The opinion piece by Samantha Floreani ("Proposed online "safety" measures may do more harm than good", canberratimes.com.au, February 15) suggests the online safety bill will put the adult content industry out of business in Australia.
Ms Floreani misunderstands the law as it currently stands, and the changes proposed in the new online safety bill.
There is today a regulatory scheme dealing with online content, which is presently contained in the Broadcasting Services Act, and has been there since 2000.
The material that could be removed under the proposed bill is consistent with the online content scheme. Nothing has changed. The approach of eSafety has always been to prioritise content depicting child sexual abuse and exploitation, as well as material that incites, instructs or promotes terrorism or violent extremism.
This approach would not change under the new act. eSafety's mission is not to be "the disapproving parent on the Internet." It is to keep Australians safe from online harms such as cyberbullying, image-based abuse and abhorrent violent material.
Paul Fletcher, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Canberra
Rape is a crime
I am yet again angry, dismayed and flabbergasted by the words coming out of Scott Morrisons mouth, this time in relation to the alleged rape of staffer Brittany Higgins. It seems the PM has to seek counsel from his wife about what happened to Brittany. The PM has little understanding that rape is a violent, destructive, and abusive use of power. Rape is a crime. What part of the word "rape" doesn't he understand?
Jane Timbrell, Reid
Will Virginia Haussegger please tell us all from where she got "... the fact is that every ambitious, career-hungry female will at some time in her 20s or 30s find herself in a sexually compromising position with a man who has some form of power over her."
Using the word "every" is the kind of unsupported drivel that fuels the anger. It is not a fact.
Not only do we have to protect females from what Brittany Higgins went through, we also need to stop people like Haussegger from making outrageous claims.
Paul Murphy, Kambah
A little prick...
Jab, according to my dictionary, includes the definition, "the act of putting a liquid into the body by means of a syringe".
As with others, I had assumed the media used the shorter word simply to save space. Nevertheless, before recently administering a shingles vaccine, my GP did not say he was about to give me a jab. "Just a little prick," he said. I felt sure he was referring to the procedure.
Graham Downie, O'Connor
Stig Engstrom (Letters, February 12) need not worry about the electricity grid coping with electric car charging. Outside the few hours of the evening peak, there is ample capacity for generation and distribution.
The key is education rather than fearmongering from politicians.
Anyone with a newer residential meter should know that electricity costs them more between 5pm and 8pm. Modern electric cars can be set to avoid charging in those hours.
Hydrogen has important uses, but not for ordinary cars. It takes much more electricity to make the hydrogen to run a car than it takes to just charge a car's battery directly.
Peter Campbell, Cook
Slim allegations unproven
In the name of a progressive and inclusive Canberra, an expression, in the tradition of Humpty Dumpty, meaning precisely what the speaker chooses it to mean and nothing more, William Slim Drive will be renamed because of an unproven allegation ("William Slim Drive now called Gundaroo Drive", February 16, p2).
Yet it appears acceptable to continue naming the other road mentioned in the article, the Barton Highway, after a person who as a matter of historical record implemented Labor's White Australia policy in return for its support for his government.
Is this a case of the principle coming second to the party?
Stephen Jones, Bonython
Bruce Wright claims (Letters, Feb 13) that the number of public housing units fell from just under 12,000 in 1989, down to 11,704 in June 2020. This helps to explain why street beggars, who were rare in Canberra in 1989, are now common.
But Bruce is wrong on population. According to the ABS, the population grew from 276,432 in 1989 to 431,114 in June 2020.
On that basis, the ratio of public housing units to population fell from over four per cent in 1989, to under three per cent in 2020.
Who is responsible for managing poverty and homelessness in the ACT? Last year the Greens seemed to think it was the responsibility of the ACT government, when they made an election pitch for 400 more public housing dwellings ("Greens want 1000 more social and public housing dwellings," canberratimes.com.au, June 28, 2020).
But the Chief Minister recently tried to avoid responsibility, accusing the NSW Government of "chronic underinvestment" in public and social housing which had resulted in a shortage of affordable properties in the wider capital region ("Fears for homelessness spike if JobSeeker cut," canberratimes.com.au, January 30).
Now the Greens ("ACT Politics: Why did the Greens oppose a racism inquiry and poverty taskforce?", canberratimes.com.au, February 13) are arguing that it's a federal responsibility: "Want to address poverty in Canberra? You don't need a taskforce, the Greens say, you need an increase to the JobSeeker rate".
