It's interesting to learn that a Braidwood farmer and a Queanbeyan recycling specialist have found a way to turn the carcasses of feral animals into organic fertilizer. This is an imaginative and environmentally beneficial way of using animal remains, and suggests that other unwanted animals could be used to advantage.
Possums are a case in point. It is obvious that European settlement, with the proliferation of orchards, succulent domestic plants and safe hideaways, has caused the possum population to explode - so there is abundant raw material to be exploited. Perhaps their skins could be fashioned into warm coats, and of course their hair can be incorporated into wool-mix jumpers and cardigans, a practice at which our New Zealand cousins seem adept. It would bolster trans-Tasman relations if Australia could employ some Kiwi specialists to set up a possum fashion industry, while Australian apprentices could train in New Zealand. A double win.
Then there are culinary opportunities. It is said that possums were a traditional delicacy. Adventurous chefs could explore the appeal of a new possum-meat cuisine. At least one New Zealander makes possum pies with red wine, sage and juniper berries, and declares the result "delicious"
Apart from economic potential, a thorough local cull would be good for the community. Residents would not be subjected to raucous nocturnal calls, nor have to endure disease-carrying animals micturating and defecating in roof cavities. Fruit, flowers and other foliage would flourish. Altogether, less nuisance, new industry and new jobs. Would Mr Barr explore the options?
Peter Fuller, Chifley
Not all Europeans are EU
Graham Bridge (Letters, July 13) seems to have missed geography while at school. England is a country in Britain which, although a group of islands, has always been regarded, as are many other islands, as part of Europe of which the eastern boundaries are generally taken, in modern times, to be the Ural mountains in Russia, the Ural river, the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea and Bosporus. There are about 50 sovereign countries in Europe and only just over half are part of the EU. All are eligible to compete in Euro 2021. Britain leaving the EU has not changed its geography.
Peter Haddon, Jerrabomberra
Preaching doom and gloom
Once again The Canberra Times columnist Jack Waterford (Saturday July 10) delivers another anti-conservative and anti-Scott Morrison article. When will this so-called journalist actually write a column where he criticises Labor/Greens politicians? His left-wing bias is revealing itself in his false statements such as "Morrison blames others". Morrison has actually done the opposite to what Waterford claims. When Victoria recorded over 800 Covid deaths due to their state Premier Dan Andrew's hotel quarantine failure, Morrison refused to put any blame on Andrews. In fact, Morrison had offered Andrews military support to run the quarantine which Andrews steadfastly refused and then denied. Morrison was more than entitled to blame Andrews but he didn't.
Waterford, like many of his leftist friends, has to bring Morrison's religion into question; "A man on whom God has lain hands is hardly likely to listen to mere mortals." I ask would journalists like Waterford use patronising language like this if Morrison was a Muslim? We all know the answer to that.
Compared to other countries Australia has done exceptionally well in not suffering the loss of lives that those countries have, which was due to Morrison's gutsy decision to ban all arrivals from China against the WHO's advice and to quarantine travellers from Wuhan, where the virus originated, much to the cries of racism from the left.
As for the supply of the vaccine, this is hardly Morrison's fault, as Australia has no stronghold on orders in a world where other countries are far worse off. A more objective and balanced column on Australia's success in combating the virus from China would be welcome from Waterford, but like many on the left they want to preach doom and gloom because their own political views get in the way of any factual, balanced reporting on the government of Australia.
Ian Pilsner, Weston
Put off your summer holidays
Can it be assumed that the Prime Minister is not 'unaware' of the catastrophic high temperatures and fires besetting parts of North America? With this in mind, can we rest easy in the belief that the Prime Minister is already "girding his loins and grabbing the hose" in anticipation of Australia being beset by a similar situation next summer. With this potential scenario and the Covid factor, may I suggest that the Prime Minister put on hold any summer holiday plans.
Mike Lynch, Isaacs
Godwin's Law triumphs again
I refer to the letter entitled "Beware the Slippery Slope" by John Smith (Letters, July 12). I find it hard to believe in 2021 that someone could link the Nuremberg Trials with euthanasia or voluntary-assisted dying. There are dozens of checks and balances in the legislation introduced in Australia to ensure that the process is the best and safest it can be.
Polls have shown up to 85 per cent support for voluntary-assisted dying. My point was that Mr Seselja's views represent a tiny minority of the ACT population yet he is forcing them on the majority. In response to Mr Smith's argument I suggest he research Godwin's Law. It's the argument you trot out when you don't have an argument.
Peter McLoughlin, Monash
Housing traditions trampled
We congratulate Alison Chapple (Letters, July 12) for her success in finally having anti-social public housing neighbours moved from her street in Macquarie. The sad reality, however, is that the problem posed by these tenants is merely being shifted to another unsuspecting Canberra community.
Why is it so? The simple answer is "Housing ACT", an organisation that, through its distorted focus on human rights to the almost total exclusion of any concept of responsibility, has traduced the proud traditions of public housing, once one of the foundation stones of modern Canberra. While ever Housing ACT remains unreconstructed, public housing will be reviled wherever it is, to the extent that Housing ACT may as well pre-paint white crosses on the doors of their dwellings as part of the construction process.
