The article "Drone deliveries generate buzz" (August 1, p7) was aptly titled. In fact, they generate way too much buzz. A high pitched whining noise saturates my suburb, particularly on weekends. It is unacceptable, and I do not accept, that I, and everyone else that complains of the noise, should have to endure it so that someone can get a coffee or toastie.
How many defibrillators or useful life saving devices have been delivered, as postulated when Project Wing spoke to the Gungahlin Community Council meeting in 2019?
Tell me why is there no street address on the Project Wing website and why no identification on their premises in Mitchell? Is this a real, viable business, given that the drones are often grounded due to high winds, rain etc. What sort of business model is it?
Any approval for Project Wing to expand does not only have to be "signed off by Civil Aviation Safety Authority", but by the citizens of Canberra.
Greg Carroll, Palmerston
Sink the dollar
So many letters lately about the magic of printing money. Either those writers do not understand, or maybe do not care about the consequences. There is no free lunch.
The Australian dollar is a floating currency and, as such, needs to be thought of as a share in "Company Australia". When a company issues shares, whether as a bonus or to obtain more equity, the value of the share goes down proportionally, the sum value of all shares being the current market value of the company.
The same thing if Australia prints money. The value of the dollar goes down on international markets, so does the worth of an Australian's cash assets, and imports (almost everything nowadays) become dearer. This may not be matched by more exports.
Printing money without corresponding growth in the total "value" (worth) of Australia, as measured by the value of its dollar, is a fool's paradise.
M. Silex, Erindale
Money madness theory
D. Fraser (Letters, July 31) suggested the government could, in accordance with Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), print money to create minimum wage jobs so that nobody is unemployed.
There is nothing particularly "modern" about this theory. Take the former Yugoslavia, for example. People were employed by the government in low wage jobs to produce poor quality goods that nobody wanted, and people had to queue for basic essentials.
Luxury goods were available to senior members of the communist party, or in black markets for hard currency. The highest denomination banknote had a face value of 500 billion dinars, so I guess the government can't run out of money. It can just keep adding zeroes forever, and living standards can keep declining.
D. Zivkovic, Aranda
A modest proposal
I welcome the commitment to a Canberra Institute of Technology. It provides students in the south with better access to vocational education and brings jobs to the area.
Other policy outcomes can also be achieved by using Lovett Tower for the CIT and Borrowdale House (the old Post Office) for an Arts Centre as anchors in the heart of Woden, creating a community hub with the Woden Library and the Health Centre.
The ground floor of Lovett Tower could provide student services with the town square becoming a students' and artists' courtyard, creating a campus feel with cafes, restaurants and bars (bring back the Contented Soul) that attracts people for social and cultural activities.
Our green areas should be at ground level for the public as well as on a roof.
Integration with the bus interchange should not be a primary objective; it is unclear how the site was chosen or where the buses will go. This is more ad hoc decision-making without collaboration or a vision for our precinct.
The Chief Minister said in his 2016 Statement of Ambition that cities don't succeed by accident or by leaving things to chance; they require design, good governance and great collaboration.
We are seeking ambition, governance and collaboration to develop a land-use plan to create a contemporary urban hub that attracts people to live in its many apartments, now and into the future, the CBD of the south.
Fiona Carrick, Independent Candidate
for Murrumbidgee, Torrens
We are living through the most dangerous financial experiment in history.
Less GDP growth equals more government spending equals more deficits equals more debt equals more money printing equals a higher gold price. In a world of counterfeit money prices are meaningless.
Even when government programs are quoted in dollars - $85 billion deficit for fiscal 2020, $185 billion deficit for fiscal 2021 and a trillion dollar debt - these are just numbers. They no longer represent real costs, real sacrifices or real trade-offs.
There is a reason the price of gold is rising: it can't be created out of thin air.
Victor Diskordia, McKellar
So Canberrans have been crossing the NSW border and playing our pokies? This reminds me of when I was a Canberran, had just turned 18, and crossed the border to do just that.
This was pre-pokie Canberra of course. The QLC was the place to be. Back then we also ran the gauntlet of the police way before random breath testing was introduced. Now I feel distress at the temerity of Canberrans playing our pokies, drinking our beer and looking at our women folk (or men folk). Of course I'm joking, or am I? Maybe I'm just having a dig at those Canberrans who get offended by outsiders using their facilities, or am I? Anyway, Queanbeyan is a welcoming place, always has been.
John Panneman, Canberra
The basic wage
C'mon Australia, stop messing with our money (whose work earns it anyway?). It's time for the basic wage. JobKeeper got it about right: $1500 a fortnight, also those "one-offs". This would relieve the gig economy, change casual work and the dole (and the old age pension). Everyone on the electoral roll gets it, in a relationship or not.
