The ACT government has achieved its aim if Ryan Goss (Letters, April 25) now considers the area presently relabelled "Acton Waterfront" to be "glorified paddock land".
A lack of maintenance, and general neglect has created an area that may be described as such. The present ACT government has little respect for the history and heritage of the construction of Lake Burley Griffin.
This was once a more vibrant and attractive area designed by the landscape architects of the former NCDC.
The ferry terminal, café and paddle boats, together with the bike hire facility, were disbanded, leaving the whole area sadly inactive.
With climate change, and the current focus on the importance of the natural world for the health and well-being of residents, covering this area with gravel and potted trees, together with a heat producing private residential and commercial building estate with 2000 apartments, is not progress.
The Environment Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate website states: "Acton Park consists of 10.4 hectares along the foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin's West Basin. It is a peaceful beautiful lakeside park with a historic grove of she-oak trees that were planted in 1927" and "the shared path encircling Lake Burley Griffin, makes for a great walk or bike ride before stopping for a picnic or barbecue".
Restoring this amenity with properly maintained parkland and services, plus recognition of the history of the site, would be more visionary progress.
Sue Byrne, Reid
A poor attitude
I was blown away by the sense of entitlement expressed by P. Nicolls (Letters, May 4).
Who does he think he is to expect no response from cyclists to whatever he decides to call out to them in his irritation at their presence?
Why does he expect them to give him, and his wife, the courtesy of signalling their intention to share the path and pass at a faster speed than his walking pace, as opposed to simply being alert and keeping to the left?
The thing about bell ringing is that as a cyclist you will be abused if you do or if you don't. You will be abused if the walker isn't paying attention, can't hear because they're plugged into music or gets startled and doesn't know what to do ... and more often than not jumps right into your path. You just can't win.
The crowds around the lake at the moment are such that a cyclist would have to ring their bell on average every five seconds.
If you are walking on a shared pathway then you can expect cyclists will be there and will overtake you. If you find this to be frightening or annoying walk in a non shared area.Ericka Hill, Braddon
It's about time Phil, and others on the cyclist-hating bandwagon, understand the concept of "shared zones", the requirement for keeping to the left, and self responsibility.
If you are walking on a shared pathway then you can expect cyclists will be there and will overtake you. If you find this to be frightening or annoying walk in a non-shared area.
It's time for a proper education campaign on shared path responsibilities.
Ericka Hill, Braddon
Stop cycle speeders
With the COVID-19 crisis amplifying the use of the bridge-to-bridge walk there is a pressing need to curtail the speeding cyclists using it.
There are not enough police on this beat to catch the offenders. They are numerous and totally ignorant of how dangerous their behaviour is.
My wife got bowled over by a woman on a road bike just past the Robert Menzies statue last Monday. She broke her mobile phone. The female offender raced off.
This is not good enough. The shared path is not a race track. Bike riders must conduct themselves with respect and care for those around them.
Bike riders should be banned from this section for the duration of the coronavirus crisis. Why allow this danger to continue unchecked?
Miles Hamilton-Green, Phillip
Make bells mandatory
J Elliott (Letters, April 30) mentions cyclists not ringing their bells in Weston Park.
Last Monday the walk in Weston Park became an exceptionally dangerous activity due to the speeding of dozens of bike riders with only approximately one-in-five ringing their bell.
A man riding a recumbent bike passed me doing incredible spreed. There was no signal or warning.
I had visions of being cut off at the ankles and flying backwards through the air. It is time the ACT government made bell ringing mandatory.
It is only a matter of time before someone is critically injured.
Lorraine Adams, Yarralumla
Growth is not progress
The article "ACT among best placed to rebound from the virus crisis" (April 27, p3) quotes Mr James, perhaps the author of a recent CommSec report, as warning "slowing population growth would be an area of vulnerability for the territory's economy".
When will economists get rid of the ridiculous notion that a high population growth is necessary for a successful economy? Because of an extremely large immigration rate Australia has perhaps the largest population growth of all large first-world countries.
I suspect the ACT's population growth is about the same as Australia's. Why is that growth necessary? Why would the ACT's economy be vulnerable if that growth slowed?
There is a term for an entity which can only survive if it has eternal high growth: "Ponzi Scheme". Such schemes usually end in disaster.
In the same edition, on page 24, Noel Whittaker used the Rule of 72 to explain the consequences of compounding. Australia cannot afford to continually increase its population, particularly at its current extremely high rate.
As Australia's water supply, farming land, mineral deposits, and energy sources are not continually increasing, its population should also not continually increase.
It is time for economists to revise their attitude on growth.
Bob Salmond, Melba
Forward to yesterday
The coronavirus is sending us forward to the past. The baker is back doing his house-to-house rounds.
