When the Chief Minister talked up the then-proposed easing of restrictions that were to allow increased numbers in outdoor and small business spaces and venues from Friday, July 10, there was deafening silence about how those managing and using these, and private spaces, still have responsibility to ensure physical distancing and good hygiene occurs at all times.
Unless this is driven home across the ACT many will assume that none of it really matters anymore when they are congregating publicly or at a private house or apartment.
Many others could pay a high personal and economic price for such complacency as more social interaction occurs, including when travelers cross the border.
Now that residents returning from Victoria have brought the virus into the ACT ("Coronavirus cases confirmed in the ACT for first time in one month", canberratimes.com.au, July 8), it is heartening to know that the easing of restrictions will be delayed.
Hopefully the government will focus now on the need for strong public health messaging and reminders across all suburbs and public places about behaving safely, plus ramp up other preventive measures and hefty fines to discourage what Victorian authorities are not afraid to label "stupid, selfish, and reckless actions".
Sue Dyer, Downer
A hidden danger
The article: "How neighbouring wood heaters have made one Canberran's home almost unlivable" (www.thecanberratimes.com.au, July 6) highlights the harmful effect of wood smoke on asthma sufferers.
Less well-known is the harmful effect of sulphur dioxide on respiratory conditions.
Regrettably, just before the 2019 election, the federal government quietly postponed the introduction of lower sulphur transport fuel until 2027, putting the profits of petroleum refiners above Australians' health.
Patricia Saunders, Chapman
Law is draconian
The Biosecurity Act 2015 passed without fanfare. It gives biosecurity officers wide scope to declare national or individual emergencies to enforce vaccines and drugs without court orders (Division 3, Subdivision B, Clauses 92 and 93).
Refusal to accept orders under the act could attract five years' jail and/or 300 penalty units in fines (currently over $60,000 in total per Division 4, Subdivision C, Clause 107).
I'm personally more concerned about our government spinning out of control than COVID-19 itself. The Biosecurity Act 2015 is worth strong public debate yet is hardly mentioned..
Linda Vij, Mascot, NSW
It's tough at the top
Let us all spare a thought for our leaders, be it the PM, premiers, and chief Ministers, as they grapple with COVID-19.
Remember, they have all the facts and expertise they can access to deal with this pandemic.
Sometimes consultation with everyone will not happen. The leaders don't have the time.
Accept they are doing the best they can. Let's all support them in their decisions even if we don't agree with them. They are the leaders, not Joe Public.
Do the right thing or else we will be back to square one and we know we don't want to go back there. Remember they are not only dealing with COVID-19, the leaders are still managing all other aspects of their demanding jobs. A big thank you to our leaders under difficult circumstances.
Penny Costello, Giralang
Beijing has form
The Chinese embassy in Canberra has voiced objections to the recent Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade travel advice warning Australians they are at risk of "arbitrary detention" in China, labelling the advisory as disinformation and ridiculous.
Yet China has form in that regard. For example, in 2018 China arrested two Canadian citizens, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, just weeks after Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on charges filed in United States courts. The two men were charged recently with "spying on state secrets and intelligence".
The Canadian government insists the charges are baseless, accusing the Chinese government of using the two men to blackmail it into releasing Meng Wanzhou.
Also, in March this year an Australian-Chinese academic, Yang Hengjun, was indicted in China over ill-defined espionage allegations, more than a year after he was first arrested.
In early June this year the Chinese authorities advised their students not to travel to Australia because of the miniscule number of attacks on ethnic Chinese. Go figure!
R S Baczynski, Isaacs
I support the opinion of Paul Fitzwarryne (Letters, June 9) but he did not go far enough. Surely all who have played for, or supported, the Raiders are guilty by association of supporting the evil deeds of all the Vikings 1000 years ago.
I believe there is a stand named after, and a statue of, a well known ex-Raiders player at GIO Stadium.
For Canberra to retain its pure reputation, this stand must be renamed and the statue pulled down and dumped into the nearest lake.
Mick McCarthy, Duffy
And cull the Brumbies
Paul Fitzwarrynne of Yarralumla queries the association of Vikings with the Canberra Raiders. I could add to the list the Brumbies, named after those four-legged imports that are causing great destruction of the unique and precious biodiversity of Australia's highest peaks.
I am obviously old fashioned, but I have never got the practice of naming football clubs after various, mainly animal, species, and other strange terms. What happened to the geographical names for football teams?
Rod Holesgrove, Crace
It's all fake news
I had never believed in Donald Trump's oft repeated "fake news" claim until I read Paul Fitzwarryne's letter of concern about the historical reputation of Canberra's 'Vikings'. As far as I am aware they are known as the Canberra Raiders, and they were named that because they 'raided' NSW by becoming the first interstate team in the competition.
I am now concerned that the proposed Brumbies cull may be news of another local football team being targeted.
J Smith, Kambah
A waste of time
Why do Canberrans put so much time and effort into debating a public transport system that provides only three per cent of Canberra's trips, and causes only three per cent of Canberra's transport emissions?
To paraphrase Paul Purnell (Letters, July 9), I wonder whether those supporting light rail have failed to notice that (compared with car travel, and with our previous bus-only public transport) light rail is more expensive, requires longer walks and more transfers, provides less frequent services, and is slower except in peak hours.
Leon Arundell, Downer
We will overcome
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started I regularly reflect on previous periods of world suffering: World War I, Spanish flu, the Great Depression, and World War II.
If you were born in the early 1900s you would have had to endure this series of catastrophic events that lasted many years.
Hopefully reflection can place this pandemic in perspective. We will get through it but, as in the previous crises, sacrifices need to be made.
What got us through these previous catastrophic events was the community working as one and helping those in need.
Greg Blood, Florey
It was Scomo
Coalition politicians who blame John Barilaro for the defeat of Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvijs in the July 4 Eden-Monaro byelection ('Barilaro won't wear blame for byelection', July 9, p10) need look no farther than their federal leader.
Despite his commendable performance with coronavirus, memories of the summer bushfire catastrophe and Mr Morrison's convenient escape to an Hawaiian haven are seared into the minds of many voters in Eden-Monaro, especially on the South Coast.
Many of these people will never forgive Mr Morrison for deserting them in their hour of need.
On July 4, they voted accordingly.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
A sad saga
Alexander Downer should be condemned for the games he played with our neighbour East Timor, one of the smallest and poorest countries on earth. He decided he would have fun with them. A statesman would have given them a helping hand, and a fair share of the resources to which they have since been found to be entitled.
To add insult to injury, the government is now pursuing two people, Bernard Collaery and Witness K, who tried to undo the damage Downer did.
Michael McCarthy, Deakin
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