We have just been through Legacy week and what a joy it was to meet and to speak to some of our wonderful and brave service personnel.
Outside Woolworths Queanbeyan we had all three forces presented, beautifully fitted out, medals shining in the sunlight and very approachable.
The gentlemen looked extremely dapper and the ladies were beautiful. It made me personally feel proud of our armed forces and I told them so.
Being a legatee child also made me realise that still today Legacy is a vital requirement in our current climate and that many people still need assistance now and in the future.
So get out there and purchase one of those cute teddies (I got the nurse) or just give a donation and help our fellow countrymen and women.
Robyn Leigh, Queanbeyan, NSW
Our country has always been attacked by droughts, bushfires and floods. Scientists have explained that these will get worse as climate change bites. We're not in a good position to sneer at the plight of those other Pacific Islanders.Rosemary Walters, Canberra
I agree with every word Douglas Mackenzie utters about this government's gross lack of Christian charity and empathy towards refugees and asylum seekers (Letters, September 9).
It is not without good reason that the government's treatment of refugees has been described by the UN as cruel, inhumane and in breach of international refugee laws.
It's an apt description.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
The decision by the Morrison government to deport the Tamil family back to Sri Lankan seems quite disgraceful.
Four points to make:
First, the argument that granting this family residency would compromise our national security?
I have spent much of my working life involved in statistical risk analysis in industry and to suggest that granting permanent residency to this family would somehow send a message to traffickers and therefore compromise our protective border and immigration policy is simply marketing a fanciful delusional correlation.
My second point concerns the legal process and ministerial discretion; accepting that the courts have found the family ineligible for refugee status and they must therefore be deported, does not provide the minister with the opportunity to abdicate his role in the process.
Ministerial discretion is part of our government process precisely because a minister can make decisions outside of the clinical legal process. It enables the minister to input such human values such as compassion decency into the decision process.
In short, the process of "ministerial discretion" is an enhancement of our system of government.
My third point concerns the recent federal election and what underpins good right decent decisions, decisions which reflect who we are as Australians; it seemed to me that some of politicians deliberately marketed their religious beliefs, their religious philosophies, during the campaign.
I like to think that such was a genuine expression of belief and not simply a cynical marketing vote catching activity.
However, unless we try to incorporate decent, charitable, compassionate values into our everyday life, then presumably attendance at our different churches, waving our arms and singing alleluia, is simply a musical theatrical event, colourful, but essentially devoid of substance or meaning.
My final point is that "right decisions, decent decisions" are not criteria referenced against political considerations, party considerations, community populist decisions, they are not dependent upon the endorsement of shock jocks or ex deputy prime-ministers, they are made because they are simply "right and decent".
Such decisions reflect the Australian cultural norms, in fact the words, the very words expressed in speeches made during the election campaign.
To therefore deny that family permanent residence in this country, given their commitment and community input, would be a denial of decency, compassion and reflect badly on federal leadership, but much more importantly, on us all as Australians.
Mike Flanagan, Farrer
Fruit pickers sought
An Australian politician dismissively told Pacific Islanders that, when their islands are swamped by the rising tides of climate change, they can come and pick our fruit.
Now our Pacific island (Australia) has been so dried out by climate change that there are bushfires in early spring. Perhaps our government leaders should be redeployed picking fruit. They don't seem much use at protecting us from global warming.
Australia looks big but most of our population clings to a shrinking band of fading green around the edge of our island. The semi-arid areas are becoming arid as the desert expands outwards.
Meanwhile rising sea levels move inwards and over-used rivers dry up.
Our country has always been attacked by droughts, bushfires and floods. Scientists have explained that these will get worse as climate change bites. We're not in a good position to sneer at the plight of those other Pacific Islanders.
Rosemary Walters, Canberra
Why so cruel?
Man's inhumanity to man, or, in this case, to two small children and their parents. Those little girls will be scarred for life by the government's treatment of them.
Maybe in future we should look more closely, in terms of recency and level, at the educational and ethical background of those who aspire to be leaders in this country. Currently large numbers of Australians are ashamed of, and opposed to, the decisions of those who are in this role - this is not an acceptable situation.
Under our current system, candidates for election are chosen by, and from, a small number of unrepresentative people (party members). We now see the mess this arrangement leaves us in.
Audrey Guy, Ngunnawal
Scott Morrison says that his government had brought its budget "back into surplus this year" and has implied that there will be no outpouring of federal funds to stimulate the near-stagnant economy ("PM won't budge from surplus vow", September 8, p11).
Both undertakings are questionable. Firstly, the budget will not officially be in surplus unless this can be demonstrated in next May's federal budget. Secondly, the strength of Mr Morrison's determination not to "loosen the budget purse strings" seems to depend on the political circumstances of the time.