Will we soon see the milko with his churn, and the billy in the letter box, the rabbitoh with his carcasses hanging from the back of the cart, and clothesline poles dragging on the roadway?
The butter and egg man may soon cometh. My uncle was one of those.
Alas, we will no longer be entertained watching the bolting baker's horse strewing loaves of bread across the road. The farmer's market may soon arrive with genuinely fresh produce. The virus is not all bad.
Roy Bray, Ngunnawal
A universal wage
The thing about the JobKeeper, despite serious complications, is it is bringing forward a discussion of the "universal wage".
Bill Hardie (Letters, April 29) calls it a "universal basic income" or UBI. He reminds us studies show it doesn't seem to make people lazy and unwilling to work.
It vastly reduces the cost of administering the welfare system and ensures stability through droughts, bushfires and pandemics.
It would also remove dole queues, and the necessity for judgements about whether the poor are deserving or not.
Let's canvas the big, brave changes we might make in the wake of the pandemic.
Jill Sutton, Watson
AWM referral normal
Re: "Australian War Memorial redevelopment referred to parliamentary inquiry" (canberratimes.com.au, May 6).
The referral of the Memorial's development project to the Parliamentary Works Committee (PWC) is a normal part of the approvals and oversight of all major government funded projects.
It is a planned step in the progression of the project and we look forward to demonstrating to the committee members the importance of this project to contemporary veterans, their families and to the broader Australian populace through this process.
We would encourage The Canberra Times readers to be part of this process by making submissions to the PWC through their website or by contacting the Committee at email@example.com.
Wayne Hitches, executive project
director, Australian War Memorial
A bridge too far
Vince Patulny (Let's end war, Letters, April 30), clearly does not understand the purpose of Anzac Day.
It is the nation's opportunity to recognise those who have made, sometimes the supreme, sacrifice in defence of this country.
It does not celebrate war.
Anzac Day speeches should reflect this commemoration.
They should not provide a platform for a political discussion on the pros and cons of Australia's participation in any war or peacekeeping mission or on the principle of war generally.
Anthony Deacon, Kaleen
TO THE POINT
The change in fuel prices after Mr Barr's demand for them to be lowered has been interesting. As far as I can see the price of E10 and U91 has dropped slightly. U95, U98, and diesel remain unchanged.
David Wade, Holt
NICE FOR SOME
While the PM won't be walking through the valley of the shadow of death, he is expecting the rest of the workforce to be back at their jobs, even if further outbreaks of COVID-19 occur.
John Sandilands, Garran
Mr Frydenberg's recent talk at the Press Club would ring truer if his government wasn't spending half a billion dollars on demolishing, and rebuilding, a large part of the Australian War Memorial. Many believe this is wholly unnecessary.
David Nolan, Holder
GIVE IT A SHAKE
The indoctrination of the nation with hand washing hygiene must be approaching the point at which there can be a reintroduction of handshaking.
M. F. Horton, Adelaide, SA
DEATH OF ANGELS
P. Reynolds (Letters, May 5) has no time for Labor. Myself, a left leaning secular humanist, must inform him that every time someone doesn't vote Labor an angel loses his wings. Oh, the humanity!
John Panneman, Jerrabomberra, NSW
COST OF LIVING
At a clinic in Canberra I paid $30 for the flu vaccine and $50 for the whooping cough vaccine. We don't have a proper public health system unless all vaccines are available free for everyone.
Pamela Collett, Narrabundah
SIGN OF THE TIMES
Further to Michael Catanzariti ("Signs of confusion", Letters, May 2), signage at Spence refers to the intersection being "signalised". The Macquarie Dictionary defines this as "to make notable" and "to point out particularly". It sounds a lot like social distancing for vehicles.
Peter Baskett, Murrumbateman, NSW
WHAT'S THE FUSS?
If you use Google, Yahoo, G-mail, Facebook or Twitter, your details are held in the USA and subject to US access laws. Worrying about COVID-19 app metadata being held by Amazon is nonsense. Sadly, the app won't pick up a brief encounter with an infected person who coughs or sneezes whilst you are in range.
Dave Roberts, Belconnen
TRY PLAN B
If a former adman can't sell a product I guess blackmail is the next best option.
Jeff Bradley, Isaacs
Do we all know that billions of litres of water is guzzled up by coal mining and production? Water restrictions don't seem to apply to companies mining coal. We need to fight for our water.
WHAT A VISTA
I was won over by the government-supplied image of the Acton Waterfront precinct ('Consultation opened on lake boardwalk plans', May 6, p.9). The redevelopment looks so green and enticing compared to the tired drab grey surroundings.
Ian Douglas, Jerrabomberra, NSW
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