The Canberra Liberals made the right choice in the leadership team for the ACT government; Elizabeth Lee as the leader and Giulia Jones as the deputy leader. But now they have reverted to type and re-endorsed Zed Seselja as the Canberra Liberals' Senate candidate for the next federal election.
As a Liberal voter since I was able to vote (I'm now 66 years old) I refuse to vote for Zed and would encourage all Canberra voters to do the same. Zed Seselja does not represent the ACT, he represents his own narrow minded far-right views, generally to the detriment and contrary to the majority view of the electors of the ACT. The ACT Liberals should hang their heads in shame and offer a sincere apology to the people of the ACT. Justice would be served if true Liberals were to vote for Luke Hadfield.
Brien Armstrong, Dunlop
Rename Rhodes Place
Running from the front of the South African embassy is a short stretch of road which, presumably long ago, was given the name Rhodes Place. Whether you believe in "cancel culture" or not, I think it is probably past the time for us to be recognising a long-dead, and not universally lauded, South African on a street sign in our nation's capital. I can think of a couple of indisputably more worthy alternatives in Mandela and Tutu. But, if for some reason that I don't know about it must be a white man, then F. W. de Klerk would be far more worthy of remembrance.
Bill Burke, Yarralumla
President Truman had a sign on his desk that read: "The buck stops here." Where, may I ask, does the buck stop in our armed forces?
General Campbell has revealed allegations of terrible atrocities committed by Aussie troops in Afghanistan. Any soldier accused of crime is, like anyone else, entitled to the presumption of innocence and a fair trial.
Those are vital considerations, but leaving them to one side, it is incumbent on General Campbell to give a public assurance that the action (or inaction) of senior officers in this affair will be fully investigated. What training and supervision were the troops given to safeguard against the commission by them of atrocities?
Tell us please, General, whether there will be courts-martial of any "top brass" who are found to have been in dereliction of their duty.
Alvin Hopper, Dickson
As one of the diminishing minority of Australians who can remember well the political shenanigans of late 1975, I applaud the re-examination of these events. Regrettably, death has rendered the three main protagonists silent.
The passion and intensity of the era are hard to convey to younger Australians. The recently revealed level of communication between the then governor-general and the British monarchy also seems a little bizarre to Australians in the 21st century.
One area which is, in my view, important and a little neglected by political historians is the deep and enduring lack of popularity of both the Whitlam government and the subsequent Labor opposition during and after 1975. Without this sustained fall in public opinion it is doubtful whether members of the conservative parties would have had the courage and tenacity to press ahead so steadfastly in such an intransigent way.
The Coalition achieved two remarkably large lower house majorities in consecutive elections, the second of which was called a year early in 1977. This is despite Labor winning, albeit narrowly, the 1974 election.
Did the events of late 1975 reset Australians' political compass or were there other factors? Perhaps another 45 years will need to elapse before a more enduring perspective emerges.
Andrew Thomson, Garran
More half measures
In this COVID-19 induced, socially distanced atmosphere, Canberra's road users are being reminded to "slow down," as "people are cycling and walking on the road".
Under Transport Canberra's 2020 "slower streets" initiative, signs inviting road users to look out for each other are springing up on the verges of Canberra streets.
Transport Canberra's initiative, seemingly inspired by similar projects such as that in Oakland, California, which has seen local streets closed to through traffic with temporary barricades such as cones, is confusingly impotent.
Under law, motorists are required to drive to the conditions, regardless of the speed limit. The vast majority of motorists drive safely and conscientiously. Does Transport Canberra expect those who purposefully drive dangerously to take heed of these eyesores of signs? Undoubtedly Transport Canberra should harness the changes COVID has brought to transport - reduced vehicle usage and increased suburban walking and cycling - to ensure ongoing equitable road sharing arrangements. This pandemic provides an unparalleled opportunity to introduce positive and ongoing changes to Canberra's road usage arrangements for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike. However, the extent to which erecting a series of half-baked signs across Canberra's suburbs to achieve this admirable and important objective is uncertain.
Samuel Bashfield, Turner
In the previous government the Labor/Greens coalition had a specific Minister for Seniors and Veterans, Gordon Ramsay. Mr Ramsay cared about this portfolio and was often seen at events such as the Alchemy Dementia Choir.
Ms Davison from the Greens has now been allocated Families and Community Services, Disability, Justice health and Mental health, all very important portfolios. I have been advised seniors and veterans have been subsumed into Family and Community Services but is this good enough? The reasoning may be explained somewhere in the administrative arrangements, but does the average punter access this to see which minister they should contact?
