I am in total agreement with Mr John Madelly snr of Melba ("Money wasted", Letters, October 6).
According to our latest budget, hospitals in the ACT will receive $556.9 million in additional funding over four years.
The cost of the second stage of Canberra's light rail network from City to Woden was expected to blow out from $1.3 to $1.6 billion. Figures in the latest economic update reveal the bill for the project could balloon out to almost $2 billion, possibly more.
Do the people of Canberra truly want this tram?
If so, why, given the destruction and money involved? What is wrong with our already efficient City to Woden bus service and, in time, upgrading to electric buses at a fraction of the light rail cost?
If only this plan had been adapted for the Gungahlin route. But no, the damage has been well and truly done already.
And with this latest budget, ratepayers will be slugged another 3.5 per cent.
If Stage 2 of the light rail goes ahead as planned, particularly given the financial state of affairs brought about by COVID-19, I will eat my hat.
Angela Walker, Lyneham
Trump is lurking
What about AUKUS as 2024 approaches and Trump manoeuvres to run again?
Does Australia really not want political independence of the now visibly divided United States? It's effectively two countries, the coasts and much of the rest.
The division is not going away any time soon. I'm glad I'm a dual citizen (US and Australian), but I'm kind of pining for the duality.
Francesca Merlan, Pearce
Give ACMA teeth
Our communications regulator ACMA, Telstra and the other telcos appear to be incapable of using modern technology to stop the plethora of scam calls and texts most of us are receiving every day.
These are invariably from overseas fraudsters but appear to be from random Australian landline and mobile numbers. Many unsuspecting people have been scammed for significant amounts of money.
In December 2020, ACMA introduced new rules that require telcos to detect, trace and block scam calls. That's clearly been a failure.
Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish genuine communications from the scams, resulting in genuine messages being ignored.
It's time ACMA and all the telcos lifted their game.
Allan Williams, Forrest
Peter Broelman's October 7 cartoon summarises Prime Minister Morrison's reaction to renewed calls for a federal version of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption. The Morrison government seems addicted to secrecy.
On June 5, 2019, after the federal police began the "possible Afghan war crimes" investigation of ABC journalists and raided the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst Damien Cave of The New York Times wrote: "Australia may well be the world's most secretive democracy."
Mr Morrison seems determined to keep it that way; a federal ICAC is probably the last thing he wants.
Dr Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Some hopeful signs
It is early days. Perhaps things will get worse. But last week, in the Appeals Court, an important and positive decision was handed down in favour of Bernard Collaery. The ruling is that parts of his trial cannot be held in secret. Of course it is the government that should be on trial, not Bernard Collaery.
He is a great Australian and a great world citizen.
David Griffiths, Wollongong
Give us an ICAC now
The Coalition government's reluctance to deliver a Commonwealth integrity commission, much less one with real teeth, speaks volumes. Let it be guided by the same reassurances it offers the public whose liberty has been steadily eroded by the expansion of national security legislation: "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear."