Without consultation, a 10-year-old DA was approved in March for a 24-storey building on Borrowdale House, the old Post Office on the north west perimeter of the Woden town square.
Residents have strong concerns that this development will create more wind and overshadow our public space, the east-west connections to the library and the town square, diminishing the potential for activity and entertainment where people want to socialise and spend time.
While we support urban infill, we expect it to be underpinned by a plan to attract people to the centre, to create social environments where people want to gather and visit again and again.
In a similar situation, on May 22, 2018, The Canberra Times reported the ACT Greens rejected Geocon's proposed high-rise hotel at Garema Place on two grounds - overshadowing of Garema Place and the squeezing out of entertainment and nightlife. They said if the proposal was to go ahead it would cause long-term damage to the city as a "place to spend time and to run businesses".
The Planning Regulations exempt the Woden DA from ACAT review meaning there is no pathway for an independent review of this damaging proposal.
Our public spaces and business opportunities are important to us. Twenty-four storeys on the town square is urban vandalism and we request positive outcomes with the government purchasing the three storey building for an arts centre.
Fiona Carrick, president, Woden
Valley Community Council
One of the most troubling reflections on the status of race relations in Australia is that out of the 3500 women held in prison, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders make up one third of the total female prison population ("Australia's female prison population boom", canberratimes.com.au, November 17).
According to ex-prisoner, criminal lawyer and Medal of the Order of Australia recipient Debbie Kilroy, the trajectory for many First Nation women into prison is set from infancy when they are first placed in foster care.
As infants, many face intolerable abuse and rejection in their new home. They end up being incarcerated for "street-type" offences that are hardly serious enough to warrant such punishment.
In his apology to the stolen generations, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised "a future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems, where old approaches have failed".
That promise has been well and truly broken, as have the hopes and dreams that these incarcerated women and their children will be deemed worthy of racial equality.
Reverend Dr Vincent Zankin, Rivett
Not war crimes
John Panneman (Letters, November 14) is incorrect in calling the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki war crimes. These weapons did indeed kill about 250,000 people, mainly civilians, however the estimate of civilian casualties during subjugation of Japan by conventional military means was 20 million - a benefit/cost ratio of 80 to 1. In addition, it was estimated there would be one million casualties and the destruction of cities and infrastructure.
Also, it was General Douglas MacArthur who wished to use nuclear weapons during the Korean War but was prevented by President Truman (who subsequently sacked him). Mr Panneman's claim it was Eisenhower is also incorrect.
Other than for relatively minor skirmishes, I have lived for 75 of my 76 years in a nuclear peace - the MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) outcomes have prevented any future major war.
Michael Lane, St Ives
Purdie Bowden's quest for a site for a destination playground ("Adding inner north play options for kids is vital" p.38 CT November 11) can be met by utilising the unused space adjoining Hawdon Place in Section 72 of Dickson.
It would be ideal for children and parents as it is close to shops and bus stops and there is plenty of parking space. It also adjoins large playing fields.
Currently the ACT government and the Greens are at a loss over what to do with this community land. They have resorted to their usual view that it would be attractive to developers to house some people and thus increase tax revenue.
The area is ideal for kids of all ages and adults as nearby there are four schools, a swimming pool, a tennis court, a dance school, a daycare centre, a community centre and even a duck pond.
A community park as proposed by All Play Inner North would a valuable asset for all the children of Canberra as well as those living in the inner North.
John Holland, Dickson
The ACT government has a commendable policy of urban intensification along with more in-fill housing.
Why do those of us who live in the resulting high-density population areas have to suffer from vehicles that have had their mufflers removed? As summer approaches, we are opening our windows only to have conversations drowned out by ear-shattering noise from cars and motorbikes with no mufflers.
Alfresco dining is impossible. Why is there so little enforcement of our residential and automotive noise regulations, particularly on Friday nights and over the weekend?
Motorbikes without any mufflers park regularly in Civic in full visibility. How are they immune to prosecution?
Chris Emery, Reid
Keep it simple
There has been much discussion about Ministerial Codes of Conduct, about the imposition of a "bonk ban", and about the need for actions of politicians and Ministers to "pass the pub test". It seems to me that there's a simpler set of policies which should guide our government: 1) don't lie (sports rorts and many other instances come to mind); 2) don't steal (water rights and parliamentary/ministerial allowances); 3) don't be nasty, particularly to state leaders during a pandemic; 4) don't bully (especially staff); and 5) treat everyone with kindness.
