It's not just the northern end of Lake Tuggeranong that needs more through flow to deal with blue-green algae ("Wetlands the new weapon to fight algae", March 30, p3). The whole lake is suffering and relies on the puny and sporadic flows of Tuggeranong Creek (a tributary of the Murrumbidgee) and run-off from the surrounding suburbs.
The whole lake is suffering and relies on the puny and sporadic flows of Tuggeranong Creek and run-off from the surrounding suburbs.Jack Kershaw, Tuggeranong
However, the creek flow could be significantly supplemented and made continuous by employing the recently installed multi-million dollar pipeline from the Murrumbidgee at Angle Crossing, upstream from Tharwa. It was designed to take pumped water over the hilltop where the Tuggeranong Creek system rises, to Googong Dam. The pumps were to take water released from the Tantangara Dam on the upper Murrumbidgee, by agreement with NSW, but they were virtually permanently decommissioned after the completion of the (many say oversized) new Cotter Dam. That supplementation would also keep the lake topped up, so that it could look good and continuously overflow back into to the Murrumbidgee, thus maintaining its environmental flows, without resort to Tantangara. Water from the rejuvenated creek could also be piped locally to the troubled northern end of the lake.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
Outrage of anti-vax propaganda
I have been to my GP's practice this morning. There are many doctors in the practice. The practice received 100 vaccines this month all being given to the sickest patients, quite correctly. At the end of April another 50 vaccines will arrive. Not many for this large practice.
Is ScoMo sending more vaccines to marginal seats, I wonder. This seems to apply to all distributions of government funding or other government schemes. I do notice a lot of politicians have been given the vaccine.
I believe Clive Palmer is distributing pamphlets in Queensland casting aspersions and outright lies about the vaccine. Will the federal government stop this anti-vaccine propaganda? Or do they value his huge donations to the Liberal Party?
Victoria Lilley, Monash
Why we need such reporting?
The lesson from Caro Meldrum-Hanna's breathtakingly incisive and conclusive ABC investigation into the 1979 Sydney Luna Park fire (EXPOSED: The Ghost Train Fire, ABC iView) and its associated police, political and underworld criminality and corruption, is that the ABC naturally pursues outrages no matter which political party they embarrass. And that we desperately need the ABC as a big part of what little remains of the Fourth Estate in Australia.
The curious observation inevitably arising from this exceptional program is that across the decades, no matter which party is in power, property development is always a nefarious influence in Australia.
Alex Mattea, Sydney
Sterile approaches to our city
I am in full agreement with Bruce Wright (Letters, March 30) about the now sterile approach to Canberra along Northbourne Avenue, where previously the green and leafy median strip was the ideal approach for a garden city.
Another approach to Canberra which gives an even worse impression is the one people travelling along the Monaro Highway are treated to behind the Southside Motor Village. For many years the embankment there has been a total eyesore, with dead and dying plants scattered among a retaining wall of broken and tumbledown sleepers.
If the Barr-Rattenbury government were to abandon its hugely expensive light rail plans there would be funds for repairing and improving this embankment and the many other similarly neglected locations around town, even after essential services like the hospital were given the extra funding they sorely needed.
Judy Dillon, Garran
No one should believe that the prime minister has had a road to Damascus conversion as a result of the crisis of the past month and his latest cabinet reshuffle. It is always better to judge a person's character and attitudes by what they do free from outside pressure and influence. Only under the pressure of the debacle of the past month has Morrison bothered to promote women to a series of key positions. If he had his druthers he would not of bothered - he is endeavouring to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
A Brown, Fadden
Rude, inappropriate conduct
At a public gathering outside the ACT Courts building on March 29 eminent speakers addressed public policy issues involved in the prosecutions of Bernard Collaery and Witness K for disclosure of the illegal bugging of the Timor Leste cabinet room by Australian government officials. Members of the public were shocked when a court official started shouting at them to stop photographing speakers. One speaker, Sister Susan Connolly, asked the court official to stop interrupting her address. Members of the public were appalled when the court official shouted back, almost drowning out the amplified voice of the speaker.
This is not the first occasion when court officials have stopped photography of eminent speakers including members of the Commonwealth parliament. On previous occasions, however, the requests by court officials have been made politely.
Is it really necessary for court officials to stop photography of eminent speakers at a public gathering outside the court building but well clear of the entrance to the court?
If it is necessary, is there some reason why requests to stop photography during a public address cannot be made quietly and politely?
Ernst Willheim, Campbell
How fragile 'powerful' men seem
What an extraordinary few weeks. I had not realised how fragile powerful men in Australia are. When women are sexually assaulted, sexually harassed, humiliated at work they continue to turn up to work.
When men in public life are accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexism, the damage to their toxic egos requires weeks of leave to recover. Perhaps they should be drawing down on their super rather than draining the public purse.
