On Thursday Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced that the ACT would go into lockdown for a period of seven days. How did we react?
We went into survival mode and rushed to supermarkets where panic buying commenced. This was confirmed for me later in the day when the ABC News showed footage of supermarket queues snaking out the door, up the street and round the corner, crowded aisles and checkouts inside and people leaving with trolleys laden with, yes you guessed it, toilet paper. Why? As far as I know there is no shortage of food and other grocery items, so no need for any panic.
I therefore plead with all Canberrans to maintain their normal shopping habits, thus ensuring enough for all and shoppers being spared the sight of shelves stripped bare of product. So come on everybody, get a grip, we're way better than this.
Colin Neave, Lyneham
Swarms of locusts
The shops have been stripped bare by panic buyers like a wheat field after a swarm of locusts. I looked to see what food we had at home. I found a small tin of sardines in the back of the cupboard and a stale Jatz left over from a dinner party last summer. I know that there's a little, wizened lemon on the tree, a bit the worse for wear after winter's frosts, but perhaps with enough vitamin C to ward off scurvy for a few more days.
It seems we'll be OK, but I'm worried that we only have a month's supply of toilet paper.
Fred Pilcher, Kaleen
Disappointing to see the panic
I hope everyone who engaged in panic buying in Canberra knows that you've contributed to making it harder for people on lower incomes, who are vulnerable, house-bound or require assistance, to access essential food and goods.
Not to mention if the virus is circulating, you could have landed yourself at an exposure site, as happened to people here. Shops will be open tomorrow. They will also be open the day after. So, so disappointed to see this continuing.
Louise Gee, Cooks Hill, NSW
Why am I not surprised
Well the inevitable has happened. I am not surprised. Having recently completed the weekly grocery shopping I was disappointed and somewhat horrified to witness the number of shoppers entering the supermarket without checking in using the app or being recorded by store staff.
Surely stores have an obligation to ensure that all patrons check in so that when Covid eventually surfaced in the ACT (as it has now done) tracing will be more simple to undertake? Of course getting the jab is of paramount importance and it is everyone's responsibility to get it done thus ensuring the safety of family, friends, neighbours and ultimately the entire nation thus making the need for lockdowns almost totally unnecessary.
Nick Bailey, Ngunnawal
Lockdown is ridiculous
Utterly ridiculous ... but utterly predictable that within minutes of one lone Covid case being discovered, Andrew Barr would jump at the opportunity to prove that he could be a little dictator just like all the other premiers. Welcome to the Soviet Socialist Republic of the ACT.
Nigel Poole, Palmerston
We are one?
Over the past year I applied for a number of jobs advertised by various agencies. I have a PhD in psychology and two minor computing degrees and successfully managed my two companies for the last 25 years. I know that my skills and management background complies with most of the pretentiously written selection criteria and still, not even an interview?
We have public servants who were able to find an unopened jar of Vegemite which I had to dispose of when I left for overseas but the same organisations are incapable, given the many exceptions governing International flights, to detect coronavirus entering Australia.
Government departments which do not work together across state and local governments but promise an investigation that leads nowhere when things like the Ruby Princess debacle are allowed. Ministers and government officials often have little in the way of a professional background and are appointed because they belong to a political party.
Perhaps we would do well if we apply those fancy selection criteria, which I obviously cannot comply with, to some of those who have such an undeserved impact on our lives?
I worked all my life, paid taxes and saved not to be a burden on others when I get older. There are many thousands like me and I understand why people are angry with the rules made by those who never seem to be responsible for what they do.
Dr Gunter Brandstetter, Queanbeyan
Argue, don't just attack
I think David Brudenall (Letters, August 12) is being a bit too tough on Christopher Prowse when he switches the argument from one on "voluntary euthanasia" to one denying organised religion the right to seek to influence how laws are made.
I would have thought that is the right of any organisation, be it political parties, organised religion, pressure groups like the NRMA or any other. It's a right that comes as part of that package called "democracy".
Personally, I think that, in this debate, two issues ought to be considered separately The first is the moral question of whether anyone has the right to judge if a life (including one's own) should be terminated. My personal view is that no one has that right. The second question is whether the ACT's democratically-elected legislative body should have the right to make any law for the ACT (including a law for the issue currently under debate) without any threat of veto by the Commonwealth. My personal view is that it should.
While not waving a banner for the church, I found Christopher Prowse's presentation of supporting statistics more persuasive than David Brudenall's ad hominem criticism.
Brian Smith, Conder
Census site let me down
I am probably not the only one, but in my opinion the online census form is another "fail". Out of curiosity I requested a paper form, which took me just over 11 minutes to complete for my wife and myself. I then tried the online form, and after 15 minutes gave up as the form for some reason kept putting my wife's christian name as her surname - despite my many attempts to fix it using the edit button.
There are obviously two issues here - another example of "cost shifting" from the government to the user by making it longer to complete the online form than a paper form that they have to process, and secondly, how many other people had the same or other issue(s) and simply let the form go in with errors?
Malcolm Paterson, Greenleigh, NSW
Same old excuses
On emissions reduction, Barnaby Joyce continues to trot out the same old excuse for the government's failure to act. He won't support a target unless he knows "exactly what is the cost and who is paying for it" ("Joyce demands to see costs of climate action", August 12). Could someone please hand him a pen and paper to write a shopping list?
Here are a few suggestions to get started. Create incentives for electric vehicles uptake, upgrade the national grid and convert old coal-fired power stations to sites for battery storage, renewable energy technology such as wind and solar to power the batteries and tighten environmental laws to preserve old-growth forest which is a ready-made carbon sink. Stop subsidising the fossil fuel industry.
The savings could be put towards the cost of emissions reduction projects. Surely it is the government's responsibility to work out the course of action and the costs involved.
Anne O'Hara, Wanniassa
Spin might have helped Gillard
There's no cherry-picker quite like a climate change-denier. Jevon Kinder begins his letter of August 12 "with the recent cold weather".
Australia is part of the global problem and it is ridiculous to say that an Australian should not petition the Australian government about climate change.
I am truly ashamed of our government's lack of action on climate change. Perhaps, somewhat ironically, some ScoMo-style spin might have been useful for Julia Gillard.
I still wonder why she called it a carbon tax rather than, say, a "pollution abatement levy (PAL)", and the introductory $23 per tonne really should have been the much less scary 2.3c per kg. All this raises the bigger question as to why a government so intent on letting the market sort things out doesn't allow it to do so with a desperately needed PAL.
Terry Werner, Canberra
Don't waste this time
With rampant temperatures and fires in Europe it raises the question: are we in Australia prepared for the same?
Have all the recommendations of the bushfire inquiry been implemented? If not, why not? Government leadership (not the current vacuum) is required to buy large water bombers now.