A resident-initiated petition to the Legislative Assembly has been started to stop the relocation of the City West bus layover to the corner of Barry Drive and Watson St in Turner, the site in the city having been sold.
The proposal is for a larger bus layover than present, catering for 25 bus parks, a staff amenity building and associated works. The layover replaces the temporary car park for 60 spaces there and extends further up Watson St and into Turner Parkland.
There has been inadequate community consultation about the site selection and impact on amenity. Apart from commuters, those impacted include residents, workers, students' playing fields, a bike skills track for youngsters, churches and the pedestrians and cyclists sharing the popular pathways.
The space connects to other green corridors in the inner north and should remain protected. It's part of the Griffins' vision for a garden city, defined by sustainability and democracy.
Hundreds of buses are anticipated to start and end their journeys from the new layover. The noise, fumes and traffic management are of concern to all in the area.
The petition is open until August 23, 2020 and available for signing online. It can be found under e-petitions on the ACT government website.
Sara Edson, Turner
A good result
After my complaint about Evoenergy was published in The Canberra Times (Letters, July 22), I was contacted by a young woman from that company. Apparently, the information I had been given by ActewAGL, was incorrect. Evoenergy no longer check, or replace, smart meters, that's done by ActweAGL.
I was also contacted by a young woman from ActewAGL. She apologised about the mixup, and confirmed that ActewAGL would be coming the next day, and that they'd be there at 8am, and I didn't need to stay at home.
The next morning, a contractor and an employee from ActewAGL, arrived at 8am. Both men were friendly and explained what was going to happen. Within a short time, my new smart meter had been installed, and it was a very smooth job.
My thanks to The Canberra Times for publishing my letter.
Sharon Loiterton, Dunlop
I recently did my 2019-2020 tax return and was very disappointed to see that I could not claim any expenses incurred in being a volunteer.
In one of my volunteer roles I had to buy extra items of uniform, pay a membership subscription, and have washing expense in cleaning my uniform, yet I could not claim any of these.
One would think that the Federal government and the Australian Tax Office would encourage people to be volunteers by allowing volunteer-related claims when it comes to tax return time. It is especially hard on a lot of volunteers who are also pensioners.
Alan Leitch, Austins Ferry, Tas
Incompetence to blame
It is small wonder that Victoria is in dire straits with an ever increasing number of persons diagnosed with the virus. It was inevitable as 90 per cent of 3810 afflicted persons did not self isolate in the interim period between feeling unwell and getting tested.
Additionally, more than 50 per cent did not self-isolate while waiting for test results.
Owing to an apparently incompetent premier, Daniel Andrews, an out-of-her-depth health minister, Jennifer Mikakos, and a mistake-prone administration, Victoria, and indeed the whole of the nation may very well be facing a monumental crisis. This could have been easily avoided by a smarter, better government, and more importantly, by people doing the right thing.
Mario Stivala, Belconnen
Well done New Zealand
In the recent past we watched New Zealand, led by Jacinda Ardern, respond to disasters, massacres, and pandemics with grace, honour, respect, humanity, and strength. Last week New Zealand responded to a humanitarian issue, again demonstrating grace, honour, respect, humanity and moral strength. New Zealand recognised the validity of Behrouz Boochani's asylum claim and granted him a visa.
Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand demonstrate repeatedly how a nation, a leader, a people can display strength wrapped in humanity. Sadly, we in Australia have yet to overcome our hairy-chested, blokey, matey sense of showing strength. We focus on "punching above our weight" at the expense of lost grace and humanity.
Judy Bamberger, O'Connor
Greg Dunstone (Letters, July 23) correctly points out that conservatives unfairly complained about the preference system of voting in the recent Eden-Monaro byelection won by the ALP. What the "complainers" should remember is that the the first-past-the-post system was replaced by the preference system in 1918 by the Hughes Government to advantage the conservative side of politics.
First-past-the post didn't suit them! At a byelection for the seat of Swan in October 1918 the ALP polled 34.4 per cent and won. The Hughes Government introduced preference voting and - voila - in the December 1918 byelection for Corangamite, the ALP polled 42.5 per cent first preference votes and lost. Since then, the preferential voting system has served the conservative side of politics very well indeed.
Ray Blackmore, Kambah
Not that simple
Having read the rather smug letter from geologist Douglas Mackenzie (Letters July 23), I would say that it is easy to pontificate and quote biblical parables from the safety of his Deakin home (which I would hope is built on rock).
However, to me, it seems a bit insensitive to the Central Coast residents affected by the coastal subsidence when they and others in this region have for many years been requesting that local councils address the matter.
