Watching and listening to the Minister of Communications', and the CEO of the NBN's, efforts to justify the extraordinary about face on the roll-out of the NBN has been excruciating.
Optical fibre will now be laid out according to "demand" apparently. Let's consider just one of the many ways for, say, 20, households to be NBN connected, fibre to the node.
If one household now orders the maximum speed and data downloads will that be sufficient "demand" for optical fibre to be laid to those premises from the node? If so will the NBN then be obliged to visit that node site each of the 20 times that the "demand" is made.
What happens now to the NSW government's plans for subsidised optical fibre networks in peri urban areas of NSW where the NBN is refusing to meet the demand?
Governments don't usually build new infrastructure that way, whether it be a footpath, a bikepath, a road, or a highway? As I said, pathetic.
Chris Fowler, Bywong, NSW
Back to school James
Re "Back to school Gladys", Letters, September 23.
James Mahoney asserts that "of course, house seats are determined by population, not land mass". This assertion is not true in the case of Tasmania. Sections 24 and 26 of the constitution stipulated that, for the first Parliament, the number of representatives for Tasmania should be five.
Section 27 allows the Commonwealth to legislate to increase or decrease the number of representatives from each state, subject to the minimum of five stipulated in Section 24.
Tasmania started with five representatives and continues to have five representatives because its population growth is still not sufficient to justify any increase to six or more.
Similarly, Tasmania has 12 senators because of Section 7 of the Constitution. Had not Sections 7 and 24 been included in the Constitution, the then-Colony of Tasmania might well have entertained the idea of political union with New Zealand.
The possible conversion of the ACT (and the Northern Territory) to states is governed by Sections 121 to 124 of the Constitution. There is no guarantee any such conversion would result in increased representation in the Senate or the House of Representatives for either territory.
Federation reform should occur hand-in-hand with the (inevitable) switch from a constitutional monarchy to a republic; all embodied in a brand-new, purpose-made constitution.
Paul E Bowler, Chapman
Bruce Cameron ("Help the beggars", Letters September 22) is spot on. Yes, they are victims of society's failures. But, like the rest of us, they also have a responsibility to society. For example, "...provide their details to government making it possible for society to do what it can to assist them."
Back in the old country, as a child, I remember beggars knocking at our door. We were a very poor family so mum could not offer money.
Her usual response was: "Do you like one-day-old fried fish?" "Yes", the beggars would respond. "Okay, come back tomorrow because I am cooking it today". None of them ever came back.
Street beggars, like the rest of us, have rights and responsibilities. Australia has a very good welfare system paid for by our taxes. Let's make use of it.
John Rodriguez, Florey
The new illiteracy
Thank you, Dianne Deane (Letters, September18, no relative) for quoting the reply you got back from the Chief Minister's office regarding the return of ACT residents from abroad.
It included the priceless comment: "we are currently considering how we can do this into the future" (my italics).
I scent the arrival of a new literary flourish that will find favour with our bureaucrats.
It has all the redundant appeal of the time-worn "going forward" but comes with the added beauty of an extra word to make it even more superfluous than the construction it is destined to replace.
Bill Deane, Chapman
The politically-motivated behaviour of the Queensland Premier during the virus has been apparent to all, especially Canberrans.
I trust that with the easing of restrictions looming, that state is treated with an equal level of contempt, and that not a single Canberran chooses to spend any time, or any money, there. And if the voters of Queensland return that government then there should be a boycott of all Queensland goods and services (including tourism) by the rest of the country.
Tam Macdonald, Deakin
I am amazed some smart entrepreneurial soul hasn't yet invented solar roof tiles?! Surely they could be used just like ordinary roof tiles and if or when the owner or occupier wanted to connect to the grid, it should be a fairly simple process.
I also keep wondering why governments, particularly our own in the ACT, doesn't install solar panels on all the Housing ACT properties in the ACT. I understand there are around 12000 properties.
It would mean virtually free power for those in the most vulnerable financial situations. Any excess power would feed back into the grid to enhance our green power.
Can't we have a bit more vision in policy proposals rather than just more of the same?
H Merritt, Downer
On one hand more than 560 of the world's largest companies, including Microsoft and IKEA, are calling for more action to fight climate change ("World's top companies issue climate call to arms", Business, September 22, p26).
On the other, the Morrison government is prioritising carbon capture and storage ahead of solar and wind energy in a move that will sustain the fossil fuel industry and its greenhouse gas emissions.
Prime Minister Morrison and his fossilised Energy and Emissions "reduction" Minister, Angus Taylor, are not just swimming against the tide, they're trying to swim against a global tsunami.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Target Takata cars
I have recently received motor vehicle renewal notices for two vehicles, neither of which have Takata airbags, but which advised Takata airbags are still out there in the community.
