The ACT Greens gas boycott election policy is prima facie discriminatory to low and middle income households.
Shane Rattenbury has made glib claims that households would save the $320 a year supply charge by making the switch. I recently investigated the actual capital cost of changing from gas to a ducted reverse cycle air conditioning system.
The figures were revealing. The cost, after taking the existing government rebates into account, was $9000. It would take 20 years to save $6400 at $320 per year. That is still $2600 less than the original outlay.
This is the real cost the ACT Greens expect households to bear as a political sop for their inner north support base. It is not a commitment I'm willing to support. I suggest most other residents wouldn't support it either.
Rohan Goyne, Evatt
Greens are right
Re: Andrew Dillon's letter "Greens are wrong" (Letters, October 3). It was wrong on almost every point it tried to make.
Far from increasing energy bills for ACT households, replacing gas heaters with heat pumps (reverse cycle air conditioners) would smash residential energy costs.
A 2018 modelling study for Energy Consumers Australia found that replacing old gas heaters with efficient reverse cycle space conditioners would save Canberra households between $6000 and $13,000 over 10 years.
Why is that? Unlike gas, which achieves an efficiency multiplier of less than one (one unit of gas achieves less than one unit of heating), heat pumps can achieve up to five units of heating for every unit of energy input.
In any case, Andrew Dillon is proposing something that does not exist.
The ENA's own Gas Vision 2020 states that for the next five years, hydrogen remains at a pilot stage. Only in the next 5-20 years would hydrogen be injected into the gas networks. But gas networks can only take 10 per cent of hydrogen. At least 90 per cent would continue to be fossil methane gas.
Full decarbonisation of the gas networks - as the Vision document says - would take 20 to 40 years. The entire Australian gas network would need to be replaced at a cost of many billions of dollars.
The Greens' proposal to switch residential heating from gas to heat pumps uses technology which is here now, is more efficient, reduces heating bills, and reduces carbon emissions. It's a no-brainer.
Erik Olbrei, Belconnen
Why the rush?
ACT Labor says it would spend $4 million to fix every pothole which has opened up on the territory's roads in the past six months.
I, for one, have reported potholes to Access Canberra on numerous occasions. You would hardly say the repairs are fast tracked. These potholes haven't just happened in the past six months.
The condition of the ACT's roads have deteriorated since self government was introduced. The general surface of the roads are in poor condition, particularly for motorcycle riders of whom I am one.
I suspect the deterioration of the roads is due to the funding being channelled to other non-essential services.
J R Ryan, Phillip
The major political parties are continuing to ignore Tuggeranong ("Civic site a frontrunner for stadium", Oct 11, p1).
Canberra is a unique dispersed-town-centre city.
We need to celebrate that, and not ape say, Melbourne, as our government's advisors tend to do.
The upgradable northside Bruce Stadium is fine.
Any second one should be in the south; an exciting "destination" events centre.
There's perfect land west of the Greenway aquatic centre, zoned for the purpose, virtually in the Tuggeranong Town Centre, with a superb mountain and lake backdrop, and right on the planned tramline (Athllon Drive).
The Tuggeranong stadium would be much cheaper to build than at the two northside sites that have been mooted.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
Save the Civic pool
I have two main reasons to be concerned about the Barr government's apparent plan to build a stadium on the site of the Civic Olympic pool ("Civic site a frontrunner for stadium", October 11, p1, 6). The first is sentimental. During my 30 years working for the Bureau of Mineral Resources as a geologist, based in the Anzac Park East (or BMR) building, I swam 1500 metres every weekday in the Civic pool.
Most days I had to share a lane with at least one other swimmer. The Civic pool was (and I hope still is) a valued resource for Civic office workers taking their daily exercise.
My other concern is transport and parking. While some stadium users would travel to Civic by light rail or bus, large numbers would inevitably prefer to use their cars. A stadium on that site would necessitate the building of large, ugly black bitumen car parks that would exacerbate the heat island effect. This already very uncomfortable effect will only get worse as the Earth heats up.
The Barr (or Coe) government should conduct a full survey of pool usage before it seals the fate of our beloved Civic pool.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
It's our own fault
As I paused by the statue of Menzies on the edge of Burley Griffin's lake I contemplated the vision and foresight of those two giants who imagined what was beyond the trees and the horizon.
I then contemplated the current pygmy planners who are gnawing at the lake's edges, chipping the trees, constricting human spaces, and block-by-block erecting a close-towered horizon to match their limited intellects and imaginations.
Worse, we empowered them through our indifference and unactioned resentment
Chris Pratt, O'Malley
Release the code
We should all be concerned the government has refused to release the electronic voting software code under an open source license that gives access to anyone who wants it. The US experience of electronic voting using closed-source software has been notorious for repeated demonstrations of how ludicrously simple it is to hack into and corrupt. While open sourcing the code doesn't guarantee that the system is secure and free of defects, closing the source guarantees that we will never know whether it is or not.
