Taxing tyres would be a more equitable method of replacing the fuel excise for all vehicles than a retrospective tax based on distance travelled, as proposed by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. ("Put tax on ACT's electric vehicle drivers, think tank recommends", canberratimes.com.au, January 20).
Taxing tyres on a sliding scale, based on tyre sizes, would more fairly target those vehicles which cause the most damage to roads. It would avoid the infrastructure required to collect a tax retrospectively, based on odometer readings, as suggested by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. It would also avoid the possibility, indeed likelihood, of odometer tampering to avoid the tax.
To avoid differences between state and territory jurisdictions whatever excise is used to support road maintenance must be imposed by the Federal government as with the current fuel excise. Given the relatively few electric vehicles in Australia there is time to phase in a replacement of the current excise to cover all road users. Whether on tires, distance travelled or some other formula, any charge should recognise heavy vehicles cause by far the greatest damage to roads.
By requiring heavy vehicles to pay a realistic charge for their road use, greater use of rail for transporting goods long distances would be encouraged. The benefits would include reducing damage to roads and making them safer for everyone.
Graham Downie, O'Connor
I note Yass Valley Council (YVC) has introduced Level 2 water restrictions. I wonder what its constituents think about it approving the Ginninderry JV's extraction of water from Ginninderra Creek to dampen down the dust in its "moonscape' development" at the same time as their imposition.
We have just lost a billion native animals (and plants) to catastrophic bushfires and in excess of one million mature (some 100 year old) fish at Menindee from poor water management.
Our rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes and dams will soon be polluted from toxic run-off from the fires. Fish and aquatic animals will have to fight to survive. They are struggling now.P. R. Temple, Macquarie
Our rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes and dams will soon be polluted with toxic run-off from the fires. Fish and aquatic animals will have to fight to survive. They are struggling now.
There are three platypus pools below Ginninderra Falls which are drying out and stranding aquatic animals. Surely, YVC should be protecting the creek, not draining it. We owe it to our vulnerable native fauna. We should be looking after our precious water resource and not sucking it out (with countless biota) to spray on development sites.
We need to be responsible and protect our remaining native wild life.
P. R. Temple, Macquarie
This relic served
In a rather belated reply to Eric Hunter's letter referring to me as a "relic of the Imperial Honours and Award system" (Letters, December 2) I wish to inform him I am a colonial boy, born and bred in country Victoria, who left school at 14 to support a widowed mother during the Great Depression.
Then, at age 18 years, I joined the RAAF to serve in the war against the Japanese. I entered the service as an aircraftman, the lowest rank in the service.
I retired 37 years later with the rank of Wing Commander and an MBE. I may be a relic in the eyes of Mr Hunter but to my mates I'm a retired veteran.
My award came under the Imperial system.
Would Mr Hunter call an Australian Victoria Cross winner a "relic of the Imperial Honours list of recipients".
Perhaps Mr Hunter, whilst in his dotage, should rethink his use of sarcasm when trying to sully the name of a retired serviceman by attempting to link an honours award to the climate change debate.
Frank Bolton, Page
Here's a thought
Maybe the damage to 65 CSIRO glasshouses ("Hail smashes glasshouse crop research", January 21, p7) was preventable.
My commercially available, 24 square metre, backyard glasshouse is fitted with a factory-optional 70 percent-shading synthetic white mesh suspended 10 cm above the hardened glass.
It has prevented glass breakages from hailstorms for the last six years.
CSIRO inspections welcome.
Jorge Gapella, Kaleen
No more, please
Please, no more letters like Ian Pilsner's (Canberra bitters, CT 21st January) labouring the point the only reason anyone has to criticise the Morrison government is bitterness about last year's election result.
The first time this argument appeared it was fatuous, and it hasn't improved with repetition and circumstances. There are many reasons why it is drivel, the main one being that without Clive Palmer's intervention, Morrison would likely be a backbencher about to retire to spend more time with his family.
Palmer swung the election, not the Liberal Party under Morrison's vacuous leadership, and they are now beholden to him and his interests.
Michael Williams, Curtin
I feel your pain
I feel for Warren Lee in these fiery and droughty times (Letters, January 16). He apparently chose to live in Burra but is critical of my suggested water usage charge moratorium (I meant it to be capped) in Canberra.
Resource planning has been largely successfully implemented in the ACT. Environmentally destructive and dangerous rural-residential "lifestyle" living is banned.
Warren opens a massive can of worms about the relentless lack of sustainable settlement and development planning in Australia. The private sector is responsible for most of that and continues, often with a blind eye from government, to interfere in, and deride planning, including in the ACT.
