I see that the Greens are introducing legislation into the Legislative Assembly to lower the voting age in the ACT to 16.
We should be cynical about any political party wanting to change the voting age, in effect to suddenly increase their votes and thus their power. References to age concessions in other areas are interesting but the voting entitlement is unique as a foundation of our democracy.
The question should be opened up to real community consultation, including community councils to raise their profile, informed by an objective statement of principles and the pros and cons, as well as the demographics, prepared say by a political scientist with no links to any political party.
The possibility of a plebiscite should be considered including a significant threshold for change, perhaps a majority of two thirds.
At this stage I do not see the need to change but perhaps I could be persuaded.
MP Bridget Archer, the Coalition's backbench 'lioness', could teach frontbench Senator Zed Seselja a thing or two about tuning into and respecting the views and desires of his constituents.
In defending her proactive call for timely discussion on a federal integrity commission, Ms Archer explained "I should be able to represent my constituents. It's what we're here for."
In stark contrast Senator Seselja prefers to let his rigid religious beliefs excuse his lack of advocacy and action on basic legislative reform that ACT voters continue to demand, and deserve.
Perhaps a few strong prods from Senator Jacquie Lambie could also help him wake up and take a more accountable and enlightened approach to electoral representation.
In the meantime the independent ACT candidate for the senate, Kim Rubenstein, sets her sights much higher and appears to be working hard to seek out and respond to matters of voter concern, including on climate change action, territorians' democratic rights and the need for a comprehensive and robust integrity agency.
PM Morrison had slammed the NSW ICAC's inquiry into the now ex-premier Gladys Berejiklian, claiming that she had been "done over" by a "kangaroo court".
Are we to take it that PM Morrison's promise of three years ago to establish a strong, independent federal integrity commission is now "dead, buried and cremated"? It sounds like a funeral oration to me.
I'm researching RAAF station Gungahlin which was a RAAF transmission station that operated from 1942 to the 1960s for a history walk and talk during the 2022 ACT Heritage Festival.
Part of the land was resumed from my grandfather. I have had the 1942 plan of the site digitised by the NAA. The station has been effectively been erased from the current landscape which is now Crace Native Grasslands.
I have written to the RAAF suggesting some heritage interpretive signage would seem appropriate for the site, especially as it is the 100th anniversary of the RAAF.
I'm also interested in speaking with anyone who may have worked at the station, especially between 1942 and 1945.
The religious discrimination bill will strengthen the hand of religious organisations (mostly large corporations) that have opposed social progress over such matters as decriminalising gay activity, gay marriage, abortion, women's rights and contraception.
According to Roy Morgan Market Research (March 2021) the percentage of Australians who claim "no religion" is up from 26 per cent in 2003 to 45.5 per cent in late 2020, and on a clearly increasing trend.
These religious organisations receive massive government assistance in the form of tax-free status (i.e. are subsidised by the non-religious) and funding for schools which indoctrinate children.
Certainly those who wish to hold private religious views are entitled to hold them and share them with others who are also like-minded.
But they should not be entitled to impose them on others and certainly should not have the right to override other anti-discrimination legislation in the pursuit of those private views.
A recent Times Past recalled that in 1969 students over the age of 17 who worked in the building industry during their holidays would receive $50 award weekly wages.
That was more than twice my first-year horticultural apprentice wage of $23. I paid $16 for full board, saved $5 towards my first car and kept $2 to splurge on myself.
Fortunately I was eligible for a $5 per week living-away-from-home allowance.
I also boosted my income with occasional weekend gardening work at $10 a day.
I either walked, hitch-hiked or rode my trusty Malvern Star to work and pleasure every where around Canberra to save on transport.
But compared to my 1968 wage of $15 a week as a nurseryman's assistant in my hometown of Brisbane I thought I had struck gold coming to Canberra.
Two issues will determine my vote at the forthcoming federal election.
The first is convincing evidence that the candidate is committed to very vigorous action on climate change and a willingness to build Australia's future on our clean energy assets.
The second will be evidence that the candidate commits to winding back disastrously increasing social and wealth inequality in Australia.
In that context, I would be pleased to consider voting for an Indigenous candidate.
I do not need to vote for a political party.
That said I could very happily vote for a genuinely independent candidate who was committed to helping to hold the country's major political parties accountable on these matters.
It appears we are facing a new threat from a COVID-19 variant. But please ACT, don't close the borders again.
For regional people like me it is important that we can continue to access services located in the ACT (medical, retail, educational, legal and so on).
Can you find another way to control viruses other than isolating remote and regional people more than we already are?
It was with deep despair that I happened upon the small message in The Canberra Times' November 26 Inside Story advising it would be the last in this series of weekly lift-outs.
For me, they were weekly reminders of what good newspapers used to be about.
The recent doctors' examination technical failure and stoppage is not new. A general practitioner registrar examination conducted online from a central Canberra CBD location was interrupted by computer failure. Stress-plus for many much-needed and aspiring GPs.
The obsession with computer mode examination is derelict, irresponsible, disrespectful, patronising and demeaning on the part of the oversighting medical bodies. A computer "crash" should allow for a candidate to automatically revert to the old-fashioned pen and paper mode, with the questions instantly available in the examination room.
People in power easily slip into the "oh so superior" way of thinking of themselves.
The traditional mode of specialty accreditation examination was good enough for Dr Edward "Weary" Dunlop in London. His patients in the POW camps did not complain about him.
I recently went to The Canberra Hospital for a colonoscopy. I was appalled at the conditions under which the medical, nursing and administrative staff have to work.
The toilet for the waiting room was blocked; a particularly important facility for colonoscopy patients. To have the procedure I was taken into a tiny room, quite inadequate for me, the necessary staff and equipment. It also needed more than a paint.
I am not critical of the staff from whom I could not have had better care. But it is time the ACT government spent more on health.
This could come from the transport budget.
The intended cost of a slow tram to the southern suburbs is astronomical. Electric buses would be far cheaper.
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