With a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety under way - with many reported horror stories, a broken aged care system, the debacle of how our elderly and their families have been treated during COVID and roughly one in five Canberrans being over the age of 60 - I believe there should be a dedicated portfolio for seniors and veterans.
I note the opposition kept their shadow minister for seniors, Nicole Lawder.
Rebecca Scouller, Barton
Bring students back
I propose that universities pilot a project to reintegrate overseas students into their courses. It should be relatively easy to establish quarantine accommodation on or close to campus.
Students could be met at the airport by university buses and transported directly to campus quarantine facilities where they would remain for two weeks. Preferably this should be timed to finish before classes begin.
While quarantining, students would have access to a university radio station, broadcasting in several key languages. These stations could provide orientation information to new students, help with future accommodation arrangements, answer questions, set up chat rooms and provide English language courses at various levels. In this way, quarantined students would be inducted into the university and have various study options to keep them engaged.
A further option would be to arrange charter flights from various overseas locations to the nearest airport, then bus students directly to quarantine. There should be no extra cost for this quarantine period.
Pauline Westwood, Dickson
It is commendable that the Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, and many others including government ministers veterans spokespersons, and war crime experts all speak highly of actions that have brought the war crimes committed by some elements of the SAS to light.
As a result I was surprised to read two letters in The Canberra Times (Letters, November 20) that seemed to be excusing the SAS individuals' actions.
One letter trotted out the "heat of battle argument" although my reading of the reports was that the alleged crimes were cold-blooded murder.
Another letter seemed to suggest all wars undertaken by democracies were justified, which is patently not always the case, eg: Iraq and Vietnam.
For the record I was a National Service Sapper in the Vietnam War days.
Rod Holesgrove, Crace
A time to reflect
Locking down the whole of South Australia may have given certain people time at home to contemplate their stockpiles of toilet rolls.
But lest history repeat itself (yet again), it's crucial to maintain the integrity of quarantine.
Those who care for isolated persons must themselves participate in the same quarantine (within the same hospital ward or motel).
While this may require triple pay for the 14-day period, the cost would be almost insignificant, compared to the crippling expense and unsustainable nature of lock-downs.
David D'Lima, Sturt, SA
TO THE POINT
Someone should explain to your reporter ("Pandemic masked hospital pressure", November 19, p4) the difference between an opinion piece (let there be more of them) and an attack ad for the Liberal Party (had enough of those). For a start, how about referring to "the ACT government" rather than "the Labor government"?
Marlene Hall, Kingston
POTS AND KETTLES
On the one hand Bill Deane is indignant about people who abused Margaret Thatcher with personal remarks. But, on the other, he is quite happy to personally abuse Julia Gillard as a "self-pitying whiner". Pot. Kettle. Black.
David Roth, Kambah
ONE WAY TRAFFIC
Did the families of Australian soldiers killed in the numerous insider attacks by Afghan soldiers receive any compensation from the Afghan government for their murders?
Greg Jarosch, Queanbeyan, NSW
How boring is Canberra? Can't even attract a virus.
Greg Maher, Greenway
LET MCBRIDE BE
Our government treats whistleblowers with disdain, hoping the hard line will discourage others. Assange has been abandoned, probably due to US bullying. The whistleblower of the day is army lawyer David McBride. Christian Porter needs to do something redeeming, right now.
G Gillespie, Scullin
Victoria strike one. South Australia strike two. Let us hope we accept hotel quarantine security guards deserve a good wage they can survive on, or better, before we reach "strike three and out".
David McIntosh, Gordon
Given the federal government is waiving debts and paying compensation for money taken illegally for Robodebt, why isn't our "modernising" ACT government rebating rates for non-collection of garbage?
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
You don't put solar panels on the Sydney Opera House and you don't put them on the Shine Dome either (Letters, November 24).
If people are desperate for on site solar panels put them in the nearby landscape.
Penleigh Boyd, Reid
THE 34-TIME LOSER
Thirty-four Trump lawsuits for electoral fraud have been thrown out by the court. How many more does he need to take to court before it's decided that his bogus claims of election fraud are an abuse of the legal process?
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
A MODERN NERO
It looks like we have a modern equivalent of Nero; the President playing golf while his countrymen and women are dying of a pandemic.
For someone who claims he should be the leader not much leadership is being shown.
Janet Bradly, Fadden
Will the turkey to be pardoned by the US President prior to Thanksgiving be named Donald?
Judy Smith, Nicholls
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