On Monday, September 27, NSW and the ACT announced their roadmaps out of lockdown, subject to any hiccups along the way.
I am pleased NSW will ease restrictions for the vaccinated only (at least until December), and am disappointed that the ACT will ease them for all, including the unvaccinated.
As a vaccinated guy in his 50s with underlying health issues, I will be avoiding unvaccinated people like the plague as the vaccines are good but not 100 per cent effective. Surely the ACT Chief Minister realises that his policy will be putting vaccinated Canberrans at a greater risk of getting the virus and potentially dying?
Citing human rights concerns just doesn't cut it. For over 18 months governments across the world, including in the ACT, have (appropriately) trampled all over our human rights in enforcing lockdowns and the like to protect us from the virus.
Fair enough. So why not now with the unvaccinated? After all, soon it will be their choice not to be jabbed and they should accept the consequences.
When I get a chance for a haircut, going to the pub, or visiting vaccinated friends and family, I will be going to NSW. I will not risk those activities in Canberra for some time.
No doubt Canberra will soon be the destination of choice for the unvaccinated. That will put Canberrans even more at risk.
Gordon J. Plath, Franklin
I wonder if Maria Comyns (Letters, September 29) thought through her criticisms of the ACT Chief Minister?
She says the Chief Minister chose to lock down the ACT. Did he have any other choice? If we had not locked down, wouldn't we have seen many more cases and many more deaths?
The ACT has clearly got behind the lockdown. Ms Comyns should also. Certainly criticism of Mr Barr's desire to avoid the loss of life is in poor taste.
Darren Morris, Kingston
Compassion and contempt
What a contrast revealed in the letter "It's time to treat drug addiction as a mental health issue" (Letters, September 27). One neighbour saw the young woman as someone in need of compassion and help. The other saw her as a potential criminal.
One held out a hand of support, the other a hand of rejection, and felt law enforcement could best handle a young woman in trouble from the overuse of drugs.
One can't blame the person who called police, because this is what prohibition of drugs has done. It has driven society to believe that people who take drugs (illegal drugs, of course) are bad, and imprisonment is the answer. And the police response, too, was influenced by this dogma.
However, many in our society, as depicted by the caring woman, are at last realising that problematic drug use needs a medical response. Research and experience show a health response is many times more effective in reducing drug use and harms than a law enforcement one.
Let's hope the young woman got the support she required.
M. McConnell, Giralang
Use the Check In CBR app
On Tuesday I received a text from ACT Health informing me I may have been a casual contact of an exposure site in Weston Creek and needed to get tested.
I did this that afternoon and was extremely impressed with the polite, courteous and professional treatment I received throughout the entire process.
I was even informed by the security person at the Garran Surge Centre that the wait was long and I might be better off going to EPIC.
However, while waiting for my test, and later for my (fortunately negative) result, I began to ponder the amount of people I see every day entering the shopping centres and the supermarkets inside without making any effort to use the Check In CBR app.
Sometimes they even use the flow of people at the door to avoid any security on duty.
These lazy, uncaring and stupid idiots are putting all of us and our freedoms at risk.
What if one of these dodgers was the infected person, leaving no trace of their attendance other than a possible trail of infected shoppers? We need to do better.
John Webster, Rivett
Change the route
Following the recent Auditor-General's report, and taking into account the many and well-documented problems with the current proposal, the government must adopt an alternative route for the Civic to Capital Hill section of Light Rail Stage 2.
My suggested alternative route travels via Edinburgh Avenue's northern-edge reserve, Liversidge Street with its existing land bridge over Parkes Way, Lower Lawson Crescent along Acton Peninsula's southern edge, an elegant new arching tram/bike/foot bridge (redolent of Griffin's missing crossing there) to the narrow point of Lennox Gardens, Flynn Drive, State Circle, and on as currently planned.
This marginally longer but less disruptive, faster and more economic alternative offers more and potentially new national capital experiences, good connections to the ANU, Acton Foreshore and beyond, and some appropriate development opportunities.
Normal overhead wires (which can and should continue to Woden) would be fine.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
Open the pools
COVID-19 won't kill me, but a lack of exercise will.
I cannot, at 81-plus, ride a bike, walk the "block", play golf or tennis, or even walk up my driveway.
I and many others my age attend swimming pools for our exercise, some of us in water aerobics classes. We need to be able to do this on a regular basis; some of us on a daily basis.
Consideration needs to be given to us oldies.
Barry Maher, Richardson
Police should act
Is the spread of COVID-19 in Canberra being facilitated by our ongoing under-policing?
