Whenever your annual shock-horror story about Canberra's emergency department waiting times "blowing out" ("ACT facing longest hospital emergency department wait times", canberratimes.com.au, December 14) appears it would be highly relevant to include some data on the reasons people go to the ED.
For example, what were the waiting times for suspected heart attacks and other critical conditions, versus those for broken bones, cuts, bruises, sore toes, and headaches, etc?
Complaints about waiting times are useless without this comparative information.
Once during a long wait on a Sunday morning, the bloke next to me whinged he'd been there for hours while people who arrived after him were seen quickly.
Gout. He had decided not to see his GP the previous Friday.
Of course there are problems at all hospitals but our ACT emergency departments do a great job and people with critical and potentially life threatening conditions are seen lickety split. As they should be.
The decision by the AFP executive to apparently terminate the practice of police attendance (i.e. interest) at "minor property crime" is an appalling affront to ACT residents.
There can be no doubt as to the outcome of this new policy which surely must be inconsistent with the AFP contract to the ACT government, as exampled by similar unilateral action by the AFP in 1989 under the first ACT government.
In 1989 the police decided without consultation to their client (ACT government) to whom they were contracted, to change their policy with respect to reporting of traffic crashes.
Instead of attending "property damage only" crashes the AFP decided that those involved should make their way to a police station to report such a crash. This has further evolved into the participants in a crash now needing to do online a process that is difficult for some people.
A key result was that the driver(s) responsible for a "minor" crash by breaking the road rules were no longer issued with a traffic infringement notice, and since then it has become far easier to issue infringements for offences that might be responsible for a crash than to those that actually are responsible for a crash.
The same outcome will result from this decision, with criminals who "break and enter" going un-apprehended and unpunished and the victims left more deeply scarred by the experience.
One can bet that the police will report a reduction in crime from this decision from victims simply not reporting.
Make reporting complex, or hard and don't show any interest in that person's plight, and reporting won't be done.
K Moylan (Letters, December 11) appears to support a minority of individuals who welcomed the local government's cockamamie decision to introduce a 40 km/h speed limit along parts Northbourne Avenue.
The justification that it increased road safety is yet another local government furphy.
Where are the statistics showing accident rates over the years along that major arterial road in and out of Canberra?
I'll bet you London to a brick that the chances of having accidents have increased due to drivers now paying more attention to their speedometers to avoid collecting an exorbitant speeding fine than observing what's happening in front or behind them.
I have lived in Canberra since 1964 and the once beautiful, well-kept city now resembles a never-ending construction site.
We can thank our self-government for that, the creation of which Canberrans rejected in the November 1978 referendum, when more than 60 per cent voted against it.
Now that was democracy in action. Just like Messrs Barr's and Rattenbury's exorbitantly expensive 19th century-style tram that most Canberrans did not want or will ever use, the cost of which is coming out of ACT ratepayers' pockets.
Given the huge costs to society of the obesity and diabetes epidemic your recent educational articles on this are certainly welcome.
I am wondering, however, in these COVID-19 mandated times if teachers, public servants, nurses and so on will similarly be told they cannot come to work unless they lose weight and change their dietary practices. I have even heard politicians and one or two doctors suggest free treatment for the unvaccinated should be withdrawn if they contract COVID-19 because of their selfish behaviour. Perhaps the same for people with Type 2 diabetes?
A majority of Australia's population is derived from the British Isles so it is disappointing that the Australian media have largely ignored the centenary of the treaty on December 6, 1921 that ended the British civil war of 1919 to 1921. The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in the cabinet room in 10 Downing Street and ratified by the three parliaments of the British Isles during 1922.
It was a deeply significant historical occasion. For the first time in 750 years the owners and rulers of the bigger British isle treated the smaller British isle as a partner rather than prey.
The peace between the British islands has lasted for a century now, despite the domestic civil wars in Ireland (1922-3) and in the UK (1968-98). The Irish civil war ended with the defeat and destruction of the IRA by the Irish government. The UK civil war was ended by the Belfast Agreement known as the Good Friday Agreement. The Brexit event threatens this latter British domestic peace treaty.
