The Australian Institute of Architects believes the Australian War Memorial (AWM) director, Matt Anderson, is continuing to make statements that are not correct regarding the AWM redevelopment project.
The original expression of interest required designs that included the demolition of Anzac Hall. This meant any compliant design would breach the site's heritage requirements, outlined in the heritage management plan on the memorial's website, which requires the retention of Anzac Hall.
Extremely limited consultation commenced in August 2018, three months (not three years) before the Prime Minister announced the redevelopment plans which included the requirement to demolish Anzac Hall; something not covered in the preceding consultation.
The AWM board and management do not appear willing to concede that their processes have been grossly deficient, or even acknowledge the broad-based community concern over this project. The Australian people deserve better from the custodians of this unique institution and hugely significant site.
We will continue our #handsoffAnzacHall campaign, commenced by Clare Cousins during her presidency and continued with the full backing of our current national president, board, and council. With more than 12,500 members, including five working on the redevelopment project, the AIA does not purport to represent the view of each individual on every issue. But we do have a clear duty to act in the interests of the profession as a whole, and uphold commonly accepted principles, including the protection of heritage sites, that form part of our responsibility to the community.
Julia Cambage, CEO, Australian Institute of Architects, Canberra
The real punishment
Mr Coe, and other conservatives, are concerned our new conversion therapy ban will lead to parents being sued.
I can assure them that even if their children have no legal recourse to sue their parents for inflicting this practice on them, parents who choose this route will be punished in other ways by a loss of trust, relationship, and potentially of their child themselves through suicide.
I was lucky to grow up LGBTIQ+ with a loving and supportive family. My parents are still my closest friends. Friends who did not have this experience are understandably not in contact with their parents, or have a very strained relationship.
Before you punish your child for opening up to you, consider if this is the outcome you want after investing so much time and love into raising them. We don't want to mourn the loss of our parents either.
Caitlin Oliver, Turner
Those calling for Brenton Tarrant to serve his life sentence without parole in Australia should be careful what they are wishing for.
Unless Tarrant agrees to such an arrangement, including the NZ sentence, once back in Australia he could appeal his custody on the ground that he has not broken any law in Australia and has not been ordered into custody by an Australian court.
Roger Dace, Reid
Change the government
Several recent The Canberra Times letter writers have sought to cast the Canberra Liberals as right wing and "extreme". Even federal Labor MP Andrew Leigh follows this line in a recent article. However, one wonders how extreme things have to become for Canberra voters to realise that a change of government is required.
Former ALP chief minster Jon Stanhope understands the ACT budget situation better than most. He recently stated that the ACT's budget is the sickest in Australia, and has been so for most of the last decade. In fact, so grave is the mess, he suggests major cuts to essential services including health, housing and education are inevitable if bankruptcy is to be avoided. If this is not an extreme situation, I don't know what is.
Murray May, Cook
The independent challenge
In discussing the effect of the electoral system we have in the ACT on candidates for the parties, John Warhurst ("We do elections differently in the ACT. Here's why that is", August 27, p25), points out that sitting members have an inbuilt advantage as they are better known, better resourced, and have full-time jobs as MPs.
Perhaps he could enlighten us about the effect of the system on independent candidates who are often mentioned in letters from disgruntled Labor voters unable to vote for the right-wing Liberals on offer.
Meeting Fiona Carrick, who is standing for Murrumbidgee, for the first time when she was handing out her flyers in Woden, I was struck by the disadvantage independents face in our system.
Not only from the factors Warhurst mentions, but also the ballot paper itself.
Those who wish to get an independent voice in the assembly will need to look closely at those candidates and vote 1 for such far less well known people.
Steve Thomas, Yarralumla
The rubbish issue
E Campbell of Florey (Letters, August 25) asks why a developer is including housing in its plan for a site in Fyshwick when large scale waste "recycling" plants are proposed in the vicinity.
This concerns the Dairy Road mixed use precinct, just across Jerrabomberra Creek from the future residential area of "Eastlake". There is already housing nearby, at Narrabundah and Symonston, and Fyshwick is an important mixed commercial area with large numbers of workers and the very popular Fyshwick Markets.
The local community, and Fyshwick businesses, think large-scale waste recycling plants are much less appropriate for the area than residential development. The waste plants are potential pollution and fire risks, and would generate large numbers of truck movements with resultant congestion, dust and fumes.
Their main motivation for bringing a huge amount of waste material into the ACT (substantially more than the total waste generated by the ACT) seems to be to avoid NSW environmental levies for dumping of waste from the Sydney Metropolitan Area. Could the ACT government really fall for this?
