It is a momentous shift for the Australian Republican Movement to be recommending voters select the head of state. It certainly beats nomination by the Prime Minister or a two-thirds majority vote in Parliament, the only options on offer to date.
ARM, despite always having had many pro-direct election members, has only taken 21 years to shift its official position long after the rest of us moved on knowing that if the parliamentary selection model was put to the vote again, it would fail.
Times and voter expectations have also shifted significantly since 1999.
Apart from suggesting that the people choose the head of state by voting, ARM also puts forward a method to decide nominations by bringing states and territories into the heart of the selection process, a sound idea in a federation.
What WfaAR doesn't like is that this is an imposed way of proceeding without the necessary preliminaries. We have consistently supported one or two plebiscites before any referendum to sound out the people's preferences on the selection process for head of state, the new name of our country, the title of the head of state, the extent of their powers and so on.
We do not agree that ARM is the peak advocating body (as they boldly state in their new policy). They have appointed themselves to this role and rarely involve others.
Julian Cribb's article "It's the end of politics as we know it" (canberratimes.com.au, January 14) was for me the highlight of Friday's The Canberra Times. Of human governance he says "they have managed to bury the facts under a fantasy of never-ending growth".
And when speaking of the possibility of fixing 19th and 20th century politics, he says "not while political economics promises illusory wealth while it devours the habitability of the planet".
How refreshing it is, if somewhat pessimistic, to hear some truths which challenge the many media offerings based solely on economic theory, wanting growth forever, an impossibility.
Our "leaders" want hundreds of thousands of immigrants to arrive every year to satisfy business demands and to keep wages down, without mention of ever stopping and stabilising Australia's human numbers.
What a contrast this is with Peter Cain's vision for a 1 million-person Canberra, which like all similar, never mentions stopping at 1 million. Nothing about its negative impacts on social and physical environments. As people's demand for water grows, in droughts it becomes increasingly scarce and therefore more valuable, but economists seem unaware of that.
Australia is in desperate needs of RATs in order to function. The federal government has let us down badly, yet again.
Australian companies are and have been supplying RATs to the USA, UK and Europe. But their RATs, with one exception, are not yet approved for use in Australia.
The TGA has still not approved other Australian RATs, apparently because their approval threshold is set higher than the USA, UK and Europe.
Why can't we piggyback on the approvals process of other countries when time is of the essence?
Are we being overly precious - as we also appeared to be with our vaccine approvals - by insisting that only our own Australian assessment and approval process is of an acceptable standard?
The article "Aussie bird species on an escalator to extinction" (January 10, p14) is yet another example of the damage we humans are doing to our home planet and its wildlife, by causing and - finally - recognising, global heating then effectively ignoring it.
Part of the problem is that many of us, especially those people in wealthy countries who have the greatest per capita effect on global heating, have made ourselves too comfortable. The birds living in far-north Queensland's wet tropics have no air conditioning in their roosting trees.
Recently my four-year-old grandson was admitted to the Batemans Bay Hospital with suspected meningitis.
After prompt emergency treatment there he was flown in the middle of the night to the Sydney Children's Hospital where it was discovered he had COVID-19.
Subsequent, friendly, fast PCR testing in East Queanbeyan helped us monitor for any spread in the family.
My grandson, who is isolating, is making a speedy recovery. Further good news is the vaccines seem to have worked. So far, no vaxxed family members in close contact with him have tested positive.
When the chips are down the Australian health service is a wonderful thing, a defining characteristic of our country. I am eternally grateful to the nurses, doctors, paramedics, pilots, COVID-19 testers and other health staff who have helped us during this difficult time.
Michael Calkovics (Letters, January 12) says that EvoEnergy workers should be given credit for their efforts as a consequence of the power failures in west Belconnen following the hail-storm of Monday, January 3.
I agree. But there clearly were not enough line crews available. Former ACTEA employees tell me that when ACTEA was in charge, there were at least six full-time line-maintenance trucks available on each side of the lake. And spares were carried in the store.