Tim Sealey (Letters, December 9) suggests "we look at fixed-term elections to avoid opportunistic and costly campaigns". Agreed. Both sides of politics have at times been opportunist when able to match an early election date with favourable circumstance. Malcolm Fraser, as PM, was the outstanding example.
Following an election let incumbents take their chance; with government formed, and perhaps reformed, out of those who can muddle through with a vote of confidence on the floor of the House of Representatives. Let there be four years between elections. The most socially and historically relevant election date might be the Saturday closest to March 15 (the ides of March). This would be fair and force would-be Caesars take their chance on merit rather than unearned opportunity.
I read with sadness that yet another unit tower is riddled with defects ("Order to fix towers defects validated", December 8). The consequences, health-wise and financially, for the buyers of such units can be quite damaging. Often, too, they are not investors, who at least get tax breaks, but first home buyers trying to get established in the property market.
When major defects emerge their investment is probably worth considerably less than was paid. Also, as defects emerge, the buyers have to pay for rectification works themselves, as it is commonplace for the developer company to have been stripped of its profits on completion of the project and left as a shell, or liquidated.
What is our ACT government doing about this? Lots of noise and pretend cures seem to be the regular response. It is time property owners be protected by lifting the corporate veil to allow the ultimate financial beneficiaries of any development to be held responsible by effective tracing laws.
This should also apply to the structural engineers, builders and certifiers where they operate in a company structure. The amount, extent and duration of professional indemnity insurance for all parties in the building chain should also be increased to cover future losses from foreseeable defects. And on top, maybe criminal penalties?
Only then will the misery inflicted on so many by the few who are so enriched be ameliorated.
In your dreams Anthony Bruce (Letters, December 8).
Do you not recall the letter writers' certainty and conviction as they foretold the imminent election of the much-heralded Shorten Labor government?
My advice to Albo: you already pass the "pub test", remain true to yourself.
Look to the integrity of Julia Gillard for inspiration rather than channelling Paul Keating's "head-kicking street fighter" and privatisation accomplishments; or (heaven help us) the red, white and blue chip on his shoulder. Just some humane policies for the kids, us and those less fortunate (not unlike Bill Shorten's) will do nicely.
Am I the only one who recalls that the ABC's coronavirus oracle, Dr Norman Swann, predicted on September 2 that NSW would be recording 4000 cases of COVID-19 a day by the end of September. They didn't even get close. Be wary of pessimistic prognostications by "the experts".
While people are right to be concerned about waiting times in emergency don't forget we are pleasing Barr, the Greens and the minority with a $2 billion dollar plus tram while the people that need small procedures and timely medical attention go without.
Tuesday's headline was "ACT emergency waiting times the worst in the country". The day before it was "Skywhale family returns to Canberra". Says it all really.
It's all very well for the Prime Minister to tell us to go and get our boosters, like he has done. I rang two medical centres on Monday to book before Christmas. One said it wouldn't be getting booster vaccinations until January 20. The other was taking bookings for February. We don't all have vaccinations on demand like the PM and the Minister of Health.
I have just watched the wonderful film-maker, Warwick Thornton, declare on the ABC that the British brought smallpox to Australia. This is very, very probably wrong. Some historians have argued that on at least several occasions the disease was almost certainly brought to northern Australia by trepangers from Makassar in modern Indonesia and then made its way south.
It's refreshing to have Test cricket commentators showering us with statistics that are not related to the pandemic.
Cameron Green, number 42, bowled first ball. That is not the answer.
For a government focused on limitless growth, committed to coal and a "gas-led recovery", devolving environmental responsibility to states and having an Environment Minister who dismisses her obligations to the health of Australian children, Bogong moth and pygmy possum extinctions are irrelevancies.
Barnaby Joyce may or may not have contracted the Omicron variant, but Scott Morrison is unique in having been laid low by the Macron variant.
Did the Deputy PM wear a mask when he recently moved around crowded London shopping streets and observed people there were "shoulder to shoulder"? He and his entourage of minders must have been aware that cases were rising quickly to almost 50 000 per day at that time.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.