In 2008-09, as program director of the ACT Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), I developed a complete service delivery model for an inpatient unit which would provide treatment for adolescents and young adults.
This process incorporated the views of many diverse and interested people. At that time the hold up was finding a site which would provide the space necessary for the unit to be built.
It was put into the too hard basket. Even then there was a cry out for a suitable and supportive inpatient unit where young people could be treated for mental health issues.
The adult mental health inpatient unit is no place to provide treatment for adolescents and young people. It is appalling that 13 years later we are still not able to provide a comprehensive and supportive inpatient program for those young people experiencing severe mental health issues. This is absolutely not acceptable.
Many Canberrans are understandably cross about the behaviour of some of the Convoy to Canberra protesters who have been here recently. Though not personally inconvenienced, virtually all my views are diametrically opposed to the many issues promoted by the protesters.
But I believe there is a real danger in the rest of us dismissing such a large group as simply deplorables, idiots or a rabble. Any other group of protesters would be delighted to get 5000 people to turn up on one day, let alone several to 10,000 over more than a week. When Pauline Hanson first appeared on the national scene in 1996, I and many others made the mistake of simply labelling and dismissing her and her followers, but they're still around today influencing elections.
I suspect that many of the convoy protesters have in common a feeling that Australian governments of all stripes have failed them in one or more ways over many years. They no longer believe that any government will help them. So the only solution seems to be to tear the whole system down.
I often share their despair, but my luck in having good health and secure financial circumstances, allows me to still have hope that the system can be rehabilitated, though that hope will be tested if, in the coming election, Australians once again put a major party in as a majority government.
We must offer these disenfranchised people a better future; one based on putting people ahead of pseudo-economic efficiency and communities ahead of corporations.
Your February 15 edition provided comprehensive and quality coverage by way of articles, editorial and letters of the anti-vaxers and right-wing agitators protest that all Canberrans should read.
We are indeed fortunate to have a chief minister who has the wisdom, intellect and sensibility to understand, explain and balance the difficult issues so well ("Barr takes aim at protesters' supporters")
Several matters arise that deserve comment.
1. A big shout out to the workers at all levels and fields, for managing the large and at times obstreperous protesters over several weeks (especially the police and the cleaners). It cannot have been easy.
2. As intensely unpleasant the experience was for us, it's well to remember that dissent, protest, and freedom of speech are essential to the health of our democracy. It is quite wrong to call it "un-Australian", or seek to limit it for no very, very compelling reason.
3. An urgent and public review with community input should be undertaken by government to devise measures to better protect or minimise the burden the community carries from egregious disruption and breeches of health and safety on public transport, shops, roads, facilities, etc, and also to identify and expose the sources of support, financial, organisational as well as propaganda, from the far right and especially foreign sources.
Mr Morrison may have hedged his bets a bit, but online agitation clearly emanated from some people in the LNP and folks even further out on the spectrum.
Online chatter suggests there are plans for ongoing action, with a bigger and even more disruptive protest in Budget week. The review needs to be nimble and prioritise its activity.
Finally, having made a couple of inadvertent personal contributions to government revenue (hopefully to finance better community services) by way of the CBD speed traps, please Mr Barr, reassure us that no stone will be left unturned in full recovery of fines from the "Covidiots".
We "Ken Behrens" love Lifeline. These Bookfairs usually raise $1 million plus, and donations from the public have now got the collection to $750,000 or so. That must impact Lifeline services.
Can Mr Barr please answer these questions:
Were the protesters who were illegally parked on Parkes Way and other roads on Saturday, February 12, issued with ACT parking fines. Or will there be free Floriade parking for ACT residents?
Who volunteered EPIC as the post-NLA camp site?
Did EPIC collect camping fees from the protesters?
Will EPIC donate the net proceeds of the camping fees (after costs for damage) to Lifeline, or offer EPIC premises rent free for the next Bookfair. After all, EPIC had a duty of care to provide safe and secure premises.
Will Mr Barr donate the net proceeds of the Cotter camping fees (after damage) to Lifeline?
I am from the era of conscription protest. I have no issues with peaceful protest to bring attention to alternative ideas, but only if there is no personal violence, police are consulted and there is no damage to property or commerce.
