The Coalition has made no bones about its hardline policy of deporting non-citizens on "character grounds", which Peter Dutton recently summarised as being like "taking the trash out".
Surely Parliament deserves to be cleansed of non-deserving representatives too, and not have them just pushed aside, eventually, to the crossbench on full pay, for possibly many months at a time? If the Coalition wants to survive, it cannot afford to be seen to be tolerating and harbouring accused predators and other poorly behaved operators ("Coalition torn on future role of disgraced Andrew Laming", March 30).
The current carry-on and excuses made by the senior Coalition executive about Andrew Laming hanging onto his position add up to yet another shovelful of party political-focused spin and cover-up.Sue Dyer, Downer
The current carry-on and excuses made by the senior Coalition executive about Andrew Laming hanging onto his position add up to yet another shovelful of party political-focused spin and cover-up. Six months ago the PM was very quick to suggest publicly that Christine Holgate should be pushed out the door of Australia Post over the purchase of $19,000 worth of performance-pay watches for other staff.
Given the PM's kid-gloves treatment of Laming to date, presumably if Holgate had instead taken photos of a senior male executive's nether regions and toxically harassed members of the public online over a long period of time, she might still be in her job.
Sue Dyer, Downer
Grasses are doomed to fail
When I first wrote on January 12 about the plantings of native grasses beside the tram tracks on Northbourne Avenue, I referred to a "Uniscape" which is indistinguishable from the unmown verges and nature parks in Canberra. Rather than espousing the use of non-indigenous plants, my intention was to highlight the unsuitability of grasses in such situations.
Grasses do not spread quickly, thus allowing weeds to flourish. They die down annually, hence the untidy aspect now presenting itself. Nature solves this with fire, allowing grasses to regenerate - hardly possible here. Braybrooke Street, Bruce, is a prime example: once planted to native grasses, the weeds took over and now the median strip is just mown.
Kerin Cox, Bruce
Delays in shouting don't help
Bravo, Barbara Livesey (Letters, 31 March) for advising the PM that you women will "continue to roar until you get it". But may I suggest that any roaring women do will be far more effective - and frightening for men - if they did so at the scene and time of the affront instead of waiting months or even years to tell other people.
A loud yell of "Get your dirty freaking hands off my knee" or "Say that again in front of everybody, go on, say it" would instantly give the offending male a bright scarlet complexion - as I saw the latter example do once years ago in an officers' mess - and a wish to be somewhere else. I doubt that anyone would attempt to harass Germaine Greer.
Bill Deane, Chapman
Good show, no thanks to CASA
God loves the RAAF. A better day could not be imagined. The show was more than 3/4 good, even with the bureaucratic dead hand of CASA in full evidence. A thousand-foot limit would been more than reasonable.
If the national air force can't overcome, on its national day, the dragging stultifying hand of CASA, what chance is there of getting a reasonable air show in Australia? Thank heavens there is New Zealand.
Roy Bray, Ngunnawal
Poor choice of words
In his Saturday opinion article, Ian Warden called what happened to Brittany Higgins an imbroglio. Mr Warden, a rape is not just an intricate and perplexing state of affairs; merely a complicated or difficult situation; nor a misunderstanding or disagreement of a complicated nature. It is a violent crime committed by one person against another.
How dare you try to dismiss it as an inconsequential act? You owe Brittany Higgins a retraction and an apology in Saturday's paper. We expect better journalism from The Canberra Times.
Mark Hartmann, Hawker
An accident waiting to happen
After spending three weeks ferrying grandchildren from The Angle into preschool in Tharwa and school in Conder, I was shocked at the condition of Smiths Road.
Apart from potholes and ruts, three kilometres of the road on which blue-metal had been ineffectively dumped was dangerous. Most of the blue metal had shifted to the road shoulder and was in some cases eight centimetres deep. It is too easy for drivers to lose traction when moving over for a truck.
The hundred or so people who rely on Smiths Rd daily deserve better. Promises by both the ACT government and the NSW government to begin sealing the road have not come to fruition.
Smiths Road is the main exit road in case of emergency. It was a critical escape route during the Namadgi bushfire. More recently, after the heavy rains, poor drainage meant that potholes were made worse, new washouts appeared and many sections suffered serious erosion. Smiths Rd must be the most unsafe section of road in the region. It should be immediately inspected, properly drained and graded, and the promised sealing of the road must commence.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn, Vic
Labor must work with Greens
Last week there was a "town hall" meeting, hosted by Canberra MP Alicia Payne, with guest speaker Chris Bowen, mainly on the policies of the Labor Party for Climate Change. It was much appreciated by the capacity audience. One hopes that Ms Payne continues to serve the community in this way.
It was generally non-partisan, but the speakers could not resist reminding us of the occasion when Kevin Rudd's emission reduction policy was defeated by the no votes of the Greens and the Liberals.
Labor's resentment is understandable, but a few things should be remembered. One is that the Rudd proposal was so compromised by concessions, exemptions and compensations, that even Ross Garnaut thought it might be better to scrap it and start again.
Another is that Rudd refused to negotiate with the Greens where, with them, he could have carried the day; a couple of years later Julia Gillard did negotiate, and brought in a much better scheme.
It is worth remembering today, as we deem pathetic the Morrison target of a 26 per cent emissions reduction, that Rudd's proposed reduction was 5 per cent.
A few years ago the academic and commentator Denis Altman opined (I am quoting from memory) that, "for the foreseeable future the Greens will not be in a position to form a government; but the Labor Party will not be able to do so without them". At this moment the Greens leader, Adam Bandt, speaks of a collaboration with Labor after the next election.
John Cashman, Yarralumla
Loss of trees a travesty
I was devastated when beautiful eucalypts on the sloped green lawn south of the War Memorial were removed to prepare for new work there. Now I read that all the eucalypts in front of the building may be removed. What a travesty! I wonder what those souls lost in defending our country would think?
Jean Doherty, Ainslie
Blimey! These federal pollies have a lot of "parachutes"! Traditionally, politicians who have misbehaved have been able to look forward to lucrative post-parliamentary public or private jobs, generous superannuation and other perks.
Now, another "parachute" has been made available to them - "medical leave". If a politician is alleged to have behaved badly, they now can avail themselves of "medical leave". I wonder how many of their alleged victims have such ready and easy access to such lengthy periods of "medical leave"?
Gordon Fyfe, Kambah
Merit might lose this race
DJ Taylor of Narrabundah's letter (March 30) responded to my letter of March 27 about gender quotas for selection of parliamentary candidates. Unfortunately, DJ misunderstood what my letter said.
I did not say, and do not believe, that the present system for selecting candidates is merit-based. I did say, and do believe, that imposing quotas on candidate selection erects a hurdle that merit might not be able to jump over.
I did not say, and do not believe, that quotas would mean less meritorious female candidates would be selected than the male candidates who would otherwise have been selected.
I did say, and do believe, that when there is a choice between a less meritorious female candidate and a more meritorious male candidate, a quota will ensure the selection of the less meritorious female candidate.
Advocates for gender quotas need to be honest: when the choice is between a candidate who satisfies the requirements of the quota and a candidate who doesn't but has greater merit, they will argue against merit. Does that make for a better parliament?