For many in Canberra, COVID-19 and lockdowns have changed lives and ended careers. Financial hardships and stresses are now routine experiences.
Many people in this country will never own a home and face exploitative rental markets. Canberra is one of the worst.
The precarious reality of renting becomes apparent when owners and agencies prioritise maximum profits and their own comforts over the human rights of tenants.
The standards for repairs and cleanliness mysteriously rise when an owner is to take possession of their property, yet tenants often face long delays for repairs, or aged interiors, and rent increases.
Becoming homeless is now a reality for many working families renting in Canberra. They have to contend with high rents, high demand, few houses, and owners and estate agents eager to cash in on the social and financial vulnerability of others.
Empathy for the family difficulties being experienced or caused by lockdowns is not a priority. This is a society rotting from within.
This has been our experience of renting in Canberra. Having cleaned out our savings, the owners now wish to have our entire bond. Nothing in the final inspection report remotely justifies such shamelessness.
We are almost broken, and broke, but the support of friends and others has been a godsend. In monetary terms, I realise I am more valuable dead than alive. No one should have to think like this. Is this the Canberra we want?
We are all, including letter writers, contributing to the decline of Westminster conventions.
Referring to Peter Dutton as if he alone is solely responsible for Defence matters (Letters, December 1) is just one recent example.
We all, especially the media, need to reawaken to the principle of "cabinet responsibility" - that is, decisions taken are the responsibility of the full cabinet, not just the minister who brings them to the table.
Only in that way can we fairly judge the actions of a government as a whole, rather than focusing always on the personal qualities, or lack of them, of the individual.
In response to Elsie Field (Letters, December 1), the proposed legislation is to allow voluntary assisted dying (VAD) which is not euthanasia.
I have not seen any evidence for her claim that it would lead to a reduction in funding for palliative care.
Checking such impact on funding is easy by checking for any reduction of funding in those states which already allow VAD.
In fact, it would even save some costs for end-of-life care for those undertaking VAD.
In contrast to Ms Field's experience, my experience has shown the awful ordeal some terminally ill people and their families and emergency workers have had to go through when the person has decided to end their suffering without assistance.
Give those who wish to undertake VAD the right do so and give ACT residents the same rights as most other Australians.
I was recently reduced to despair as I listened to question time in Parliament House.
The questions were never answered. Instead we had diversionary tactics, raucous shouting, name calling, derisive laughter, loud ridicule, bluster and total mayhem (including from our Prime Minister and Treasurer), the like of which would not be allowed in our local primary schools.
The voices I heard in this shameful melee were all male. It was a travesty, a full-blown mockery of our democratic system.
The Speaker, at a loss to restore order, referred to the Jenkins report, released that very day, and appealed to the members to show respect. This quietened the row for two minutes, after which the shouting and shameful name calling resumed.
I know not all parliamentarians behave like this, but those people I heard are supposed to be responsible human beings, elected to make important decisions on our behalf, in the very highest offices of our land. Their conduct showed they are totally unworthy of this calling.
It's a bit rich for the PM to say that he is extremely disappointed at the findings of the Jenkins report, and that Parliament should set the standard for workplace behaviour.
The PM sat on the frontbench of the shadow cabinet in 2012 when then-PM Julia Gillard delivered her 'misogyny' speech, calling out Tony Abbott and other members of his frontbench.- David Mann, Kambah
The PM sat on the frontbench of the shadow cabinet in 2012 when then-PM Julia Gillard delivered her "misogyny" speech, calling out Tony Abbott and other members of his frontbench.
Mr Morrison demonstrated his tacit acceptance of parliamentary misogyny as normal behaviour.
Suddenly he is appalled. Why the change of heart? A leopard doesn't change its spots.
M. Flint (Letters, December 3) claims that the 40km/h speed limit through Civic is a way for the ACT government to extract money from motorists instead of being a road safety measure.
I challenge M. Flint, and all who think likewise, to put their driver's licence where their ideology is.
The next time you are caught speeding or otherwise driving unsafely, offer to surrender your license instead of paying the fine. Three months of not driving should be enough time to consider the benefits of driving safely and keeping both money and points.
David Wilson (Letters, December 6) discusses the question of using Paterson's flora references as a way of identifying the location of the ride in The Man from Snowy River.
Banjo wrote that stockmen tell the story of the ride "down by Kosciuszko, where the pine-clad ridges rise". Not only are pines in short supply by Kosciuszko, but an early draft of the poem placed the pine ridges "by Araluen".
Perhaps that would be a suitable place to rehome the brumbies, thus partly reconciling our need for a bush myth with the imperative of environmental protection.
Will the ACT government and the National Capital Authority explain how northbound motorists on Commonwealth Avenue can continue to quickly and conveniently turn east on to Parkes Way, after the loss of the two western clover-leaf interchanges at City Hill?
This is to "free up" the land for high-rise property development. It is a part of the current works approval application to raise London Circuit, to facilitate the proposed Civic to Commonwealth Park tram.
Or will they continue to simply throw massive amounts of money at the problems?
Our local career politicians certainly don't have anything to hide, do they? When Jasper Lindell covered the ACT Integrity Commission Annual Report, he touched on understaffing at the commission ("Integrity commission calls for expanded corruption definition to better cover ACT's politicians", canberratimes.com.au, December 7).
When you compare our Integrity Commission to the Tasmanian and Northern Territory's commissions' annual reports in terms of purpose, output and staffing levels, you might even think understaffing was always the plan. Surely that could not be?
The Northern Territory ICAC has 31 full-time staff, the Integrity Commission Tasmania employs 26 staff members and the ACT Integrity Commission employs only eight staff members. That's less than one-third of the staff of the Tasmanian and Northern Territory commissions.
These numbers have been summed up perfectly by Integrity Commissioner Michael Adams QC in Jasper Lindell's story as "completely inadequate". Let's hope the government shows some integrity and less spin and properly funds and resources for the commission to do its job properly.
Six years ago I used to work with a teacher who would bring house batteries to school and charge them all day at the school's expense. Each night he would go home and use them to power his house.
Today, if the same guy had an electric car, he wouldn't need to bring his batteries to school. He could plug in an electric car at one of the free charging stations, drive home and with a few simple modifications, use the car's battery pack to power his house and repeat the whole process the next day.
With average household power bills of $3000 to $4000 per annum, maybe more of us should adopt this teacher's free power trick?
Or, more realistically, maybe electric car drivers should pay for the power they consume?
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