The Kosciuszko National Park is right next door to us. It is also very close to the hearts of the many Canberrans who are dismayed at the devastation of the natural landscape by the large numbers of feral horses. They are multiplying by the year and threatening even our own territory.
We mostly knew about that, but perhaps what many of us didn't know about before the ABC Four Corners episode was the extraordinary selfishness and assertion of proprietorial rights of the horse lobby.
This appears to be led by horse-trekking business owner and former NSW Nationals MP Peter Cochran. Mr Cochran blandly implied that since the horse people, as well as the horses, had been there for so long their heritage accorded them sole rights to do as they wished in the High Country.
Bushwalkers, seekers of knowledge, skiers, lovers of the natural environment, even hydroelectric crews, should just ... well you know the vernacular for "go away". These people have the conceit to believe that the Kosciuszko National Park belongs not to the nation, but to them. It's their country, they say, not ours.
"Banjo" Paterson, author of The Man from Snowy River, loved horses and hated to see them killed, but he was a pragmatist.
In a talk about wild horses he gave in 1930, he noted that during the 1800s they had become a plague in some "rough country stations" and, when rounded up, would be shot "just like vermin ... it had to be done for, if they didn't get rid of the horses, the horses would get rid of them".
What we are getting rid of now are parts of our unique alpine environment that will be impossible to replace, and which future generations will only be able to read about. Is that what most people want?
Nobody should really be surprised that Putin and the Russian army have invaded, not supported, the breakaway Ukraine provinces on the flimsy logic that they are independent, by his decree, and want to return to the once great Russian empire.
The next obvious concern, after the rest of the Ukraine, will be with what happens in Taiwan. Will China be emboldened by the feeble protests and actions of the rest of the world's countries?
The reality is that nobody wants to get into a real, possibly nuclear, war with either of these superpowers. The other superpower, the USA, is hopefully sensible enough to avoid an all-out war.
There are plenty of other conflicts that could break out with the neighbouring countries around India or the possibility of a forced reunification of the two Koreas.
How many more people have to die on the actions of another tyrant? Surely, we have reached a stage where the world can live in peace and concentrate on real issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, famines, refugees and natural disasters.
As a teacher would say: "Can do better". It's about time we all made that effort.
Who says it's a dull world. We are going through a world crisis because of COVID-19 for the last two years. It's not over yet. Now we have a conflict in Ukraine. Considering the modern technology we have developed the whole world will be affected by this conflict, directly or indirectly.
Big powers always try to dominate smaller powers either by occupying or by the policy. They also follow the age-old mantra of divide and rule. When elephants make love smaller creatures and smaller plants underneath get crushed.
When they fight against each other, the effect is the same.
I earnestly hope the conflict can be settled diplomatically through negotiation under the aegis of the United Nations.
While it is good to have a variety of opinions I am surprised you printed Trevor Wilson's letter (Letters, February 20) "China is not hostile" as it could not have been further from the truth.
To say that China has not cancelled any "commercial contracts" may be strictly true but to say that he is not aware "that the Chinese government has in some way boycotted AustraIian products" completely ignores the fact that they have either banned or imposed punitive tariffs on barley, wine, coal, lobsters and meat from a number of abattoirs.
And yes "China has asserted its territorial claims in the South China Sea" but in a landmark ruling an international tribunal dismissed Beijing's claim to much of that sea. There has also been much news about China's interference in the Australian political scene and we should all remember that Premier Xi (Mao 2.0) has made no secret about how he sees the Chinese diaspora as being beholden to his government.
The media persists in promoting the idea that wearing a mask is a great imposition, and that when the medical authorities rescind the rule making them mandatory we will regain "freedom".
Instead the media should be neutral and only promote the idea that masks are "mandatory" or "optional".
Promote the sensible idea that people should think for themselves.
Mark Kenny concludes his otherwise thoughtful and carefully worded opinion piece "PM's false flag just might work" (Sunday Focus, February 20, p16) with the words: "An anxious electorate may yet decide that ukuleles and crooked grant schemes, and even climate negligence, are second-order issues against a menacing military threat. Real or imagined."
