Public housing on Northbourne may have been award-winning architecture (Letters, May 18) but it wasn't socially successful.
By late 1990s and early 2000s, Northbourne had become a centre, and canyon, of crime and general antisocial conduct. A long-time resident assessed 10 per cent of residents behaved thus.
There were sexual and other assaults, murders, and robberies. I was assaulted at 5.45pm, by two, then two more, louts for my $100 bike, 40 metres off Northbourne.
I had stopped to assist a pedestrian who was being assaulted. I lobbied for increased police presence, particularly in commuting times. The corridor was a police "no go" zone, apart from the occasional police vehicle sitting in Northbourne peak traffic.
Hundreds of cyclists and pedestrians used the corridor. I know of women who stopped doing so from 5pm in winter on Canberra's premier avenue and only a few kilometres from the city police station.
One MLA would peddle furiously up the tarmac of Northbourne itself after sitting nights, to avoid the possibility of an ambush on bike or footpaths.
I am very pleased that the housing has gone. I just feel for the new neighbours of the 10 per cent relocated throughout Canberra. There have been plenty of letters recently on this subject.
Christopher Ryan, Watson
A wise choice
I wish to congratulate the local developers for planting beautiful deciduous trees in the new suburb of Whitlam.
These trees will offer refreshing shade in summer and allow plenty of warm sunshine to come through in winter as they lose their leaves.
Deciduous trees are fire retardant and will protect life and property, unlike eucalyptus which are not suitable to be planted in suburbia.
Parrots such as crimson rosellas and king parrots and cockies eat the acorns from oaks over winter.
Deciduous leaves fall during the wettest period of the year and the water dilutes the waste in the waterways. The leaves can be mulched and build up the soil.
Gum trees lose leaves all year round and can pollute water with their eucalyptus oil.
The deciduous trees in Whitlam are a welcome addition to the urban landscape. Well done all the decision makers involved.
Margot Sirr, Gowrie
Cause and effect
It's amazing what a letter to The Canberra Times can achieve.
Six weeks ago I wrote about my 91-year-old mother who was anticipating a telegram from Queen Elizabeth before receiving her COVID vaccine.
All that has now changed for the better, and my Mum is vaccinated.
It is a reminder that politics is all about pressure at the right time and place.
Thanks, The Canberra Times.
John Sandilands, Garran
Oliver Raymond (Letters, May 14) wonders how he would manage a hypothetical 300-kilometre overnight trip to Parkes in an electric car.
I recently drove my purely electric Hyundai Ioniq from Canberra to Parkes. My first stop was Cowra, where I had a coffee and fast charge at a universally compatible NRMA DC charger. Next stop was Parkes, where the car had another top-up thanks to NRMA and I had lunch.
The partial charges at Cowra and Parkes were problem-free and added almost no extra time to the trip compared to my usual rest breaks.
The Parkes charge got me to Nyngan (same day) where I stayed overnight with trickle-charging on a standard household power point. From there I got to Broken Hill in a day and a bit without fast charges.
The whole trip was very pleasant, and easier than I had anticipated. I am now planning a trip to the Daintree region of far north Queensland in my electric car.
Bill Gresham, Macquarie
Fund our schools
Re "Teachers propose solutions to shortage" (May 16, p9). Surely it is the responsibility of education providers, public and private, to fund schools sufficiently to deliver the services they are mandated to provide.
Analyses that imply staff shortages are due to the onerous paper-work required of teachers and their "inadequate training" miss the point.
School accountability (i.e. paperwork) could be one of the most significant strategies for positive change in the delivery of teaching and learning programs. Communities and parents deserve good communication and transparency about student outcomes and teaching programs. However, the resources to do this need to be planned for and provided.
To say graduates are "insufficiently equipped to teach in a classroom" implies teachers should graduate "good to go". In fact, professional development continues. New graduates are mentored as they integrate theoretical learning with their teaching practice.
It is bad planning to expect staffing gaps can be plugged by graduates doing casual teaching for a "few years". During this time young teachers will experience many discouraging knock-backs in their applications for permanent work, due not to their inherent unsuitability but to caps on permanent appointments. They will opt for other permanent work that offers sick pay, long service leave, professional development and opportunity.
It falls squarely on the ACT government to prioritise funding that provides quality education in properly staffed, well-maintained and adequately resourced schools.
Gail Webb, Lyneham
The "wrong type", says G. Gillespie (Letters, May 18), in response to my question, "what type of country have we become?" He suggests donating to trusted organisations will help, and I strongly agree. I regularly donate to Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) and Save the Children, among others, and highly recommend them both as worthy organisations that do wonderful work.
I note that an MSF clinic in Gaza was recently attacked by Israeli forces, so any donations would be gratefully received.
