I feel I experience a bit of PTSD in reading about the heatwaves, bushfires, floods and related deaths and destruction that have recently occurred in the northern hemisphere. And there were the schoolboys in Pakistan who fainted in the heat and were rushed to hospital. Canberra has experienced similar climate change-enhanced fires and floods in recent years.
So I looked up what the ACT government has committed to doing on climate change. I am left wondering if the government is taking the climate emergency that was declared in 2019 seriously. On transport, which is now responsible for over 60 per cent of our CO2 emissions, the ACT Climate Change Strategy is full of weasel words like "investigate [or consider or explore] options." There is barely a single target that can be used to hold the public service to account. I've been told only $20 million has been allocated to implement the strategy.
The light rail is not going to stop all those transport emissions and neither are EVs with their large embodied energy. Currently, if I wanted to visit my former neighbour, now in a nursing home in Gordon, catching the bus would be just about as fast as riding my bike all the way. There are, however, many actions that could be taken immediately to make a rich but low-density city like Canberra one in which walking, cycling or public transport were the most attractive ways to get around. We should be able to live in Canberra without owning a car. With six Greens MLAs in the assembly, I'm wondering why they haven't demanded this strategy is revised and given some real teeth.
Paul Magarey, O'Connor
Hard to have your say
Despite ACT Planning Minister Mick Gentleman's offer to extend by only one week the 'have your say' on planning changes, there are critical issues of misleading and omitted information that are too late to fix. The maps presented for discussion at the inner south session on June 3 are not the same as those on the link to the maps in the 'have your say' page. The result is a corrupted process which has denied community the right to clarify and discuss essential issues. At the planning session both Oaks Estate and Beard did not exist and the fact Fyshwick already includes CZ3 mixed commercial use zoning which allows residential use, would be of interest to many business people in the suburb but was omitted. Minister Gentleman has refused the Fyshwick Business Association's request for a master plan, which would enable proper and transparent process of development in the suburb.
B Moore, Kingston
Logic hidden from view
B.M. Bodart-Baily (Letters, July 15) is right to observe that tram costs are hidden from view; and comments in the letter deserve support. Such was basically the case with the Gungahlin red elephant. Had there been a viable business case, then I contend it would have been appeared in every letterbox and inbox in Canberra. Don't strain your eyes looking for it.
It's beginning to look like the approach taken to the recent "maintenance" of Kingsford Smith Drive; the top few kilometres or so of which look like a one-lane dog track (which is pretty in satellite photos), now that a "cycle lane" has been painted into it. Kingsford Smith Drive is a major arterial leading to the Barton Highway and used by all manner of vehicles; and the top section in particular has been made dangerous for all road users by the inane decision to put apply more paint to it than features in Blue Poles. I'm thinking the Kingsford Smith Drive maintenance decision making logic may very well be "hidden from view", along with the tram costs.
Michael Doyle, Fraser
When Skippy is our enemy
Congratulations. Kangaroo 'cull' ends with 1505 new victims. What a triumph for the military campaign in the suburbs of the national capital, hunting native wildlife fugitives in their remaining urban refuges. Canberra with a war budget of around $1 million a year - a generous chunk going to mercenaries employed by city government - Labor and the Greens and their public service. The enemy here and in Australian states is internationally-beloved Skippy, the icon that also holds up one side of the national coat of arms.