I feel incensed enough to write and warn fellow citizens of the latest scam by the ACT government to gouge money from you.
My partner and I bought a new apartment in the city and settled on April 5, 2019. We did all the paperwork and on June 4 we received a letter from the ACT Revenue Office confirming, inter alia, that we were not liable to pay land tax. As owner occupiers we knew this to be the case.
It came as a very nasty surprise to receive an email from the Revenue Office out of the blue in early September demanding payment for a land tax for our apartment and charging us an extra amount for interest as we had not paid the account.
I did not understand how we could be billed as we were not liable as stated in the letter of June 4.
Subsequently, we have discovered that we do have to pay under Section 17 (2) of the Land Tax Act 2004. This is because when the property was liable for land tax on 1 April (before we settled on April 5) it was owned by a corporation and because it didn't pay the tax, the outstanding debt was passed onto us.
So we are going to have to pay the tax for the April to June quarter retrospectively even though we were not in the apartment on April 1 and we are not liable to pay land tax.
Yet another example of an unjust and unfair tax imposed by an uncaring and incompetent government.
Roll on the next election.
Phil Creaser, Canberra City
Howard Brady is on the wrong track if he thinks global warming is "a natural cycle" and rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide "make some contribution to that warming" (Letters, October 8). He may have been referring to one of the Milankovitch cycles: variations in the elliptical shape of the Earth's solar orbit that result in a 100,000-year cyclical variation in the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth.
It has been conclusively demonstrated by many scientific observations and studies that a gradual cooling Milankovitch trend in global temperatures changed relatively abruptly to a warming trend in about 1770, during the Industrial Revolution, and that warming continues unabated.
Mr Brady's claim that "climate change during the last 200 years has been in steps" is also well wide of the mark. Apart from a slowing in the rate of change between 1940 and 1960, the rate of warming has been steadily increasing, especially since about 1960.
Mr Brady also notes "ice ages with carbon dioxide levels much, much higher than today". In fact, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are 38 per cent higher today than they have been in at least 800,000 years.
Before attacking Professor Eggleton, DSc, Mr Brady should at least get his facts right. We are in the grip of a man-made potential climatic disaster.
Dr Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
More secrets and lies
Chris Mobbs (Letters, October 9) wants more detail on the government's plan for stage two of light rail. He asks whether it is hiding it.
Of course it is. It is too embarrassed to put out a document that shows that there will be virtually no real benefit from stage two and that its costs will be exorbitant.
Many readers will recall that the government used its call in powers to stop a ACT parliamentary committee from examining stage two.
That sets the stage. It will tell us as little as possible about stage two. It doesn't want you to know, Chris Mobbs, and it doesn't want the rest of us to know either.
Doesn't say much about its democratic sense.
Stan Marks, Hawker
The resentment directed at The Canberra Times' editor and sports journalists by David Cook's letter (Letters, October 10) is a misguided tirade.
The commentary run by print and electronic media outlets since the grand final both in Canberra and Sydney is philosophically about positive and negative emotional human behaviour, influenced by the outcome of a game.
Whether you are officials controlling the game, players, coaches or fans, it is natural that humans be either angry or joyful about a game.
Most of the anger from fans at any sporting game may be fuelled by alcohol, but making such a sweeping statement is not necessarily true. Not everyone relies on alcohol for stimulation to express an opinion.
The resentment directed at The Canberra Times' editor and sports journalists by David Cook's letter (Letters, October 10) is a misguided tirade.Thomas Natera, Ngunnawal
There are people interested in the development of sport in the areas of science, law and policy who would like to clinically analyse elite games, from the performance-improvement perspective.
I have played both rugby league and rugby union and understand the devastating impact that refereeing decisions can have on players and fans, especially in crucial "end of season" games.
Ben Cummins may be a leading referee in the game of rugby league, but he is not necessarily the best adjudicator, because there are others at that equivalent level. Scrutiny of referees, coaches and players is always the norm at any level of elite sport, whether it's encouraging or undesirable.
In the case of Cummins, he erred in the application of Rule 16.9. This essentially says that you can't alter a decision already made.
Thomas Natera, Ngunnawal
'Terra nullius' assertion false
Your editorial "Cook celebrations need to be nuanced" (October 11) describes killings of Maori and Aborigines by Cook's crew as making "a mockery of the legal fiction of 'terra nullius', the false assertion Australia had not been occupied when Cook claimed it for the British Crown, finally overturned by the Mabo decision".
That "false assertion" is itself a false assertion.
Briefly, neither Captain Cook nor governor Phillip nor the Australian High Court had heard of "terra nullius" until Aboriginal lawyer, Paul Coe, who had come across it in the International Court of Justice's advisory opinion on Western Sahara, used it in a 1977 High Court case against the Commonwealth government, claiming restitution and compensation for Aborigines.