Richard Johnston, Kingston
Lessons learnt, by some
The one huge lesson we mere minnows have learnt from the tragic bushfires in NSW, Victoria, and California last summer (and California right now) was that people must never again be approved to build and live in landlocked locations. Imagine the disaster that could have eventuated in Mallacoota without the "ocean escape route"?.
Unfortunately, our elected representatives in the Yass Valley Council (YVC), NSW government and ACT government have apparently not heeded this lesson. They have just approved the rezoning of the potentially fire-prone landlocked Parkwood from rural to urban, and the developer (ACT government) proposes to build about 11,500 homes for 30,000 people across the cross-border Ginninderry development.
In fact, and most surprisingly, YVC state that building in landlocked Parkwood "is an advantage". Tell us why.
Safe, separate, uncluttered, and wide ingress and egress roads and bridges must be mandatory for all new developments. It is not only irresponsible but morally unconscionable for NSW governments to approve living in landlocked Parkwood before they construct a separate rapid escape route linking to major roads in NSW.
P R Temple, Macquarie
Time to mask up
Sotiris Vardoulakis ("Virus may transmit in air", August 26, p3) rightly promotes the international view that face masks should be worn by all when shopping and in all confined spaces, to help control the spread of COVID-19.
At the moment we have no idea of where the nearest known active COVID-19 case is, so the only way to promote one's own safety is to wear a mask.
Local fire authorities have, in recent times, provided an up-to-the-minute online map of known bushfires. Why haven't the health authorities long ago organised a similar online map of the approximate, and unnamed, position of every known active COVID-19 case?
Adrian Gibbs, Yarralumla
I believe I have found the meaning of "we are signalising this intersection". As I passed through the intersection of Southern Cross Drive and Starke Street recently two high-viz-clad tradies were standing opposite the "signalising" sign waving their arms around.
Could it be that by the time of the ACT Legislative Assembly election in October, all such signposted intersections scattered around Canberra suburbs will have their very own tradies, "signalising" at the passing traffic?
It could be quite cheerful, and certainly cheaper than traffic lights.
Bruce Wright, Latham
TO THE POINT
Bruce Wright (Letters, September 2) claims ACT Liberals "do not have a liberal bone in their collective bodies". I am a Liberal Party member and support liberal choices like death with dignity and overpopulation problems so I must be badly filleted if I'm part of Bruce's deboned local party membership.
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
The Morrison government loves a compound word for their policies (JobKeeper, JobSeeker, etc.). May I suggest "VoteBuyer" for their plan to bring forward tax cuts?
Tony Judge, Woolgoolga, NSW
WHY TONY? WHY?
It's strange that Tony Abbot should still be sharing his wisdom on how best to govern the country so long after his leadership has been dispensed with. He must try to come to terms with that reality.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
DON'T COME BACK
Tony Abbott once again, whilst safely offshore, leaves us lost for words with his completely inappropriate comments. Try this four word slogan. "Don't come back soon".
Linus Cole, Palmerston
Now that Tony Abbott has embedded himself in his beloved UK surely they can keep him. The last thing this country needs is the likes of him canning the place.
D J Fraser, Currumbin, Qld
Instead of erecting a statue to John McEwen, why not establish a scholarship in his name for Australian university students?
J Wheately, Mawson
I've heard that "let them eat cake" is not an accurate quote from Marie Antoinette. Perhaps what she actually said was: "That's not something I give a rat's about".
Kellie O'Brien, Murrumbateman, NSW
I was impressed with Dr Andrew Leigh's performance in the Parliament when he exposed the wrongful practices of some big corporations in regarding to the JobKeeper program.
Sankar Kumar Chatterjee, Evatt
I READ IT IN THE PAPER
I see, in a newspaper, that Facebook is going to block Australia's news feeds. Oh well, I'll just have to read the reliable newspapers, listen to the mostly reliable radio, or watch the semi-reliable television news. So, no change for me and many others.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Vic
COOL IT JOSHUA
Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg needs to pull his head in over his disingenuous criticisms of Victorian premier Dan Andrews over his COVID lockdowns, including the border. Frydenberg wouldn't be making any comment at all if Andrews was a Liberal. He is playing politics at a time when national unity is called for.
Don Sephton, Greenway
DAN IS THE MAN
Let's not forget that since before federation Victoria has been the economic powerhouse for all Australia. Melbourne was once the wealthiest capital city in the world. The ugly attacks by the Treasurer and Prime Minister on Dan Andrews are unjustified.
Lucille Rogers, Kingston
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).