Academic planners and scientists are fighting back, albeit a bit clumsily re the details, with countless papers on achieving sustainable development, especially with climate change.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
Too many people
How about some discussion on the impact of global population on climate change? It is not only coal that is the issue.
Of course individual consumption, pollution and greenhouse gas production matters but not as much as our numbers. A 30 per cent decrease in any and all of the above on an individual basis will soon be defeated by an increase in population.
Each additional child adds not only to the numbers in this generation but also, usually, to numbers in generations to come. Voluntarily having fewer children means less future demand for water, food, energy and less greenhouse gases.
We should support foreign aid empowering women and family planning. We should have fewer children ourselves.
Greg Dunstone, Bruce
Colliss Parrett (Letters, January 14) writes the current fires are not new. I suggest he read: "Some say we've seen bushfires worse than this before. But they're ignoring a few key facts" by two ANU climate scientists in The Conversation (January 14). The current fires are worse than before and will be even worse in the future.
His statement "mother nature is the principal architect of climate variations" is an anthropogenic climate change denialist claim.
Rod Holesgrove, Crace
Top quality care
About 10 days ago I was referred to the Emergency Department at Canberra Hospital by my GP. It was a simple matter but one needing prompt attention.
From the triage nurse to the clerical staff taking my details to the medical staff arranging various tests, an X Ray and minor surgery under local anesthetic, all was done with a smile and the odd humorous comment to help me relax.
How lucky are we to have such a medical service in Canberra?
Timothy Walsh, Garran
Commission not needed
There is really no need for more bushfire inquiries or a Royal Commission on how to respond to a bushfire emergency. It would likely cost around $50 million dollars and take at least 18 months to report its findings (based on past experience).
The government just needs a Parliamentary Library researcher to spend a month pulling together the findings of the 57 public inquiries, royal commissions and reviews related to bushfires and bushfire management that have taken place in Australia since 1939.
If that's not enough, there is already a 28-page National Bushfire Management Policy Statement for Forests and Rangelands prepared for the COAG and published in 2014. Fourteen national goals were identified to achieve a (currently non-existent) comprehensive and sustainable bushfire management policy.
Another inquiry looks like kicking the can down the road.
C Williams, Forrest
TO THE POINT
Bushfires are affecting BHP's coal production. A fine irony.
Jonathan Miller, Curtin
MADE IN CHINA
Everything is made in China these days including the latest Coronavirus.
Mokhles K Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
Many cars in Canberra were damaged by hail on Monday. Those deemed to be written off because of panel and glass damage may still be functional if glass can be replaced at reasonable cost. Would the insurance companies consider donating them to families who lost theirs in bushfire areas?
John McIntyre, Bruce
Australia has been suffering several weeks of bushfire crisis but our Minister for Home Affairs has been more than conspicuous by his absence. Where the bloody hell are you, Peter Dutton?
Sheena Dickins, Braddon
Might Batmania have stuck as the name for Melbourne had they followed John Milne's suggested Tasman-ia pronunciation (Letters, January 22), rather than Bat-mania?
Ian Douglas, Jerrabomberra
Last November, travelling on the Tuggeranong Parkway during morning peak hour, I did have the misfortune of hitting a kangaroo. The image continues to haunt me. The combination of cars and kangaroos can be a dangerous one, but far more for the kangaroos than us. Cars are replaceable, sentient lives lost are not.
Chris Doyle, Gordon
A FIRST FOR 2020?
The smoke has blown away, the hailstones have stopped and the beautiful vista of the Brindabella Range can be seen once more. Is this a first for 2020?
Mike Lynch, Isaacs
I would just like to thank those wonderful "Samaritans" who worked together to dig my car out of the ice and mud that was Waterfall Drive on Monday. Who would have thought that 10 minutes could result in such chaos.
Sue Stark, Jerrabomberra, NSW
A FINE DISTINCTION
When politicians in particular say that nothing wrong has been done that does not mean to say that what was done was the right thing to do.
M. F. Horton, Adelaide, SA
STAY HOME MATE
Dust storms out west, hail storms in Melbourne and Canberra. Jeez Scott, please don't take any more holidays in Hawaii.
John Sever, Higgins
NO OIL PAINTING
Mark Sproat (Letters, January 20) opines that Meghan Markle is "B" grade and has dragged formerly "A" grade Prince Harry down to "B" grade. Well, at least Meghan is beautiful and, I'm willing to bet, more than a grade above Mark in that department.
Ed Highley, Kambah
At least the disasters have shut down the Australia Day debate - for this year at least! Let's just relax and give thanks together.
M Moore, Kambah
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