You nearly April fooled us, Minister Steel ("Tougher ACT dog registration law on the way this year", canberratimes.com.au, April 1).
Who, but our coalition government, would even consider penalising dog owners by reintroducing a "new" (archaic) dog registration database system, duplicating the already well-tried and very successful microchip "registration"?
We were told, at the time of the introduction of microchipping, that it was a state-of-the art replacement. Unless of course our Green/Labor coalition wants to slyly tax dog owners to the tune of $8.6 million annually, plus vet, RSPCA and ACT government domestic animal services fees "at no additional cost?"
Hopefully, this was a hoax; if not I can feel a "pootition" developing.
P R Temple, Macquarie
The Legislative Assembly's Standing Committee on Public Accounts should continue and improve its examination of the ACT government's budget situation ("Feds double Barr's stimulus", April 5, p1) for at least two reasons.
The Barr government has a consistent record of using irrelevant and/or misleading information to hide inconvenient aspects of the ACT government budget. A typical example is the reported comment that the ACT government's stimulus response was "broadly similar" to every other jurisdiction as a proportion of gross state product (GSP).
Given Commonwealth expenditure, including on APS wages, is about 50 per cent of the ACT's GSP, the ACT government's stimulus may actually have been the biggest as a proportion of the economy that was detrimentally affected by Covid. That is not necessarily a good thing for the overall community since most of the stimulus was spent on construction despite it being relatively unaffected.
Second, the government's own budget forecasts clearly show Labor's/the Green's planned spending will place a manifestly unreasonable financial burden on ACT taxpayers in the next three years. For example, the taxes (rates, driver's license, etc) we pay to the ACT government are forecast to increase by over 17 per cent in per head terms by mid-2024 (ie just before the next ACT election).
In contrast, the vast majority of Canberrans are, unfortunately, likely only to receive very low increases in their wages, pensions, and investment incomes.
The next ACT budget is due to be delivered later in 2021. I hope the Public Accounts Committee and Canberrans generally exert more pressure on Labor and the Greens to pay more (or perhaps any!) attention to the sustainability of the ACT government budget, so that Canberrans receive the government services they need without "excess" taxation' and/or public debt.
Bruce Paine, Red Hill
It is widely known Coombs does not have a functioning shopping centre, even though a building was constructed over two years ago. What is less well known is that just 250 metres away there is another unused community facility, namely an empty community hall located in the Health Hub.
The community hall was also constructed over two years ago in accordance with government planning and, just like the shopping centre, the developer of the community hall has failed to make the facility functionally operational.
Last week, in the Legislative Assembly, Mick Gentleman, Minister for Planning and Land Management acknowledged this unacceptable situation and committed to meeting with representatives from Molonglo Valley Community Forum.
It is not good enough for the planning department to require infrastructure to be constructed by a private developer without specifying a watertight process to ensure it is then made available for the intended community use.
Let's hope that Minister Gentleman identifies a way forward to deliver a much-needed community hall for the residents of Wright and Coombs.
Alison Hutchison, Coombs
Thanks to the RAAF for the recent flyover. I was at the War Memorial with a group of 11-year-olds on a program and we sat outside to watch.
I recall the UK's RAF Red Arrows displaying many years ago and, standing on Commonwealth Avenue bridge, one was so low we were looking down on it and the spray of water behind. Spectacular but dangerous.
As an old RAAF pilot and CASA worker, I understand the need for safety with display flying.
Yes, the kids loved it. Their oohs and ahs changed to squeals of delight when they spotted a red Ferrari on the roundabout. I wonder when they got home was their first word aeroplane or Ferrari? We should learn so much from these little ones and their innocence.
Alastair Bridges, Wanniassa
Things are crook
Even the most casual observer of federal politics would agree the Scott Morrison-led LNP government hasn't been travelling well.
And try as they have to paint over scandalous dealings, the underlying dirt keeps rising to the surface like cream on natural milk.
Americans call the dressing up of a bad look as "putting lipstick on a pig". I much prefer the description, "whilst you can't polish a turd, you can roll it in tinsel".
John Sandilands, Garran
I have a couple of rare conditions, one which has resulted in multiple aneurysms, including in my brain which are at greater risk of rupture if I experience strong emotions.
Due to the condition I also suffer extreme fatigue, migraines, dizziness and pulsatile tinnitus. I can no longer teach and found myself a part time job as a learning support assistant. I am a single mother of a child with special needs and cannot survive financially on my income.
I applied for the disability allowance (hoping to get a part payment to supplement my income). My application was rejected because I have not taken part in a program of support. I was told that an appointment had been made with an employment agency.
