Jeremy Hanson appears to miss the point (Opinion, June 16). Canberra, as a city and the national capital of Australia has a coat of arms that were granted in 1928. The Australian Capital Territory does not have its own arms.
"Canberra's arms" are part of history and should not be tampered with. Canberra City's arms refer to the federal parliamentary triangle and its status as the national capital of Australia, not the whole of the ACT. The proposed change is to not change the Canberra arms at all, but to ensure that the ACT has its own separate arms and that they be used by the ACT government rather than those granted to the City of Canberra, which is the current status quo.
The ACT should have its own distinctive arms, and this is the exercise that is currently being undertaken. This is not a political exercise at all and is also not a republican/monarchist stoush either. A positive outcome would be for the ACT to not be the only state/territory without its own arms. As for the Canberra City arms being modified back in 1993, that's just utter rubbish, as one does not modify a set of legally granted arms at the whim of some political entity.
That which currently reposes on the ACT flag is a grossly inappropriate use of heraldry and is referred to as a prime example of "heraldic heresy".
Jeremy Hanson in his opinion article (June 16) repeatedly stressed the ACT's current flag won a popular vote. One person the flag wasn't popular with? Its designer Ivo Ostyn, as documented in this very newspaper (August 21, 2012). Ostyn reports his preferred, simpler design was denied the opportunity for consideration. Whatever the merits of our city's coat of arms, an appealing flag it does not make.
Reading The Canberra Times on Wednesday left me mystified about compassion. I started on the front page, with a large photo of Winky the one-eyed kitten. I continued to the Biloela family's plight on page 4, in which the Immigration Minister assured us that everyone has compassion towards the two children but they will remain in detention. Then a half-page article on page 6 and another large photograph of Winky the cat, who sadly was shot but then rescued with a "mountain of veterinary emergency work" to be rehomed by the RSPCA to a loving family with another cat. And below that, a much shorter article with a small sad photo about at-risk kids needing support. It seems that it is much easier, faster, and of greater public interest, to administer compassion to stray cats than to do the same for our children. I am still shaking my head.
I read with interest Sally Whyte's article ("'No objective test' on merit for ministers", June 15). I have long held the view that applying the so-called "merit" principle as a basis for making appointments is fundamentally flawed.
The problem is that "merit" as a guiding principle assumes a level playing field in which all players are starting from the same position. Of course, this is not the case. Inherent structural inequalities that are systemically rooted in our society based on gender, race and wealth mean that not everyone has the same access and opportunities to education and to those broader opportunities afforded to those not faced with these barriers. It is hardly surprising then that the majority of senior appointments in politics, industry and public service are white men who were fortunate enough to receive a good education and access to the right networks, and did not face the same obstacles along the way as their colleagues.
While there has been some progress in recent years in addressing problems with the "merit" principle for making appointments such as "affirmative action" policies and quotas, if we are serious about inclusion and diversity and have a genuine desire for equal opportunity for all, then I suggest a discussion about the current concept of "merit" is required.
A big shout out to Ros Williams, who became an OAM recipient from the Queen's Birthday Honours list. Ros has been a passionate and tireless advocate for mental health and coronial reform for a number of years, both on a local and national basis.
Ros has been instrumental in affecting positive and significant change in these arenas, and her efforts have been immense. While wearing many hats for community based organisations regarding mental health and coronial reform, Ros recently became a founding member of the Alliance for Coronial Reform (ACR).
ACR focuses on providing improved pathways, support, advocacy, restorative practices and inclusivity for families and carers who have lost a loved one to, quite often, an unexpected/unwarranted death. For anyone who knows Ros, they will agree that she is most deserving of this illustrious award and it is simply wonderful that all her hard work has been recognised. Bravo Ros - you are a trailblazer, and I am honoured to be riding with you on our journey for positive outcomes for consumers, families and carers.
Imagine if the Department of Immigration had assessed the Bileola family's unusual situation and quietly granted them citizenship years ago. Only their small community would know of their existence and there would have been a couple of extra taxpayers and ratepayers and a couple more to keep the contribution rolling along. Unfortunately noise-making politicians decided that this family would be publicly punished with no limit to their cruelty and no limit on the budget to affect such bastardry. Party unity is obviously much more important to backbenchers than the moral fibre to improve the family's care, wellbeing and privacy.
