August 28) highlighted a couple of examples of some the latest ideas of America's Idiot in Chief. It would be nice to ignore him but the trouble with that is if you ignore the buffoon he says or does something even more ludicrous to get attention.
Can't we just narrowcast his activities to his adoring and devoted audience (himself mostly) and Fox viewers and spare the rest of us the tedium of his constant in(s)anity?
Rory McElligott, Nicholls
An easy fix
Re Brad Watts's letter about being on a football oval when golf balls started descending (Letters, August 27).
It reminded me of being a 13-year-old boy from a tough primary school in Brisbane. We had been playing hockey in a nearby area with several hockey fields, standing around discussing the game, when golf balls rained down around us. One hit me on the hand.
Being boys of that age, we did the obvious thing and stole the balls. A man had hit them from the other end of the field. He was upset at being unable to find any of his 10 balls.
We denied all knowledge and rode off on our bicycles. This certainly deterred him from hitting any more golf balls that day.
It was after that that I started to notice signs saying "No playing golf permitted here", so that rule has been in place in Queensland for 50 years that I know of.
Stewart Bath, Isabella Plains
Pill testing report flawed
The latest report on pill testing has a number of faults ("Deadly substance found at pill-test trial", August 27, p3). Before any further festivals occur, the integrity of the testing equipment must be beyond doubt - in other words gold standard.
We seek such a standard in the construction industry; is it not good enough for our kids?
Dr David Caldicott is reported as saying "No matter how strong our desire for people not to use drugs or our education and prevention, people will continue to use drugs".
That's akin to saying no matter our desire for people not to drink-drive, they will continue to do it. That's not revelation - everybody already knows it. Prohibition laws are part of our desire to prevent drug use. What many don't know is that no health or police minister will confirm that the current BAC levels assure safe driving.
I know this because I have asked each. So if these legal alcohol levels are not safe, there's no way that any level of any mind-altering illicit drug can aspire to ensure safe driving - or for that matter, safe behaviour.
Colliss Parrett, Barton
Hear the deaf
Re Rita Corbett's letter of August 29.
I am delighted with Captiview. I use closed captions while watching television and have found Captiview to be just as effective, although I admit constantly changing focal length between the device and screen necessitated wearing my reading glasses pushed down so I could see the movie over the top.
Deafness has many forms, mine resulting in a limited capacity to distinguish consonants so I have to interpret everything I hear in relation to its context.
The issue with volume for me is that everything is loud, painfully so at the movies and exhausting in public spaces.
I agree that headphones can be really helpful with other forms of deafness and I did find them marginally useful in that they limited the effect of the sound reverberating around the theatre.
My gripe is the limited use of captions on television. I was delighted when SBS started a World Movies Channel but frustrated that it seems the only movies with subtitles are those from other countries.
Christine Richardson, Dunlop
What an irony that after decades of European colonial rule in Africa today China has embarked on African development in a big way and Japan has followed suit with its own Tokyo conference of African leaders to explore how best to assist development in Africa. Makes one wonder what the European colonial powers did on the African development front during their colonial rule? Plunder?
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
Snow not plausible
Very sorry Malcolm Snow but I do not believe it. ("Waterfront won't be yuppie enclave", August 28, p2). West Basin is one of the several atrocities being thrust upon Canberrans. I rode a horse over the grounds of West Basin before the lake came and I can see no possible reason why you should want to reverse that work.
An increase in population will just exacerbate the traffic problems in Civic in general and West Civic in particular. If you need to sell apartments to finance the "infrastructure and amenities required to support the development" then do not develop it.
Gail Tregear, Civic
To the point
I copied the following off an internet media site: "A pier in Docklands ... has been evacuated after engineers found it was unsafe. Central Pier is more than 100 years old and has undergone structural stabilisation in the past two years". Only in laissez-faire Australia could this not be straight out of a Monty Python script.
Alex Mattea, Sydney
POTS AND KETTLES
How can anyone take Foreign Minister Marise Payne's comments on Australian writer Yang Hengjun, arrested in China for allegedly spying, seriously in the context of Australian spying in East Timor.
Phil Burns, Kambah
ET TU JULIAN?
What a pity that Julian Assange is not an "Australian writer". That must be why he doesn't get any help from our government in his fight against extradition to the US where he may face a death sentence.
John Rodriguez, Florey
THAT FAMOUS CLAP
But, R.J. Wenholz (Letters, August 29), what would Andy Rowe have said about this? Last Sunday Darren Lockyer joined in the fantastic Viking Clap with Raiders' fans in the row just behind us. And he shook hands with about a dozen Raiders' fans. Well done Locky for showing the spirit of rugby league.
James Mahoney, McKellar
Ann Smith and Jenny Goldie (Letters, August 29) would have Alan Jones banned and his advertisers named and shamed. If you don't like him, don't listen to him. Why do you need a list of advertisers? If you dislike his views presumably you've listened to him and heard the ads. Are you just virtue signalling?
Roger Dace, Reid
China urges citizens to use freedom of assembly and the right to protest to promote totalitarianism and unexpurgated censorship in Australia and Hong Kong. It then uses those undemocratic ideals to prevent the use of democratic ideals at home. Such hypocrisy might come back and bite them.
Jon Jovanovic, Lenah Valley, Tas
Having used unisex toilets from time to time, surely the answer to Mr Morrison's discomfit with transgender people and toilets is to make/convert all toilets to unisex.
Job done, now he can turn his attention to lesser issues, like saving the planet from the ravages of global warming.
Ed Cory, Bywong
MESSAGE FROM GOD
Dutton says the Sri Lankan couple facing deportation were told before they had children they would never be allowed to stay.
Wouldn't our PM agree children are the gift of God?
God may be sending a message to the cruel and inhumane government he leads.
Eric Hunter, Cook
WINDS OF CHANGE
I understand revised sex and gender Census questions are currently being tested by ABS and that expert demographers called for the changes to the old male/female questions.
However the review and testing of questions is still to be presented to the federal government.
Sue Dyer, Downer
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