Hearing Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss from Cold Chisel singing "When the war is over" brings to mind the question of what we as Canberrans will do after this coronavirus war is over.
A fantastic way to improve the infrastructure and provide people with a living wage, not to mention mitigate future fire risks and help our global warming, is by planting a green belt around Canberra.
A green belt is a kilometre-deep forest around the whole border of Canberra, comprised of fire abating trees such as oaks, willows, poplars, ginkgos and others. The National Arboretum could assist in spearheading and advising on this endeavour, working with the National Capital Authority (NCA).
Together they could jointly launch an economic boosting project. A multi-million dollar venture which would provide thousands of fulfilling jobs, something to enjoy for lasting generations to come, not to mention a huge tourism drawcard.
Professor Lindsay Pryor, of the ANU, bred poplars, many of which came from France where they were used to catch fire sparks from steam trains to protect wheat fields and thatched roofs.
The green belt would protect Canberrans from the threat of future fires and provide employment for many. It is a good time to start planning now. Canberrans, let's do it.
Margot Sirr, Gowrie
Thank you to our hospital staff
I have recently been discharged after spending a week in Calvary Hospital and would like to express my extreme thanks to all doctors, nurses and members of staff who looked after me. How fortunate we are to have such a high quality health system when there is so much suffering in this world, such a shortage of medical equipment and danger present everywhere. The untiring care I received was exemplary. Let us not forget that every human being has a higher self which, when accessed, can offer extraordinary kindness. Call it what you will, in this time of crisis we all need to channel that same generosity of spirit and, within the realms of public safety, do what we can for others.
Hazel Hall, Aranda
Lessons we must all learn
Your editorial ("World's poor will suffer most from coronavirus", April 3) is an excellent analysis of the coronavirus crisis from a global perspective and the obligation and responsibility the affluent nations have in helping poor nations get back on their feet.
The enduring lesson to be drawn from this global health crisis and the shortage of critical medical supplies in most countries is that humanity should not waste valuable resources in war and war preparedness.
We have much more pressing needs to allocate the world's resources to. If we are the highest intelligence on planet earth that we claim to be then that lesson will not be ignored when things get back to normal. It would be plain stupid if we did.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
Silencing a critic
The celebration of Easter Friday has traditionally focused on the idea that Jesus sacrificed his life to bring all men closer to God. This has obscured the fact that the chief priests and Pharisees in the temple in Jerusalem were incensed by his teachings and, specifically, his criticism of them. It was they who demanded that the Romans should arrest and punish him. His crucifixion was a classic example of the establishment silencing a critic.
RI Boxall, Hawker
The impact of the decision
The High Court Pell decision now renders most historic assault investigations pointless. Most investigations involving a more powerful, or better educated alleged perpetrator, and a younger, confused, or otherwise less competent complainant must reveal some vagueness in evidence, and thus a competent defence can create at least some degree of doubt.
I doubt I could stick to my story about what I did even yesterday under the formidable hostile questioning of Robert Richter QC, but apparently the complainant under such pressure managed to convince the jury.
I make no assertion as to the Cardinal's guilt or innocence. I have no idea. But I am concerned that this precedent will severely impact the rights of our most vulnerable victims in the future.
G Williams, Gowrie
True to their fiscal roots
We were promised a fair and equitable approach to helping workers who lost their jobs as a result of social distancing restrictions. But the actual response we got locked out casual workers unless they'd worked for the same employer for 12 months or more.
Like many in the hospitality industry the longest I've worked for any employer over the past 6 years has been 5 months. I wonder how many casuals actually qualify? So Mark Sproat, (Letters, April 7) you're probably right in suggesting that a Labor Government would have spent a lot more than $130 billion. By locking out so many casuals the Coalition has remained true to its fiscal roots.
Keith Hill, Isaacs
The human pandemic
The Reverend Dr Vincent Zankin "cannot understand how such scourges as viral pandemics can place the whole of humanity in mortal danger"(Letters, April 8).
The coronavirus is just a species trying to survive, which it does at a relatively minor cost to our species. The worst scourge is the human pandemic, which has been responsible for the complete destruction o fcountless other species.
Mike Dallwitz, Giralang
Trust us with the full picture
Like Kirsten Lawson ('The magic number that means we cope', April 8) I found the absence of possible mortality rates a curious omission. It seems that in spite of the current display of social discipline our masters and their experts do not trust us with information that they think we cannot deal with.
I draw attention to the published fact that we have had 44 deaths out of the 5844 cases to date, a mortality rate of three-quarters of 1%. Every one of those deaths occurred in spite of access to world class medical support. Extrapolate that to the 11.9% of the population that will contract the disease in the best case scenario, where every case will still have access to an ICU bed.
