Numerous letters to the editor and articles have raised the possibility of more Canberra bushfires on the scale of the 2003 conflagration.
Canberrans are advised to prepare bushfire plans, taking all precautions to minimise risks to lives and property. On the other hand, the local authorities seem to take little, if any, notice of residents' concerns about bushfire risks in the middle of our suburbs.
For example, there is danger in Isaacs due to the suburb's proximity to Isaacs Ridge. It's not the pine trees as such but the way the forest is managed. Whenever it's "thinned-out", the off-cuts remain, becoming tinder dry, in some places piled-up waist-high.
I lived in Isaacs for over 29 years and repeatedly requested local authorities to do something about this, only to be advised that standard operating procedures were being followed.
Neither an appearance on the ABC TV evening news bulletin (November 19, 2006), nor a letter to the Chief Minister (September 27, 2007) resulted in changes.
Further, behind our back fence there is a nature strip where pine trees also grow. However, not once during the 29 plus years were the pine needles collected and taken away. There is now a carpet of tinder dry pine needles, many centimeters thick, ready to catch fire.
How will homes burning down or fatalities be rationalised then?
R S Baczynski, Isaacs
AWM vision wrong
It's no surprise the PM spoke glowingly of the planned $500 million demolition and expansion of the AWM in opening the project's exhibition on Monday ("Memorial investment overdue", canberratimes.com.au). He announced the project at a $700,000 function at Parliament House a year ago. Every price tag associated with this project is grand, but it seems that "public consultation" has been spent on earplugs.
While opposition to the proposal has been loud and strong, the AWM's consultation with the public is little and late. The memorial's Early Works Consultation Report, accessed recently on its website, stated that consultation with the community will begin in early 2020 - when the whole thing is practically a fait accompli. (Reid and Campbell residents have had an earlier opportunity).
In June, 80 per cent of respondents to a The Canberra Times poll opposed the redevelopment, as did a letter signed by 83 distinguished Australians in March, and countless individual letters to the editor. The outstanding environment and heritage, public works and NCA approvals all appear as little more than box-ticking exercises, with 63 mature trees likely to be destroyed in anticipation of success.
AWM director Dr Nelson seems determined to build space to glorify the machinery of warfare alongside our war dead. He will probably get his way, because the general public, to whom the AWM belongs, have been ignored. One suspects that many of those to whom the memorial is dedicated would not be too impressed by such a disgraceful sham of a process.
Sue Wareham, Cook
AWM project welcome
The redevelopment of the Australian War Memorial will be an immense boost to Canberra and a boon for visitors.
As a constant and visible reminder to the city and the nation of the terrible cost of war and the effects of service, the memorial honours Australian men and women who have served in war, peacekeeping, and humanitarian operations.
It also educates more than one million visitors every year about our military history and legacy and helps build pride in our veteran community.
Well done to AWM director Dr Brendan Nelson and his team in persisting in the face of the sundry naysayers who have derided the memorial's visionary plans.
Modernising and expanding the galleries and buildings will tell the story to generations not yet born of how Australia has helped build a better and safer world for all.
Simon Troeth, Campbell
Better uses for funds
Without any disrespect for the Australian War Memorial (AWM), how many big water bombing planes could the Federal government buy to fight the bushfires with the $500 million allotted to the AWM rebuild championed by the current director?
How many big water bombing planes could the Federal government buy to fight the bushfires with the $500 million allotted to the AWM rebuild championed by the current director?Keith Mitchell, Campbell
In case readers might doubt my respect for the AWM, I am the youngest brother to a World War II desert airforce pilot and a World War II pompom gun loader on HMAS Australia, and youngest son of a World War I digger whose four brothers all served in that war. One of them is in a war cemetery in Belgium.
Keith Mitchell, Campbell
Time to do more
I'm sure Adam Bandt meant well when said "Unless the (federal) government gets the climate crisis under control and reins in the use of coal, then this generation is going to rise up with a fury matched only by the intensity of the fires" ("Bandt backs senator's 'arsonist' accusation", November 18, p8).
Even with the best will in the world, the Australian government cannot on its own "control" the climate crisis. However it can make a meaningful contribution to a world-wide effort and has, despite its small share of global emissions, the opportunity to be a world leader in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, moving to 21st-century energy sources such as solar and wind, further developing renewable energy technology, and exporting both energy and technology.
On the subject of bushfires, it is clear that the Prime Minister does not want to talk about the chief culprit in their increasing frequency and intensity and the lengthening fire season (as vividly illustrated by Pat Campbell's cartoon) - climate change. He even refuses to talk to former and present senior fire and emergency services personnel who are convinced of such a bushfire-climate change relationship.
