Great article by Mark Kenny (CT Sunday 29 March p.13) on the future of our cities and travel behaviour following COVID-19.
Are we just going to revert to "business as usual" at the end of this crisis (as the federal government seems to be assuming) or is this an opportunity to adjust our wasteful behaviour to achieve more sustainable ways of living? Obviously the pain of making these adjustments will be immense, but it is already happening and must be preferable to a future of an increasingly uninhabitable world.
Richard Johnston, Kingston
Making the heart grow fonder
I'm pleased Sarah Lansdown has been able to make a long-distance relationship work ("Lessons learned...", p16, March 29). Of course (at the risk of sounding like an old Yorkshireman), we had it a lot tougher in the old days.
When my (now) wife and I were courting, she moved overseas (Tasmania) with work for a couple of years. Back then, no email or Facebook. Phone calls and plane travel were prohibitively expensive, as we were both at the bottom classifications of our respective professions. (Regrettably, no sea travel between Hobart and Canberra.)
The only way I could afford to call her by phone was to cruise around Canberra at night looking for broken public phones that would allow calls free or without time limits. (I worked out which such phones were by the queues of people standing outside the phone booths seeking to avoid the high costs of interstate phone calls.) It was often unpleasant using these phone booths as it was apparent they were often used as toilets (but the love of my life was worth it).
Of course, the only other way of communicating was via snail mail. Unfortunately, I had inherited the illegible writing gene, and so my (then) girlfriend had to get her colleagues to decipher the letters I wrote. (Regrettably, my she did not apprise me of this fact until after she returned from her placement, else I may have moderated the contents of said correspondence.)
I can say to Sarah, that if one can endure a long-distance relationship until both parties are again united, one never takes one's partner for granted for the rest of the relationship. People who have not been through such a trial can easily become complacent. If a relationship can survive being apart for a long time, it can then survive most things.
Gordon Fyfe, Kambah
A bit of humour
Ian Warden suggest we read The Plague by Albert Camus (Wake-up Wallop of the Plague Hits Hard, March29, p.35) I resurrected my copy of this book from a box in my garage.
On the cover note I read "a carefully wrought metaphysical novel the machinery of which can be compared to a Sophoclean tragedy." In the same box I found an edition of Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. Humour: three men and a dog make a journey down the Thames. I think I'll read that instead.
Not the problem here
P.R. Temple (Letters, Mar 29) suggests that a shuttle bus service from the Molonglo Valley to Cooleman Court might obviate the "need" for a temporary heat-bank carpark.
The city services Minister already provides excellent public transport services from the Molonglo Valley to supermarkets and shops.
Bus Route 66 goes through the Molonglo Valley. Depending upon direction of travel, the bus goes to Woden Shopping Centre, Cooleman Court and Denman Prospect Supermarket. The bus is frequent and reliable and was recently re-routed through the suburb of Coombs in response to local feedback.
It is far superior to the shuttle-bus in Ginninderry which is designed to meet the needs of a very small number of residents. Ginninderry is as a point of development that Coombs was at, probably, about seven years ago.
Molonglo residents can also access regular Rapid 10 buses to Denman Prospect shops and to Civic supermarkets.
Public transport is not the problem.
John Hutchison, Coombs
Landlords not the fat cats
If Barr wants to help struggling residential tenants, the simplest way to do that would be to suspend the very high ACT rates and land taxes. Residential landlords are usually not fat cats, but ordinary people who rely on a rental property for their income. At the moment, ACT rates and land tax take about a third of their rental income. The saved amount could then be refunded to all tenants.
C Williams, Forrest
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