The NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has demonstrated her prejudice against the ACT yet again under the guise of calling for for reforms to the federation.
She has taken aim at the ACT, which has a population approaching that of Tasmania and is well in excess of Northern Territory.
The national cabinet is supposed to reflect the views of all states and territories.
It is not based on population.
Perhaps New South Wales is still smarting from its ongoing inability to dominate the federation by dint of its greater population for the last 100 years.
Miles Farwell, Griffith ACT
How fast is fast?
Peter Forster (Letters, September 23) says he was alert and cautious enough to see a black-clad cyclist travelling at "high speed" and, as a result, did not "wipe him out".
"High speed" must mean about 50 km/h [at the most]. Nobody has travelled more than 60 kilometres in an hour on a racing bicycle without external assistance.
He argues cyclists, for their own protection, should be required to wear "high vis, or at least a coloured top". Using the same logic motorists should be made to only drive brightly coloured cars. Research has shown that dark coloured cars are up to 12 per cent more likely to be involved in crashes. This increases to 47 per cent at dawn or dusk.
Forster doesn't say if he was travelling at a "high speed" or in a dark coloured vehicle.
Leon Arundell, Downer
Your editorial "At last, Australia is on the move" (canberratimes.com.au, September 19) was despicable. It falsely condemned Queensland and Western Australia as "intransigent" and attempting "balkanisation into semi-autonomous principalities apparently hell-bent on going their own way".
The smaller states have been competent and steadfast, while the federal government, and NSW and Victoria have been negligent and are trying to shunt the blame elsewhere. The COVID-19 statistics are: Victoria 20,000; NSW 4000; Queensland 1152; Western Australia 662, and South Australia 466. Need I say more?
The bill is horrendous because the federal government attempted to hide the rate of unemployment, failed to divert those put out of work into alternative temporary employment, and failed to temporarily tax those still in employment to pay for welfare to the unemployed. The "innocent" smaller states will foot an unfair portion of the cost caused by the guilty.
NSW and the ACT have restrictions on Victorians entering their territory but complain when others restrict movement by their residents into their own "clean" states.
Bob Salmond, Melba
Money tree led recovery
The core of any democracy is that voters strike a balance between the quality of essential government services they want and the level of taxation they are prepared to pay for them.
The only place where this does not seem to apply is in the ACT where, according to a Liberal party flyer delivered to my letter box, we can have lower taxes and better services.
The Liberals even promise one million new trees. Given it costs between $370 and $740 to plant a tree and keep it alive for three years, this will cost taxpayers about half a billion dollars (depending on the types of tree selected).
It seems a good proportion of the trees will be money trees. That's the only way this well-intentioned job creation program could ever be paid for.
Noel Baxendell, Macgregor
The great RBG
I wish to pay tribute to the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG), liberal US Supreme Court judge, who has died aged 87. It is hard to think of any woman who has done more for women's (and men's) rights than RBG.
The fact the US Senate may appoint a conservative successor before the presidential election on November 3 is deeply concerning.
RBG came of age at a time when women law graduates could not get jobs in their field. She turned that into a positive, not a negative. As she said in an NPR interview: "... I get out of law school. I have top grades. No law firm in the city of New York will hire me. I end up teaching; it gave me time to devote to the movement for evening out the rights of women and men".
By the time she had finished her career three other women beside herself had advanced to the very top of their profession, namely the US Supreme Court: Justices Sandra Day O'Connor (ret.), Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
It was a dying request of RBG's she not be replaced until after the presidential election. Let us hope President Trump and the Senate honour that.
Jenny Goldie, Cooma, NSW
NBN decision overdue
It's welcome news that the NBN is being upgraded to roll out fibre closer to homes, and to achieve much higher network performance. But this is by the same government that thought the ALP's original fibre-to-the-premises plan was outrageously expensive.
The LNP effectively sabotaged this plan when they came to office in 2013. Their argument was that people were not then ready to pay for higher speeds, discounting the freeway effect of the availability of faster broadband so evident in, say South Korea. Now Minister Fletcher is betting $3.5 billion that people do want to pay.
Fibre-to-the-premises would have been much less costly if it had been implemented in the first place.
David Roth, Kambah
Read the signs
Maybe I've grown cynical in my old age, but I find it difficult to have any sympathy for people like Stephen Dangaard (Letters, September 22) who complain about "revenue raising" through speeding and parking fines.
There are ample signs to indicate the laws that apply in both cases. They are not too difficult to read.
While I would never suggest that people who disregard those signs have some contempt for authority or are slow learners, observing the messages contained on the signs would be a good first step towards avoiding making contributions to revenue.