Perhaps some in the Morrison government agree with Israel Folau. According to ABC Radio news, Folau said on Sunday that the bushfires are God's revenge for the legalisation of same-sex marriage and abortion.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
China has rejected the visa for two Australian politicians for a China study tour because they had made negative/ critical comments on China.
Now there is no real surprise there because that is consistent with the way the Chinese communist state behaves.
It tolerates no criticism of its conduct.
That tends to be true also for some third world democracies where the ruling mob find criticism unpalatable.
The case of the ban on historian Professor Brij Lal (of ANU ) and his wife Padma Narsey by the Fijian State is an example in point.
What I find surprising is why some western democracies behave in a not dissimilar manner?
I have been the victim of a visa rejection by the US. I am a pro- democracy activist. I can't understand why the US has denied me entry.
At least the Chinese communist state cannot be accused of being hypocritical. We can't say the same for American democracy.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
Bring them home
The government's decision not to attempt to repatriate Australian ISIS women and children currently held in camps in the Middle East as "too risky" perpetuates the concept of fear.
I appreciate all the arguments: "they forfeited their obligations to Australia by their actions"; "a situation of their own making" "they got themselves freely into their situation" (I'm not quite sure how little children got themselves into this situation by their own free will however)" etc etc.
But nevertheless as Australian citizens, our government has a responsibility for them.
It's not a question of choice, it's a question of duty and responsibility; the government's responsibility for its citizens is not negotiable in a democracy, it's a mutual obligation.
Yes, all war zones are dangerous.
Nevertheless ABC journalists, international and BBC film crews, the Red Cross, Medicines sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders), nurses, and aid workers are all working in harm's way and all acting with tremendous courage operating in such zones.
But our government, with all its resources, is unable to help. Shame on them.
We now have to suffer the ignominy of another nation, the USA, offering to go and get our citizens.
Of course the safety of the Australian community is paramount and we simply cannot allow such sad, delusional people being let loose on the community on their return.
Therefore once we have them, allow skilled, competent, intelligence officers to continue the process of intelligence gathering and de-radicalisation.
If it is shown to be the case, charge returnees with war crimes and let them face the full weight of Australian law and if necessary, international law.
Mr Morrison, Mr Dutton and Mr Pezzullo, get our citizens back, especially the children.
Do your duty.
Mike Flanagan, Farrer
TO THE POINT
WHAT JOBS JOSH?
It's all well and good for Josh Frydenberg to call for greater workforce participation by Australians aged over 65: he'll be retiring long before reaching that age and on a hefty pension too.
But can he tell older Australians where the jobs for workers aged over 50 are because let me tell you, Joshy, no-one is hiring silvers.
Paul McElligott, Aranda
TELL THE TRUTH
Prime Minister Scott Morrison supports the $500 million new investment in the Australian War Memorial, saying the country needs to tell the new generation about the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I hope it will also tell them our involvement in both wars were sheer misadventures.
Sankar Kumar Chatterjee, Evatt
THE MIDDLE WAY
With the Civic to Woden tram line on it, Commonwealth Avenue will end up like Northbourne.
Go via Acton and Griffin's sublime third central lake crossing.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
Ever since Israel Folau committed himself to Team Jesus he's become the greatest gift that never stops giving for the cause of Australian secularism.
Bruce Taggart, Aranda
The thing I find incomprehensible about Mr Folau's nonsense is not that he espouses it, but that anyone pays attention to it.
Fred Pilcher, Kaleen
WHAT A SURPRISE
Israel Folau insensitive and ignorant?
Who would have ever thought it?
Knock me down with a feather.
M Moore, Bonython
My advice has always been to "to pick your solicitor carefully but never trust a merchant banker".
Turnbull's double dealings against Abbott and his continual banter during the election and after provides ample evidence of his lack of loyalty to his party. A Very poor loser and a very selfish man.
B Menzies, Canberra
Malcolm Turnbull claims he would have won the last election.
Given the opportunity he would probably claim he could also have won the Melbourne Cup.
Mark Sproat, Lyons
So Turnbull thinks he would have won? In the words of that Australian classic The Castle "tell him he's dreaming".
N Ellis, Bonython
With thousands of new residents projected for new developments such as Ginninderry, where is the water going to come from? Corin Dam is currently at 19.54 per cent of capacity and water restrictions are forecast for next year. I can't see that rain dances and prayers are going to ensure an adequate supply.
S. G. Tracey, Hughes
Re: "40 new buses to refresh ageing fleet" (November 19, p5). $525,000 per bus? Hope it's fake news.
M Richardson, Macgregor
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