No one should be surprised that the National Capital Authority has received 599 submissions on the AWM redevelopment.
Opposition to the project from architects, museum professionals, historians and leading figures has been nationwide for more than two years. The Parliamentary Public Works Committee was overwhelmed with submissions opposing the redevelopment.
The government's own Australian Heritage Council gave it the thumbs down and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment raised significant heritage issues.
Most recently Naomi Stead, Professor of Architecture, Monash University, delivered a damning indictment of the project, concluding: "The process has damaged public faith in our bureaucratic structures, our proper checks and balances, our good governance and our democracy. If this can get through, what next?"
The AWM project has created a historic crisis in the national capital story. And the NCA is sworn to "ensure that Canberra is a city worthy of its status as the national capital ".
If the project proceeds the nation, its people and the national capital will have once and for all lost one of our finest historic treasures and everything it has stood for from the time it was conceived on the western front in the Great War to the very present.
All rests now with the National Capital Authority.
Brendon Kelson, director, AWM, 1990-1994, Canberra
Vote 1 Homer
In an episode of The Simpsons in which he was running for public office, Homer Simpson stated that if only the public would elect him, he would make them pay for not liking him.
The similar contempt in which members of our Legislative Assembly hold us mere mortals is highlighted by the submissions of the political parties on pre-poll voting ("Parties call for shorter pre-poll period", May 5, p3).
The purpose of an election is to allow the electorate to choose its representatives, not to benefit political parties wanting to make announcements at the last minute so they can avoid scrutiny.
Arrangements that make it easier for electors to vote at a time convenient to them should be continued. If a party hasn't been able to expound its policies in the four years since the last election perhaps it should reconsider its existence.
Stephen Jones, Bonython
Decision is absurd
ACT Planning's ridiculous decision to impose 200-square-metre restrictions on shops in mixed-use precincts is killing Canberra's economic growth and development.
All other countries, states and territories are building larger shops and precincts to boost development, construction, jobs and economic development, yet ACT Planning are imposing restrictions on the growth of businesses.
Large group centres planned for Moncrieff, Kenny, Throsby, Taylor and Jacka have been unnecessarily delayed and must be built immediately.
With COVID-19, larger areas are required to have same number of customers as previously due to social restrictions. Please remove the 200-square-metre restrictions on shops in mixed-use precincts immediately.
Jenny Davis, Gungahlin
Take a hike
I took the oft-touted R2 bus last week to connect with the train at Kingston. Imagine my thoughts when, on that R2 service timed for about eight minutes before the early train departs, I was dropped at Wentworth Avenue; some 100 metres or so short of the railway station.
There is ample room to drive the ACTION bus into the railway station forecourt; particularly those R2 services that are scheduled to arrive in time for bus passengers to catch their train.
I note the Translink coach routinely does so.
Thankfully, the weather was pleasant and I didn't have luggage. I paused to wonder what the A in ACTION might stand for. "Amateurish" and "almost" came very readily to mind.
Michael Doyle, Fraser
The ACT government has totally dropped the ball on municipal services.
The collapse began with self-government and has got steadily worse since it was granted in 1988.
The ambitions of developers are paramount; the needs of residents neglected.
The ACT government has totally dropped the ball on municipal services. The collapse began with self-government and has got steadily worse ever since.Pauline Westwood, Dickson
Meanwhile, dangerous footpaths are not repaired and in my suburb the recycling bins are not emptied.
Notifications and complaints go unanswered.
In light of this ongoing failure, the ACT is urgently in need of elected and responsible councils to take over our services.
Pauline Westwood, Dickson
The raising of London Circuit from Northbourne Avenue via the intersection of Edinburgh Avenue to be at grade with Commonwealth Avenue has not raised a murmur within the ranks of The Canberra Times' letter writers.
Will there be a requirement for a retaining wall outside Q2 hotel? What happens to the intersection of London Circuit and Edinburgh Avenue? Could we have temporary poles along London Circuit median, the tops of which would show the amount of fill required to satisfy the grade required for the tram tracks? There must be many other questions.
John Madelly snr, Melba
I have just received a community survey from Alicia Payne MP which asks of 19 choices (1) which is the one issue of most concern, and (2) to choose up to four other issues you are concerned about.
COVID-19, which has killed about three or four people in the ACT, is 18th on the list. This may or may not be surprising. But to find drug- and alcohol-associated deaths, which take far more lives than the coronavirus, absent from the survey is staggering. I don't know how this helps reduction of harm.
Colliss Parrett, Barton
The federal government's suggestion a rise in housing demand reflects an economy in recovery from the pandemic is utter nonsense.