It does seem bizarre, however, that any sort of declaration needs to be made at all. After all, the vast majority of the community manages to lead lives which don't involve these things. Why can't our political masters?
Helen M Goddard, Turner
The assertion "we are not young, we are old" by Michael Lee (Letters, November 16) seems to demand an historical whitewash that the native population wasn't displaced by white settlement (let alone invaded). Rather Europeans merely immigrated and were folded into an existing unified Aboriginal nation. Perhaps January 26 could be renamed Immigration Day?
The songwriter's point was surely about being free from the ossified, class-based structures of the old world that limited what one might aspire to. If anything, the subsequent Australian nation arising from federation (20-odd years later) has become younger as it has been socially rebooted multiple times from waves of post-war immigration - and, from the mid-1960s, progressively ending the exclusion of the Aboriginal population. Australia today certainly doesn't feel like an older version of the one I grew up in.
That said, I'm happy to go with "one", as the point of "young" has largely lost its relevance. I can't help suspecting though that, were "one" to have been the original lyric, the usual suspects would be damning it as non-inclusive because it doesn't give explicit mention to every identity politic.
Ian Douglas, Jerrabomberra
Missing him already
While it may seem perverse, over the past four years I have grown accustomed to my daily dose of madness from the White House. Donald, I'm missing you already.
M Moore, Bonython
Facts do matter
It is Bill Deane whose thinking is a bit muddled, rather than the letter writer whom he so accuses over the Aboriginal flag (Letters, November 16). He recently claimed the change of "Australia's sons" to Australians all" in Advance Australia Fair was inclusive of first Australians. In fact, it wasn't. The official amendment was to acknowledge gender equality (there was no consideration of Indigenous Australians being included).
In his latest foray, he is referring to the Aboriginal flag as "blatantly racist". How is an officially sanctioned and widely accepted symbol of identity racist? In similar fashion, would he deem State and Territory flags as "blatantly separatist"?
Bill Deane says that "comforting and soothingly sounding abstractions don't make a good argument". Being inconsistent, as well as getting your facts wrong, is far worse.
Eric Hunter, Cook
TO THE POINT
The Barr-Rattenbury government's commitment to "build the tram" is reminiscent of Trump's to "build the wall". Both are simplistic answers to complex problems. Only an arrogant and irresponsible government would not review the project given changing economic and financial parameters.
Mike Quirk, Garran
ASK A SILLY QUESTION...
Frankly, Bill Deane (Letters, November 16), if you have to pose questions such as "who is irreconciled from whom?", and don't already know the answers, you haven't had your crystal set properly tuned in these past few decades. And by "racist flag" I hope you are referring to that funny red, white and blue pattern at the top of our national flag.
James Mahoney, McKellar
JOBKILLER IS NEXT
The Coalition have introduced JobKeeper, JobSeeker and JobMaker. With their climate and energy plans it looks like the ALP is planning "JobKiller". I expect it will work a treat.
Doug Hurst, Chapman
It is interesting that Lord Nelson had an consensual affair with a married woman. Had there been a tabloid press (or an ABC) in those days he might have been hounded out of office and the British would have had to find someone else to fight the Battle of Trafalgar.
John Coochey, Chisholm
OUT OF THIS WORLD
Could we see a push for the Donald to turn his attention to space? Perhaps Elon Musk could be persuaded there is a big world out there for the Donald to conquer. He could be distanced from earthy matters, taking his putter with him to greater worlds.
Peter Baskett, Murrumbateman
GIVE PEOPLE A BREAK
Why not reduce the rates for services people aren't receiving? Given it is warming up, overflowing garbage will create health risks. Whilst temporary facilities have been provided, they aren't helpful for the disabled and the elderly.
Anita Dahlgren, Charnwood
GO ZERO SCOMO
So Scott Morrison still refuses to commit to a 2050 net zero emissions target "until its costs are known". Why not just get Treasury to calculate the costs of action, and of inaction, and then let us know PM.
Patricia Saunders, Chapman
I heard on the news that Michael McCormack was acting prime minister. Really? I thought that was Scott Morrison's job.
Gary Frances, Bexley, Vic
I don't like the PM wearing the Australian flag on his face mask in Japan.
It feels inappropriate and disrespectful. All those who have been taught how to handle the flag know it should not touch the ground, let alone a mouth and a nose.
Why not a gum leaf design? The mask could be scented with eucalyptus oil to remind him of home.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn, Vic
LEST WE FORGET
Julie Bishop will always be known to me as "asbestos Julie" who represented CSR against the victims of asbestosis and mesothelioma
Ricky Dennis, Murrumbeena, Vic
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