During the January 3 Belconnen storm my car was badly damaged by hail, as were many other vehicles. The insurance company assessed the car as a write-off, but because it was still mechanically sound with the damage being only cosmetic I decided to repurchase it at its residual value.
The insurance company advised me that I would have to have the vehicle mechanically checked by RTA in order to have the vehicle's registration continued. This seemed reasonable, even though such a requirement exists in only the ACT and SA.
When I attempted by telephone to book an appointment for the test, RTA advised me that the cost of the "complex ID assessment" would be $621.90. This seems exorbitant. I suspect that the ACT government is milking unfortunate victims of the storm.
I recommend that The Canberra Times seek explanations from the Chief Minister and the leader of the opposition on why such an expensive test is required.
I also recommend that the test be abolished or simplified, or at least provided free of charge, and that all vehicle owners who have been charged for the test over the past two years have their "contribution to treasury" refunded.
Defence minister Peter Dutton has said China is backing Labour in the forthcoming election. As this was clearly a statement of the obvious, the real reason for the statement is hard to find.
Relations with China have deteriorated during the life of this government. Prime Minister Morrison has been outspoken in demanding an investigation into the origin of COVID, and has initiated the creation of a new pact with Britain and the United States, AUKUS, resulting in a cancellation of our order for French submarines in favour of an upgrade to nuclear-powered, to be supplied by our allies.
China has seen this as an unfriendly development, aimed at them. China has severely cut the formerly flourishing trade with Australia.
In addition, Mr Dutton has warned Australians that in the matter of the Chinese threat to Taiwan we must be prepared for "the drums of war". Yet should we be preparing for war with China, alone and unassisted? Our ally, the United States, will not join us.
In a recent statement by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, which includes China and the US, there was a declaration that "we affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must not be fought". And we have not even got our submarines yet.
Declaration of war is a drastic step that requires forward planning. Assuming Australia did win, what do we do with the great landmass, home to a sixth of humanity, that is China today?
I feel relieved our police have evicted the protesters from EPIC, but why did they not do this before Monday, February 14? Why was the Lifeline Bookfair sacrificed for these protesters?
These people had no respect for Canberra residents. There have been reports of bullying tactics towards some Canberra businesses and traffic being blocked.
In my opinion our police were far too lenient with these disruptive visitors who have outstayed their welcome.
Why weren't they evicted so Lifeline could go ahead after days of work by volunteers?
It's ironic that this is happening when almost 100 per cent of Canberrans are vaccinated.
I have been to a few demonstrations myself in my 51 years in Canberra but these lasted a few hours, not for several weeks.
As a former Canberra resident for 50 years, and a participant in many justice marches, the Freedom Convoy on February 12 was outstanding. It was well organised, exuberant, diverse, disciplined and focused on safe health outcomes for the nation.
The Canberra Times front page of Sunday, February 13, telling protesters to "go home" was shameful and made a mockery of your motto: "To Serve the National City".
If Canberrans, The Canberra Times, and securely employed public residents unaffected by lockdown job losses do not want to see democracy in action perhaps they may like to live somewhere else than the nation's capital.
In private and safe rebellion to the Canberra orthodoxy there were many Canberrans tooting and waving support near the convoy.
Rallies will surely continue as issues are evolving.
Just like the convoys, our nation has a long journey ahead through unhinged intolerance to calm debate. I quote a sign seen during the Convoy: "If science cannot be questioned it's propaganda".
Most Canberrans have, if anything, been positively impacted by two years of COVID-19. Many public sector employees got a pay increase and they also got to "work from home".
This meant they saved time and money on travel, got to look after their kids, take the dog for a walk and go out for a coffee.
The laptop class feels no empathy for the working class whom they have always despised and now make no secret of the fact. How dare the unwashed rednecks be upset about losing their jobs and their small businesses?
The "freedom" protesters who came to Canberra for a few days sometimes behaved like a rabble who didn't really know what they were here to protest or how to go about it, but reading your Letters to the Editor, one would think the minor inconvenience they caused to our cushy lives was an armed insurrection.
Supposedly tolerant left-wing Canberrans have been calling for protesters to be arrested and sent to detention camps. A maniac assaulted peaceful protesters and was given a slap on the wrist by our police, and if reports can be believed, has even been showered with praise on their private online account.
