It's understandable the newly-arrived AWM director, Matt Anderson, (Letters, 29 June) would defend its $500 million extensions.
Given the economics bias our institutions are today forced to adopt, it's also understandable he would focus on the supposed financial benefits of the project, only referring to the AWM's raison d'etre in his last sentence.
Mr Anderson says the AWM is making sacrifices through the "efficiency dividend" although he doesn't specify how much, leaving us to presume it's miniscule compared to the "dividend" the AWM is receiving from its massive government handout.
It's also disingenuous to bemoan the centenary celebrations were cut after several hundred millions had already been spent on them.
Importantly, he fails to acknowledge the opposite views expressed by numbers of more experienced experts, including two former AWM directors, that the handout is wasteful.
If Mr Anderson wants to tell more of the human stories of war, will they include Australia's frontier wars, or be balanced with the stories of the politicians of all nations whose home-front bravado and sometimes stupidity created the conflicts, or all the military leaders who made the mistakes that cost untold numbers of lives?
Even if all these stories were included, it still wouldn't justify the cost being borne by all Australians and, worse, a cost over which we were afforded no prior consultation.
Eric Hunter, Cook
Pain relief concerns
Pain management is a joke. The very people who are in real pain are not being managed at all.
I had to seek help at the Prince Of Wales Hospital for my daughter. She has been told that due to COVID-19 she has to do phone consultations.
That's great, until you are told the only way to access S8 drugs is through a face-to-face consultation.
She can only get her required medications through her regular GP. If that can't be done then it's just too bad. At best she might get a five-day script from another doctor in the clinic.
My poor girl, who is told to stay home because of the virus, cannot because she is back and forth to the medical centre.
The costs to her and Medicare are enormous.
Who is making these decisions?
Margaret Hadfield, Fyshwick
To be expected
Is anyone really surprised that the ACT government has refused to fund a women's football World Cup match in Canberra?
I mean, the World Cup would highlight not just football, but sport and exercise in general, and this, in turn, would emphasise the woeful record of this government of creating concrete jungles at the expense of useable open spaces.
Useable open spaces are not just small squares of tanbark with swings and a slide wedged between two tower blocks, they are areas with mown grass and made paths on which parents can push prams and benches for people to sit on and watch their children play.
Accessing these parks should not be a major logistical exercise involving packing the car to cater for every conceivable need because you're so far from home.
Parks should be local, within walking distance of the increasingly dense urban areas. As long as government policy continues to promote revenue over quality of life, expect obesity in children to rise.
Lee Welling, Nicholls
AWM about tourism?
The AWM's defence of its proposed $498 million makeover now includes a role in attracting tourists, with director Matt Anderson referring to "positive long-term impacts on the local economy" (Letters, 29 June).
This really is scraping the bottom of the barrel. The 102,000 Australians commemorated at the memorial thought they were defending democracy, not tourism. That democracy has been totally absent in the whole sorry saga of this proposal.
While it is true and appropriate that many people visit the memorial, to see such visits in terms of tourist dollars reinforces the element of profiteering from human suffering and sacrifice. Profiteering is already there, with weapons companies being able to practically buy advertising space at the memorial with their gains from the same wars that kill our service people. But we should be getting rid of the profit motive, funding the memorial appropriately rather than excessively, and at the same time adequately funding our other critically important national institutions (which also happen to attract tourists).
One can only wonder how our war dead would feel about another aspect of the proposed redevelopment - the plans to include live ADF feed of current operations in wars that have not yet finished. This would have the effect of placing such wars beyond the reach of criticism or dissent, thus undermining a crucial part of the democracy for which they were supposedly fought.
Neither profiteering nor propaganda has any place in a war memorial.
Dr Sue Wareham, president, Medical Association for Prevention of War, Cook
Rex a winner
I hope Rex Express will be a major beneficiary out of the current airline industry situation ("Rex ready to start major city operations", June 30, p35).
As an Australian company, the government should consider giving it some support in its efforts to grow to a major airline before the overseas consortium that bought Virgin Australia is allowed to grow.
It is headed by the Hon John Sharp AM, a former National and minister for Transport and Regional Development.
The company has shown considerable business acumen in deciding to grow its airline at this time. As it is likely ultimately to perform well on regional routes, it will contribute to regional employment and the growth of regional centres.
Herman van de Brug, Kaleen
Congratulations to Maree and Luke MacGregor who, with the support of Programmed and the Mower Shed ("Housing ACT employment plan changing people's lives", canberratimes.com.au, June 29), have experienced the emotional and social benefits of work while also succeeding in skills training.
