The bid from the Fyshwick Business Association to have the Kingston railway station relocated to its own back yard ("Calls for capital train station move to Fyshwick", November 5) is understandable, but to my mind would be a retrograde step.
If NSW Trainlink were serious about increasing patronage of its service to and from Canberra, it would seek to have the railway station moved closer to the city centre, not farther away.
If Trainlink were really serious, it would be strenuously lobbying the NSW, federal and ACT governments to replace the present service, which is reminiscent of the late 19th century, with a fast (or very fast) rail service. This could render the present highly emissions-intensive air service redundant.
Moving Canberra's inter-city transport links into the 21st century is long overdue.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
What about a train to the airport?
I read the story about relocation of the Canberra Railway Station to Fyshwick.
The relocation is a good idea, but it should be to the airport allowing any future high speed rail to eventually take over from the current rail system.
The money obtained by the government from development of the Kingston site would easily offset a few km's of railway line & a bridge over the river.
The industrial proposals can go ahead in Fyshwick and Hume and the freight carried can subsidise the passenger traffic.
We have a real bias against rail in this country, but it is an ideal mode of transport for our large country.
Lets look further ahead!
Howard Carman, Nicholls
Or a station in Queanbeyan...
There's no doubting the Kingston rail passenger terminus is poorly situated to serve the 21st century transport needs of our region ('Calls for capital train station to move to Fyshwick', November 4).
But any relocation needs to be part of an integrated transport network that reduces travel times and makes the best use existing infrastructure including the under-utilised rail corridors between Queanbeyan and Kingston and south to Tuggeranong and Cooma.
Faster and more frequent rail services into and out of Canberra at an affordable cost, will also involve doing simple things like making it easier for would be travellers to actually get to the train.
Better rail freight services are needed too if fast looming local congestion issues are to be addressed - a crisis that is almost upon us.
Infrastructure Australia and Transport Canberra have each recently reported that that there is only a small window of opportunity to prevent road and freight congestion becoming a significant issue in and around the ACT by 2030.
Two of worst areas of congestion are the arterial roads connecting Canberra to Queanbeyan - along the Canberra Airport and Canberra Avenue corridors. Census data show that 60-65% in Queanbeyan-Palerang Shire residents work in Canberra accounting for about 18,000 twice daily cross-border commutes just for work purposes.
A solution could include re-purposing the existing Queanbeyan-Kingston rail corridor for light rail.
What a huge argy bargy there is over music in the CBD in Canberra. The huge problem is noise, not music.Penelope Upward, O'Connor
That link could be extended along the tram-friendly Wentworth Avenue corridor to service Kingston Foreshore, Manuka Oval, the national institutions and workplaces in Barton.
Ultimately, a Queanbeyan-Kingston-Barton-Civic-Gungahlin service might form the spine of a viable light rail network integrated with enhanced regional and faster (but not highly expensive ultra-fast) inter-capital train services.
Bob Bennett, Wanniassa
ACT services worth every penny
Once again we have people writing letters wringing their hands over the high rates and other fees for living in the ACT.
And not coincidentally we have a report, and letter writers, complaining about under-funding of the hospital system.
I'm not sure if these two groups of letter writers have met but maybe they need to talk to each other?
We pay high rates for living in a very livable city, with well maintained roads, lots of green space and high quality of life. The idea of getting something for nothing is just a fantasy.
Perhaps those people complaining about high rates could move to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane and see how they fare?
Paul Wayper, Cook
Rates rises distract from spending
Am I too cynical?
Twelve months before the ACT Election we get promised a (taxpayer-funded) study by government selected consultant(s) into the impact of, so called, tax reform on Canberra households ('ACT rates hike probe', November 5).
The broad impacts are obvious. These include: nearly all households paying rates of $1-2000 every three months (and then trying to pay for water, gas and electricity that also have increased), which is particularly hard for low-medium income households.
Renters are also effectively bearing some of these costs because of the tight housing market and an uncertain overall impact on economic efficiency because total taxes have increased.
Not surprisingly, the current Government is not interested in the, arguably, more important questions including where is the money going and are taxpayers getting value for money.
Indeed they are actively seeking to divert attention from these questions with the proposed study and announcements of pre-election 'sweeteners' - for example yesterday's announcement that more people will be able to get its seniors card from July 2020!
The take-out is fairly clear - elect another majority Labor/Green government and rates and other costs of living will keep increasing, and it will remain very unclear whether we are getting value for our money.
Bruce Paine, Red Hill
...anything but 'revenue-neutral'
So the Barr Goverment will contract reviewers to see if rates rises in Canberra are "revenue neutral".
