Your editorial "Booming Canberra housing market comes with warning" (canberratimes.com.au, May 2) warned that as the median house price nears $1 million there will be a need for "a serious reconsideration of the role of property in the lives of Canberrans".
For those with inherited wealth or who entered the property market in better times, speculating in property is like shooting fish in a barrel. Sadly, the "fish" being shot are opportunities for our young people and others priced out of the rigged housing market.
It seems policy-makers are more concerned with enabling speculators to own unlimited multiple dwellings and/or "land banks", than with the need for all families or individuals to own just one liveable home.
What we need in Canberra and nationally is a lot more of the social and economic philosophy espoused by Walter Burley Griffin and a lot less of that by Edward Gibbon Wakefield.
Griffin shared a vision of equal rights for all to freely use and enjoy land, irrespective of whether people settled in an area early or later. Conversely, Wakefield promoted a model whereby government deliberately inflated land prices in the interests of a small privileged class, to ensure a scarcity of jobs and a ready supply of compliant labour.
The barbecue chatter in Canberra needs to switch away from our present obsession with socially enervating schemes of land price speculation, towards discussing innovative ways whereby investors could actually contribute productively for the benefit of both themselves and society.
Ronald E Johnson, Charnwood
No vaccine hesitancy
I think there may be an incorrect assumption in the article "COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy plays out at Canberra medical practices" (canberratimes.com.au, May 1).
People who cancel appointments are not necessarily hesitant. Probably the opposite applies. I cancelled two appointments with local GP clinics after finding the surge centre was providing a same-day service. My usual GP clinic (12 doctors) put me on an eight week waiting list because they were only allocated 50 shots a week.
Another nearby clinic, from the commonwealth list, gave me an appointment in six weeks time, which was inconvenient for me. As a result I cancelled two of my three appointments.
I don't understand why the system that efficiently gives us our annual flu jab wouldn't work for COVID-19.
Chris Emery, Reid
I wish to comment on the terrible cost of rates in the ACT and they way that they appear to be increasing exponentially.
Rates are not fairly distributed across the region. Some suburbs pay a lot more while others pay a lot less. In my area the rates for a small housing block are more then $6500 a year. Larger blocks are well in excess of this.
When I wrote to my local member, Dr Marisa Paterson, MLA her suggestion appeared to be that I move my family and pets into a flat. Given there are massive issues with apartment and flat builds in Canberra at the moment, let alone most apartments not really allowing woodworking shops and multiple pets, we would have to completely change our lives, and may have unknown court expenses to try and get our "new" flat fixed.
Folks in Yarralumla do not see special attention given to the local streets, many of which are unpaved and without any kerbing at all. Our local shops are very humble, and we do not have public transport that takes us anywhere near either my husband's nor my places of work. I have no issues with paying rates but in Yarralumla they are completely unreasonable.
I totally understand why so many Canberrans do not live in Canberra. My rates are subsidising the access to hospitals, roads and schools for a bunch of people who live in Queanbeyan and the other NSW areas surrounding Canberra. It is a totally unfair situation.
Michaela Campbell, Yarralumla
As one of the thousands of Australian citizens who has been "delayed" for many months, cooling my heels in a foreign country, I now find my chances of repatriation ebb further into distance.
At the whim of a government, trading on fear, yet at the same time stating it has mastered effective quarantine measures, I could run the added risk of being declared a criminal.
Is it not time for Australia, (and perhaps other countries as well), to implement total strategy resets?
Instead of using draconian threats and the primeval approach of building more "leper colonies", how about implementing the necessary logistical exercise of vaccinating all Australians, and others with a justifiable need to come to Australia, in situ, overseas.
Australian embassies directly, or through local agencies, might simply secure vaccines, bringing them from Australia if necessary, and arrange the jabbing process.
That done, Australians and others in need to come to Australia could travel safely by the plane load and then be directed, if appropriate, into home quarantine.
Philip H Nicholls PhD, Thailand
Will China attempt to invade Taiwan? Given the example of Vietnam, a country that defeated both the French invaders and then the United States superpower in its 30-year struggle for independence a decision to invade is unlikely. The fight to remain independent is a powerful motivator.
If China did decide to invade, what then? The long history of the Cold War shows the United States would not become militarily involved. The risk of war with another nuclear superpower is too great.
The point to make from an Australian perspective is that in no case would there be a part for Australia to play. The chest-beating talk of drums of war would be comical, if it were not dangerously unproductive.
Harry Davis, Campbell
Mike Pezzullo should be reminded he is a public servant whose duty is to serve the Australian people. His recent comments were at odds with the Anzac ideals and spirit. In my opinion his inflammatory language was against our national security interests. I believe he should be sacked immediately.
While the public servants and politicians strut their stuff, China has the ability to finish Australia off in 30 minutes with a dozen long range large conventional missiles targeted at our three largest east coast cities.
Instead of politicians and public servants beating their chests let's be smart by engaging with nations whilst also "quietly and softly" getting real defence systems to guard against possible missile attacks.
Robert McCauley, Wanniassa
Re "The 'drums of war' are beating louder" (canberratimes.com.au, April 28).
You quote a member of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute as saying "sometimes war is imposed on you. You have no choice" and "that was the situation in 1939 and that's the situation now".
Are you not beholden to also publish a list of the foreign governments and foreign arms-manufacturers which contribute to this institute?
Such a list would enable readers to assess whether such comments are valid and balanced particularly given that subsequent to "the situation in 1939" (and in China's case 1937) that conflict took the lives of some 75 million people including about 20 million military personnel and 40 million civilians.
Many of the deaths were caused by genocide, massacres, mass bombings, disease and starvation. We would of course obviously not want to be "happy-clapped" into another such conflict without being fully aware of all sides and contributions to a very serious matter
Roger Terry, Kingston
A carbon subsidy
The Commonwealth government is subsidising the aviation industry via cheap airfares in an apparent attempt to sustain it until things get back to "normal".
But if the government was serious about achieving net zero carbon emissions it would attach some strings to the subsidies in order to reduce emissions into the future.
The aviation industry (and that part of the tourism industry that relies upon aviation) cannot be sustainable in the long term, unless some magic solution is found to aviation emissions.
The Prime Minister should be taking a longer term view, and putting in place a transition strategy to achieve the required emission reductions, including job retraining and support programs for those employees who will inevitably have to be redirected away from emissions intensive industries.
By definition, the "new normal" cannot be the old normal. We need a sector by sector approach to emissions reductions. For every sector that does not pull its weight other sectors will have to carry the burden.
Chris Mobbs, Torrens
TO THE POINT
SUPPORT FOR ALBO
Re Greg Cornwall's (Letters, May 3) challenge re an alternative PM. Albo of course. While he may not be a charismatic leader, and disappoints at times in supporting bad vote seeking policies, he is far more in line with my hopes for a better, fairer, kinder Australia. And, as a special bonus, he has said he likes fighting Tories.
Gina Pinkas, Aranda
Tasmanian election summary: a mediocre to worse state government was elected thanks to not inviting its federal leader to campaign thus defeating an opposition that was rejected thanks to inviting theirs to do so. We are truly the lucky country.
Alex Mattea, Sydney, NSW
I have just watched an item on the ABC News about funding shortfalls for Australia's homeless. Yet, we are spending $500 million on Brendan Nelson's folly at the Australian War Memorial. How warped are the Morrison government's priorities?
Brian Wenn, Garran
Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their 10th wedding anniversary. I must say I prefer their "never explain, never complain" and "get on with the job" approach to life, rather than the incredible public whinging of William's brother and sister-in-law. May Wills and Kate enjoy many more decades of happiness.
Lindsay Dent, Campbelltown, SA
TOP JOB JACK
It was enlightening and reassuring to read Jack Waterford's article "Scott Morrison's miracle appointment" (Forum, Saturday May 1). It should be compulsory reading for anyone who wants to know who Scomo really is.
John Rodriguez, Florey
MOMENTS OF CLARITY
After reading John Hewson's article "War talk is not in the national interest " (canberratimes.com.au, April 30) I realised that often once a politician leaves parliament they exhibit a level of intellectual clarity. Malcolm Fraser was another example. I'm guessing Hewson is now a Labor voter. But wait a minute, who's going to vote for Albo?
G Gillespie, Scullin
Payne, as Morrison's surrogate, created spectacular theatre by "tearing up" Dictator Dan's Victorian memorandum of understanding with China, blatantly ignoring the own goal of Darwin Ports lease ("Advice will guide any shift in Darwin port decision: PM", April 30, p7).
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
Bill Bush (Letters, May 3) reminded me arguments in favour of an ACT prison in 1999 included that a local facility would be more convenient for relatives and that courts were reluctant to sentence people to interstate jails. The latter point may be borne out by the increase in detainees. Also, why can't we speed up the processing of, and reduce the number of, remandees at the AMC?
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
I just found out that Pfizer produces Viagra too. Isn't that enough incentive to request double doses of its COVID-19 vaccine?
Mokhles k Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).