Overcoming the loss of a partner and father is tough, but good on them for honouring his memory by living with pride as he would surely want for them.
We have long encouraged Housing ACT to partner with our excellent CIT in a Certificate 2 in property maintenance as a mandated program for all tenants with capacity to learn about basic property care.
Tenants undertaking the course could be recognised by a priority track through more complex property maintenance requests and even a gift-card to a hardware store to support the cost of household tools.
Maree and Luke show that skills are a gateway to increased pride and confidence. Bringing these skills close to home could have the triple benefit of improving day-to-day maintenance of public housing (a shared community asset); increasing the skill independence of women heading single-parent households and increasing a culture of pride for children for whom living in public housing can be a hard-to-overcome stigma.
Dr Stephen Moulding, Dr Susan Boden, Canberra
It was disappointing to see a photo in last Thursday's The Canberra Times "Construction starts on former Stuart Flats site" (page 10) of a Liberal MLA and a property group director flouting the dress code and rules of construction sites when turning the first sod.
Neither was wearing hi-vis vests, safety helmets, steel toe-capped boots or protective gloves - all in cooee of powerful machinery. A fine example!
P. R. Temple, Macquarie
Help is hard to find
The most egregious error in the Federal government's largely positive COVID-19 response has been to deny support for people on temporary visas, be they students, workers or asylum seekers.
This has driven community support groups across the country into overdrive to try and keep people in housing and fed. Several state and territory governments, including the ACT, have done what they can to fill the breach.
This is not sustainable in a situation where further waves of the virus are inevitable and the economic consequences are going to continue for years. If - when - COVID-19 breaks out in communities with high numbers of temporary visa holders, we should be clear that it is not their "culture" or "ignorance" at fault: it is the predictable result of the Federal government's failure to provide the same support for temporary visa holders as the rest of us enjoy.
We are not all in this together, until we are all in this together.
Dr Russell Ayres, Ainslie
To the point
I'M NOT SURPRISED
Why would anybody be surprised that Trump retweeted a supporter's call for "white power"? That is pretty much in keeping with his character and worldview, isn't it? Trump is simply pandering to his racist political base to bolster his hold on power.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
IT'S SIMPLE, REALLY
People wonder why the IPA is not given time on The Drum (Letters, July 1). It is the same reason the Flat Earth Society aren't on the Science Show. Single theory organisations with no evidence don't really add to the discussion.
Peter Edsor, Bungendore, NSW
LET'S LOOK AT TAX
Tax changes are on the agenda. If tax increases are seen as a way of paying down pandemic debt let GST be increased so that all must pay up and no-one can avoid it. Alternatively, have a "pandemic levy" that cannot be avoided by anyone.
Gail Allen, Pearce
Hundreds of residents are still waiting for their fire-damaged properties to be cleared. Thousands of casual workers are shut out of JobKeeper. Small businesses are struggling due to COVID restrictions. These are the real issues in Eden-Monaro. Meanwhile, the Morrison government offers negative campaign ads and letters from senators full of self-congratulatory talking points.
Bill Dejong, Merimbula
HOME GROWN HOMESPUN
RE: Sankar Kumar's Chatterjee's query on blankets (Letters, July 1). Try Seljak or Waverly Mills for Aussie-made blankets. They also recycle off-cut wool fibres, even better. Aussie manufacturing is experiencing a revival but usually products are only available online. Myer and other retailers need to start stocking these products.
Caitlin Oliver, Campbell
And, Sankar Kumar Chatterjee (Letters, July 1), where are the enterprising tailors who could use Aussie wool to make world-class suits? And the investors? We gave up on that when we let our woollen mills disappear. Imagine if we actually produced not only the world's best wool, but the best cloth and the best suits. We'd give Europeans a run for their money.
James Mahoney, McKellar
WHAT A SURPRISE
Shock and horror, a foreign state is spying upon us. All countries have their spy agencies hard at work, including Australia. But don't mention East Timor.
Murray Johns, Aranda
ALL LIFE MATTERS
I don't think anybody wants to hear from Ben Caddaye "Four-hour fight for 150kg tuna..." (canberratimes.com.au, July 3) about a well-heeled loser taking hours to reel in a magnificent "game" fish with a large hook embedded in its mouth. His story reminded me of Walter Palmer and the slow and painful death of Cecil the lion. It's sad that some humans gain pleasure from cruelty to animals and call it sport.
C. Williams, Forrest
IT'S A MYSTERY
Perhaps our readers who understand English grammar might explain to me why the police media and journalists alike continue to use the word "policing" as if it is a noun. My teachers in primary school taught us "doing words" were verbs.
Robin Turnbull, Franklin
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