All too many Canberrans seem to think that public housing is part of "giving the little guy a go", as indeed it once was. Now it has degenerated into an underclass-infested wasteland.
Could we suggest that those Canberrans who are so enthusiastic about the modern concept of public housing put up their hands to have it located near them? They'd soon realise how badly Housing ACT is in need of substantial reform.
Michael & Christine O'Loughlin, Canberra
Vaccine facts and bluster
I don't profess to be an expert on body language, but the only thing that surprised me watching Greg Hunt, the Health Minister, attempt to play down any role Kevin Rudd might have had in bringing forward Australia's access to the Pfizer vaccine, was that the minister's nose did not start to grow.
The (undisputed) fact that it was the former PM and not our current PM who contacted the Pfizer CEO further demonstrates just how inept the Morrison government has been in it's management of the pandemic.
Morrison has been tremendous at announcing that we have 'secured' so many doses of the vaccine, but hopeless at actually getting the vaccines delivered to our shores and into the arms of people. To paraphrase my Pa, he's just a painter of bovine excrement.
Steve Whennan, Richardson
One step backwards
There used to be a footpath from the rear of the Canberra Theatre to the London Circuit carpark. As a result of the 'improvements' to the precinct, now there isn't. So people making their way to the carpark late at night are forced to walk on the road and mix with cars.
And the small footpath leading from Constitution Avenue into the carpark ends at a parking spot, so is usually blocked by a parked car.
Is it too much to ask someone from our pedestrian planning department to finish the job properly?
Chris Mobbs, Torrens
Not a military exercise
It is offensive to have a member of the military with any role in the vaccination campaign. This offence exists without any account of the personal qualities, skills or achievements of the individual commanding an element of the vaccine program, or the individual who masterminded the stop the boats campaign against refugees.
It is a fundamental of our civilian society that our military is responsible to civilian control. Faults with recruitment of military officers have been demonstrated clearly: the stop the boats campaign included denial of information to our media: information essential for informed political communication.
There are plenty of people in Australian public service and commerce who could perform any task within the vaccine program just as well and better than any military person.
Warwick Davis, Isaacs
TO THE POINT
If the ACT imposes a hard border with NSW I trust it won't impact the capacity of letters from me reaching the Letters desk (Letters, July 13).
Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook
WHY THEY WERE THERE
Congratulations to England for drawing the soccer final. Graham Bridge asks why England, being no longer in the European Union, is in the Euro competition (Letters, July 13). There are 55 Union of European Football Association members, around double the 24 EU membership.
Ian Douglas, Jerrabomberra
Marketing 101: Do not advertise a product which you (know you) cannot deliver! It has the opposite effect to that desired!
Peter Haddon, Jerrabomberra
HOT AND COLD ON TEMPS
It is disappointing when scientists (or journalists) talk about 'hotter temperatures' ("Canada's Heatwave", July 13). Temperatures are numbers and numbers cannot be 'hot' or 'cold'. Whatever happened to 'higher' or 'lower'?
David Roth, Kambah
ADD SOME PEP TO OUR ADS
Why can't our Chief Marketeer ensure at least one of his government's vaccination ads features a group of well-known, respected people like Ash Barty, Grace Tame and Quentin Bryce? Or clever performers and communicators like Sammy J or Shaun Micallef?
Though perhaps such a progressive approach would have our PM choking at the thought of having to look beyond his comfortable network of mates, compliant consultants and anyone in uniform.
Sue Dyer, Downer
A GRIM MUST-WATCH
The article "Fires scorch sweltering California" (July 12) is a terrible reminder of the 2019-20 summer fires here in Australia. And having just watched the David Attenborough-narrated documentary 'Breaking Boundaries' on Netflix, I would challenge Scott Morrison, Matt Canavan and anyone else to watch it and fail to recognise that we are facing an existential planetary crisis.
Kathryn Kelly, Chifley
OH, TO FLY NORTH
So the Prime Minister's red zone state has engulfed the ACT and spread to Victoria. Oh to be in Queensland now that strawberries are ripening.
John Sandilands, Garran
TIME YOUR TOP-UP
Sue Coleman noted the huge differences in fuel prices between the Gold Coast and a rural village in NSW 24 hours later (Letters, July 12). I was in Perth last month and filled up at service station near my daughter's home - the cost $1.269 per litre. The next day the same servo was displaying the price at $1.649 per litre. The difference was that I had refueled on what the Perth people call "cheap Tuesday".
Brian Bell, Isabella Plains
BEFORE OUR EYES
Doug Hurst (Letters, July 10) correctly implies that the Great Barrier Reef will bounce back from any climate change induced catastrophe. However, he fails to indicate a time frame and in what form the reef will end up. Climate change is drastically transforming the reef before our eyes in a matter of decades, not the millennia of ice ages his geologist friend studied.