Until we can verify the integrity of the code, the only option is to avoid electronic voting altogether. Elections are too important to risk the kind of corruption that we've seen in other places.
Fred Pilcher, Kaleen
Fond foodie memories
Your article on the best potato scallops in the ACT ("What's the secret of our best potato scallop", canberratimes.com.au, October 8) brought back fond memories of my primary school days in the 1950s.
We used to walk past a fish and chip shop on our way home from school in West Wollongong. The aroma always made us hungry. We couldn't afford to a bag of hot chips, but we would scavenge together three or four pennies to buy two scallops.
They were especially delicious on cold winter days. Our homeward trek was always made much more enjoyable as we munched on these delicacies. It's good to know that they're still being sold.
Merrie Carling, Gungahlin
Rail cost unrealistic
It came as no surprise to see the article "Canberra to Eden railway feasibility study finds project is not viable" (canberratimes.com.au, October 10). The astronomical costs (over $6 billion) and the lack of any viable economic activity along the route should put this crazy idea to bed.
Cooma and Monaro Progress Association's Richard Hopkins would do better if he campaigned for improving the existing rail line between Sydney and Canberra.
But if he wants to dream, a more realistic goal would be to establish a viable rail service to Cooma to service the ski season and trekking holidays in the temperate seasons. This would need cooperation between accommodation and tourist services to make it work.
Brad Hinton, Garran
Long may she reign
This week marks the 80th anniversary of the remarkable wartime broadcast given by Princess Elizabeth (then aged only 14) when it looked like all would be lost. On October 13, 1940, the future Queen spoke by radio to encourage children in Britain and beyond. Many had left their homes to seek safety in the countryside and overseas.
Classrooms and dinner tables will be enriched this week if teachers and parents search online for the Princess Elizabeth Wartime Speech and play the short archival recording. Today, when young people are often distracted by trivia, we should be thankful a youthful princess brought comfort and encouragement in the face of almost overwhelming difficulty.
David D'Lima, Sturt, SA
TO THE POINT
IDIOCY IS RAMPANT
"Vertical consumption" to describe drinking while standing up? This would have to rate as one of the most ridiculous abuses of the English language since Kevin Rudd's "programmatic specificity". Clearly some ministerial advisers or speech writers have too much time on their hands.
Angela Kueter-Luks, Bruce
Help for those having trouble understanding Pope's brilliant cartoons. The one on October 10 featuring M Cormann cleverly combines several references: the Statue of Liberty; the OECD report on a "Green Recovery" (a difficult read for Matthias); the (token) hand-held wind turbine and, best of all, the baggage he brings to Paris.
Richard Johnston, Kingston
We have been bombarded by all the things the Barr government promises to do if re-elected. You would think that after 19 years in power many of these issues would have been addressed by now. Maybe we need six-monthly elections to make progress in this town.
D Bogusz, Greenway
WELL SAID CRISPIN
Thank you Crispin Hull ("Cash, and a startling lack of climate vision", Forum, October 10), for describing the terrible reality of the budget and the dishonesty of the government. I loved the explanation of our GDP!
John Rodriguez, Florey
NO THIRD CHANCE
Re: Richmond's Tom Lynch. One cowardly act earlier in 2020 may be seen as an aberration. A second (last Friday against St Kilda) raises concern about your character. A third would remove all doubt.
Charles Smith, Nicholls
GO THE PIES
You were right Gordon Fyfe (Letters, September 17), it was an annus horribilis - but for Collingwood, and now an annus mirabilis for the anti-Collingwood hordes. As a rusted on Pies supporter you've always got next year.
Alex Wallensky, Broulee, NSW
On Saturday Canberra's "improved bus timetables" took effect, confusing many, especially the elderly. It seemed positively karmic that a wad of flyers for the Transport Minister, Chris Steel, should be left to rot, rain-soaked and and dirty, in a reserve near Markham Steet, Mawson. Did the person delegated to distribute them miss the bus?
Tina Faulk, Swinger Hill
BUDGET NO SURPRISE
Research was not needed to establish the wealthy are the winners from the budget. You would expect nothing else from this policy-bereft, market-besotted government which is wedded to the discredited trickle-down economics beloved of Reagan and Thatcher ("Budget favours the wealthy: analysis", CT, 10 October, p.8).
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
WHEN WAYNE MET TONY
Wayne Grant wrote (Letters, October 11) that the potato scallops he had at Lake Illawarra in the early 1970s were "truly orgasmic". I'll have what he's having.
Tony Falla, Ngunnawal
PUT BARR 28TH
If Rick Hingee wants to get rid of Andrew Barr just use our electoral system and allocate him last place at 28 on your ballot.
Fred Barnes, Watson
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