Meanwhile the ACT government continues to waste millions of dollars, that could be used to support homeless people, to provide free public transport for wealthy retirees like me.
Leon Arundell, Downer
We watch the televised disgraceful behaviour of parliamentarians during their supposed "question time" session.
When the Prime Minister makes his replies, he peppers the narrative excessively with the interjected "Mr Speaker" as if those two words represent commas. The Treasurer does the same.
They are both masterful at failing to answer questions fully, if at all.
Were this practice to end, undoubtedly question time could be almost effective. If the Dorothy Dix questions were also removed, so that questions without notice could be addressed, this 60-minute charade might even be meaningful.
These improvements alone might inform viewers and students of politics of what the true value of the House of Representatives could be.
Renée Goossens, Turner
The disgraceful advice from the Usher of the Black Rod for parliamentarians, particularly those from Greater Melbourne, to return to Canberra before the imposition of the Victorian lockdown, showed a clear and blatant disregard for the health of the ACT community.
The lockdown was imposed because of the ease and speed with which the virus can be spread. Encouraging parliamentarians and staff to deliberately risk bringing the virus to Canberra was irresponsible beyond belief.
Karina Morris, Weetangara
I read the article "A place to heal and remember" (February 13, p3) where Fiona Peterson of the Healing Foundation proposed a memorial to the stolen generations.
What a great idea and so appropriate to place it in our nation's capital along with the other memorials and buildings of national significance.
It would be a great contribution to the truth telling that has been called for to educate us non-Indigenous Australians about was done to the oldest culture on earth following colonisation.
We cannot have reconciliation and healing until we have all heard and understood the impact across generations of the removal of children.
Phillipa Lowrey, Mawson
My Valentine's Day celebrations were perceptibly diminished after I read of Rajend Naidu's concern for the American nation, occasioned by the perceived partisanship recently displayed by Republican senators (Letters, February 14). However, after a somewhat sleepless night, my angst was soothed by Alex Wallensky's observation of repeated, yet unconvincing, displays of histrionics by Democrats (Letters, February 15). Broulee seems to be a place where perspective can be regained.
Geoff Mongan, City
TO THE POINT
The decision by Facebook to pull Australian news content was predictable. The principal groups profiting out of this are News Corp and Nine from the Google deal, and the Morrison government from the support of these organisations. Australian people have been "dudded" again by this government.
Rod Holesgove, Crace
THE BOLSHIE PUSH
Letters to The Canberra Times seemingly are becoming increasingly bolshie. Is this a selective bias of the letters editor? Or is there a broad movement in the "writership" against the Morrison government, the Oz/US alliance and things American? Is capitalism next to be eschewed and "climatism" boosted? Hope springs eternal.
Lawry Herron, O'Connor
NOT INNOCENT EITHER
The English language is complex, confusing and creative. Acquitted means "found not guilty"; it does not mean "found innocent". People can make up their own minds as to the innocence or guilt of ex-president Trump. My mind is already made up.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Vic
PLAIN ANGLAISE SI VOU PLAIS
Please Mr Rattenbury ("ACT leads way on electric vehicle boom", February 12, p16) we don't need American horrors like "incentivising" when there are already eminently useful English words available such as "encouraging".
Bill Deane, Chapman
NET ZERO BY 2050
BHP, the world's largest mining company, acknowledges the "urgent challenge of climate change" and is "committed to ... achieving net zero operational emissions by 2050". Why, then, does Prime Minister Morrison not follow the examples of 73 (and counting) other nations, and all Australian states and territories, and commit to net zero global heating gas emissions by 2050?
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
The PM's response to Brittany Higgins's revelations was paternalistic and classically Liberal "shut it down now and let's move on". What carefully nuanced performances and even weaker "announceables" would have been dished up and danced around if the PM had produced sons instead of daughters?
Sue Dyer, Downer
We should never underestimate the power of Democrat presidents. John Kennedy said they would put men on the moon, and they did. Obama promised to slow the rising seas and, lo and behold, the already tiny rises slowed even further. And now, Jo Biden has barely taken office and all global warming in the USA has ceased with much of the country frozen solid. Only in the USA.
Doug Hurst, Chapman
THE RIGHT DECISION
Australia did absolutely the right thing cancelling the citizenship of an ISIS-related woman. ISIS is a murderous organisation that has caused widespread destruction and tens of thousands of deaths. New Zealand should have followed suit and cancelled her New Zealand citizenship. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's "anger" with Australia looks largely confected.
C Williams, Forrest
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