Mr Trudeau has tightened emergency powers to solve his protests issues in Ottawa. Will Mr Rattenbery consult with the NCA to replicate those powers here? This mob will be back.
I have been privileged to teach in Canberra public schools for 44 years. I am now retired. There has always been the naughty student advocate who swoops in ready to explain poor behaviour and bad results, usually tugging at the heartstrings or alleging bullying at some point.
I was astonished to revisit this phenomenon on prime-time television recently. The naughty boy was absent for his test on leadership for family reasons (I believe he was in Hawaii) and some loud girl was bullying him and hurting his feelings because she doesn't want to play by the boys' rules. This is outrageous.
May I suggest that his science assignments on climate change and timely vaccination were eaten by the dog?
My advice to the naughty boy is to grow up and take responsibility for your own actions. This advice has been unchanged for more than four decades.
I am shocked by the hypocrisy which tars Zali Steggall with the same brush over political donations as the orders-of-magnitude worse Liberal Party.
It's akin to equating a dozen Liberal ambassadorships and dozens of Administrative Appeals Tribunal appointments every few years to Labor's couple of diplomatic jobs for the boys every decade or two.
This reduction of political ethics to a binary black-or-white model, the better to conceal and disregard the utterly nefarious and very much one-sided multi or multi-multi million influences of most of Australia's billionaires, is beyond disingenuous.
It also speaks of a pervasive contemporary popular-cultural sanctimony with Aussies cheaply and easily expressing their acumen and moral discrimination by pontificating over patches of bark, in lieu of contemplating the forest.
You want to put an end then to all political donation shams? Then do what's recommended by all progressive political forces and commentators; dramatically overhaul the system and introduce a public funding model.
Clive Williams' article "Careful compromise is needed between Russia, Ukraine, US and NATO", (canberratimes.com.au, February 14) reminds us that compromise is not a dirty word in international affairs.
Where is Australia in advocating for a negotiated solution to the Ukraine crisis? All we hear is how we are threatened and must be part of a confrontational approach by the West.
We have often sought to be a "good international citizen" through our diplomacy, peacekeeping, migration and aid policies, and a return to this approach is essential if the world is to be rid of war.
Jenny Morrison seems to have a double standard regarding manners. Why am I not surprised? She hopes her daughters will be well-mannered and polite. Has she seen her husband in full flight during question time? What's good for the goose ...
Would it be possible for a place of worship to donate a prayer mat or kneeler to save the carpet in Scott Morrison's bedroom in The Lodge? He has been praying about the virus but he may need more prayer between now and May to keep him in The Lodge.
First it was the captain, Tim Paine. Then it was the coach, Justin Langer. Both had been instrumental in getting Australian cricket respected again after the "sandpapergate" debacle and disgrace. Who is next on Cricket Australia's hit list?
I was surprised to read Bill Stefaniak's lengthy rant against voting Labor (Letters, February 12). Surely the CT has more letters from Canberrans who don't already enjoy the platform of a column in another publication?
Gosh. I've got to start looking for Reds under my bed again. I thought I was past all that (in about 1963).
Peter Dutton tells us the Chinese want the Labor Party to win the Federal election. Bingo. So do I. 1.4 billion Chinese (or more) can't be wrong. As Kung fu tse (aka Confucius) observed in the Analects that good government is attained when those who are near are made happy, and those who are far away are attracted.
Of course China wants Labor to win. Don't forget Gough went to China all those years ago ... as did Nixon. Enough said.
I am astounded the ABC has chosen to crucify Zali Stegall, a very worthy person, in public and not instead air the successive misdeeds of the "heritage" of prior sinners which we are being told amount to at least $1.5 billion.
I am glad to see that the media, and especially the national broadcaster, are holding Zali Stegall to account over political donations. There is a name for people who hold others to high standards that they themselves don't live up to. They are called hypocrites.
Grace Tame is her name. I wish it were Grace Brave
Rapists should always be named and punished. The response to their crimes shouldn't be fatherly chats with their innocent victims by those in positions of authority. What we've seen in recent times is not good enough, not in this or any other century.
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