Fred Pilcher, Kaleen
In the 1980s, Clayton's soft drinks marketed the line "The drink you have when you're not having a drink".
Scott Morrison refuses to set a net-zero emissions target until he knows the cost. Not even a Clayton's target.
A budget is a financial plan. A few days back, the Treasurer delivered a budget with a record deficit and no plan to repay the debt. A Clayton's budget.
I need a drink, definitely not soft.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn, Victoria
Stop the culls
ACT Parks and Conservation Service director Daniel Iglesias has claimed the purpose of the proposed slaughter of 1568 kangaroos on Canberra reserves in 2021 is to "manage" grazing pressure.
This is the government's usual narrative. It has nothing to do with the real reason for the killing.
For 12 years, the government has been killing kangaroos on Canberra reserves three to four times faster than it is possible for their populations to recover by breeding alone.
The aim of such a program cannot be anything but complete extermination.
The killing is not humane, it is horrifically cruel. The killing is not necessary.
It does not protect the environment, it damages it.
Kangaroo numbers have been reduced too low for them to perform their keystone function of maintaining the diversity and richness of vegetation that maximises the habitat of other species.
One gathers from the fate of much of the ACT land where kangaroos used to live that the land is being cleared of its native inhabitants as a prelude to development that brings in rates.
Frankie Seymour, Queanbeyan, NSW
The latest headlines over the Morrison government's treatment of Australians in India have flushed out the discreetly low-key fact that our high commissioner posting in India has - since a year ago - been filled by one more former Liberal politician. In this case, former NSW premier Barry O'Farrell.
So the "public service jobs for political partisans" in the last eight years of this federal Coalition government go beyond just Carnell, Nelson, Downer, Brandis, Fifield, Hockey, Sinodinos, Greiner, Mirabella, Matheson, Truss, Patterson and Minchin.
This is besides the political appointees to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal; many of them skulking 2019 election-eve stacks.
It'd be difficult to find analogies internationally for such shameless disregard of the executive-legislative division of powers, and for such blatant establishment of political mateship as the governing criteria in appointment to prominent, publicly funded, public service jobs and sinecures.
We'd definitely be looking at failed states and bottom-rung Third World countries for anything comparable.
Alex Mattea, Sydney
TO THE POINT
AND BIG BUSINESS?
Nicholas Stuart writes "this government's giving to middle Australia" ("Morrison's big spending pulls the rug out from Labor", May 16, p22). Has he forgotten the millions paid out to large prosperous corporations (JobKeeper) resulting in increases in corporate profits, increased dividends and increased executive bonuses? Why isn't the media screaming about this mismanagement of public expenditure?
Ernst Willheim, Campbell
ONLY ONE WINNER
There is a renewed conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelites. Who gains? The arms manufacturers.
Sankar Kumar Chatterjee, Evatt
THE FIRST CASUALTY?
Why has the Israeli state bombed the al-Jazeera office in a targeted military strike? Is it to stop the truth from being presented by their journalism? Is the truth-telling journalism of al-Jazeera considered a crime by the Israeli state? Is that a part of Israel's right to self-defence?
Rajend Naidu, Sydney
A NEW LEAF
Now Christine Holgate has gone to a new role as chief executive in the private sector, she will be able to "gift" Cartier watches to her senior executives as she please. It will not be raising any eyebrows or putting her position at risk.
Mario Stivala, Belconnen
Australia's failure to condemn Israel's airstrikes and the destruction of Gaza's Associated Press and al-Jazeera news building has given the Israeli war machine a green light for mass murder.
G Gillespie, Scullin
Congratulations to Canberra for being the most sustainable city in the world ("Canberra named world's most sustainable city", canberratimes.com.au, May 18). Full credit to past and present Labor/Green governments for their renewable energy initiatives which, along with green space per person, sent the city to the top of the worldwide rankings.
Jenny Goldie, Cooma
GOOD JOB OR BAD JOB?
Is this the result of the UK trade envoy, Tony Abbott, doing his job or not doing his job? ("UK cabinet row over Australian trade deal", canberratimes.com.au, May 18).
Sue Dyer, Downer
A BILLION HERE ...
$500 million to desecrate the Australian War Memorial, $600 million for an unnecessary, ill-advised gas plant. How good is this Morrison government? Not.
Richard Johnston, Kingston
A CUNNING PLAN?
How convenient it must be to be able to start a little war to move people's minds away from the fact that your political chips are down and you are facing criminal charges. A bit more bravado and sabre-rattling and you might just win the next election. Ah, the benefits of a little war.
Nick van Weelden, Kingston
CHEATS ARE LOSERS
All of the current discussion about the cricket sandpaper incident seems to ignore the fact that you can't cheat and win, you just cheat. Cheaters are losers, irrelevant of whatever the scoreboard says.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Vic
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