Let me assure the ACT government that rates rises have been anything but revenue neutral to ACT residents, particularly older, long-term residents on fixed incomes, to whom the annual rate rises have been quite punitive. Roll on the election!
Rex Simmons, Mawson
Miners before people
In his recent speech to the Queensland Resources Council, Scott Morrison made it clear that he holds the rights and freedoms of mining companies above all else - all else being people, animals, the environment and the future of this planet. Apparently, he will legislate to protect these rights and freedoms.
Well Mr Morrison, I am an Australian citizen living in a supposed democracy and I will support whom I want, boycott whom I want and spend my dollars how I want.
Overseas, people are rotting in jails for trying to claim their democratic rights. Under Morrison and his cronies, will Australia be any different?
S Gerrard, Dunlop
Cruel border policies continue
It's unbelievably callous that some 50 men removed from their years of detention on Manus are now locked up in Port Moresby without charge, without access to lawyers, without a vestige of hope to restrain them from self-harm or suicide. This horror is just one by-product of our cruel policy of indefinite detention for these hapless young men whose "crime" was to risk their lives at sea in search of sanctuary on our shores.
Tim Macnaught, Farrer
Aged care funding system broken
The aged care system is broken. More funds are needed, but the method of distribution of funds also needs to change.
Instead of providing funds to 'service providers', encourage not-for-profit aged care cooperatives to receive the funds and let the cooperatives select the services using government rules. The members of the cooperative are the recipients of the aged care.
The approach would reduce the demands on the department in monitoring the use of funds as the cooperative governs itself, and it would eliminate the cost of the service provider companies who source the labour.
It would make better use of the government funds and be able to tap into the cooperative members' assets to help provide better service.
The method will work because many aged people who do not require government assistance will join cooperatives to manage the provision of services.
Kevin Cox, Ngunnawal
Options for CBD music argy bargy
What a huge argy bargy there is over music in the CBD in Canberra. The huge problem is noise, not music.
Music is harmonious and beautiful, something people can and love to live with.
I suggest people who want to play music in the CBD, which I think a great idea, consult with experts at The School of Music. They know what real music is.
And why not discuss with the people who live in the CBD the sort of music they would like?
Penelope Upward, O'Connor
TO THE POINT
ACCC V GOOGLE
Thanks for your piece on Google's underhand appropriation of users' personal information for commercial gain ('ACCC challenges Google over location data' 29 October).
This is the company that the credulous ACT government trusts will delete video of your back yard that Google's Project Wing records each time its drones fly over your home to deliver your neighbour's latte.
What a bunch of mugs. And I'm not talking coffee.
David Robertson, Red Hill
CARTOON A WINNER
Congratulations to Pat for his brilliant cartoon (Monday 4 November p13).
It encapsulated everything that this Government isn't doing or caring about in relation to climate change and our future with our PM spraying weedkiller on green growth. Keep them coming Pat.
Phil Creaser, Canberra City
CANBERRA: A GREASY ARRIVAL
An overflowing bin of junk food plastic containers; a greasy, wet arrival pavement exposed to weather and Jolimont Centre locked, greeted a coach load from Sydney last night arriving at 10.45pm.
Welcome to Canberra. Enough said.
Dr Susan Boden, Canberra
A FRESH MOVE FOR THE APVMA?
With Armidale running out of water it may be a good idea for the federal government to move the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to reduce pressure on water supplies.
Long term climate change impacts and increasing population levels may limit options, regional or urban.
Geoff Rohan, Kambah
COULD TRAM RUIN CITY HILL?
The Civic to Capital Hill section of light rail 2 will ruin City Hill and Commonwealth Avenue, unbalance the National Triangle, wreck West Basin, and cost a fortune.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
A RARE POLITICAL BEAST
Are our politicians robbing us blind? (letters, November 19). Short answer: Yes. Any public poll will confirm that.
That is an entrenched public perception of politicians. Which is not to say there are no decent politicians in politics.
But they are a rare and endangered species in today's world of politics.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, Sydney
CONGRATULATIONS IN ORDER
Many congratulations to Professor Munjed Al Muderis for being awarded the NSW Australian of the Year. Professor Al Muderis is a great example of what refugees can achieve when given the opportunity.
As a refugee myself I know that most people who come here seek to make a positive contribution to their new homeland.
Khizar Rana, Walkerville NSW
GUARD FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
Thank you for publishing my letter (' A matter of Trust ', November 19).
As someone who comes from a country that has had repeated military coups I witnessed first hand how democracy is debased with the suppression of the press.
I am a citizen who believes we must guard vigilantly the press right to put the truth about what's happening and what our rulers are doing in our name before the people. Without that right democracy is diminished.
Rajend Naidu, Sydney
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