Last week I was told (not asked) that my second AstraZeneca jab in June would now be administered miles away at Calvary Hospital, rather than at the arranged appointment at the local Garran facility.
A day or so later Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith indicated in a press release that, for the old folks like me, AstraZeneca would be available at Calvary. So much for any consideration of how the elderly are to get to Calvary.
If Bunnings can provide blue and red paint to clients in Belconnen and Tuggeranong, it would appear that their logistics system is far more competent than that of ACT Health.
Perhaps Minister Stephen-Smith could tell her director to ensure both AstraZeneca and Pfizer are available for the elderly at both clinics? Hopefully, she will get the reply: "Yes Minister!"
But if not, St John 11.35. (Jesus wept).
Dave Rogers, O'Malley
There is something very wrong with our vaccination program in the ACT if my experience is anything to go by.
Because my doctor is not doing COVID-19 vaccinations I rang "the secret number" only to be told that they were closed for the long weekend.
On Tuesday I did so again and on the recorded message was informed that they were only doing certain categories. Having been wised up by another old person, I waited for over half an hour.
Eventually I was asked for my details and was able to get an appointment of my choosing on the same day.
At the Garran centre I was asked for the phone details and allowed on site, asked again at the entrance and again inside, and yet again by another person. There were no other people waiting and no others in the multi-station vaccination area.
All of the staff were very good indeed, but what a poor arrangement it is - entirely predicated on the idea that we all have mobile phones and can ignore erroneous recorded messages on a secret number.
No wonder there is so little use being made of this excellent vaccination facility.
If this level of institutional complacency continues, we may well be caught with a partially vaccinated population at some point in the future.
Steve Thomas, Yarralumla
He said what?
With great dismay, I read the report of the Home Affairs secretary exhorting us to take heed of the "drums of war" - beating "faintly and distantly", "loudly and ever closer" ("Global drums of war beating: security tsar", canberratimes.com.au, April 27).
Say what? How can a senior, unelected government official be empowered to make such a speech outside his portfolio? Clearly Mr Pezzullo has the blessing of the federal government, because his new minister had seen the speech but did nothing to tone it down. Great stuff when relations with the obvious target of the commentary are in the sewer.
Reported elsewhere, he also stated that Australia must be prepared "to send off, yet again, our warriors to fight the nation's wars" as a "prudent, if sorrowful" last resort. Mr Pezzullo hasn't moved to Defence to join his former ministerial boss yet, but he seems primed to help turn the "long screwdriver", much loved by the people doing the job on the battlefield.
Should the worst eventuate, I trust that Mr Pezzullo will prove his convictions by being first in line to don his loincloth, encourage his children to follow suit, and march off valiantly to confront our foe before he advocates this outcome for the rest of us.
Mark Anderson, Campbell
Act of kindness
At Sunday's Anzac Day dawn service I was helping out in the information tent near one of the entry points. One of our tasks prior to the start of the service was to provide "pass out" wristbands to anyone who needed one, with going to Poppy's to get a coffee the most popular.
One lady, having received her wristband and directions on where to go, returned a short time later with an extra tray of hot drinks.
"You all looked rather cold in here," she said, and passed around the hot drinks to the staff in the tent.
I have no idea who she was, but this small, unexpected gesture was greatly appreciated and reinforced my view that the spirit of mateship, generosity and just doing something nice for someone else is alive and well in our society.
Kym MacMillan, O'Malley
2030 the new 2050
Scott Morrison's contribution to the Biden climate conference was completely underwhelming (Editorial: "Morrison's failure on the global stage", April 24, p32). The vital time for action is the 2020s, with 2030 targets assuming growing importance.
Scotty from Marketing refused to talk about targets, but instead spruiked adopting new technology as the key path. Unfortunately, the two technologies he cited in the lead-up to the conference are duds.
First, carbon capture and storage has proved to be prohibitively expensive and basically impractical. It's a fig leaf for continued use of coal.
Second, though at the conference he talked about green hydrogen, his government is allocating hundreds of millions of dollars to the production of hydrogen from natural gas; part of the so-called gas-led recovery. Such dirty hydrogen would be unsaleable overseas.
This is simply more smoke and mirrors from the marketing maestro. In the real world, renewables are used in electrolysis of water to separate hydrogen and oxygen, with the hydrogen used as a fuel or combined with nitrogen to make ammonia for storage and transport.
A number of international firms have embarked on this method. With its abundant resources Australia has the ability to be a leader in this field, but local companies are getting no help from the federal government.
It would be tragic if a rump of knuckle-dragging troglodytes on the government backbench prevents us from playing our part in tackling this existential crisis for the world. We need action, not spin, from our leaders.
John Ryan, Griffith
Re: "Morrison's failure on the global stage" (Editorial, April 24, p32).
