Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, says she was bullied by the Prime Minister when he intervened in the case of a woman unable to attend her father's funeral.
Her choice of words follows an unfortunate trend that has emerged in recent years; one that sees many erroneously default to the term "bullying" to describe a range of undesirable or unwanted interactions.
The problem is that not every act of unkindness that we might encounter on a day-to-day basis can be described as bullying.
When leaders label single interactions of unpleasantness, unkindness, or forcefulness "bullying", they trivialise the serious nature of bullying.
At the same time, those leaders undermine the efforts of many schools and workplaces around the country who spend countless hours trying to help others understand what bullying is, how to deal with it and how to prevent it.
We need our leaders to choose their words more carefully.
Professor Gary Martin, Perth, WA
If you do the crime...
I don't know why Chris Richards (Letters, September 16) thinks the ALP, or indeed any other political party, must feel sympathetic to his claim that able-bodied people should not be fined heavily for parking in a disabled spot for a short time when other disabled spots happen to be free.
As a long-term disabled driver, I know how quickly the number of free disabled spaces in a car park can change to zero.
A slap-on-the-wrist fine, which Richards seems to be advocating, would inevitably result in even fewer free disabled spaces from the already limited allocation for those of us for whom they are a necessity.
David Roth, Kambah
Random act of kindness
On September 14 I was travelling on Gungahlin Drive when my car started bumping very roughly. I found a rear tyre was wrecked and tried to call for help. My mobile was out of charge and so I wondered what to do.
I put on my hazard lights and stood at the rear of the car. Vehicles kept racing by. When I waved my arms a truck pulled up and out hopped a young man who asked what was the matter.
I showed him the tyre and asked if he would phone for help. He said I would be waiting hours for a mechanic and that it would only take him minutes to change the tyre. He got to and had the spare on in no time. Then off he went with only a thank-you from me.
I thought he was lovely and kind, and I thank him from the bottom of my heart. I wish I could have done something in return.
Isla Patterson, Hawker
Where's the value?
I commend S Gerrard of Dunlop (Letters, September 12) for speaking the truth regarding the ironic placement of Labor corflutes in Belconnen.
Our rates and land taxes have increased 75 per cent over the last six years and I open the mail to find yet another $600 increase over the next 12 months. This is within an environment of cracked footpaths, missing street sweepers, unmown verges, front yards full of junk, weeds, graffiti, and blocked storm water drains.
Recent letters from Ministers Steel and Berry in response to our pleas to rectify this have only attempted to justify their inaction. Now the corflutes, with their Labor faces, are soliciting for our votes come October.
The ACT Labor/Greens Government has absolutely failed us over the last decade. In the bright lights of big ticket, expensive infrastructure and mass development, they have failed in their fundamental duty to adequately maintain our existing suburbs and listen to Canberrans.
Labor will never again get my vote.
Alison Chapple, Macquarie
I refer to your editorial "A hard line can allow for compassion" (canberratimes.com.au, September 12).
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's protests that the heartless decision to prevent Canberra woman Sarah Caisip from attending her father's funeral in Brisbane, despite her being in quarantine only a few kilometres away, was not hers to make is a classic case of passing the buck.
As Premier, Ms Palaszczuk has the power to overrule any decision made by the Queensland chief health officer, Dr Jeanette Young.
Furthermore, if the Premier and Dr Young had any common sense, they would have realised that to label Canberra a COVID-19 hotspot when there have been no confirmed new cases since July 10, is nonsense.
It seems to me Premier Palaszczuk was more concerned with playing political games in the run up to the state election than she was with doing the right and compassionate thing.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Canberra's coat hangers
Sydney has the Harbour Bridge as it's "coat hanger". It's quite picturesque.
Canberra has one now too . Drive south along Adelaide Avenue to the branching of Melrose and Yamba Drives.
You will be able to view multiple storeys of drying washing hanging on the unit block balconies.
How could this have been allowed ?
Paul O'Connor, Hawker
The ACT, geographically situated within NSW, can be equated to a small glass of water completely immersed in a big glass of water.
If we place a drop of dye on the water surface of the big glass, the colour eventually diffuses everywhere, including the water in the small glass.
Why should the ACT expect any exceptional dispensation from other jurisdictions, arguing that it hasn't had a COVID-19 case in more than two months?
Jorge Gapella, Kaleen
Paul Fletcher ("Digital news code is about protecting democracy", canberatimes.com.au, September 9) seems to be saying that Facebook and Google are similar.
They aren't. Google is a search engine that you access from a browser.
You don't have to join Google to access it. There are many search engines, there are 22 listed on Wikipedia, but Google is the most popular.
