The advanced Eucalyptus mannifera trees (aka brittle gums) planted in the rail corridor on Northbourne Avenue don't look well.
I understand they were planted two years ago, amid some controversy about the wisdom of planting advanced eucalypts.
These trees were grown in containers, apparently in two different nursery environments, to a height of four to five metres before being planted in the rail corridor.
That they are not thriving is the least of the worries. Many of them are clearly not stable, even after two years in place.
This lack of stability may not be a major issue now but it certainly will be as the trees get taller and heavier.
The ACT government should be concerned about the long-term landscape value and safety of these trees.
Celia Kneen, Weston
Well, the barbarians are indeed at the gates, but they may have shot themselves in the proverbial foot.
Somebody (G K Chesterton?) once said (from memory) "A classical education deprives one of the ability to earn the income required to enjoy it". The Federal government already seems to be determined to make sure that people working in the arts, humanities, etc, will never be adequately supported, making it less likely that they will be able to earn enough money to be required to pay back their soon-to-be even larger HECS debts.
Meanwhile, larger subsidies will be necessary to fund some very expensive degrees such as medicine and engineering, but those graduates will have to repay less.
The law of unintended consequences may bite our cunning planners in an uncomfortable spot.
James Gralton, Garran
Save the ABC
More strength to Eric Hunter (Defending the ABC, Letters, June 19) in his assault on idiotic arguments that the ABC is "a waste of money".
In the recent South Coast bushfires we were evacuated twice in a surreal orange firestorm. Twice we returned to find our home still standing...just.
But we were the lucky ones. Many lost everything. For many days we were without power, proper shopping and virtually all forms of communication. No computer, no phones. The only link to the outside world and the only way to know what was happening in our own world was ABC South East.
They did a wonderful job. The community would have been lost without them.
Phil Teece, Sunshine Bay
It's climate change
I agree with Ian Morison about the future effects of our actions, especially "overpopulation (and) overuse of resources" (Letters, June 23). However, he overlooks or ignores an even more important issue: our inadequate action on climate change.
Climate change has been concealed behind a COVID-19 curtain, and may not fully emerge as a vitally important issue for many more months.
Meanwhile, climate experts tell us that every day lost in the fight against global warming makes success significantly more difficult.
Inaction on climate change, albeit temporary, is certainly a failing that will be regarded as abhorrent "50, 100 or 200 years" from now.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
We need a quick way to get money into the economy that gives money to all the people employed - that is a wage increase - but does not cost employers extra money.
At the stroke of a pen, the government could pay the superannuation amounts for all employees. This would be easy to do.
Employers would pay people their current wage plus the superannuation amount. There would be no extra cost to the employers, the government would get back part of the extra money in tax, and the employees would have more money to spend.
The extra money in people's pocket would only have to circulate a few times and the GST and tax on profits would soon pay off the superannuation money created.
The superannuation money created will not be spent for many years and so the approach will not create debt for future generations. Instead, it creates a nest egg for them.
It would prove to be popular with the electorate.
Kevin Cox, Ngunnawal
Dan, how could you?
I'm reluctant to use ad hominem arguments in the current dispute around Dan Tehan's proposal to increase university fees for the humanities by 113 per cent ("Fee shake-up unlikely to affect demand", June 20, p6) but I'm seriously bemused by the fact that Tehan has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Melbourne and a couple of further degrees, also in the arts, roughly-speaking.
I wonder what his former professors think of his bold idea, and whether or not he has not been "snowed" by his more sophisticated and barbaric colleagues who regard STEM subjects as "harmless" and "useful" and the arts as "dangerously left-wing".
Sadly, a century or so ago, arts degrees were the preserve of privileged youths whose parents were prepared to indulge them in becoming (putatively) more cultured human beings - and, quite often, well-paid future bureaucrats or business managers.
Prime Minister Morrison and his colleagues seem determined to return us to that point.
STEM skills are undoubtedly invaluable (and I wish I had more of them myself) but their main use is surely to make life more convenient and comfortable.
The arts, among which we once numbered mathematics, provide a context for thinking about the origins and best uses for such developments.
I'm reminded of C P Cavity's deeply sardonic poem, Waiting for the Barbarians which concludes: "And now, what will become of us without barbarians? / They were a kind of solution".
It seems this time the barbarians have actually arrived and move among us.
Geoff Page, Narrabundah
Right and wrong
I agree, in part, with Jon Stanhope (Letters, June 22) that the Liberals are offering a benefit of about $150 million more in reduced rates than the Labor/Greens coalition ahead of the October election.
