I feel for the family of Bernard Prendergast who recently died in Queensland, and whose family was not permitted to be together for his funeral.
I am sorry that the Queensland government got this so horribly wrong. Chief health officers are marvellous at population health issues but not necessarily at policy management issues such as this. The Queensland CHO should have been overruled on this occasion.
But spare me the bleating from our own Senator Seselja who didn't miss a beat to try and turn this into an anti-Labor barney. He told The Canberra Times ("Final goodbye denied", September 11, p4) Federal Labor MPs should take a stand against the border closure, adding that Canberrans were being treated as second class citizens.
Hello? There were 100 of us who were blocked from transiting NSW at the pleasure of the NSW (Liberal) Premier about a month ago. I rang Senator Seselja's office to seek his assistance and received a lecture about how Labor is bad. I asked to speak with the good Senator and left my phone number as I too was feeling like a second class citizen who no one loved (other than Hunny the dog). I spoke with the ACT's other Senator, and also the Chief Minister, who both moved heaven and earth to get us all home.
I'm still waiting for Senator Seselja's call. Shouldn't be long now.
It's time some genuine national leadership was shown that doesn't focus on brands of government. It should focus on Australians and include empathy, compassion, and true care for our fellow humans.
Anne Cahill Lambert, AM, Lyneham
On the border issue
Bob Salmond made a number of errors in his letter about state border policy (Letters, September 8).
First, the opinion polls showing public support for border closures did not examine whether people thought borders should remain closed between states with no cases.
Second, he provided no scientific reason to think that there would be a health risk if travel resumed between those states that have eliminated the disease.
Finally, he inadvertently undermined his entire argument by highlighting the ACT's open border with NSW, which hasn't resulted in any cases of COVID-19 in over two months.
Antony Burnham, Turner
Like most Australians, I am appalled and disgusted by Rio Tinto's decision to explode and mine ancient rock shelters at Juukan Gorge. It makes a mockery of their past commitments to First Nations peoples through Reconciliation Action Plans and other strategies. (They have no current RAP).
It destroys all the hard work done by Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working with, and at, Rio.
In one short explosion they have blown up all previous efforts towards reconciling our peoples.
The Federal Government must stop any further destruction now. It cannot be too late.
Barbara Livesey, Former CEO
Reconciliation Australia, Ainslie
A mixed message
Here we are as ACT citizens trying to reduce our plastic usage and then politicians and ACT candidates for the upcoming elections go and put hundreds and hundreds of plastic posters all over Canberra, quite often the same poster next to the other one.
I thought we had a "no waste" provision in the future strategy exercise in the ACT? What on earth is going to happen to these pieces of plastic? It makes my "no use" of plastic bags look like a total joke!
Glenda James, Narrabundah
Creativity is diverse
Doug Hurst (Letters, September 5) urges us to remember "mainly white males" next time we "drive a car, watch television, catch a plane, open the refrigerator" and so on.
Next time we turn on the car heater, use a touch tone telephone, use the dishwasher and residential solar heating, among other modern conveniences, we can also remember females, not all of them white.
Patricia Saunders, Chapman
Alternatives for runners
Alan Wilson is looking for a place to run? (Letters, September 8).
He'll have to cross the Lake from Yarralumla but I recommend the verge on the southern side of Drake Brockman Drive; from Kingsford Smith Drive to Spofforth Street. Higgins and Holt. At sunrise.
Two and half kilometres of grass and gravel/dirt of a width ample to avoid the rare cyclist. Out of range of the Belconnen golf course. Gentle gradients and friendly eucalypts. Rewarding views, especially to the west and south, out over the vineyards and of horse, sheep, kangaroos and cattle. They extend to the Brindabellas and Mounts Stromlo and Taylor. There are even glimpses of the distant Tinderry peaks.
Dogs there are. Those on leash are always ready for a scratch behind the ears. Those off-leash (Tilly, Daisy and Mallee) are prone to provide a boisterous welcome but are all obedient to the "sit" command and then appreciative of any attention.
The only hazard is a gentleman walker of strong conservative views that he is ever-ready to express.
Parking is available at the eastern end.
Sadly, this natural recreation masterpiece is set to be blighted in a couple of years when Drake Brockman Drive roadway will be widened to accommodate Ginninderry traffic.
R J Wenholz, Holt
Try Stromlo Alan
Re Alan Wilson (Letters, September 8) lamenting the lack of places to safely run. May I suggest Stromlo Forest Park which has a very nice, well maintained, grass running track, as well as a cross country track.
Cyclists have their own separate tracks and all dogs must be kept on a lead at all times. In fact dogs are not allowed on the aptly named Robert de Castella running track. Stromlo Forest Park is a fantastic sporting facility available to all Canberrans.
