Allegations of corruption in government are part and parcel of governments of all types; democratic and dictatorial.
As in dictatorships, allegations of corruption in democracies potentially undermine public confidence in the system of government (Editorial, July 21). They are not necessarily handled similarly.
The findings of the ANAO (Australian National Audit Office) in relation to $660,000,000 being allocated by the Morrison government to congestion reduction bring into question whether or not the Morrison government has conducted itself consistently with the principles which underpin western democracy.
This question needs to be addressed now.
Possible corruption in government has been addressed many times in Australia, most significantly in my view, by the "Fitzgerald Inquiry".
Tony Fitzgerald AC QC put your hand up we need you.
Ken Brazel, Wright
PM is at fault
I heard it on my car radio: "I take responsibility for the problems that we have had". The PM finally took responsibility for something, following the advice of his minders.
I would have crashed my car in shock if I wasn't parked at the time. He actually took responsibility for the stuff up of the vaccine rollout but immediately his notable narcissism snapped back in as also he claimed "responsibility for the solutions we're putting in place and the vaccination rates that we are now achieving".
No, PM. You are only correcting your serious errors of judgement in refusing to order sufficient Pfizer vaccine doses last year, in the process stating you were "off to the footy" when the virus was off and running, and in saying it was "not a race". This downplayed the extreme seriousness of the pandemic.
Your lack of judgement and common sense, led to the situations all Australians now face.
Dr K Williams, Bonython
More lies and spin
Reinventing history seems to have become a crucial element of the LNP's approach to the fight against COVID-19's spread.
"We've always said go hard, go local, go fast," said John Barilaro when talking about the seven-day lockdown in the Orange region.
If only. Had the NSW government actually believed that mantra a few weeks ago when the virus was starting to run rampant in Sydney half the country would not be in lockdown now.
And don't get me started on the PM's reinvention of why the vaccine roll-out has been so abysmal. It's as if he is trying to erase any mention of "it's not a race" from all the records.
Catherine Moore, Braidwood, NSW
To help locals keep their distance from people coming into Canberra from all over Australia to work in Parliament House it would be useful if they were required to wear a large badge with "PH" on it. The 2000 locals who work there would of course need to do the same.
In any event it is to be hoped that those nutters who want to open up our largely unvaccinated country are respectful of the ACT community and its record to date.
Steve Thomas, Yarralumla
After a COVID-19 positive person attended Blaney and Orange residents from there now need to apply for permission to come to Canberra and must self-isolate on arrival.
On the same day we heard a COVID-19 positive person had attended a Goulburn service station, There has been no mention of any need to apply to come to Canberra and to self-isolate if you are from there.
Where is the consistency? If not from NSW authorities, then from ACT authorities. Can we have trust in our local authorities?
Kenneth Griffiths, Macgregor
A moral failure
I am both shocked and shamed to learn Australia does not intend to stand by the Afghanis who served the Australian forces in their mission but are now abandoned to face reprisals alone. Morally there can be no justification for this betrayal. I don't intend to debate my position as it has to be self evident.
I hope the Australian community will demand a humanitarian response if the obvious reasons are not sufficiently compelling. We will forever regret our silence if we don't speak up now.
Jean Underwood, Curtin
An atrocious war
Afghan war veteran Stuart McCarthy's burning of his service medals should not only be a protest against the Morrison government's hands being "awash with blood" for failing to protect our "Afghan angels" from the Taliban ("Afghan war veteran burns service medal", canberratimes.com.au, July 19).
The entire US-led "war on terror" has its hands "awash with blood" for having invaded this sovereign Muslim nation in the first place. During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan at the height of the Cold War, the US engaged in a major covert operation to provide millions of Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamist teachings designed to inculcate anti-Soviet insurgency. They later played a key role in the Taliban's rapid success.
It is the US that must assume ultimate responsibility for not only helping create the Taliban, but for failing to reconcile this deeply ravaged nation from the scourge of religious extremism.
Reverend Dr Vincent Zankin (Former ADF chaplain), Rivett
The road to ruin
The excellent letter from Jenny Goldie "Indefinite growth is a mad idea that will destroy our planet" (Letters, July 19) could have included one other important dimension.
We are indeed taking more from the planet than the planet can sustainably supply which means we humans are in a zero sum game as regards access to material resources. Those who take more deprive those who will consequentially have less. Branson flying to space means someone, somewhere, goes hungry.
