I share The Canberra Times's enthusiasm for the ACT Assembly adopting an acknowledgment of country in the Ngunnawal language (editorial, canberratimes.com.au, November 29).
However, it is wrong to flippantly characterise the 2008 apology to indigenous Australians as a "feel good moment" that encouraged the nation to "kick the can further down the road".
The apology was intended not only as an act of genuine contrition for past wrongs, but as the start of a process of healing. To that end, we forged a nationwide agreement to close the gap in areas like life expectancy, child mortality, education and employment. After all, an apology is meaningless unless it's backed by action.
As of February, only two of these seven targets are on track; this simply isn't good enough. The apology was a promise from non-indigenous Australians to our Indigenous brothers and sisters to work with them to make amends. Its work isn't done until these gaps are closed.
Kevin Rudd, 26th prime minister of Australia and co-chair, National Apology Foundation for Indigenous Australians
Last Thursday I attended a school kids climate demonstration outside the front of Parliament House. The demonstration was extremely polite, well organised but sadly only had about 200 participants.
The demonstration was confined to the area of grass in the mall across from Parliament House. I had a small protest sign drawn up by one of my grandchildren. As I reached the grass area an officious marshall told me I could not leave the grass square with my sign otherwise police would take it off me. There was little or no media coverage of the demonstration.
On Monday about 2000 people and 110 trucks demonstrated outside Parliament House calling for the Murray Darling Plan to be axed so more public water could be delivered to private properties. The demonstrators marched up to the front doors of Parliament House waving their placards. There was no police attempt to stop them. The demonstration got plenty of media coverage.
It's just another indication to me that the resource exploiters rule and that trying to save the planet is a difficult and perhaps fruitless task.
Rod Holesgrove, Crace
Parking fine cash cow
It's a sad state of affairs when parking inspectors target charitable functions such as the Black Mountain School fete which was held in the suburbs on a weekend.
The same is true of the practice of targeting the children's playground in Commonwealth Park (near Russell), also on weekends/public holidays. There is a very sad lack of parking for families utilising the excellent facilities. Parking inspectors are surely demonstrating their frantic need to meet quotas when they do things like this.
Really Mr Barr, are you so desperate for funds to pay for your infamous light rail that you have no consideration for families attending charitable fund raisers or children's playgrounds on weekends? This lack of consideration for the community is appalling.
Lucy Iannelli, Narrabundah
Integrity change flawed
The problem in the ACT isn't just how to make a complaint about the conduct of the public service and environment to the new Integrity Commission.
It's even worse in relation to business, especially now that the ACT Office of Regulatory Services has been conveniently disbanded, to the intense relief of those, such as real estate agents and strata agents, they used to investigate on receiving a complaint with surprising vigour.
If you are going to report the crooked and the incompetent to the ACT government all I can say is 'good night and good luck'.Alex Mattea, Sydney
It now all goes into a unified complaints funnel via Access Canberra; together with civic dissatisfactions such as doggy doo-doo on the nature strip. It's just what crooked businesses ordered.
An MLA recently indicated to me that the likelihood of anything useful coming of a serious complaint over a business taking money and delivering very little was minimal. It seems to happen a lot with strata agencies.
Theoretically destined for Gordon Ramsay's regulatory portfolio, such rorts will in practice receive no attention for the foreseeable future. All hands have been diverted to dealing with the building holocaust our developers have bequeathed us.
If you are going to report the crooked and the incompetent to the ACT government all I can say is "good night and good luck".
Alex Mattea, Sydney
Dog park diplomat
The citizens of the United States of America at the dog park have been exceedingly patient with me in explaining US politics and unraveling that great mystery of our time "why American women voted for Trump".
Take Zoe the Labrador's mum for instance. She has children, endless responsibilities, is articulate, eloquent, fit and, above all, kind. She, her girlfriends, family, colleagues and acquaintances all "put a peg on their nose" and voted Republican.
On hearing this, another American, observing my utter astonishment explained, "let's make this really simple for you, two words - Hillary Clinton". They also had a bit to say about manufacturing in the US.
And lest you dismiss Zoe's All American Mum as embodying "redneck, ignorant and deplorable", she is back in the USA at the moment. Her PhD requires it; something involving mitochondrial DNA.
Ronald Elliott, Sandringham, Vic
I disagree with Rajend Naidu (Letters, December 2).
Obama's speech at Flint, Michigan, didn't underestimate the intelligence of his audience, it overestimated the extent to which facts can countermand a media narrative. The truth is that children's exposure to lead in the city had been decreasing for over a decade and there was no statistically significant increase in their blood lead levels associated with the change in water source that received so much publicity.