Facilitating this further by pumping more cash into it, allowing people to use their superannuation to enter the market, or enabling a farcical 2 per cent deposit, augurs well for a future diabolical financial collapse. Have we forgotten that the higher the house value, the higher the rent?
We already have more than one in eight adults and one in six children living below the poverty line in Australia. How will these people eat, let alone pay rent to landlords facilitated by new government drivers focused only on wealth?
Amateur investors in the housing market are kidding themselves if they think the greedy bankers or the government are going to protect them when the market collapses.
We need government policies which are focused on community rather than profits.
Gerry Gillespie, Queanbeyan
Bob Salmond (Letters, May 12) calls on the western democracies to respect the opinions of China, and suggests that the "peaceful reunification" of Taiwan into China could then be achieved.
But apparently Mr Salmond cares little for the opinions of the 24 million Taiwanese who to date have shown very little interest in being ruled by the CCP. Perhaps his definition of a peaceful reunification is a bloody full-scale invasion by the PLA and the deaths of potentially millions of Taiwanese who would likely oppose the invasion?
The CCP's appalling record of human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang or the democracy supporters in Hong Kong would hardly encourage the Taiwanese to willingly submit to the CCP.
Kym MacMillan, O'Malley
Paul Wayper (Letters, May 13) is wrong on wages, prices and profits.
In a free market, wages are determined by the competition of employers for labour that is inherently scarce. In a free market there is a tendency for the establishment of a uniform rate of profit on invested capital in different branches industry.
This prevents and counteracts mistakes of various industries and gives consumers the power to initiative positive changes, i.e. lower prices and improved service delivery and product quality.
When an industry is regulated and subsidised by the government (like the aged care sector) the result is rising demand, rising costs, reduced competition and a lack of innovation.
Capitalists are not a law unto themselves. In order to make profits and avoid losses they must produce goods and services consumers want to buy.
The free market capitalist system is a moral system because it rewards those who serve others efficiently and penalises those who don't. We need more capitalism.
Victor Diskordia, McKellar
To the point
A CASE STUDY
RE: Rod Olsen's "quaint" opinions on Richard Nixon (Letters, May 13 and 14), he seems unaware of the way the president handled the crisis caused by Soviet attempts to build a nuclear submarine base in Cuba's Cienfuegos Bay in 1970. Back channel diplomacy defused the situation long before it could become a repeat of the events of 1962.
P McCracken, Bungendore
NAMED AND SHAMED
Stephen Duckett's listing of some of the names of vaccine-rollout incompetents is a virtual who's who of places-in-the-sun reserved for post-politics double-dippers ("Ex-Health boss slams vaccine "train wreck", May 11, p2).
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
IGNORANCE IS BLISS
Bob Salmond (Letters, May 12) says the peaceful reunification of Taiwan with China would occur if the US did not interfere. Is he unaware of the "peaceful reunification" of Hong Kong with China? Once unified with China, Taiwan and its people could expect to lose all their existing freedoms and benefits and, in some instances, their lives.
D Bogusz, Greenway
Bob Salmond (Letters, May 12) says Australia should proclaim strong support for the reunification of China with Taiwan. He talks of peaceful reunification. Where has he been? Hasn't he noticed how the reunification of China with Hong Kong has been far from peaceful?
Michael Lucas, Conder
ONE SMALL PROBLEM
Kim Fitzgerald (Letters, May 13) says the PM should pick up the phone and talk to his counterpart in China in an attempt to mend a rapidly deteriorating relationship. The problem is his counterpart won't take his calls. It takes two to tango.
Mario Stivala, Belconnen
Gary Gilmore said "let's do it" before his execution in 1977 by firing squad. He fought for the option saying "I'd prefer to be shot". Many consider it the most effective form of execution. Angela Kueter-Luks (Letters, May 12) may be horrified but if it was her death she may look for the quickest and surest result.
Jevon Kinder, Murrumbateman, NSW
The NRL is being hypocritical by, on the one hand, talking about concern and protection for players suffering from concussion while, on the other, allowing Paul Gallen to participate in boxing; a contest where one intentionally tries to achieve a result that causes permanent brain damage to others.
Tom Brimson, Dunlop
T McGhie (Letters, May 14) asks why a reference to a "deceased parrot" shouldn't have been to a "dead parrot"? I'm surprised in this age of cautious reporting is the reference wasn't to an allegedly dead parrot.
Keith Hill, Nindigully Pub, Qld
You missed the joke, Tim (Letters, May 14).
Janet Thompson, Garran
WELL DONE, ALBO
Good to see Anthony Albanese bringing some heart back to politics. It's the compassion deficit that worries me. We've left way too many Australians behind.