If earlier council action had been taken maybe the residents wouldn't be in their current predicament. It would seem that many of these houses were built, presumably with council approval, long before climate change became an issue.
Bob McDonald, Weetangera
Having recently received my ACT Seniors Card which is, to quote the ACT government's covering letter, "a dual card combining the ACT Seniors Card and a Transport Canberra MyWay travel card" I tried to check the balance on the card on the Transport Canberra website.
The website would not allow me to register the card which is a precondition to check the balance (the website said it was already registered - presumably as part of the issuance process) and I was invited to make a "change of address" request (even though I have not changed address). Without being able to register the card, and hence nominate a "secret question and answer", I was unable to check the balance on the card.
I expect that most people have been caught in such a loop. However, in this case, there is a marked difference between the breathlessness with which the current government has been spruiking itself in advance of the ACT election, and how their Seniors Card has been implemented. That's worth remembering when you go to vote on October 17.
Bruce Paine, Independent
candidate for Kurrajong, Red Hill
Bravo, John F Simmons (Letters, July 24). Yes, we do need to communicate better, and to start learning earlier. Long ago, in what we called "infants school" (ages five, six, and seven) I was taught by repetition the 12 times multiplication tables, never afterwards forgotten. In "primary school" (ages eight to 11) I learnt about English grammar; what nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, apostrophes, and commas were; and how to use them properly.
As a result when I wish to communicate my thoughts to others, only rarely am I asked to further explain. And, in respect of numbers, I was taught how to mentally calculate outside the 12 times multiplication tables.
Somewhere along the way some "smart" educator thought grammar doesn't matter, that there's no need to distinguish between "practise" the verb and "practice" the noun. Context would always clarify meaning. True? No, Mr Simmons' example shows how apparently simple comma placement can substantially change meaning.
When public persons on radio or TV stumble with multiple repeats of "umm", "you know", "er", "ah", and refer to humans using "that" (for objects) rather than "who" (for persons), I have sometimes been so distracted from the intended message that I've ceased listening.
Vince Patulny, Kambah
The fun police
The NSW premier has decreed that there should be "no singing" and "no dancing". At last we really do have "fun police".
M Moore, Bonython
TO THE POINT
Deputy chief medical officer Professor Michael Kidd AM impresses me with his structured and flawless delivery of the regular COVID-19 updates. It was pleasing to see him acknowledge the Auslan interpreters, such is the changing face of the way we communicate in a very different world.
Allan Gibson OAM, Cherrybrook, NSW
TIME TO CHANGE
The Barr government has been in office for far too long. To give the opposition a chance I'd suggest that they make Elizabeth Lee leader and declare they will cancel the fairytale of building a cost effective light rail service south of the lake. A couple of sensible independent candidates would also be nice.
Michael Duffy, Curtin
MAGGIE NO MODEL
Josh Frydenberg has expressed admiration for a woman who was at war with her own people. Maggie was the most divisive figure in UK politics. She engaged in class warfare with an unpopular poll tax that led to her downfall. Josh should be careful what he wishes for as history often repeats.
Pamela Papadopoulos, South Yarra, Vic
MONARCH A MATRIARCH
If a "queendom" can be defined as the realm of a queen, just as a kingdom is defined as the realm of a king, why isn't the United Kingdom now referred to as the United Queendom?
John Milne, Chapman
TO THE POOL ROOM
The National Museum of Australia should include in its holdings the Debt and Deficit bus; the Back in the Black mugs, and Barnaby Joyce's National Bankcard as reminders to future generations of LNP spin.
Jeff Bradley, Isaacs
It took a virus and bad press for interstate drivers to realise they have been using our facilities within the ACT without paying. Too bad our local government didn't make them do 14 days isolation and a driving test before giving them ACT ID.
Errol Good. Macgregor
FREQUENCY THE KEY
John Coochey (Letters, July 21) may see nothing unusual in Verkoyansk in Siberia reaching 38 degrees celsius. But scientists have said the current heatwaves would occur once in every 80,000 years if not for human interference.
Jenny Goldie, Cooma, NSW
The environment would be totally written-off were "state standards", a euphemism for open slather, "enthusiastically" adopted, e.g. Queensland's land clearing and Adani embrace.
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
While Indigenous people are being assaulted, raped, robbed and murdered in their own communities Dr Stephen Hagen is celebrating the news that a Canadian company will change the name of a brand of cheese, so as not to offend. Says a lot about his priorities.
Mark Sproat, Lyons
GOOD JOB ALL
Our state premiers, without exceptions have shown a level or public leadership during this nasty pandemic that we have not seen at the federal level for too long. I'd like to commend all on a job well done.
Mokhles k Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
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