Tracey Ross, Narrabundah
Time to get on with it
I agree with Don McCallum (Letters September 8) that the West Basin development should proceed. It has been promoted since at least 1992 by the National Capital Planning Authority. The Lake Burley Griffin "guardians" were formed in 2015.
It's also good to see the acting convener of the guardians taking a more conciliatory tone in an article on September 8, and now wants to work with the government agencies "to get a better deal". That's something we can all support.
Richard Johnston, Kingston
The public consultation initiated by the Barr government regarding West Basin environmental degradation is just a mockery given the decision has already been made.
Reports state that the contract had already been signed when ACT ratepayers were invited to lodge submissions on the controversial project.
This fact aside, I am sure that there are a great deal more than 140 people opposed to this project, but who did not lodge submissions because they knew it would be a complete waste of time as they would basically be ignored.
Steven Hurren, Macquarie
A question of rubbish
The ACT government's waste processing system is situated close to the railway freight depot at Hume. Why has this obvious facility, that could transport waste to the Tarago Waste Transfer Station, been ignored in favour of uneconomic trucking that crowds the Territory's highways?
Now the proposal is to convey the waste, again by truck, to Ipswich Street, Fyshwick. This facility is already served by rail.
Fyshwick was originally planned to serve Canberra's commercial and industrial needs, and is connected out of the territory by rail.
It is time that this existing commercial transport system is utilised, rather than our having our highways further cluttered by uneconomical road haulage.
Jack Palmer, Watson
A tad premature
I note the ACT government has written to the Commonwealth government seeking, amongst other things, funding for the William Slim and Owen Dixon Drive intersection. Unfortunately, the ACT Government also erected large self-congratulatory billboards stating they were duplicating William Slim Drive several months ago.
To date nothing has happened and the ACT election is less than two months away.
This road should have been duplicated a decade ago given the growth in Gungahlin which has had its feeder roads such as Gundaroo Drive duplicated. The money was appropriated two budgets ago.
All the long ignored residents of North Belconnen hear is debate about the name of the road as taking a priority.
There is something clearly wrong with the priorities here.
Rohan Goyne, Evatt
TO THE POINT
TAX THEM ALL
Re: E. Kearns (letters, September 10). Why not broaden the rates base in Canberra to include Federal Parliament, federal government departments, embassies, churches, church properties, and church schools? Rome is clamping down on non-rate-paying, religious profit-making enterprises, so why don't we?
Colin Handley, Lyneham
CAKE AND EAT IT
Barilaro and his colleagues wanted the best of both worlds; ministerial privileges and pay on the one hand, and legislative principle on the other. Obscurity on the crossbench was just too much to contemplate, hence their capitulation. Well done Premier Berejiklian for standing up for parliamentary cohesion and integrity.
Angela Kueter-Luks, Bruce
IF THE HAT FITS
The Queensland Premier described the PM as divisive, uncooperative, and a bully. That sounds like a precise description of her and her actions. Unlike Daniel Andrews, she refuses to take responsibility for her politically motivated policies. When called out she looks to blame others. Dr Spooner would have said she was a "shining wit".
D Charles Davis, Lismore, NSW
IT'S A TOUGH ONE
Can't the Nationals find a better leader than Barilaro? He is an immature, poorly educated, grandstanding, blustering bully. Can't Barilaro find a better party than the Nationals? They are immature, poorly educated, grandstanding, blustering bullies.
Michael McCarthy, Deakin
Morrison's and Seselja's faux distress at a bereaved family's grief represents crass opportunism. Their craw-thumping sensitivities were not similarly hurt by the arbitrary political decisions to relocating the Bilolela family to Christmas Island, or by continuing their incarceration.
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
Fallout from the shocking fires along the US west coast may help push Joe Biden into the White House where he will pressure allies such as Australia to take stronger action on the climate crisis. If that happens good luck explaining your climate-destructive "gas-fired recovery" Scomo.
Jim Allen, Panorama, SA
POORLY TIMED THAT
Unfortunate timing: annual rates rises and an ACT election. The Labor government should beware of their taken-for-granted silver tail electors becoming silver fish and eating up its majority.
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
TAX GAS GUZZLERS
I don't think the owners of large, fuel-scoffing SUVs really deserve a reduction in registration costs as proposed by the ACT Liberals. A special levy would be useful. Call it a bollard tax to pay for all the barriers and bollards to prevent them parking on grassy areas. It didn't happen back before today's "truck sized" cars.
Ray Barnett, Ainslie
THE OLD IS NEW
The headline read: "Labor says it will hire more nurses, doctors". That old chestnut. This is not a new issue but here we go again; another "timely" announcement. Keep awake Canberra.
Eric Cappello, Flynn
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).