That points to another 2000 deaths and there is nothing that can be done about it in the absence of a vaccine. And that is only if the current restrictions remain in place and continue to be observed.
Any slackening and there will not be enough hospital beds for the infected and the mortality rate will increase. Are the authorities concerned that Australians will misinterpret the 'only' 2000 figure as a licence to ignore or evade the restrictions? We are better than that. If you want us to trust you, you have to trust us.
Allen Mawer, Acton
Where to aim some compassion
It is good that compassion is more noticeable at this time of health emergency around the world. An example is that a number of countries (eg Iran, Indonesia, UK, and US) have released some prisoners, and in some cases pardoned them. What a compassionate move it would be for our government to release those who are assessed as genuine refugees by international standards and are still being held in indefinite detention.
David Purnell, Florey
We could learn from her
Part of the reason some would feel reassured by the speech by 'an ancient old woman', Doug Hodgson (Letters, April 8) is that she uses inclusive language such as 'us' and 'we' and 'together' (ie: we need to...together).
Our government, however, prefers to describe us in the third person as something or someone separate from them (ie: what Australians need to do). I'm not reassured by your preferred alternative, and remember, she actually lived through an existential crisis together with the rest of the population.
K Bell, Kambah
Virus respects no authority
Without seeking Papal imprimatur, COVID-19 recast Lourdes miraculous healing waters as a public health hazard. Muslims are forbidden circling the Kaaba in Mecca because it is a truth universally acknowledged that a wayward RNA strand trumps a pillar of Islam.
Places of worship are empty; all over the world religious observance is bowing to epidemiological science. The various cockeyed analyses and remedies touted as God's truth only add to Religion's hammering from this microscopic particle.
Peter Robinson, Ainslie
Where are the plans?
Regarding the announcement of development at West Basin being given the go ahead now the land swap has been achieved between the ACT and the NCA, I find it disturbing that the public are yet to see any plans of the residential apartments planned for the lake edge at West Basin and nor has there been any opportunity to comment on that part of the development. But the CRA are already contracting people to do this work.
Penny Moyes, Hughes
TO THE POINT
A DIFFERENT QUESTION
Further to Rev Zankin's response (Letters, April 8) to Crispin Hull on the matter of seeing evil and suffering in this world and thereby us questioning how a loving God could let it go unchecked, perhaps we should be asking a different question. Aren't goodness, love and caring evidence of the presence of God in our midst?
Don Sephton, Greenway
Tragically, N. Ellis (Letters April 7) as long as the government continues to heed the advice of medical scientists while willfully ignoring the advice of climate scientists, there will be no tomorrow, regardless of how much they are spending.
Patricia Saunders, Chapman
SOME SILVER LINING
For all the doom and gloom around about the Corona Virus, it surely has a delivered a glorious silver lining.In just the matter of a few weeks, unnecessary red tape around business and personal life has been wiped.Surely, we as a community should be insisting that the bureaucracy that has been removed from our lives stay away forever!
Greg Adamson, Griffith
FUTURE OF PETRI DISHES
Now that those massive maritime petri dishes commonly referred to as cruise ships have become obsolete overnight, what will be their fate, as cruising in its present form will rapidly sink (excuse the pun)?
Mario Stivala, Belconnen
THAT'S WHAT IT STANDS FOR
So CORONAVIRUS stands for Canberra's Ordeal Rolls On Now And Very Ill Residents Under Supervision.
John Milne, Chapman
THE TRUE EASTER HUNT
All I want for Easter is 500g self raising flour, a 1kg pack of rice, and four loo rolls.
V Harris, Yass
YEAR 13 DEBATE
In the current debate about Year 12 graduation, are we in danger of confusing certification and qualification?
Chris Pratt, O'Malley
ONE VISITOR WELCOME
Only the Easter Bunny should be roaming far and wide this coming long weekend.
Sue Dyer, Downer
LET GIANTS SLEEP
As Napoleon said: "China is a sleeping giant. let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world". (There are variations but the context is the same).
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
NOT BEYOND SATIRE
Stan Marks (Letters, April 8) takes exception to Crispin Hull describing Scott Morrison's religious beliefs as drivel. According to Salman Rushdie: "The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible."
James Allan, Narrabundah
I WISH IT WERE SO
Our Chief Medical Officer expressed his belief last night that when all this is over we will have absorbed the healthy habit of washing our hands properly to avoid catching or spreading disease.
I wish I agreed with him. Until all public toilets and school toilets provide cleansing products and means of drying our hands nothing will change.
Margaret Lee, Hawker
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