Having regard to what is happening in Victoria and parts of NSW, isn't it time the ACT government and ACT Policing stopped pussy footing around with revellers and others who don't comply with COVID physical distancing requirements, and imposed fines and/or other sanctions ("Revellers warned over lax distancing outside restaurants, bars", canberratimes.com.au, July 28)? The issue of only warnings for breaches has been happening for some time now and clearly it has not brought about attitudinal change.
While people know that the only sanction they will receive for non-compliance is a "move on", they will continue to put the health of themselves and the wider ACT community at risk because of their selfishness.
Issuing fines would sheet home the message quite clearly that compliance with COVID-19 physical distancing requirements is not optional. This would, hopefully, bring about a much needed increase in self responsibility. We are but one case away from a NSW-like outbreak.
That should be avoided at all costs.
Don Sephton, Greenway
What were they thinking?
Whilst not doubting the sincerity of most of those attending Tuesday's Black Lives Matter march, I do question their judgement given the current pandemic. By claiming that the risk to public health is of less importance than the cause they are promoting, the organisers have implied there is a scale of righteousness when it comes to breaking the law.
On that basis there are many other causes that could claim justification to hold public demonstrations. Where does climate change rank on the scale of righteousness, one wonders? Or child poverty, or domestic violence? There are any number of noble causes that could be promoted by street marches, and in every case, the claim could be made that the cause is more important than the risk to public health.
Organisers of these events would do well to remember the coronavirus is colour-blind. As far as it's concerned, no lives matter.
Lee Welling, Nicholls
The visit to Washington by Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds to discuss a step-up in Australian participation in US naval missions in the Indo-Pacific carried with it the gravest of risks for our future security.
It is important we recognise that a rising China is merely following its Soviet predecessor which, during the Cold War, presented itself as the lone nuclear-armed challenger to US global dominance. The dissolution of the Soviet Union did not put an end to these aspirations. Instead, it has led to a renewed determination, this time by both Russia and China, to create a multipolar world order that they deem to be far more democratic than the present unipolar system of global governance.
Given the increasingly bellicose rhetoric coming from the US, in labelling China a "tyranny", Australia is entering into an arena of warfare that, if not resolved peacefully through diplomatic channels, could spell the end of human civilisation as we know it.
Reverend Dr Vincent Zankin, Rivett
Keep the JobKeeper rate
The phased reduction of the JobKeeper payment discussed in the report "Treasurer calls for an extension of workplace flexibility" (July 27, p8) brings to mind two worrying trends.
As Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers points out, such a move by the government will impose even more job insecurity on struggling workers.
A common comment after the "miracle" re-election of the Coalition government in May 2019 was that to take money away from voters (the franking credits controversy) is "suicidal" policy.
It has been suggested there is a movement within the Morrison government to revisit the long-discredited "trickle-down" economic policies of the Reagan and Thatcher governments: "Reaganomics". The last thing the vast majority of Australians need is a dose of neoliberalism on top of coronavirus.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Woods and trees
The ACT government has been rambling on about an urban forest.
Sadly, the street trees which form part of that urban forest do not benefit from any ongoing maintenance.
Rather, trees are left to residents to manage them.
I have been filling a skip each year with bark shed by one tree on our block.
City services respond only reluctantly to requests for aid when the gum trees drop branches.
An urban forest is a noble idea but it needs to be backed up with management.
Rohan Goyne, Evatt
A hard rain is gonna fall
I fear we are drifting towards a great, and unimaginably destructive, war with China as a subordinate ally of the United States. What sane reason can we have to go to war with our major trading partner? What achievable objective do we have apart from cementing our US alliance? Are we arrogant and stupid enough to seek "regime change"? How do we avoid the escalation of such a war to nuclear weapons?
China is a great and ancient civilisation. It will not be dismembered again by Western powers seeking to impose a 21st century form of political and economic control. Our national interest is best served by breaking off the US alliance and adopting a policy of "armed neutrality ". It will cost more: but what price survival?
David Perkins, Reid
Keep horses out
Gerry Gillespie (Letters, July 27) is correct in saying feral horses have no place in the Kosciuszko National Park. They don't have a place in Namadgi National Park either. To protect the ACT's water supply the ACT government has a zero-tolerance policy.
The summer fires removed the scrub that acted as a natural barrier against Kosciuszko horses moving into Namadgi. Fortunately, the NSW government is now permitting its rangers to remove horses from the northern part of Kosciuszko. This should reduce the likelihood of feral horses border-hopping into the ACT provided the NSW government keeps at it.
Linda Groom, Deakin
Government buy-backs of some utilities are surprisingly good news. Unfortunately not all that should be bought back will be.
A classic example of a stuff-up was John Howard's insistence all of Telstra be sold, instead of just the retail arm. He did that in spite of expert advice and political advice by members of his own party and the National Party.
If he had not sold the network infrastructure, Telstra would have completed replacing all its copper wire with fibre to the curb years ago, just for the sake of operation and maintenance efficiency.
Unfortunately I cannot foresee the network being repurchased by a conservative, or even a progressive, government, but since the blame game for the NBN debacle continues, let's put it where it belongs: in John Howard's lap.
John F. Simmons, Kambah
A strange policy
Governments don't always do the right thing, but to go out of our way to upset China, our main trading partner, makes no sense at all.
What did we achieve by pushing for an "independent" international inquiry into the origin of COVID-19? Just ask our barley exporters.
The Prime Minister should articulate what outcome he wants to achieve by sending our warships into the China Sea - where we have no territorial claims. If it is to help Mr Trump's re-election chances, is that really what we want? It's time we showed more independence, and got rid of the lapdog tag.
David Denham, Griffith
I assume Josh Frydenberg's comments on the ABC Insiders program with reference to Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher as beacons for economic change was a joke.
What did Reagan and Thatcher ever do?
In the US Reagan cut income tax for the wealthy from 74 per cent to 28 per cent.
He increased taxes - 18 times - to 30 per cent for ordinary working and middle class Americans.
He tripled the national debit and cut government services.
His "dribble down", sorry, I should say "trickle down" economic theory, reduced the overall government tax revenue base and stuffed the economy.
Margaret Thatcher, likewise, with simplistic "Darwinian economics", decimated the manufacturing, science and technology base of the UK, and divided the nation economically, socially, and geographically.
So Josh, could I suggest a better bench mark for economic excellence just might be Germany or the Scandinavian countries?
Mike Flanagan, Farrer
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