Apparently we are a tolerant city just as long as you don't get in the way of us enjoying our cozy privileged upper-middle class bubble.
Authors Alex Rouse and Adam Triggs ("Endless growth is no fairy tale", canberratimes.com.au, February 10) argue productivity can lift economic growth without damage to the physical environment.
It is true, but only to a point. If people are to be productive, they need education and associated tools like books and computers and, of course, energy. Endless economic growth depends on people but people need to be housed, fed and sheltered and that requires energy and resources, so endless population growth is not an option.
It is becoming depressingly clear that we are reaching limits to growth. Rouse and Triggs argue that Malthus's doomsday predictions have not eventuated, but they are manifesting themselves more and more.
Climate change is already wreaking havoc around the world through extreme weather events and will lower agricultural productivity in the tropics and sub-tropics. Soil quality is declining across much of the world's farmlands and 16 per cent have a life-span of only 100 years or less.
Fresh water aquifers are declining right across the world, further threatening agriculture. In the past 50 years, we have lost 40 per cent of wild animals globally in the context of the sixth mass extinction.
Greta Thunberg is basically right: eternal economic growth is a fairy tale. We may be able to stave off environmental decline from economic growth for a while with increased productivity, but at some point we have to move to a steady state economy and probably even negative growth.
If you are buying a new car, you might be convinced by the patter of the salesman the first time. If the car breaks down frequently and costs too much to run you are unlikely to go back to the same salesman to get your next one.
The electorate was convinced by slick marketing to buy the 2019 model of the Morrison sedan. It looked great in the showroom but performed badly on the road. It used a lot of fossil fuel and only seemed to find a parking space in marginal seats. When buyers complained about the smoky exhaust they discovered that the salesman "doesn't hold a spanner - mate".
It will probably take something more than a 60 Minutes puff piece to convince the electorate to buy the 2022 Morrison from the Coalition dealership.
Ms Tame could take a leaf out of Mrs Morrison's book on decorum and good manners.
Mrs Morrison's style really shone through with her measured and gracious response to Ms Tame's petulant and childish behaviour. If Ms Tame felt so strongly about the issue why bother turning up at all, other than for the classic "look at moi" moment which was also evident at the press club appearance.
I have it from a reliable, trusted and open source who happens to be a friend of mine that searches the web frequently that Russia would prefer Dutton as PM because they want to engage Scott Morrison as their head of propaganda. While some may think this is as ludicrous as Dutton's recent allegations about China wouldn't Scott do a great job?
Isn't it amazing that in the whole Commonwealth only Dan Andrews's wee statelet of Victoria has the wisdom, pertinacity and financial wherewithal to recognise what a wonderful and financially beneficial opportunity hosting the Commonwealth Games would be. We are lucky and blessed to be led by such brilliant politicians and economists.
I don't understand why Jenny Morrison has apologised for arranging a holiday in Hawaii. She is just a private citizen. She has no official position in the Australian political system. I hope she wasn't pressured to make this apology; and if she wasn't, she needs to reassess where her obligations lie. Just relax, Jenny; you're not responsible for your husband's decisions.
Regarding the full-scale Russian invasion of the Ukraine that was due to take place on Wednesday, February 16, was that Kyiv or is that Washington time? Are Biden, Boris and Morrison the boyos who cried Wolfowitz?
Can anybody tell me if the Prime Minister's ukulele was made in Hawaii?
I sympathise with Valerie Giverny (Letters, February 11) and other light rail commuters who had to put up with non-mask wearing protesters. I had a similar experience while grocery shopping. The service desk employee also said she had no power to enforce the mask regulations. What is the point of a regulation nobody will enforce?
Has a 2022 federal election date been announced? The opposition leader is being badgered to announce. He says he will do so when the election is declared. Mr Morrison, declare a date and give up your extra publicity and photo opportunities.
It will become mandatory (if that's not a dirty word these days) for all cats to be contained as of July 1. Why the delay? In the meantime how much wildlife is going to continue to be killed by feral cats?
Surely the one person who would know what's going on in Ukraine would be Anthony Albanese through SMERSH or SPECTRE agents located in Beijing? Let's just ask him.
Perhaps would-be politicians should be required to pass a character test before being allowed to nominate?
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