Our suburb has just had three severe road bumps installed near the local school where the speed limit is 60 km/h outside of school hours.
When holidays are taken into account, school hours account for about 17 per cent of the hours of the year. Regular times of actual pedestrian movement by school children would be less than five per cent. I can't recall one serious road accident involving school children at the school during the past 50 years.
Moreover, the increasing number of road bumps being installed on the major roads in each suburb is ridiculous. Might as well save a lot of money in maintaining the roadway and let a few potholes develop.
It is time to use new methods to stop the relatively few drivers who flout the speed limits. These people offend frequently. We should use speed cameras and statistics without incurring the expensive administration costs involved in processing every possible violation.
Bad drivers will soon be noticed by the number of possible infringements and they can be dealt with accordingly.
John Smith, Farrer
How disappointing to read an opinion piece that did not acknowledge the excellent education in journalism provided by universities around the country, an education many Australian Community Media journalists - and therefore readers - have benefited from ("Back to the future: It's time to rethink the way we train journalists", Forum, July 12).
Despite her PhD, Fiona Reynolds demonstrated a lack of understanding of contemporary university programs. There are not thousands of journalism graduates each year. Most Australian universities generally offer a general communications degree that can be used for a range of careers. Very few programs offer straight journalism programs. Even those that do provide students with a range of courses that give graduates a much greater range of skills than the vocational skills of yesteryear.
Today's journalism majors are likely to have completed courses that allow them to manipulate data spreadsheets, create visualisations, fact check and verify information, capture photographs and audio, take photographs, and put together audio and visual packages. They also develop critical thinking and research skills and learn about politics and the economy. These skills are not only excellent for journalism, but for a range of other careers.
Reynolds further fails to acknowledge that new technology has provided students with opportunities far beyond those offered by the legacy media. I could go on.
However, journalism remains a fun-filled and important course of university study. When our graduates' work is done well, every Australian benefits. Our graduates are critical to, and underpin, civil society.
Alexandra Wake, PhD, MA, CELTA
President, Journalism Education and
Researchers Association of Australia
Barnaby was right
Twelve months ago, in the midst of the impacts of one of the worst droughts on record, Barnaby Joyce stood up for the little guys impacted by drought and argued for Centrelink to raise the rates of welfare payments.
He was meet by his colleagues and media with a barrage of criticism. I remember comments like, "he needs more money to feed his growing family".
Today, with the unemployment rate in cities starting to match that which we experienced in rural areas during the drought, it is very interesting to see ongoing media and social discussion of "what will happen when unemployment benefits are returned to normal".
Greg Adamson, Griffith
You missed it
Like many monarchists, David D'Lima ("The system worked", Letters, July 17) seems unable to read between the lines of the palace letters.
It had become very apparent to the palace that if Kerr did not dismiss Whitlam, the Queen would likely be dragged into the controversy and forced to dismiss Kerr.
She had recently, reluctantly, and with some controversy, had to terminate the "dormant commission" of the Queensland governor to act for the governor-general. The palace's absolute priority was to avoid further controversy for the monarchy.
As the crisis neared its climax the palace encouraged Kerr towards dismissal by endorsing the availability and validity of the reserve powers. An endorsement wrapped in plausible deniability, delivered by a flunky with no accountability for, or knowledge of, Australia's democratic interests.
Two days later Kerr acted. The monarchy was protected above all. And, as for Charles Windsor being "cut from the same cloth", D'Lima seems unaware of his interventionist habits and declared intent for a more activist monarchy. God save us from that King.
Mike Hutchinson, Reid
Fred Bennett (Letters, July 17) has me confused when he says that the recent release of correspondence "should put to bed the false claim that that this country has a foreign head of state".
If what Fred is true, why do my passports (dating back to 1971) say "The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia being the representative in Australia of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second"?
And Fred, while answering the above perhaps you could let me know what this means "The command-in-chief of the naval and military forces of the Commonwealth is vested in the Governor-General as the Queen's representative".
Roger Terry, Kingston
Expansion is absurd
Must we continue with ridiculous defence, by Seselja and others, of the half billion dollar Australian War Memorial expansion. It is ridiculous to argue the expansion does not come at the expense of the support for veterans. Of course it does. Unless finance is unlimited in the world of neo-conservatives it would seem elementary economics that money spent on one project means you forgo expenditure on something else. The tragedy is the perception such extravagant expenditure compromises the AWM itself at a time when so many people are doing it tough. To maintain and enhance the reputation of the AWM at this very difficult time perhaps Matt Anderson could forgo the half billion dollars and propose the government spend the money on public housing grants.