This soft approach has gone on long enough.
When will Access Canberra do something really positive to identify and advise the owners of such vehicles that they have a non-negotiable period of time to have the airbags replaced?
I can't imagine that if would take all that much interrogative effort of the ACT registration database to flush out all these affected vehicles once and for all.
David Elliston, Holt
Light rail inquiry please
I see that the proposed underground bus interchange for Civic will not be going ahead as the City Renewal Authority has found the cost prohibitive.
Why not get the City Renewal Authority to do a cost study on stage 2 of the light rail; I am sure they would come up with a similar result. i.e. that it is "cost prohibitive".
Of course that's not going to happen as the light rail stage 2 is already decided and is going ahead.
If the government is concerned about the cost of the underground bus interchange they could offset some of the cost by using the excavation material removed as the fill material for the west basin lake infill project, that way they could parallel both projects to save money.
H Zandbergen, Kingston
Re "An old tree uproots debate" (September 20. p7) regarding the remnant Eucalyptus melliodora in Watson.
This brings to the fore the appalling state of our city's planning and maintenance. The photo of this magnificent old tree shows that urban development has been allowed much too close to this significant wildlife habitat.
It is well known that eucalypts drop branches. To be surprised that a large eucalypt should drop a limb during a strong storm is quite ridiculous. Knowledge of this inevitability is the reason the plans for a new housing development should have allowed significant space around such an important part of our heritage and environment.
This tree was a mature part of the landscape before white settlers set foot on this continent. It could have been made the centrepiece of a small reserve. The ACT government has a duty to maintain this wonderful old tree in a safe state.
Merle Coutts, Flynn
It's all our fault?
One question for Bob Salmond (Letters, September 24). Why don't you move to Queensland mate? At least it would be warmer for you and we'd be spared the teeth gnashing.
P McCracken, Bungendore, NSW
TO THE POINT
DRUGS AND THE AMC
Re letters, September 23. Yes, N Ellis, potential riots were certainly an issue as New Zealand implemented their smoking ban in prisons. You need to look more closely at that other ACT prison public health initiative, a syringe exchange, to see why nothing has happened since former Health Minister Gallagher proposed a smoking ban at the AMC a decade ago.
Kai Clark, Griffith
Stan Marks (Letters, September 22) could look to Canberra Following Griffin by Paul Reid (2002) and The Griffin Legacy by the National Capital Authority (2004) for the reasons to do the West Basin development.
Richard Johnston, Kingston
NO TO "BLACK JACK"
Just 23 days in a stop gap role doesn't make a PM. Nearly 40 years' service on a welfare kitchen definitely makes a hero. Could we have a giant statue to commemorate Stasia Dabrowski's contribution to our society? 20 metres tall and overshadowing all of the PMs should do it. That said, I'll negotiate.
Richard Horobin, Curtin
SILENCE NOT GOLDEN
It's comforting to know that the selective silence of Liberal Senator Seselja has rubbed off onto the ACT Liberal Party. They are now touting GP bulk billing but were noticeably silent when the Federal Liberal government froze the rebate.
Graeme Rankin, Holder
CHANCE OR DESIGN?
Was it just a random coincidence or a subtle editorial decision to run the two headlines "Financial cuts to the ANU" and "Pledge of of millions to the racing industry" on page 3 of the September 23 edition?
Magda Sitsky, Chifley
FLORIADE A WINNER
Kingston looks fantastic with the Floriade flower displays. Thanks to those who had that idea, and those who did the work. I have had more pleasure out of the blooms for a couple of weeks now than out of a couple of visits each year to Floriade. Well done parks and gardens people.
Nick van Weelden, Kingston
Peter Brewer ("How does carbon abatement work?", canberratimes.com.au, September 23) wrote that: "... per head of population, our [greenhouse gas emission] performance is pretty average for a relatively wealthy, developed country". That's an elegant way to say our per capita emissions are the 12th highest in the world.
Jochen Zeil, Hackett
RACING MONEY MISSPENT
It is a charade to bankroll racing, an industry whose negative aspects tear at the very fabric of society. ("Libs pledge millions to racing industry", September 23, p3).
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
SLOW LEARNERS ON FAST NBN
The Morrison government's pledge to upgrade the NBN shows its members are slow learners. Labor planned to do what they now propose well over a decade ago.
Sankar Kumar Chatterjee, Evatt
THE NOTORIOUS BBC
While listening to the ABC on Thursday I heard a BBC reporter refer to the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg as "the notorious RBG". Is English no longer taught in British schools? According to the OED "notorious" means "famous for a bad quality".
M Moore, Bonython
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)