The Prime Minister's confected outrage over the presentation of Cartier watches to senior executives at Australia Post for jobs well done in securing lucrative contracts with the banks is breathtaking in its hypocrisy.
Australia Post is one of the few successful examples of the corporatisations and privatisations so beloved of our political leaders. Australian Post offices have become vibrant and attractive places to visit and in which to transact business.
This is in marked contrast to their dull and dreary counterparts in the USA and elsewhere. Small wonder, given that the US Postmaster General is paid about a quarter of the salary of his Australian counterpart.
If Scomo does not understand how private enterprise works he should give up his present vocation as the leader of a business-friendly political party and seek employment elsewhere.
The $12,000 (not from taxpayers' funds) spent in recognition of valuable service is a drop in the bucket compared to the lucrative diplomatic postings and other jobs for the boys handed out to faithful retainers and hangers-on by the Coalition just before the last election (which they expected to lose). Sports rorts and airport land sales don't even bear thinking about.
James Gralton, Garran
Australia Post exposed
So it took $12000 spent on watches for the government to finally realise there is something wrong within Australia Post. Does the government not use their service? Have they not experienced their appalling delays first hand?
It is hard to believe that it wasn't the slow deliveries, the cuts to services, or the long wait times to contact their call centre to find lost mail that alerted the PM to poor management.
Yes, they are hiring 5000 more employees to help with the Christmas rush. But wasn't the surge in online purchases during the pandemic enough to warrant more staff anyway?
It's about time that person at the top is held accountable. The employees working long hours in the sorting centres, on the phones, in post offices and out there delivering the letters and parcels are the true heroes of the organisation.
Vanessa Stephenson, Symonston
Scomo over the top
While the purchase of four $3000 watches by Australia Post as performance rewards for four executives is not a good look, whether because it is a government-owned commercial business and/or in COVID-19 times where restraint is the expected "norm", surely "questionable" expenditure of $12,000 is not a hanging offence?
Australia Post's CEO Christine Holgate seems to have been very harshly treated for such a relatively paltry amount. While some sort of admonition may have been appropriate, the over-the-top knee-jerk reaction from the Prime Minister was just that, over the top.
Don Sephton, Greenway
Children of God
At the heart of the call by Pope Francis for the creation of civil union laws in support of same sex couples is the removal of the sting of condemnation felt by those experiencing deep shame over their sexual orientation (Editorial "Pope Francis is a man of his time", canberratimes.com.au, October 23).
No longer should they be the target of the church's vile attempt to label them as hell-bound and immoral, especially given the extent to which so many Roman Catholic clergy have been engaged in child sexual abuse.
No longer should they ever be barred from receiving the holy sacrament of communion, as Cardinal George Pell had infamously done to those wearing rainbow sashes while he was serving as Archbishop of Melbourne.
And no longer should gay members of the church be terrified of facing the wrath of their priests, whose humanly fallible judgment renders them unworthy of God's grace.
For, as Pope Francis so truly declared: "They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or made miserable because of it."
Reverend Dr Vincent Zankin, Rivett
Same old, same old
The election is hardly settled and the welded-on Liberal voters are back to whining about the same things they were whining about before the election.
Some of them gave us some sage advice after the last federal election. I think it was something like "We won, so shut up". I wonder what they think of that advice now?
The reality is that all three parties now need to work with the other people in the Legislative Assembly to get things done, rather than simply claiming they "represent the will of the electorate". The Greens might work with the Liberals to put more pressure on the land deals being done by Labor.
Labor and Liberals might agree to pass legislation to build a hospital in Tuggeranong, which is sorely needed.
Labor and the Greens can work together to push for more renewable power and reducing our carbon footprint. When they work together, political parties will achieve more than if they fight each other.
Minority government is a win for the people.
Paul Wayper, Cook
Assisted dying important
It looks as though assisted dying is about to be debated in the Queensland election. Victoria and Western Australia have already enacted legislation on this matter.
Many elderly Australians like me would like to have dignified assisted death as a possible alternative to endless nursing care at the end of our lives.
But, as a result of legislation by the Howard government, territory governments are banned from legislating on this matter. An attempt to repeal this ban in the Senate in 2018 was defeated 36 votes to 34, when our own Senator Seselja voted against repeal.
So we are not having that discussion in the ACT. It's time to repeal this unreasonable ban.
We treat our pets more humanely than we treat many of our older citizens.
Emeritus Professor Bob Douglas AO, Bruce
Cziesla is right and wrong
ACT Liberal president John Cziesla is probably correct in saying his party's poor result will further entrench the government's arrogance, cronyism, and contempt for Canberrans ("Labor, Greens will see win as endorsement of 'arrogance, cronyism', Lib president says", canberratimes.com.au, October 21) but he should acknowledge his party's ineptness in opposition and no credible plan to govern.
The arrogance and so forth of the government was identified at least two elections ago, yet with no realistic alternative, the Liberal vote has declined. This is despite rate increases over that period of up to fourfold, poorly maintained paths and roads, the worst weekend public transport for at least 50 years to pay for a light rail, and a public hospital record among the worst in Australia.
Add to this questionable land deals and numerous planning debacles, and there was a strong case for a change of government. That the ACT Liberals failed to capitalise on any of these issues should not be blamed on voters but on the lack of a realistic alternative government.
Canberra deserves an alternative government, but based on ACT Liberals' performance, this might have to come from an entirely new party, more in touch with Canberra and its citizens.
Graham Downie, O'Connor
Passenger card useless
The current debacle with the free-range New Zealanders is that it highlights the complete uselessness of the Incoming Passenger Card (IPC).
For years I have wondered why Australia is perhaps the only country in the world that still has it. At least it has abandoned the departure card.
When I asked why I had to state intended residence I was told "in case of disease on the plane".
Really? When I returned earlier this year a particularly officious Border Force official demanded I fill out a second form with identical information. Nobody wore a mask, no one took my temperature, and no social distancing. The risk of infection was increased, not reduced.
We are now told the Victorian government cannot get any of the required cards so is seeking passenger manifests. The whole process a complete waste of time.
John Coochey, Chisholm
Rest assured, Robert James, (Letters, October 20), that your precious corflute portraits don't need to "live on forever in the landfill".
While they cannot be recycled in ACT household recycling bins, until June 2021 a trial is underway to recycle them.
Just drop them for free - without any wooden or metal stakes, nails, bolts or plastic zip ties, glue and dirt - in the dedicated collection bins at the Resource Management Centres in Mugga Lane in Symonston and Flemington Road in Mitchell.
Removal and recycling is of course the task of each candidate. Failure to do so within a reasonable time should attract a fine (say, $50 per sign?) with moneys collected possibly benefiting the aforesaid recycling trial.
Jorge Gapella, Kaleen
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