Every day at Southpoint, the same groups of maskless teenagers are hanging around the shopping centre, with the only change to their routine being when they send a different member of the group in to Woolies.
Police walk past as they sit in their group and do nothing, shops complain and the police do nothing. It is no wonder that when we moved here friends told us to increase our insurance and not to bother reporting any theft - because even if the police bother to turn up, the ACT judiciary will just let the criminals off.
James Turner, Theodore
The hard questions
I am coming to believe the media at the Chief Minister's press conferences are paid by the government, and that the questions are supplied by Mr Barr's office.
Most of the questions are repeats of those asked on previous days, or are repeats of what the Chief Minister has just said.
One question which has been ignored is "Where is all the disaster money coming from?" I agree it is needed, and that 50 per cent is from the Commonwealth. But what about the other 50 per cent? What about the overtime for healthcare workers and the security personnel at testing sites?
Is this why my rates have increased 20 per cent this year? Or am I paying for the tram?
Geoff Harding, Mawson
Objections to ALP powerbrokers parachuting Kristina Keneally and others into safe seats have fallen victim to an old Jedi mind trick.
Initially the unabashed exercise of power in the ALP was criticised. Then the commentary morphed from power in the ALP benefiting the favoured to the lack of parliamentary diversity; important, but not quite the same.
This neat deflection once again allowed the ALP's abject long-term failure to reform itself into a modern, member-controlled party to be ignored.
The ALP has had the internal reviews to know what it must do. But obviously power is a heady brew. So the ALP continues to be a vehicle through which safe seats are given to people - including union officials and political staffers - close to the powerful.
Perhaps those in the media who wish to hold the powerful to account could spare some time from their apparent fixation with how Scott Morrison wasn't supposed to have won the last election and talk some truth about the alternative government before the next one.
Neil Wareham, Spence
Stone the crows ...
How disappointing on checking my ornithology sources to find that we only have mere ravens in the ACT.
For months I've been yelling at the shiny black creature sitting imperiously in our liquid amber to: "Nick off, you bloody squawking crow."
No wonder he keeps ignoring me.
Eric Hunter, Cook
TO THE POINT
The excellent "Use It Up" article on food waste (Food and Wine, September 28) reminded me of a jingle from my 1930s Depression childhood: "Use it up, wear it out, Make it do or do without."
Willa Mauldon, Garran
IN THE SWIM
Education is important, but opening Canberra's swimming pools is even more "importanter". Queanbeyan's pool will reopen on October 5.
Cyril Wilson, Forrest, ACT
YOU HAVE TO LAUGH
Karen Middleton recently reported that two key components need to be acquired to prolong the life of our existing Collins-class submarines while we wait for nuclear replacements. Both are French. Stop it! My belly laughing can't take much more.
John Sandilands, Garran
Did I hear right? Speaker Nancy Pelosi praising Australian PM Scott Morrison on his climate change leadership? Fancy that.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
RIGHT TO READ
Governments want us to spend more time at home. Clicking and collecting books from a library would be great (even if it doesn't generate income or tax).
Gary Frances, Bexley, NSW
It would seem that the noisiest voices get the attention. Over lockdowns in several states, the building industry appears to have teams working on sites. Who do they think they are? Football teams?
Gail Allen, Pearce
MAKE IT COMPULSORY
The Chief Minister's position re avoiding deaths from COVID-19 in the ACT is understandable. His government's refusal to mandate compulsory vaccination for disability support workers is not. The sector represents a very significant COVID-19 risk to highly vulnerable people with disabilities.
John Landos, Ainslie
IT'S A MYSTERY
There appear to be constant mystery COVID-19 infection cases. How do we know that the infected person is telling the truth about her or his movements in the community? Are there any "illegal" persons in the community who may be the source of these "mystery" infections?
Klaus Inveen, Macquarie
Mr Morrison will presumably go to the G20 in Rome on October 30 and 31. But he is unlikely to attend the critical UN climate conference in Glasgow starting on November 1. He cannot make that short trip while in Europe? This shows what he thinks of the existential issue of climate change .
Roderick Holesgrove, Crace
To answer N. Ellis' question "Can this PM let us know what he can do?"(Letters, September 28), it's certainly not understanding women's safety issues. He has to go to Jenny and the daughters for that.
Keith Hill, Clifton Beach, Qld
Global supply chains depend on shipping containers invented in 1956 by US businessman Malcolm McLean. He deserves to be remembered.