People had justifiable reasons to be concerned, and reducing lead exposure is an important health goal because there is no known safe level for lead, but this was a case of the media hyping a crisis and causing panic without regard for the evidence or any context.
Antony Burnham, Turner
Pauline wakes up
Pauline Hanson finally realised that she was being treated by the government the same way the Australian government is treated by the USA.
"They will do whatever they are told to do". She reacted correctly and appropriately. Unfortunately Scomo and co are too enthralled by being duchessed by the big boys, they don't realise that they too are being treated as lap dogs of the President.
George Beaton, Greenway
Sound and fury
In light of discussions about noise levels in Civic, I thought it relevant to document my recent experience with a live outdoor rock concert in City Walk.
Last Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and evenings there was a wall of sound Phil Spector would have been proud of. It turned out this concert was part of the Orange Wolves event organised by the CIT.
It would have been a simple courtesy for the CIT to advise residents and all those within earshot of the concert (which was a considerable distance) but they didn't do so.
I tried to check with the EPA about monitoring the noise levels of the rock music but I was advised that they didn't do it. This surprised me. I can't understand this.
I then found that this noisefest was sponsored by the City Renewal Authority (CRA). This didn't surprise me.
For most of this year, the CRA has produced their own rock concert starting at 7am on workday mornings whilst claiming to be renewing Akuna Street.
Angle grinders, rock saws, jackhammers and a host of other non musical instruments means you don't need an alarm.
What mystifies people is what they are hoping to renew. It seems they are just replacing paving stones with other paving stones.
Hardly a priority. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
I'm used to city noise having spent two years living just off Oxford Street in Sydney.
The fact is that outdoor rock concerts belong elsewhere.
Phil Creaser, City Walk
Resources Minister Matt Canavan is quoted as saying: "When you vote for minor parties and independents it's often the Forrest Gump story. You just don't know what you are going to get".
He may be right, but you sure know what you are going to get if you vote for the major parties: egotistical, self-absorbed MPs in the thrall of the party donors to the point where there are real fears some may be corrupt.
Perhaps the Forrest Gump brigade aren't looking too bad in comparison after all!
John Dunn, Gowrie
TO THE POINT
ASK AN EXPERT
Barnaby Joyce would know full well when to try and hide or trivialise anything that might further reveal or confirm serious deficiencies in a minister's personal or workplace conduct ("Joyce slams 'trivial' Taylor investigation", canberratimes.com.au December 3) .
Sue Dyer, Downer
WHAT'S THE BENEFIT
I would really like to know just how well all these solar panels are going to assist Australia.
Are they long lasting?
Do they deteriorate over time?
Can they be recycled?
Furthermore, are they being made in Australia or are they imported from the usual source?
Alayne Richardson, Narrabundah
WE ARE AMUSED
If Brian Hale (Letters, December 2) thinks that it being windy in Gungahlin is proof of climate change, I suggest he joins the Canberra Comedy Festival. It's called weather Brian.
Mark Sproat, Lyons
CAN THE BEANS
I note a recent spate of letters alleging that there is an excess of wind in my neighbouring suburb of Gungahlin. May I suggest that all of those who are adversely affected by the same should consider a change of diet. That should eliminate the problem. Meantime, try to stay downwind from the rest of us.
N Ellis, Belconnen
TOUGH TIMES AHEAD
If Scott Morrison thought he had his worst week in parliament as things went pear shaped for him as Parliament prepares for the long break "mate you ain't seen nothing yet".
And to think it was Pauline Hanson's Christmas present to Australian workers that did him in.
D Fraser, Currumbin, Qld
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
It's time we stopped expecting governments to do anything effective to halt global heating, and started doing things ourselves.
I can't force the government to worry about the future of my kids and grandkids, close all coal mines, and reintroduce a carbon price. I can refrain from travel and go vegan. If we all did this the problem would be solved.
Michael McCarthy, Deakin
FAIR IS FAIR
If the UK allows Assange to be extradited to the USA Prince Andrew must be on the same plane, wearing matching handcuffs.
John Freeman, Narooma, NSW
Contrary to what some appear to think, Frank Bolton, 94, (Letters, November 28) has earnt the right to express his point of view.
M Moore, Bonython
LAM A STAYER
Re: "Trump? Corbyn? Lam? Which political leader will be the first to fall?", canberratimes.com.au, December 3). It will either be Trump or Corbyn.
They are leaders in parliamentary democracies where the politicians and leaders are held accountable to the people.
Lam, on the other hand, is under the protection of the Chinese communist state.
Lam will not be the first to fall.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
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