How to pay for it? Double the GST on all items including food: most real economies in the OECD pay 20 per cent VAT or more. Nobody would suffer because of the basic wage.
Near zero interest rates and recent actions of the Reserve Bank show clearly the artificial nature of money: it is just a social contract. Money is worth what we agree its worth.
Peter Cooper, Greenway.
Do the right thing
Mario Stivala's zealous use of adjectives (Letters, 29 July) indicates he has strong pre-formed opinions about the (Labor) Victorian government.
The end of his letter, though, sums up the real problem underlying the COVID-19 situation in Melbourne: it "could have been easily avoided... by people doing the right thing".
People all over Australia have been failing to do what we need to do to protect our community from COVID-19 spreading.
As luck would have it, some of those people in Melbourne came in contact with COVID-19.
Our governments are heeding the best available science when they advise us what to do to keep our community safe. Most of us are following it.
Now is the time for the remainder to join in the "new normal" ways of behaving. Then we will all be a lot safer.
G M King, Melbourne
Denis Callaghan's throwaway comment linking the silence of supporters of euthanasia and recent aged care deaths in Victoria (Letters, July 30) demonstrates a lack of compassion and understanding.
Linking the tragedy of COVID-19 deaths in aged care in Victoria to the concept of euthanasia seems to disregard the feelings of people whose loved ones have just died under such circumstances.
Also, he refers to "euthanasia". What we really need to consider is voluntary assisted dying, the right to seek help to die at the end of life. It is not about the dying person being killed. It is about that person deciding there is no point suffering further and seeking help to die.
Having watched loved ones suffer many indignities in the dying process, I am a strong advocate for my right to die with dignity and peacefully when the time comes. Just as I respect the personal rights of people opposed to the concept, their views should not determine that my death should be harder than necessary.
Given some Australian jurisdictions already have this right, the people of the ACT suffer from the fact we cannot legislate the same right for ourselves. We suffer from the personal views of some politicians mostly, with the exception of Zed, not elected by us.
Gina Pinkas, Aranda
TO THE POINT
If I wanted to spread coronavirus more efficiently I'd support prominent UK anti-masker Anne Widdicombe (a Brexit Party member).
She believes mask-haters will avoid the shops as much as possible.
She wants shops to set aside times when the dissenters can shop unmuzzled in the same way as they have for the elderly.
It could be one of the more effective ways of spreading coronavirus in the community.
David Mackenzie, Chapman
TRY HILLARY INSTEAD
The term "Karen" has come to mean a middle-aged or older self-righteous white female with a hugely inflated sense of entitlement and self-importance, given to tantrums when not immediately granted her wishes.
I suggest substitution of "Hillary" as a more appropriate sobriquet for such persons.
Peter Wilkins, Torrens
WHAT IF HE WINS?
Would Mr Trump accept a postal vote result if it brings him a victory or will still claim it is fraudulent result? It seems that Mr Trump is promoting dictatorship, not democracy. God save America.
Mokhles k Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
KEEP IT SIMPLE
So, Molonglo's new public school needs a name. How about "Molonglo Public School"? Simple, and unlikely to be controversial.
Don Sephton, Greenway
COST IS RELATIVE
Attorney-General Christian Porter says businesses can't afford the cost of pandemic leave for casual workers.
Does that mean he thinks businesses can afford the disruption and loss of revenue caused when infected people continue to go to work or that governments should contribute to the cost of paid pandemic leave?
It has to be one or the other.
Tony Judge, Woolgoolga, NSW
WHO TO TRUST?
The code of honour doesn't work unless it's carefully monitored, as border controls now reveal.
This could explain why self-regulation in the apartment-building industry, self-assessing contractors, and the emasculation of developer-hired "certifiers" to mere box-ticking of self-declarations has delivered us systemically condemnable builds.
Honour systems don't work wherever there's much to gain by lying.
Alex Mattea, Sydney, NSW
IT COULD BE WORSE
Hapless inhabitants of Yemen's Sana'a, after years of being subjected to aerial bombardment, with Australian munitions, by the Saudi regime, and now subject to inundation from torrential rains, would really appreciate Wing deliveries of essentials like toasted sandwiches, coffee, toothpaste, toilet paper (Drone deliveries generate buzz, CT, 1 August, p.7).
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
How can the Queensland authorities justify allowing a man to get on a domestic flight after just returning from overseas ("Queensland man infectious on flight", canberratimes.com.au, August 2)?
No wonder COVID-19 cases are rising.
Of course people will break the rules when they see that not everyone has to adhere to them.
Felicity Chivas, Ainslie
Email: email@example.com. Send from the message field, not as an attachment. Fax: 6280 2282. Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Canberra Times, PO Box 7155, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610.
Keep your letter to 250 or fewer words. References to The Canberra Times reports should include date and page number. Letters may be edited. Provide phone number and full home address (suburb only published).