As China exerts its military and economic might in our region, a Khaki Election seems inevitable. I would just warn voters against politicians who beat the drums of war the loudest, but do not match their words with actions to protect our national security.
Cabotage was introduced into British law after the Eighty Years' War (against Spain) which ended in 1648. For sound military reasons, only British owned and crewed ships could sail and trade in British coastal waters and between British ports. Almost all nations now have cabotage in some form. Under the Jones Act of 1920 US coastal ships must not only be American owned and crewed but also American built.
Australia has some 25,000 kilometres of coastline that cabotage was initially designed to protect from a surprise military landing. Foreign coastal shipping would involve a large maritime workforce completely unvetted by Australian security agencies and free to jump ship at any time.
The current Liberal government has made a number of attempts to allow foreign crews in our coastal trade and is currently making another attempt. It was a conservative territory government that sold the Port of Darwin to the Chinese. We cannot afford another schoolboy error in our national defence.
Angus Taylor, who goes by the Orwellian title of Emissions Reduction Minister, wants ARENA to fund fossil fuels through carbon capture and storage and through production of "blue" hydrogen from LNG.
Carbon capture has proved to be impractical or at best extremely expensive. "Blue" hydrogen is just a version of the old three-card trick. But hydrogen production using renewable energy for electrolysis of water ("green" hydrogen) will be internationally accepted.
Solar and wind energy production backed by battery storage is the sensible way to reduce both costs and greenhouse gas emissions. With urgent action required to lower emissions, it takes a blinkered minister and government to persist with last century's thinking. The kindest interpretation of Mr Taylor's action is ignorance; generous donations by fossil fuel interests and their intense lobbying of government suggest other motives for ignoring the nation's interests and strong public opinion.
Andrew Barr's genius policy to increase residential rates so as to ease stamp duty on property purchases and help we poor citizens in Canberra seems to be going well. I read that the ACT government has had a windfall huge increase in stamp duty collections.
Probably something to do with drip-feeding the low supply of greenfield residential blocks sales through developers, fuelling the property boom, promoting apartment development (increased stamp duty and rates collections per land unit). Not to mention imposing the highest rates of land tax in the country and screwing renters and investors (not me).
Canberra Liberals, where are you?
I expect British farmers and the public will have strong opinions on the abysmal cruelty of Australia's live animal export trade in the context of a "free-trade agreement".
After spending a week refusing to allow a seriously ill girl in a Perth hospital to see her father and sister, the Minister for Immigration finally relents. He then has the audacity to call this "compassion".
As a slow learner, I have now finally reached the inevitable conclusion that anything Eric Hunter has to say about the LNP and the ABC has to be taken with a pinch of salt (Letters, June 14). It's unsurprising, however, coming from an ABC "leftie" alumni.
Given the media's predilection of referring to "Timor Leste" because that is how it is known to its nationals, instead of using its English title of East Timor, surely the same courtesy should be afforded other countries such as Belgique, Suomi, Sverige, Deutschland, Osterreich, etc?
Anne Bowen (Letters, June 17) pleads for "someone artistic" to "come up with something better" than the present Canberra (not ACT) coat of arms, with its swans showing symptoms of cervical dystonia (distorted neck). Might I suggest The Canberra Times' admirably artistic cartoonist, David Pope?
Barilaro wants feral animals in national parks. He is looking for a response to his offer of 600, as he's found 20,000 is not acceptable. Feral horses breed like a pandemic. What about zero? That's my favourite number of feral horses inside KNP.
Thousands of dollars' "investment" in empathy resulted in abject failure. Likewise, whether "on water" or on terra firma, $7 million, plus unaccounted billions covertly donated to clandestine border security organisations failed to reveal the Good Samaritan's "compassion" ("No end in sight to Biloela family plight", June 16).
Chris Bowen's solar panel attempt to demonstrate energy from the sun is a far better option than carbon-based fuels is beyond the capacity for the COALition to comprehend.
I have to correct John Sandilands (Letters, June 17). The Eden Project is in Cornwall and that is the county where the G7 was held. It was not held in Devon as he stated.
The government is saying if you had the A-Zizzle and you didn't sizzle, have it again and not the Pfizzle.
A men-only club? In Sydney? In 2021? Really?
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