One of his propositions was that Australia had not been "terra nullius" when European sovereignty was asserted.
Unfortunately for Coe, nobody had ever said it was, and his case was given short shrift. Notwithstanding this, the phrase has become a handy shorthand to explain Aboriginal dispossession and, in the words of historian Michael Connor in his The Invention of Terra Nullius (Macleay Press, 2005): "The savage abstraction tore a wound in the fabric of society which conciliation could never mend, because it was a lie".
Bill Deane, Chapman
Good to see a retirement living complex winning the "ACT's Development of the Year" award, (October 6, p32).
But compare the fine "commodity, firmness, and delight" of that carefully thought out project (and of its genre generally) with your typical new medium or high-rise block of apartments where owners and occupiers are left with creeping over-development, relegated and dumbed-down designs, poor amenity, dreary unsafe public spaces, lack of solar access, poor energy ratings, virtually non-existent landscaping, cramped balconies, internal bedrooms, noise problems, and of course, widespread structural and building defects.
Virtually no such applicable problems exist in high-rise commercial buildings and hotels; interesting that.
Says a lot about the disgusting attitudes of the current crop of "have-a-go" apartment developers, financiers, realtors, and builders, not to mention the governments that bludge off them.
It is time for a major shake up in an "industry" that, in many cases, is dragging us back to the slums of the industrial revolution (but with speciously flashy kitchen and sanitary fittings though).
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
Why pick him?
There are 330 million people in the USA. Despite this reservoir of talent, the best they could do was to elect Donald Trump as president, albeit assisted by a shonky electoral system.
Since 2016 his narcissism has been on display describing himself as "Really Smart, a 'Very Stable Genius' and having "great and unmatched wisdom".
His narcissism has been matched by his ignorance on many issues including climate change as evidenced by statements such as "It's freezing and snowing in New York - we need global warming" and "Global warming was created by ... the Chinese ... to make US manufacturing non-competitive".
Since becoming president, according to The Washington Post, he has made over 12,000 false and misleading statements. He dismisses criticism as fake news.
Unfortunately Scott Morrison is now channelling Trump with his more aggressive tone on China, contempt of the media and the community in his refusal to answer questions and comments on "negative globalism" and "the Canberra bubble".
We should all be very afraid of the growing authoritarianism.
M Quirk, Garran
TO THE POINT
BRING THEM HOME
I agree with your editorial "It's time to bring the IS kids home". One hopes the vindictive actions and words of Peter Dutton do not result in blood on his hands as Marise Payne is left to deal with the problem.
Ann Darbyshire, Hughes
FUEL FOR THOUGHT
I wonder if Extinction Rebellion have factored in the consequences of large numbers of stationary vehicles idling whilst roads are blocked and/or vehicles diverting to longer routes to reach their destinations.
Geoff Mongan, Campbell
Having just returned from overseas it makes me realise what a fortunate place Australia is when a dispute over refereeing a footy game is such a prominent feature of The Canberra Times.
Magda Sitsky, Chifley
BLOODY SILLY JOEL
Is Joel Fitzgibbon serious, wanting to mimic the government's climate change "policy" so the ALP can win the next election? It hasn't occurred to him people didn't see enough difference between his party and the coalition in May to warrant changing. It's no surprise he is promoting such a non-policy given his electorate's relationship to coal. We might as well wave goodbye to a clean and healthy future.
Catherine Moore, Braidwood, NSW
DO THE RIGHT THING
Good on The Canberra Times for its editorial "It's time to bring the ISIS kids home" (October 10, p18). I would, subject to security checks and de-radicalisation programs, also argue for ISIS Australian women to be brought home too. I also support your criticism of the government's lack of action. This is now even more important given Morrison supports Trump's agreement for Turkey to invade Syria and put these Australian lives at even greater risk.
Rod Holesgrove, Crace
Do we really want children like Greta voting? I hope not.
Doug Hodgson, Pearce
THINK IT THROUGH
Ms Barlow (Letters, October 9) is wrong. Women and kids stuck in a vile refugee camp in Syria are Australian citizens; the notion of jailing them like criminals on Christmas Island is insane. Who are these bloody citizens who think they have more rights than others and think it's OK to lock others in concentration camps?
Marilyn Shepherd, Angaston, SA
NOT MY LEADER
Can we now bury for good the "Leader of the Free World" tag when referring to the president of America? It is obvious that no-one is leading our world - free or otherwise - but this president is doing his best to destroy it.
Sue Gerrard, Dunlop
Mr Trump does not like a Kangaroo court. Would he prefer street justice and a Libyan-style end?
Mokhles K Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
READ A MAP
If Byam Wight (Letters, October 11) gets booked in Ayre St, Kingston, he should take it to court as the particulars of the offence would be incorrect.
Juha Turunen, Queanbeyan, NSW
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