Anything you can search on Google can be searched on the other search engines. Is this legislation to be applied to all search engines?
Facebook is a web site that you have to access, via a logon name and a password, again from a browser.
Any information that you access via Facebook has to have been uploaded to the Facebook web site by a person.
If news sites don't want their news to be seen on Facebook why do they have a link on their own web sites inviting people to "Follow us on Facebook"?
Even the ACCC has a link on their website for Facebook.
Norman Johnston, Monash
The ACT government announced that aerial culling of horses will proceed in Namadgi National Park (" Aerial culls to go ahead", CT 10 September, page 1) . While the anti-horse brigade will welcome this announcement, genuine animal lovers should deplore it. The government's hypocrisy regarding animal welfare and the humane treatment of animals is exposed again.
A helicopter is not a stable firing platform, so shooting from a helicopter is not likely to yield single-shot humane kills.
Evidence from a Foxtel documentary International Snipers Competition, where the best military and police snipers from around the world competed over five days, confirms this view. One task, shooting at stationary ground targets from a Blackhawk helicopter hovering at 100 metres yielded very few hits.
Arguments advanced by Dianne Thompson (Letters, September 13) amount to little more than "the end justifies the means".
Just because a species is not native to Australia does not justify using cruel methods to eradicate it.
James Elsbury, Campbell
Well said John Hewson ("What will it take for the government to act?" September 11, p 22).
I find it almost unbelievable the government won't take the opportunity of Australia's natural advantages and stimulate the creation of a dynamic industry based on renewable energy, whether hydrogen, solar, or batteries or a mix, to replace the old fossil fuel based industries facing their use by date.
Does it really take that much courage or vision? Come on ALP, given the Morrison government seems to be a lost cause.
You dithered over the Adani opportunity with no plan for replacement jobs.
Meanwhile, in the same issue, we learn Jacinda Ardern is taking the opportunity of the COVID-19 economic recovery to reshape New Zealand's energy system to be more renewable, faster, affordable, and secure. And here? I despair.
Jim Cullen, Melba
TO THE POINT
NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS
We would like to thank Don Sephton (Letters, September 14) for his interest in ACT sewage testing. ANU has continued to test samples provided by Icon water every week. The results are provided to the ACT health department. No COVID-19 positive samples have been detected in ACT sewage. So, in this case, no news is good news.
Dr A Fahrer, Research School of Biology
Drought, fires, smoke, floods, COVID-19, and now Collingwood has made the finals. The hits keep coming.
Gordon Fyfe, Kambah
THE MAIN INGREDIENT
I was a tad amused when I read John Lewis's wine review (Food & Wine, September 15). The wines reviewed had a total of some 17 flavours, and the aromas of various fruits, confectionery, and sundry foodstuffs. But not a mention of a grape.
David J Richards, Moruya, NSW
ON THE BUSES
Re: "Greens pitch "impossible" light rail plan", (canberratimes.com.au, September 15). If we had our old useful bus timetable back, we could have express transport. Buses can overtake one another. Maybe someone could explain this to the Greens before they become even more ridiculous.
Maria Greene, Curtin
IT'S OBVIOUS NOW
The Greens want an express light rail service to Woden. Labor says it's "impossible" as trams can't overtake each other. From the two principal proponents of light rail what a beautiful summary of why trams were a stupid idea in the first place.
Keith Pantlin, Downer
Glenda James (Letters, September 15) is concerned about waste, politicians, and corflute posters. I agree. Most corflutes in our area were slashed, destroyed, and their remnants left to blow in the wind. The only ones left standing were all red (and not read, I suspect).
Alastair Bridges, Wanniassa
OXFORD IS TRUMPS
From my 1954 Concise Oxford English Dictionary; trump (something) up, verb, to fabricate or forge (story, excuses, etc.). Trumpery, noun, worthless finery, rubbish, nonsense, etc.; adjective, showy but worthless, delusive, shallow, etc. (From the French verb Tromper - to deceive).
John Leech, Yarralumla
GOOD JOB ALL
Well done ScoMo, Peter Dutton, Gladys Berejiklian, Brad Hazard et al. Your bullying for political expediency and complete disregard for the health of Australians has resulted in Queensland's chief health officer requiring Police Protection for the hatred you have incited. Let's hope it comes back to bite you big time at the next elections.
Doug Rankin, Isabella Plains
Following on from the great gas bridge to the energy future, is it possible the government considering a horse breeding, and buggy manufacturing, initiative to transition our vehicle fleet?
Peter Edsor, Bungendore, NSW
WHAT'S THE FUSS?
Why all the fuss about the US election? Biden should win by default. I can't imagine anyone in their right mind voting for Trump.
Mokhles k Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
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