I have explained to numerous members of the disability allowance team that I do not need to take part in a program of support with an employment agency, because I found myself a job appropriate to my circumstances.
An officious appeals officer, a staffer in Stuart Roberts' office, and an assistant director from Services Australia confirmed my ineligibility stating that it is what it says in the legislation.
How many even more vulnerable, disadvantaged and at-risk victims of the current cruel federal government are out there? To make it worse, I am experiencing déjà vu. The NDIS put me through hell when they wrongly rejected my daughter's application to be part of the NDIS program.
Donna Trucillo, O'Connor
Minister Steel is quoted as saying the government will plant 9000 trees in 2021.
However, to meet its target of increasing the canopy cover from 21 per cent to 30 per cent by 2045 it has, according to its own roadmap, to plant a total of about 900,000 trees from 2020. 450,000 replacement trees and a similar number of new trees to increase the canopy coverage.
This means we need to be planting over 36,000 trees each year or 100 every day to get to the target. Much more that the 9000 planned for 2021. What are the plans to boost the planting rate?
David Denham, Griffith
Prior to purchasing an apartment in Howitt Street, Kingston, I assured myself its quiet and sunny ambience was secured by the approved master plan for the Kingston Centre and the related regulations.
However, recently developer Geocon was given a licence to explore by pre-DA public consultation a new proposal in Sections 13 and 22 Giles Street.
Being both eight storeys in height and of large bulk, this proposal also relies on converting the service lane behind Jardine Street to an access road for some 400 new residents. Both these changes would severely degrade the amenity and value of my own and the other established apartments.
Geocon has said their proposal is consistent with the master plan but that appears to be incorrect. The master plan specifies a low-rise building with the laneway having the limited role of providing rear service and employee parking for development fronting Jardine Street.
I would therefore be grateful to learn why ACTPLA allowed this proposal to proceed to public consultation. There has subsequently been widespread public opposition that shows why developers should not be permitted to make irrational ambit claims.
Brian Binning M Arch FPIA (retired), Kingston
TO THE POINT
History has a way of frequently repeating itself. I wonder if our PM recalls the tale of the Augean Stables. With each passing day the manure matures further.
Maureen Blackmore, Kambah
TIME TO ACT
I always get annoyed when I hear people wailing that the government should do something about climate change. What are they doing as individuals to limit climate change. If everybody did something everyday to lessen emissions then perhaps we could make a difference.
Jan Hutka, Ngunnawal
GOOD HELP WANTED
Recent events at Parliament House show that it is contains staff and elected representatives who are immature, pathetic individuals who have no sense. Standards of selection for candidacy and staff employment obviously need a drastic overhaul.
R M Smith, Scullin
John Cashman (Letters, April 3) is one of many who raise Kevin Rudd's climate change credentials. Given the former PM has reportedly bought a seaside home presumably at risk if the oceans rise what does Kevin know that we don't?
Jevon Kinder, Murrumbateman
TAKE AN ASPIRIN
If you are worried about the AstraZeneca jab and blood clots, why not just take an aspirin a day for as long as it takes? Aspirin is safe and cheap; it worked fine for me and my angina 34 years ago, and at age 94 I still take anti-platelet medication.
Dr Peter Cooper, DSc, PhD, Gordon
The problem with the tall, dry grasses beside the tram track is the fire risk. It would only take a live cigarette butt, a spark, a car accident, or a bushfire on Black Mountain.
Penelope Upward, O'Connor
Planting native grasses along the tram lines has created a never-ending debate about the pros and cons. Maybe installing rainbow coloured fake grass to match the roundabout would solve the problem.
Mario Stivala, Belconnen
It's astonishing how COVID-19's management and prevention are only ever dismissed by Scott Morrison and his henchmen as having being wickedly turned into a political game when they are receiving, and not meting out, the criticism. It's all done with a straight face in haughtily sage and factual tones. Politics at its "best".
Alex Mattea, Sydney
Before I am taken to task for my tongue-in-cheek suggestion the government hands vaccine distribution over to the British government (Letters, April 5) I should point out I have nothing but admiration for our health workers, hospital administrators, and medical scientists. It is certain politicians who annoy me with their unwarranted criticism of state governments.
Timothy Walsh, Garran
Chris Ansted (Letters, March 25) is right about the law being an ass. However, to mix metaphors, having led the ass to water, there is no drinkable water. The need to protect the innocent stops all other justice. We need innovation to solve that dilemma.
Trevor McPherson, Aranda
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