The bigger issue that needs to be addressed is the review of the way these rates and land taxes are calculated and applied.
Labor and the Greens have failed to complete, or maybe publish, their consultancy review. If the Liberals are elected they will need to do this review or, better still, take notice of almost 6000 petitioner comments and follow up on hundreds of elector submissions and Assembly interview records.
Gary Petherbridge, Barton
Too clever by half
The Barr Government plans to approve the building of thousands of units in West Basin.
If apartment building proceeds, community access to the boardwalk (only 500 metres long by 8.1 metres wide, mind you) and west basin would be poor.
Buildings would cover most of the area, existing parking would disappear, entry and exit would be problematic and only front row residents would have wonderful views.
The glorious vistas of the mountains and lake would be obstructed forever.
I support quality infill development in Canberra but not at the cost of the significant loss of our unique urban bush and shared lake foreshores.
I suggest the government seek proposals for a grand, world class, parkland there with trees, gardens, sculptures, picnic and exercise facilities, cafes and pop ups, dual pathways and a music/exhibition facility. Link the promenade to the National Museum of Australia.
That would be a real asset, a vibrant, exciting place for all Canberrans to visit, enjoy and be proud of. Surely we deserve that.
John Mungoven, Stirling
Stay at home
Your article "Public service homes in on remote working" (June 22, p4) poses the question "Will the public service's work-from-home shift become permanent?
A significant number of people continuing to work from home would, by reducing the level of travel undertaken especially in the peak, change the level and type of transport infrastructure required.
It should necessitate a review of the extension of light rail to Woden, a project the government has yet to demonstrate is needed and is superior to bus based rapid transport on the inter-town public transport route.
If fears of catching the virus result in reduced public transport use, consideration may need to be given to increasing the level of parking at centres, to improving cycling and pedestrian networks and to promoting services and facilities at local centres.
It would be prudent for the government to defer decisions on major transport infrastructure until the implications of the pandemic are understood.
Given the pandemic is resulting in increased levels of debt, a responsible government would prioritise projects providing the greatest benefit to the community.
Mike Quirk, Garran
TO THE POINT
A FEW WORDS
While Trump's pronouncements leave me speechless I have managed to jot down a few apposite words. They include: "asinine", "arrogant", and "bulldust merchant".
M. F. Horton, Adelaide, SA
NOT GOOD NEWS
The news of another cut back to the ABC is not news, it's just an annual event it seems.
The removal of the 7:45am news is both annoying and sad.
It was a good way to catch up on the way to work and a wakeup call now that I am retired. It was precise and yet detailed but now it's gone and that's wrong.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Vic
CLOSE THE BORDER
In regards to a potential second wave in Australia, we need to do more to stop the spread of another spike of coronavirus cases just like in Victoria.
The message is simple: if you want to stop the spread of another spike of cases reaching other states and territories in Australia leave the border with Victoria closed,
Anton Rusanov, Kaleen
Alex Wallensky's phrase "without life experience" (Letters, 24 June) seems to assume that academics are raised as brains in a vat.
On the contrary, we have friends, neighbours, and family who don't live in the ivory tower, and we have hobbies and responsibilities outside of our work.
Gaining academic credentials and expertise doesn't erase these other valuable sources of experience from our lives.
Antony Burnham, Turner
THIS IS CRAZY
So the "efficiency dividend" robocuts roll on at the National Gallery and elsewhere as more skilled people lose their jobs to save money. Meanwhile $500 million is allocated to an unnecessary and unpopular extension of the Australian War Memorial. Is there an underlying rationale to this government's decisions?
Ray Edmondson, Kambah
HERE'S A THOUGHT
Maybe they could extend the line from Bomaderry to Eden and bring back the South Coast Express ("By-election impetus for Eden's rail link", CT, page 23, June 23).
Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW
STAND BY THE ARTS
Well said, Pamela Collett (Letters, June 24) on the value to life of the arts, history, literature and music.
A large framed copy of your letter should be placed on the office door of every Federal Parliamentarian, with an extra large one for Education Minister Dan Tehan.
The problem is, you can lead those horses to water but how do you make them drink?
Judy Kenny, Melba
COVID-19 has destroyed the economies of many countries and has impoverished millions of people. Instead of cooperating with each other the rich and populous countries have engaged in a trade war that is putting us all behind.
This is nothing but politicking to hold power.
Sankar Kumar Chatterjee, Evatt
It's wonderful to see Apple is to offer an option to "put a face mask on a personalised emoji" in its next operating system.
What a great contribution to the fight against COVID-19!
Richard Johnston, Kingston
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