Sarah Cowdery, Barton
Howard's way was better
Mr Morrison says one of his closest mentors is John Howard. While not a fan of Mr Howard, I always admired the way he fronted to deal with the tough questions whether it was on the ABC, commercial channels and radio. He was always accessible. In contrast, Mr Morrison avoids any form of scrutiny, will not answer questions and accepts no responsibility. He runs a closed, secretive government and could learn a lot from Mr Howard's inclusiveness.
Ray Armstrong, Tweed Heads South, NSW
A govt's generosity to its own
First we learned of the extravagant 'JobSeeker allowance' we as taxpayers were providing to Mathias Cormann. Next we learned Christian Porter was returning from emergency leave to resume only some of his role s but would be paid his full salary. Finally, this week, we learn that the unrepentant Andrew Laming is being sent to the empathy training guru, after committing numerous offences against women and will step back from all his roles until the next election, on full salary.
The Coalition's determination to hang onto government regardless of the exposure of incompetence and amorality is not surprising any more than it is forgivable. It's time to pass the decision-making to the people.
W Book, Hackett
A frightening warning to heed
Your article "Black Summer fires could be every year" (March 31) about the Academy of Science's climate report made frightening reading. It makes a mockery of the federal government's statements that "we're meeting our targets" when, not only are our emission-reduction targets inadequate, we would still be heading for three degrees centigrade by 2100 even if all countries met their targets.
The academy says Australia must "remove greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity generation and distribution" which basically means we have to shift away from fossil fuels (coal and gas) to renewables as soon as possible. Delay is as dangerous as denial as one of the report's authors, Professor Lesley Hughes, says.
Yet, research by The Australia Institute, finds that in 2020 there was a significant surge in planning lodgements for new coal mines in New South Wales. There must be no new coal mines. We simply cannot go to three degrees' warming.
Jenny Goldie, Cooma
Subsidies are madness
Why are taxpayers forking out billions of dollars per annum to subsidise the coal, oil and gas industries ("Achievement is important, but what has Morrison achieved on climate", March 30, p16)? These industries are fast becoming outmoded, as the transition to renewable energy gains momentum. To add insult to injury, the Australian Energy Market Commission is now proposing a solar tax. Electric vehicles uptake is disincentivised by road taxes in two states, with NSW likely to follow. Meanwhile, who will foot the bill for damages caused by extreme weather events, intensified by global warming?
Anne O'Hara, Wanniassa
To the point
How can we extinguish this firestorm of fornication that is our current parliament. Perhaps Guy Fawkes got it right after all.
John J Smiles, Deakin West
A RETURN TO THE PAST
Given the Commonwealth government's apparent inability to arrange the prompt and efficient distribution of vaccines, perhaps it is time to ask the British to return to governing Australia for six to nine months to sort things out.
After a somewhat dodgy start they seem to know what to do.
Timothy Walsh, Garran
Rather than grandstanding before a bunch of autocratic, repressive human rights abusers at the UN (sadly, probably the majority of member nations in the UN) over the euthanasia issue, it's time the ACT government concentrated on issues closer to home such as the ACT's underperforming health and education systems .
Bill Stefaniak, Narrabundah
A BIT OF PERSPECTIVE
In her article regarding women in politics, (Politics can only break our hearts, March 26, p51), Jenna Price says to "imagine being able to serve your country only if you leave your children for months at a time".
Isn't this what the women in our military do throughout their careers, for much longer periods than parliamentary sittings?
Marie Wensing, Evatt
SLIPPING, SLIDING TARGET
Funny how the government's focus is now on October, now that the March vaccination target has been blown to bits. Accountability? Bah, humbug.
Oliver Raymond, Mawson
LAZY SHORTHAND FOR CITY
I'm thoroughly sick of the majority of lazy non-resident electronic media journalists conflating the FIFO politicians in federal parliament with the people who live and work in 'Canberra' the city. Enough is enough. Learn the difference and stop using lazy shorthand.
Graeme Rankin, Holder
NATURE KNOWS THE SCORE
The Cherry Blossom festival in Japan has started early this year, in fact the earliest ever since 812 when the event was first recorded. The start of spring is determined by nature and not by a calendar and nature knows that climate change is real and not just an occasional odd result.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Vic
GOVERNED BY LEMMINGS
Your editorial on March 31 indicated ScoMo needed to lead for his political fortunes to change. Maybe so, but unfortunately ScoMo could not lead a leap of lemmings because he has to stay at the back to see where they are going.
Trevor McPherson, Aranda
I suppose it was predictable that the NGA's splendid Botticelli to Van Gogh exhibition would prompt an effusion of jingoistic tripe, like James Blackwell's censorious article ("More to the NGA than Van Gogh", Forum, March 27) and Angela Kueter-Luks' silly claim that "nothing surpasses Australian art" (Letters, March 31). To be sure, much Australian art is exciting and revelatory. But occasionally it is rewarding to lift our eyes to look at the creations of the wider world, even if we have to pay a modest fee for the privilege.