Mr Morrison seems happy to spend tens of thousands of dollars to fly the Biloela Tamil family from Melbourne to the Christmas Island detention centre. Reopening the centre in April, after its closure in October 2018 cost $185 million, and keeping it open has since cost about $23 million.
Mr Morrison also seems more than happy to spend vast sums of taxpayers' money, without informing, let alone consulting us, on his pet rock - coal. According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, the federal and Queensland governments have undertaken to grant $4.4 billion in direct subsidies, tax exemptions and deferrals, and a 10-year royalties "holiday" to the Adani Carmichael coal mine project, most of the funds coming from the federal government.
These facts do not paint a picture of spending restraint.
Dr Douglas E. Mackenzie, Deakin
An unsentimental journey
The other week, my wife and I had an outing much like that of Dave Jeffrey and his wife ("Tram disappoints", Letters, September 12).
"Rapid(?)" bus from Chapman to Civic, business in Civic, tram to Gungahlin, lunch in Gungahlin and then tram and bus back to Chapman with all travel free. Our bus/tram transfer at Civic involved waiting for a tram, rather than missing a departing one.
The outbound journey was OK but the return journey was disappointing. My single seat was narrow and hard. I sat above the bogie at an articulation point and at least one wheel of the bogie set had a "flat" spot, producing a clunk-clunk-clunk.., the frequency of which varied directly with the speed of the tram.
I don't know if the maintenance depot in Mitchell has a wheel-turning lathe. If not, they should invest in one soon.
However, the most annoying feature of both trips was the announcements, about 2-3 seconds after departure from Station X, that "...we have just departed from Station X". Of what benefit to anyone is that?
Oh yes, lunch at Gungahlin was very enjoyable.
Paul E Bowler, Chapman
I'm not OK
I've just been watching another Question Time from the House of Representatives, on RU OK Day. No, I'm not OK. It's another depressing disgrace. I urge the broadcasters to include the phone numbers of Lifeline, Beyond Blue and other counselling services, as is usual at the end of distressing content.
Steve Swift, Greenway
To the point
QUITE A CONTRAST
It amazing to compare the treatment of Gough Whitlam with Boris Johnson. Gough had a majority in the lower house, something Boris hasn't managed. Gough got sacked but Boris still manages to have the Queen's confidence. No wonder Her Majesty won't release the correspondence between herself and Kerr.
Peter Harris, Belconnen
ON YOUR BIKE
What, does this mean Boris will have to back peddle? ("Johnson pressured to recall parliament", canberratimes.com.au, September 13)
Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW
I WAS ROBBED
I tried a Container Deposit Scheme "pod" for the first time. I returned 50 items, carefully counted, which should have resulted in a $5 refund. I was notified I had only returned 46. The CDS website advised "the system is designed to be the final and deciding count". Hardly fair. Oh well. Back to travelling to Mitchell to return in person.
Steve Marlor, Flynn
Nah, Elizabeth Blackmore (Letters, September 12). We ditch the Union Jack and move the Federation Star up a bit on that side and, whooshka, we have a new, simple Aussie flag with minimal change that reflects our geography, history and, through the star, our nation. As for the ACT flag, replace the crest with our floral emblem.
James Mahoney, McKellar
Ah, Ed Highley of Kambah, walking around with an empty Aldi bag is but the second step to getting it filled with cash. The first step is locating the Labor Friends of China to fill your Aldi bag.
Christina Faulk, Swinger Hill
OUR YELLOW JACKETS
Whose idea was it to put a yellow streak down the back of the current Australian Cricket uniform? Saying someone has a yellow streak down their back is saying that person is a coward. Clearly, ignorance of idioms is no bar to being a professional designer of clothing, or an approving big wig in Cricket Australia.
Gordon Fyfe, Kambah
NO BINS, NO BUTTS
B Gemmell (Letters, September 11) is right to complain about passive smoking at the bus stop opposite Cooleman Court. Canberra ASH has complained about smoking there. We were told the government provided a smokers bin because of butt litter. This gives the wrong message to smokers who are encouraged to light up. Non-smokers suffer from inhaled smoke if they sit on the park bench.
Dr A Shroot, president, Canberra ASH
Who would have thought that Bob Menzies' broad church would bring together such a disparate team? The Liberals, Nationals, Liberal Nationals from Queensland, Country Liberals from the NT and now Chinese communists. Do we call them the Liberal National Country Communist Party?
Peter Harris, Belconnen
PAY UP KEVIN
Australia spent $51 billion on the National Broadband Network and we are currently ranked number 60 worldwide. Since this was Mr Rudd's idea back in 2009 I think he should pay these expenses from his own pocket or be jailed for gross incompetence.
Mokhles K Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
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