Brian Smith, Conder
Salt of the earth...
It was good to see letters published about soils (Dr Douglas Mackenzie, Letters, August 30, and David Wade, September 6). We need greater recognition and public discussion of the importance of soil and of ways to conserve and improve its management.
David Wade noted the (2012) appointment of former Governor-General, General Michael Jeffery (ret.) as National Advocate for Soil Health. A world-first, the position was established to raise awareness of the critical role soils play and to provide leadership and advocacy on the importance of conserving and improving the health of Australia's soils.
Reference was made also to General Jeffery's 2017 report to government "Restore the Soil, Prosper the Nation." In this, General Jeffery recommended the establishment of a permanent National Soils Advocate and the development of a national soils policy.
These recommendations were accepted by the government and in July, 2019 General Jeffery was reappointed as National Soils Advocate until early 2020 when ill health required him to step down.
On August 28 the Prime Minister announced my appointment as his successor. I look forward to continuing and building on the substantial work undertaken by General Jeffery.
The Hon. Penny Wensley AC, National Soils Advocate
Consultation a sham
Congratulations to the group of heritage experts who called for plans for the Kingston Arts Precinct project to be "fundamentally rethought" because of "a complete lack of respect" for heritage buildings.
The Kingston and Barton Residents Group, and others, have been saying this to Geocon for more than a year since their design concept was first exhibited. The ACT government's master plan, approved in 2014, shows generous open space around the old Power House (now Glassworks). The 2015 request for proposals by the former LDA invoked the master plan and requirements the Power House not be screened, and for principal views of it to be maintained.
Geocon's architects ignored those requirements. They said their scheme was inspired by medieval Sienna with its maze of narrow alleyways providing glimpses, rather than generous views, of the cathedral.
Despite protests, a public meeting endorsing our concerns, further submissions to Geocon, and through the Geocon-appointed Community Panel, little has changed.
Geocon committed more than a year ago to take account of community views and to report back. That "reporting back" is little more than an unconvincing justification of their fundamentally unchanged scheme.
Richard Johnston, Kingston
TO THE POINT
M Stivala (Letters, September 22) said my views don't count because I have only lived in Canberra for 15 years. When I arrived the city population was about 320,000. It is now more than 420,000. Does this mean that, according to him, almost 25 per cent of Canberrans don't count? Get over yourself mate.
M Moore, Bonython
GO FOR GOLD SCOMO
Who ever heard of an athlete training for the Olympics but not wanting to win a medal? We have a Prime Minister who refuses to set a national goal of net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, but says it is attainable. He knows that, on current levels of effort, we won't make it. We need a leader, not a baby-sitter.
James Gralton, Garran
ON A GOOD WICKET
Did anyone else do the maths implied in the Monday headline: "The NRL will cut 100 of its staff to save $50 million dollars"?
Ned Noel, Wamboin, NSW
WHY THE WHITE HOUSE?
We live in an environment of social and racial unease, including "black lives matter" and a "cancel culture" resulting in the renaming of products, streets and institutions. This is particularly evident in the USA. Why then is the White House still called "White House'?
Angela Kueter-Luks, Bruce
An underground bus interchange costing a few hundred millions is deemed to be "cost prohibitive" ("Underground plan bites dust", September 21, p1) but building a light rail network with an estimated total cost in the multi-billions gets the thumbs up. Go figure
Gordon Williams, Watson
If the amount of support provided by the federal government to AAP compared to Foxtel is an indication, the televising of women's sport on a pay channel is six times more important than providing broad ranging, and comprehensive, news to a multitude of electronic and print organisations Australia wide.
Graeme Rankin, Holder
COE NOT PROGRESSIVE
The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was photographed in her 80s wearing a same sex marriage T- Shirt, obviously not for her, but because of her empathy for others. I believe Alistair Coe, on the other hand, was the only political leader in Australia to vote against same sex marriage. Do we really want this guy to be our Chief Minister?
John Davenport, Farrer
SHARE THE PAIN
If landlords had to absorb rental losses during COVID-19 to make housing more affordable surely power companies could reduce prices to help households as well.
Greg Adamson, Griffith
Re Letters, September 23. I suspect the reason the ACT government hasn't implemented a smoking ban at the AMC is because they fear there would be riots.
N Ellis, Belconnen
THE REAL TEST
The real test of the NBN has been the COVID-19 pandemic and the epidemic of working from home. In my book it's passed with flying colours on that front. I couldn't have done without it.
Bruce Stewart, Yass, NSW
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