There can be little doubt that whoever authored this editorial did little research to present both sides of the climate change debate.
If any research was done, it was purely to support the doomsayers' side of the debate. The result has been a Greta Thunberg-style unwarranted, biased and childish load of hyperbole.
Research would indicate that Australia produces less than 2 per cent of global pollution and is on track under the Morrison government plan to reach the zero-emissions target by 2050 without the introduction of any Julia Gillard-style carbon taxes.
In future let us have all the facts, and not biased hyperbole.
Nick Bailey, Ngunnawal
Act on climate
Dan Jervis-Bardy's report "PM resists Biden's climate message" (April 24, p6-7) should be deeply concerning to all Australians.
The PM's stubborn adherence to the inadequate 26-28 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 and his refusal at President Joe Biden's global leaders' virtual climate summit to commit to net zero emissions by 2050 leave us almost alone on the world climate stage.
Mr Morrison further isolated Australia when, referring to emissions targets, he insisted "it's about the how, not the when" while the rest of the developed world is committing to ever-shortening time lines. His claim that "technology, not targets" - and "certainly not taxes" - would "deliver Australia carbon neutrality" are three-word marketing slogans.
The PM's "green hydrogen" and "green steel" projects, while laudable, are more hope than reality; and carbon capture and storage is problematic, to say the least, mainly due to huge costs and scarcity of disposal sites.
Labor's carbon pollution reduction scheme, legislated in July 2012, was very effective over the two years before it was renamed "carbon tax" and repealed by the Abbott government.
Mr Morrison is not the leader that Australia needs at this crucial time.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
More than 30 countries, including the US, France and Germany, have now recognised the 1915-23 massacre of Turkey's Armenian population as genocide, but Australia is still dithering.
The Turkish government has not only actively denied that genocide occurred (and also denied the massacre of Assyrians and Greeks in the Ottoman Empire during this period) but is currently condoning the genocidal policies of Azerbaijan towards Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The statement attributed to Hitler: "Who now remembers the annihilation of the Armenians?" is a reminder that failure to condemn or even acknowledge past atrocities may embolden leaders to order genocidal actions in the expectation that soon these, too, will be forgotten.
Esther Anderson, Surrey Hills, Vic
TO THE POINT
COME ON ZED
One would hope our only Liberal representative in Federal Parliament could get some funding to save the AIS Arena and, secondly, secure the $67.7 million needed for the Australian Archives to digitise its most at-risk material. Both of these are worthy causes and deserve immediate attention. C'mon, Senator Seselja, we're relying on you.
Barbara Godfrey, Lyneham
DEATHS IN CUSTODY
Rajend Naidu (Letters, April 26) quotes the often-cited figure for Aboriginal deaths in custody as evidence of racism in policing. He chooses not recognise that the rate of death of Indigenous people in custody is lower than that of non-Indigenous people.
Jevon Kinder, Murrumbateman, NSW
I can't believe that Bill Deane (Letters, April 28) is "not ... surprised the PM is not particularly concerned" (and presumably is not concerned himself) that 32 per cent of Indigenous deaths in custody from 1991-92 to 2015-16 were by hanging. How does this compare with non-Indigenous deaths?
Michael McCarthy, Deakin
A WORLD OF HURT
What's new with The Canberra Times' letters? Whinge, moan, groan. Every day. Surely it's my turn.
Brian Hale, Richardson
Murray May (Letters, April 26) laments China's declaring an International Court of Justice ruling "null and void" with regard to a claim by the Philippines over certain areas of the South China Sea. He might look at the UK's ignoring that same court's ruling over the Chagos Islands (of which Diego Garcia is part).
Roger Terry, Kingston
MINISTER PEZZULLO MP?
Could somebody please tell us when the department secretary of Home Affairs was elected to Federal Parliament and which electorate he represents? I must have missed it.
Graeme Rankin, Holder
While vilifying China for its human rights record, Stuart Robert seeks to enlist employers in his reprehensible "DobSeeker" in the government's vindictive vendetta criminalising Australia's unfortunate because incompetent government policies stifle employment. ("Jobs minister defends 'DobSeeker'," The Canberra Times, April 27, p7).
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
"Earning" superannuation on free accommodation, (April 27, p1), how good is that? DFAT must have been suffering from too many foreign affairs when it agreed to that benefit for its staff. I wonder how the CPSU could possibly provide a believable case for such a "freebie"?
Richard Cooper, Monash
Section 51 (ix) of the Australina constitution states quite clearly that the Commonwealth is responsible for quarantine. There is no mention of this responsibility being shared with the states. Hotel quarantine was always a stop-gap measure. The Commonwealth government had a whole year to put in place permanent quarantine facilities, but did nothing.
Peter Hill, Kambah
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