Mike Flanagan, Farrer
Power to the people
I was advised by ActewAGL there was a problem with my electricity meter. I called them and was told that Evoenergy were coming on July 14 to replace my meter with a smart meter.
The following day I had confirmation by mail of the date and that I had to be home between 8am and 5pm.
Nobody turned up. I called ActewAGL to ask why they hadn't come. They tried to contact Evoenergy staff without any luck, and then they found a note on my account that the appointment had been changed to July 24. I had not been told.
Now I have to reorganise my day to accommodate Evoenergy, once again.
Unfortunately, Evoenergy are the only supplier of electricity in the ACT, and there is no competition. Why do we have to put up with this tardy "service", and who do we complain to?
Sharon Loiterton, Dunlop
Footy good, Parliament bad?
So, the Prime Minister can go to the footy but alleges it is too dangerous to have Parliament sit for a couple of weeks? Next thing you know he'll be messaging from Hawaii to advise us of decisions made without the scrutiny of Parliament or the people.
It's time to remind this government that if they expect teachers; medical staff and emergency services to front up then they should lead by example. Cut the bulldust and get back to work.
W Book, Hackett
Try logic, it works
Bob Salmond (Letters, July 15) argued "China's government over the past 30 years has perhaps done more good, for more people, than any other government in the history of mankind". Bede North (Letters, July 20) argued that Salmond's claim was "obviously misleading" because "numbers after all [are] a relative measure and that "good" is not clearly defined contextually." If Mr North had had the benefit of a Chinese education, he might have gained a better grasp of logic.
Leon Arundell, Downer
John Burns (Letters, July 20), it is not a given that "any president [in an Australian republic] would have the same powers as the existing governor-general". The Irish republican model has a lot of attractions, with the president largely a ceremonial office, and all executive power vested in the prime minister as head of government. The Irish president - who is directly elected by the people - has no "reserve powers". This model means there can be no political tensions between the president as head of state and the prime minister as head of government. It is the model that should be adopted by Australia.
Don Sephton, Greenway
TO THE POINT
THE WRONG WORD
Further to Adrian Gibbs (Letters, July 19) referring to a person whose appearance differs from one's own as belonging to a different "tribe".
This suggests they are in a primitive society, with implicit racist overtones. It is simpler to refer to such a person, without derogatory implication, as "different".
Jack Palmer, Watson
IT'S A MYSTERY
I just had one of those significant birthdays that makes me eligible for an ACT Seniors Card. Whilst I appreciate that and what comes with it, I was a bit surprised that the envelope it came in was postmarked from Western Australia. We can't do this within the ACT? I'm gobsmacked.
Kim Fitzgerald, Deakin
NAME WON'T WORK
Re: Matt Ford's suggestion for a new name for the Raiders (Letters, July 20).
The current supporters chant goes like this: "Raiders, clap, clap clap, Raiders, clap, clap, clap, Raiders, clap, clap, clap, etc".
Imagine the crowd chanting: "Tyrannosaurus Rex, clap, clap, clap, Tyrannosaurus Rex, clap, clap, clap, Tyrannosaurus Rex, clap, clap, clap". Don't think so. Plus, what to do with the Viking horn?
Anne Willenborg, Royalla, NSW
AND YOUR POSITION IS?
Thank you Alicia Payne for outlining all the issues connected with the AWM redevelopment ("Making a noise on war memorial works", July 20 p18). Now tell us whether you are for the extension or against it.
John Holland, Dickson
Concerning the failure in Melbourne of the hotel quarantine regime, I believe the Roman poet Juvenal posed the question neatly "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes". . . ."Who will guard the guards themselves?"
George Beaton, Greenway
Kym MacMillan (Letters, July 21) has no doubt that after the redevelopment the AWM "will continue to be a place where Australians come to respect their veteran family members and learn a little about their sacrifices". I would hope that for half-a-billion dollars they would learn a lot.
Ed Highley, Kambah
REX IS LEX
I share Stuart Kennedy's concerns (Letters, July 21) about recent "justice" outcomes in the ACT. However he has missed the salient point: our courts are above the law.
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
IT'S A CONSPIRACY
The 'Five Eyes' nations, known for their contemporary contempt for personal privacy, and their enthusiasm for integrated facial recognition and identify-matching technology, are still very cool on recommending, let alone imposing, facial masks, no matter how dire their COVID-19 straits.
That said, only America has the hypocrisy to claim "personal freedoms" as the pretext for this.
Alex Mattea, Sydney, NSW
Why don't the lifts at the Canberra Centre have any signs stating how many people can travel in the lifts together during coronavirus yet? This kind of oversight is just asking for trouble.
There should be markings on the ground indicating where those queuing for the lifts should stand, too.
Danny Corvini, Curtin
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