Surely Professor Kenny cannot believe that Russia has plans to invade Australia either militarily or economically. Or does he?
It seems the only ones resisting the end of coal are ScoMo and a few LNP diehards.
Eraring Power Station has been tagged to close early. AGL is the subject of a takeover bid by billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and Brookfield Asset Management.
If successful their plan is to ditch coal and turn the company into "the single biggest decarbonisation project".
Rather than go with the flow and embrace the future, all we get from the government is pathetic talk about higher prices and unreliable energy. When the power companies are leading the march away from coal no one is fooled by that rhetoric anymore.
When will they realise their job is to lead the way with plans to deal with foreseeable problems and for supporting coal industry workers with early retirement packages, new jobs and retraining.
With no such transition plans Morrison et al have stamped their own files "past their use by date" and come the election the voters of Australia will be able to send those files to the archives.
John Warhurst's article "Greens could be collateral damage in indies' climate fight" (canberratimes.com.au, February 24) repeatedly used the confusing phrase "allocate preferences".
That seemed to hark back to the old days of group voting tickets when you could simply vote one above the line for your preferred party and they would advise the Australian Electoral Commission how to allocate your preferences.
At its worst, this had caused absurdities like "preference whispering", leading to the election of candidates with miniscule first preference votes.
This changed in 2016, with sensible legislation supported by the Greens, and now it is impossible for any party or individual candidate to "allocate" Senate preferences. Only the voter themselves can now do this by personally marking their ballot paper, though many voters still seem to be confused about the matter.
In order for a Senate vote to be formal, you must either number at least six boxes above the line or at least 12 below the line. That is the only information that determines how your preferences will be allocated.
Of course parties and candidates can still recommend how you should mark your preferences, through how-to-vote cards or advertisements. But that can never be more than a recommendation and the decision remains yours and yours alone.
I paid $301 for driving at 46km/h on Northbourne Avenue and London Circuit on December 23.
I sent a registered letter to the traffic authority on December 30 explaining that I am 81 years of age and because of COVID, drove to spend Christmas with my son and brother. I cannot remember when I last drove to Canberra, when no speed limits like this one were in place. I have not received a reply to my request for a waiver or withdrawal.
What is more annoying is that the authority has not acknowledged my payment of the infringement by BPAY on February 15. Has anyone else been treated so arbitrarily by this authority?
"ACT a long way ahead of NSW on corruption: Barr," your headline declared (canberratimes.com.au, February 25). I fear that's probably correct. But I have no doubt it is not what the Chief Minister meant.
Russia has demonstrated unequivocally why it was necessary for Ukraine to consider membership of NATO. One can only hope the Russian people will realise what sort of leader they now have entrenched at the top.
When out and about I collect discarded beverage containers. I get 10 cents for each one. If I was paid the same amount for discarded face masks I would be a wealthy man.
Putin isn't building an empire; he's dealing with the equivalent of the 1962 stationing of Russian missiles in Cuba, threatening the US nearby.
A Russian peacekeeping force? That's almost as funny as the idea of an American one.
To paraphrase George Burns; the secret of a good letter to the paper is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.
The Greens have a policy of hugging, not warmongering. Now is the time for them to line up on the Russia-Ukraine border to show us how effective their policy will undoubtedly be.
I am in agreement with Graeme Rankin (Letters, February 23) on the use of the mute button. When Albo comes on I also use it.
Pope's cartoon (February 23) on carving up Ukraine between the Russian and US empires aptly reflects that it takes two to tango.
I agree with Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton, and no doubt Alexander Downer. Russia shouldn't treat "its neighbours" any more underhandedly and with more contempt than Australia did East Timor in trying to screw it out of Timor Sea resources. That must surely be the limit of limits.
I assume if Clive Palmer is double-vaccinated and has had his booster shot he should be safe after developing COVID-like symptoms and having to cancel his National Press Club gig.
Scott Morrison thinks all he has to do to win the election is to say "Labor Party" as often as he says "Mr Speaker".
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