Public opinion of governments and the private sector must be at an all time low following repeated debacles, pork barrelling, misappropriation of funds, destruction of ancient sites, reefs and river systems, jobs for your mates and much, much more?
And now we learn, prisoners from the AMC no longer have to attempt to escape but can take their chances on being wrongfully released. Magistrate James Lawton can only describe the mix up as, "an interesting situation". Please stop, my belly laughing can't take anymore.
All this reminds me of a cartoon where a young lad announces to his father that he is considering a career in organised crime. To which his father replies, "is that in the government or private sector".
John Sandilands, Garran
The right call
I'm glad our ACT government isn't resorting to lazy governance by closing borders for all and enforcing mask use all the time.
They seem to have found a balance of restricting high-risk people from entering, contact tracing and isolating of people and the use of a mask when the risk is increased.
I have no doubt after over a year of the pandemic we will continue to be looked after. Calls to lock borders and enforce wearing of facemasks all the time is just wanting the government to take lazy and easy to enforce actions.
I'd prefer the people of Canberra live our great, relatively-free-from-COVID-19 lifestyle while ever we can and, if required, then enforce facemasks or a lockdown. The ACT has shown listening to expert advice and adapting to the situation works perfectly fine without resorting to draconian measures at the first sign of a case within coo-ee of here.
Justin Watson, Bonython
Our PM is probably doing a fantastic job in the backroom, dealing with issues such as chairing national cabinet and working out assistance programs for states in lockdown.
But, by not having a centre-stage presence, the polls are starting to turn against the government. There is a very real chance this will continue through to the next election with Labor given a soft ride into power by a compliant media.
It's high time for leadership with forceful oratory behind it. Set a clear percentage of the population which, when vaccinated, will be free from any restrictions. Set a time for this to happen. Take on some non-COVID policies to show conviction. How about a nuclear policy to allow us to have abundant emissions-free power?
Rethink the awarding of the horribly complex and expensive submarine project to the French. Show compassion to the Biloela Tamil family and those locals who worked with our troops in Afghanistan. Then get out there and sell these with relentless positive messaging.
Labor does not have much to offer, but our current government appears bereft of direction, allowing Labor to get ahead using negative messaging.
Ian Morison, Forrest
Stop the madness
The letter by Jenny Goldie (Letters, July 19) "Infinite growth is a mad idea that will destroy our planet" is spot on. And we in Australia are playing our part with interest.
If everyone on earth imposed an ecological footprint like Australians we would need four Earths to stay within sustainable limits. Economic and population growth are placing intolerable pressures on our life-support systems and nature in general.
Theft is usually considered illegal but we are merrily stealing our children's future. The deep irony is that the analysis of the Genuine Progress Indicator suggests that Australian growth in the last 50 years has decreased human wellbeing rather than increasing it. Growth was once the solution. Now it is the problem.
Alan Jones, Narraweena, NSW
On Monday I was searching The Canberra Times from April 1955 for information on a plane crash in Queensland. I was distracted by a federal/state political joust over vaccines.
On April 13The Canberra Times reported "The polio vaccine is safe, effective and potent it was officially announced today. Dr Jonas Salk of Pittsburgh University said he was sure the vaccine was almost 100 per cent effective."
On April 14 it was reported "The Salk vaccine is not likely to be available for general use in Australia for some time... The Minister for Health Sir Earle Page said one of the biggest difficulties... would be its commercial manufacture."
On April 15The Canberra Times reported the leader of the Opposition, Dr Evatt said: "The Commonwealth had been guilty of vacillation and neglect in relation to taking the initiative in combating the polio scourge in Australia".
Dr Page defended the government's response arguing he relied on medical advice including from Sir MacFarlane Burnett, the Director of Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.
On April 16The Canberra Times reported: "Sir Macfarlane said it was a little unfair" to criticise Australia "for not having already started production of the vaccine... We cannot expect responsible authorities to embark on a very big scheme until they know the thing is worth doing". He also warned that rushed production was risky. This could lead to the vaccine causing polio (as it did in the US in the next few months following mass vaccinations).
Bill Coote, Campbell ACT
Marles a mystery
Like G Gillespie (Letters, July 19) I'm flabbergasted but for different reasons. While no doubt Richard Marles is a nice guy and so on he is virtually unknown to voters, certainly not as deputy leader of the opposition.
ScoMo and co, for all their missteps, rorts and cover-ups, will likely slide back into government by default. In my view Penny Wong ticks a lot of boxes. Sure she has to move from the Senate, which has been done before.
She has demonstrated leadership qualities as leader of the opposition in the Senate, has integrity, is highly intelligent and articulate, born overseas, female and gay with a family, therefore represents a large and varied cohort of voters.
