I am appalled to hear that the name of William Slim is to be expunged from Canberra because he was accused of being a paedophile. Accused. Not found guilty.
Not for a minute do I doubt that those Fairbridge boys were sexually assaulted: that is something they could never forget. The question is: who was the perpetrator?
The boys said it was a man in uniform who drove them down to the river. When Slim, as governor-general, made an official visit to Fairbridge Farm he would not have been wearing uniform. He would never have been left alone, and he would not have been driving himself.
Lord Slim continued to be interested in Fairbridge for many years, and was one of its most enthusiastic supporters. You couldn't find a more decent, honest and inspiring man and leader. He was loyally followed by many, many people, in war and peace.
He was one of the most impressive people I have ever known, and after the extraordinary life I have led, that's saying something.
Heather Henderson, Yarralumla
And the rest, minister?
I reference the recent renaming of William Slim Drive to Gundaroo Drive.
Minister Mick Gentleman stated, among other things that William Slim Drive has an association and a legacy that "contravenes our values ... as a modern, inclusive city." I trust he will now move to change the names of other places that contravene our values such as the suburb of Lawson which commemorates a wife beater and a drunkard; as well as Barton and Deakin as the architects of the White Australia Policy introduced by the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901.
I am sure that there are others that warrant investigation.
L. Roberts, Kaleen
Renegade Coalition MP, Barnaby Joyce wants to amend government legislation, so that the Clean Energy Finance Corporation can include support for a new coal-fired power station ("Barnaby hijacks government bill for coal", canberratimes.com.au, February 18).
The role of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has already been watered down by the inclusion of gas as a transitional energy source.
It is now known to be a dangerous pollutant and major contributor to emissions levels in Australia. Now Joyce wants to add coal to the mix.
Apparently, he believes that this will also help to lower carbon emissions. The trouble is, coal is not clean energy. It is a globally polluting fossil fuel, fast being replaced by clean renewable energy sources.
It is no longer viable, either domestically or for export. Joyce is living in the past. Perhaps he could break away from the Coalition and form his own minority party. He could name it the "Increase Emissions Party".
Anne O'Hara, Wanniassa
I have been disappointed, but not shocked, by Nationals MP's recent remarks concerning climate change and their view that Australian farmers do not care about this issue.
Mr McCormack quipped that he and others are not worried about 30 years in the future, and Mr Joyce went as far to say that if the National Party decided to support net zero emissions, that they would "cease to be a party that could credibly represent farmers".
My brothers, one who is a grazier and the other who is itching to finish the "sucky school part" of life and get into farming, will only be 56 and 44 years old in 30 years. The average age of a farmer today is 56, so you can see why people like myself and my brothers are indeed worried about 30 years down the track.
Being on the land is already difficult, from dry seasons to commodity price swings, so why a party that is so desperate to maintain the continued support of farmers and graziers would so casually and cruelly dismiss the upcoming generation is beyond me.
Alice Milson, Tamworth, NSW
Power on his mind
Barnaby Joyce clearly has power on his mind but only when it concerns his position within the LNP.
The LNP's yesterday's man is now relying upon yesterday's fossil fuels to power his latest political aspirations as he seeks to extend the Clean Energy Finance Corporation remit to allow investment in new polluting coal and gas projects.
This admiration for coal mining jobs, while farmers fight to protect prime agricultural land in Queensland and NSW, may leave them wondering who or what The Nationals actually stand for.
Brenda Tait, Kew
Coal has no future
I was delighted to hear of the Hunter Jobs Alliance in which environmentalists and unions are proposing a local transition authority to manage the inevitable decline in coal.
The locals know the pitfalls of managing downturns; they have done it before during past downturns in coal price.
It is a pity our governments seem to be the last to recognise the need to support new industries, projects and post coal regional jobs instead of trying to prop up fossil fuel use.
The challenge for all is to enable local solutions to the large changes necessary in those regions to effectively reduce climate change.
Greg Dunstone, Bruce
Smell the coffee
The National Party are again throwing a spanner in the works to try and keep coal as a power source.
The Nationals, supportive Liberals and Joel Fitzgibbon and the reactionary right rump of the Labor party have to realise that coal is not a clean power source. And as to nuclear power; also not clean and far longer lasting waste products.
The same people who love coal also love nuclear power and hate renewable energy sources because renewable energy can't be dug up, packaged, transported for processing, transported to power stations, etc., which means less profits to be made.
The nuclear waste has to be stored for thousands of years and all along the chain the same people who make money from the coal processes make money at every step.
The last time the nuclear power push started gaining momentum along came the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown and silence followed. Fukushima was 10 years ago but the nuclear damage and danger remains.
When will these pro-nuclear thickheads get it through their skulls that nuclear is not clean or green.