John Coulter, Bradbury, SA
ANAO 'did good'
I am in awe of the courage of the Auditor General and the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) staff, who continue to conduct "frank and fearless" audits of tax-payer funded grants programs that are continually corrupted by the current LNP government ('Liberals targeted marginal seats for transport slush fund', July 20, p7). This is despite the continued cutting of funds to the organisation in a blatant attempt to derail their efforts.
The ANAO, along with the ABC (whose funding is also being cut year on year for the same reason) and a few investigative journalists, such as Kate McClymont, are the only very thin line that is stopping this federal government from further and even more blatant misconduct.
John Dunn, Gowrie
Bishop is mistaken
In his opinion piece Bishop Mark Short is critical that much of the current debate around the territory's ability to make its own laws on euthanasia has focused on people's rights alone. He argues when matters of life and death are at stake a 'rights only' approach is rarely appropriate ("Euthanasia debate must move beyond rights alone", July 20, p16).
Surely the Bishop is conflating two distinct issues. Whether a parliament has the power to legislate on a particular subject matter is essentially a legal or constitutional question. The ACT Human Rights Minister and the NT Attorney-General are surely correct when they say this is an issue of democratic rights. Whether a competent parliament should legislate in relation to a particular subject matter is a separate question.
It is in relation to that separate question, whether a parliament should legislate, that the ethical questions that concern the Bishop arise. It is unfortunate that those with strong views on euthanasia conflate the two distinct issues, whether a parliament should have the legal competence to legislate and whether it should in fact exercise that competence.
Ernst Willheim, Campbell
Same old, same old
I don't normally read anything written by clergy (Mark Short, "Euthanasia debate must move beyond rights alone", July 20, p16) but Mark wrote about voluntary assisted dying, a topic of interest to me. On the basis of "know your enemy" I read on.
Basically, he says women, Indigenous Australians, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people living with a disability and the aged cannot make up their own minds about how and when they wish to die, but need advice from Mark and his church. He also implies any proposed legislation may force "carers" to assist in ending lives, that old scary chestnut.
So, I was right , same old scaremongering. Quoting Paul only shows that the church (and Mark) has not learned a thing in 2000 years.
Nick van Weelden, Kingston
TO THE POINT
Dear Zed, The short answer to your question about how much power 13 people should have is "certainly more than one senator who is the minority among ACT representatives in the Federal Parliament". The 13 you talk about are actually the government here in the territory.
James Mahoney, McKellar
I was saddened to read Peter Fuller's disturbing letter (Letters, July 13) suggesting yet another killing program, this time of possums. I am thankful possums are protected from such people. I feel privileged to have these gentle creatures in my suburban space.
Jill Mail, Holder
Scott Morrison and his government appear to hate universities. The problem with universities is that they teach people to think rationally and form conclusions based on facts and evidence. There is no creature on earth more dangerous to the manipulative politician than the thinking citizen.
David Perkins, Reid
Congratulations to us all on Hamish Macdonald's exit from ABC. I always thought he would be more suited to a commercial television game show.
Mokhles K Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
Zed Seselja's article of July 21 considers the Australian Parliament as a "house of review" for the ACT Assembly even though only five out of 227 federal members are accountable to the ACT electors. How could this ever be considered democratic?
Greg Dunstone, Bruce
WE NEED AN ICAC
So, the AFP are investigating a former MP for alleged fraud against the Commonwealth. Will we ever read that the AFP are investigating a fraud by the Commonwealth government against the Australian people? Not before we get an ICAC.
Murray Williamson, Weetangara
POPE A GENIUS
Bravo David Pope. The way he has picked up and represented the PM's new bouffant-style hairdo in his cartoon on July 22 is perceptive genius.
Steve Whennan, Richardson
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
ScoMo's mea culpa in relation to the problems with the vaccine rollout is too little, too late, and smacks of being disingenuous and, above all, about saving face.
Don Sephton, Greenway
Four years of traffic chaos so a handful of people will be able to travel 1.5km from Alinga Street to Commonwealth Park (and back). Seriously?
John Howarth, Weston
AND THE SEQUEL...
The news Prince Harry (age 36) will publish his memoirs in 2022 will soon be overshadowed by the news his son, Archie (age two), is to publish his memoirs in 2023.
Albert Oberdorf, Lyons
I was impressed by the amount of political point scoring in Senator Seselja's opinion piece on voluntary assisted dying (Wednesday July 21). I was less impressed by the notable lack of empathy.
Peter Dark, Queanbeyan, NSW
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send from the message field, not as an attachment. Fax: 6280 2282. Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Canberra Times, PO Box 7155, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610.
Keep your letter to 250 or fewer words. References to The Canberra Times reports should include date and page number. Letters may be edited. Provide phone number and full home address (suburb only published).