If Labor is serious about forming the next government they need a leadership reset or they run the distinct risk of being the runner-up again.
D Bogusz, Greenway
The kangaroo cull
Thanks to ACT Parks and Conservation kangaroos are now functionally extinct on the ACT's suburban reserves.
Functionally extinct means they no longer exist in sufficient numbers to fulfil their function as a keystone species, or to have any hope of producing enough offspring to ever do so again.
This has been achieved by 13 years of killing kangaroos three to four times faster (ie 30 to 40 per cent per year - see Kangaroos Management Plan 2017 p 25) than it is biologically possible for their population to grow.
At the ACAT hearing on the kangaroo slaughter in 2013 the government spokesperson agreed that 10 per cent per year was a kangaroo population's maximum possible growth rate.
He claimed that the impossible population growth rate on urban reserves claimed by the government was courtesy of kangaroos moving in from habitat outside the reserves.
The problem with this claim is: firstly that the land managers on the surrounding habitat are allowed to kill kangaroos just as fast as the killers on the reserves; and, secondly that the surrounding habitat is rapidly disappearing under rampant development right up to the fences of the reserves.
Our urban kangaroos are unlikely to ever recover from this unremitting onslaught. Their social structure is destroyed. The survivors are permanently traumatised.
There are too few experienced adults left to teach their children how to be kangaroos.
Whether or not functional extinction was the government's aim, it is certainly what they have achieved.
Frankie Seymour, Queanbeyan, NSW
Manor house debate
I share some of the concerns of people on both sides of the manor house debate.
However, I don't think that either preserving the status quo in RZ1 areas or allowing new development that largely fills a suburban block are good ways to accommodate a growing population, improve affordability and maintain a liveable environment.
There is at least one better approach - allow sub-division in RZ1 areas (including where I live) but impose strict rules to prevent over-development, including by capping the size of new residences at say 130 square metres and requiring a minimum permeable area.
The ACT government currently is largely washing its hands of the issue and allowing developers to decide what is built across many parts of Canberra.
Many people are dissatisfied with recent and prospective outcomes.
Instead, the government should be more proactive in identifying way(s) to increase the population density in RZ1 areas that are generally acceptable to the community.
Bruce Paine, Red Hill
TO THE POINT
IF YOU'RE SO SMART...
If Adam Triggs ("Do immigrants mean lower wages", canberratimes.com.au, July 20) knows so much about the labour market, why didn't he tell us why wages are going down?
Philip Pocock, Coombs
THE BRADBURY GAMES
Way back in the mid 1960s I won my high school's junior tennis champions medal because I was the only entrant. With all the withdrawals and being fully vaccinated I'm beginning to rue not nominating for the Tokyo Olympics. I did hear a rumour that Stephen Bradbury might turn up.
Keith Hill, Tinana, Qld
THE BAD NEWS
Due to the COVID-19 lockdown the light at the end of the tunnel has been switched off until further notice.
Richard Ryan, Summerland Point, NSW
WHAT A SHOCK
Coronavirus is turning up in Australian sports crowds. Well, who'd have thought it?
M. F. Horton, Adelaide, SA
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Love it Eric Hunter: "what then is a private intellectual?" (Letters, July 20). Probably difficult to determine. If one thinks one is, one could not discuss the condition for fear of breaching one's classificational specificity.
G Williams, Gowrie
We have much to worry about and a good deal to be sorry about. But since when did worry rhyme with sorry? Who starts these mutations, and why are television reporters and newsreaders so cringingly susceptible?
Diana Brown, Aranda
ON YOUR BOAT
May I suggest to Trevor Fowler ("The art of poesy", Letters, July 20) that he sail away for a year and a day to the land where the Bong-tree grows. Perhaps he's in need of a runcible spoon.
Val Barrett, O'Connor
It would seem that the carparks that are attracting so much attention were never actually intended to be funded; they were just election announcements. It's hard to make a case of pork barrelling when there wasn't any pork. They should defend the program on the basis it doesn't matter where the money was not going to be spent.
S W Davey, Torrens
SAVE OUR SOULS
An article in your July 21 edition was accompanied by a picture of the Prime Minister sporting a COVID-19 mask with an Australian flag design. But the flag was upside down. Knowing that flying an upside down flag is a traditional signal of distress, I wondered if the PM was sending us a message.
Greg Pinder, Charnwood
Pictures of the 2001 aftermath of the world heritage Bayman Buddhas destruction by "uncivilized" Taliban are reminiscent of the taxpayer funded demolition of Anzac Hall by a "civilized" NCA.
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
HOME SWEET HOME
I live alone except for a cat. He doesn't have opinions about COVID-19, anything about vaccines, and doesn't hold a current conspiracy theory about it all. It's great to be home sometimes.
Gary Frances, Bexley, NSW
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