Rory McElligott, Nicholls
Joyce is confused
Barnaby Joyce wants to amend government legislation about the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to invest in new fossil fuel projects. What part of "clean energy" does Joyce not understand? Joyce also warned Labor Parliamentarians in coal-based electorates that they could lose their seats unless they support his changes.
Coal is a finite resource; greenhouse pollution is acknowledged by this government as an issue to be addressed. When will Joyce and his ilk recognise that dependence on coal-and-mostly-coal dooms the future of those electorates to dead-end economies?
Perhaps it is Joyce himself who, finally, deserves to face the wrath of his voters.
Judy Bamberger, O'Connor
Since self-government the number of abandoned and neglected properties has been increasing. One cause is the trend to much larger supermarkets.
Locally, the Aranda shops site was abandoned for a decade before community concerns and a request to government finally resulted in a threat to cancel the lease.
A bit of imagination was applied and it is now a flourishing centre. The Giralang shops were abandoned when plans to build a larger supermarket and housing did not come to fruition because the proposed supermarket exceeded the allowed size for a local centre.
Subsequent plans have not yet been implemented. Giralang residents are, rightfully, concerned by the long delay.
Another cause is densification, leading to suburban houses and other sites being vacated well before any redevelopment work commences. The Hawker Tennis Centre, once a thriving operation, was bought by developers with the aim of having the site rezoned for housing.
This was rejected and the site has been neglected ever since. The original residence was left empty for several years and was eventually destroyed by fire. The 12 tennis courts are now in a disgraceful state.
The ACT government has dropped the ball in requiring land owners to maintain their properties even though they presumably still have the power to recall leases.
Robyn Coghlan, Hawker
What a farce
Alex Wallensky (Letters, January 15) was certainly correct in labelling Impeachment II a farce. One only has to note the comments of many of the GOP senators who voted to acquit to understand how much so. From their (minority) leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, down they are proclaiming the Don as guilty as sin, but wouldn't convict because "impeachment was the wrong forum". They believe criminal prosecution is warranted. I just hope they now have the strength of character to lead the way towards that process rather than relying on Democrats.
Keith Hill, grey nomad, en route to SA
TO THE POINT
THE WAY IT IS
In totalitarian communist dictatorships the government restricts public access to news. In capitalist free enterprise democracies this is done by big business.
Roger Quarterman, Campbell
FUND THE ABC
Since the Facebook controversy the Morrison government has become pious about "public interest" journalism. Can we expect a boost in the ABC and SBS budgets this year as evidence of a divine revelation?
Eric Hunter, ABC alumni, Cook
A LOW BLOW
Facebook's decision to block the news segment for Australians is worse than "under-arm bowling" in cricket. It's a very mean-spirited action.
Sankar Kumar Chatterjee, Evatt
WE'RE NOT ZUCKERS
As far as I care, Zuckerberg can take his bat and ball and go home.
Oliver Raymond, Mawson
Facebook has shown its true colours by bullying a sovereign nation. Australians should consider closing their accounts with this sinister organisation.
David Grantham, Melba
Who needs Facebook? The day we rely on America to give us our news will be the day when we buy a tent and head for the hills. We have been for the past 50 years, and will continue to be, loyal supporters of and subscribers to The Canberra Times newsprint version. As long as you keep printing we'll keep reading.
Brian and Pat Watson, Red Hill
I thought your article "Facebook news ban prompts ACM to ask Australians to delete the app" on The Canberra Times website on Thursday was a little ironic seeing you were still displaying the Facebook logo inviting us the follow you on Facebook.
Norman Johnson, Monash
WHAT DOES IT TAKE?
It is sad that our prime minister had to be told by his wife that the rape of a young woman is reprehensible.
Kathryn Spurling, Chifley
MAD, BAD AND DANGEROUS
I'm glad Barnaby is advocating nuclear. The sillier he is the sooner the Coalition will have a sensible energy policy.
Michael McCarthy, Deakin
TIME TO ACT
I should think the last thing Brittany Higgins and other rape and sexual abuse victims care for is more belated verbal gymnastics from people in high places on what needs to be done to bring about culture change on this front. Talk is cheap.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
Thank you Mr Biden for beating Trump and thank you Twitter for the blocking. That was the greatest gift to the world.
Mokhles k Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
I have heard the Bristol Hospital is advising midwives to refer to breastmilk as "chestmilk" to be more "inclusive". This marks the demise of April Fool's Day jokes. From now on, regardless of how outrageous the joke may be, they will just be passed off as another woke virtue signal.
Jevon Kinder, Murrumbateman
Email: email@example.com. Send from the message field, not as an attachment. Fax: 6280 2282. Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Canberra Times, PO Box 7155, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610.
Keep your letter to 250 or fewer words. References to The Canberra Times reports should include date and page number. Letters may be edited. Provide phone number and full home address (suburb only published).