But the ACT government also has another role which will have a direct impact upon the size of that EvoEnergy dividend in future. In west Belconnen there is a blatantly obvious need for eucalypt trees to be cleared from any suburban powerline easement. The easement powerlines and associated substation that came down over Worrall Street in Holt were broken by a descending stringy bark located on the nature strip.
Then there's the poor communication. EvoEnergy has assumed the role of maintaining the old ACTEA "poles and wires". But it is also a provider of electricity, with a sophisticated billing organisation.
As one of its customers for both gas and power, EvoEnergy holds my mobile number.
I did not receive any text messages from EvoEnergy in my three-and-a-half days without power. There was no personal confirmation as to when my power might be reinstated, nor any additional warning that, once reinstated, my power might be cut again just after I'd emptied the eskies.
Has Australia's reputation really been trashed by the Djokovic saga or is that just what some want us to believe because it suits their agenda?
While we read all sorts of news stories suggesting we've become the laughing stock of the world if you dig a little deeper you find different viewpoints.
A recent headline in London's The Times claimed Djokovic had been undone by his biggest opponent: the truth.
Both Djokovic's own government in Serbia and Spanish authorities are investigating him for non-compliance with public health orders.
Increasing numbers of current and former tennis players, including the unvaccinated American Tennys Sandgren, have been speaking out against him and the position he has taken over the past week. The Australian government's stand against the arrogant, entitled "I'm bigger than the game and your rules don't apply to me" attitude displayed by Djokovic may not be so out of step with national or world opinion as some would have us think.
On January 3 the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, who are also the five most powerful nuclear-armed nations, issued a joint pledge that "we affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought".
As a statement of the blindingly obvious it could hardly be surpassed, but nevertheless it is thought to be significant in that the pledge comes from the nations capable of ending human life on earth as we know it.
Why was this rare statement issued now?
The 10th Review Conference of the Non Proliferation Treaty, due in 2020 but delayed due to COVID, is yet to be held.
In 1970 the 191 signatories to the treaty promised not to acquire nuclear weapons, in return for those already possessing them to work "in good faith" towards disarmament.
No such gradual disarmament has occurred. On the contrary, the nuclear powers have continued to spend heavily on nuclear weapons.
The statement by the five nuclear members of the Security Council looks like an attempt to placate a world that is becoming more and more anti-nuclear.
The Squire from the Shire has seemingly agreed to let Omicron rip through the nation. Lord of the Flies, survival of the fittest and Darwinian theory at play.
Three men in hi-vis vests came to our house last week. They were replacing the water meter. To our surprise, ScoMo wasn't one of them.
Some unkind citizens are casting aspersions on Mr Morrison's ability. But it's clear he's multi-talented. He managed to dig his own grave and then bury himself.
So $3.5 billion is to be spent on 120 tanks and armoured vehicles. They should come in handy for corralling the peasants who want free rapid COVID tests. Don't they understand rapid tests cost money?
The MIA2 Abrams boasts "intelligence", a factor missing in politicians who instead display rat cunning by donating $3.5 billion in taxpayer funds to the military industrial complex, facilitating smooth passage along the conga line well trodden by their treasonous predecessors.
"Rules are rules", proclaims ScoMo. But when will that principle be applied to him and his ministers?
The six group photos of Summernats fans on your January 12 About Town page were chilling. Not a mask to be seen.
Citing biosecurity, the Australian Border Force overruled a state government and effectively its own parent department in order to detain Novak Djokovic. It showed no such initiative to prevent the disembarkation of 2650 Ruby Princess passengers.
First it was China, then France and now the irascible Serbs. Scott Morrison's Coalition government is rapidly making Australia the Billy No-Mates of world politics.
Concerning the pandemic, well may we be adjured not to panic; but that's incompatible with the news now coming in from Old Mother Hubbard, whose cupboard is bare.
"No-vax" Djokovic came prepared to win the Australian Open tennis championship but he came woefully unprepared for the Australian national sport: tall poppy cutting.
It is reported that by early Thursday morning around 82,000 RAT results had been uploaded for NSW. And that is just the positive results. For a test that is apparently unavailable for love nor money that's an awful lot of test results, and just for NSW. So, who's hoarding?
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