I wish our new Chief Justice the very best with her desire to reduce jail overcrowding. ("Chief Justice Lucy McCallum sets sights on jail overcrowding as she becomes ACT's top judge", canberratimes.com.au, March 8).
This is a noble aspiration which, based on what we've seen through stories in this newspaper, means not much will change.
Recidivism is rife because there are no decent pathways that match the aspirations of those incarcerated. Furthermore sentences need to be a "brick wall" of heavier (discouragement) sentencing as criminals know that while they will get a long sentence they will also get an earlier parole period.
We as a community will continue to suffer in the meantime unless the likes of Ministers Rattenbury and Gentleman actually earn their pay and do what is right by the community for a change.
We can't do it but they can. We have a moral dilemma in this city because this government fails to listen to the electorate. For example, the tram is an expensive development solution, not a public transport solution.
Declan McGrath (Letters, March 7) reminds us that former Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate was sacked for providing $20,000 worth of rewards to senior staff, and says that the former secretary of Human Services was responsible for designing "robodebt".
Current Services Australia CEO Rebecca Skinner was awarded a Public Service Medal. Government Services Minister Linda Reynolds was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross.
They are each responsible for the failure of the Centrelink website to accept documents that are required to support applications for support. If a document contains "active content" the website refuses to upload the document and responds, "Something's gone wrong. Please try again". This puts applicants into an endless loop.
Centrelink has known of this problem for several years and claims that the issue has been "finalised." Its website still refuses to upload documents with "active content" and still provides no information about "active content".
To address the absence of official information I have published a web page that explains how to work around the problem.
If Skinner and Reynolds are incapable of arranging for the Centrelink website to provide the same information they should hand back their Public Service Medal and Conspicuous Service Cross.
Bravo to Declan McGrath (Letters, March 7). Continuing aged care crises despite numerous reviews revealing obvious remedial options, $33 million for land worth only $3 million, robodebt causing so much stress to "clients" that Centrelink began tweeting Lifeline's contact number, and $1.2 billion in related litigation, are glaring examples of unforgivable maladministration.
Ms Kathryn Campbell decided to ignore expert legal advice that robodebt was most likely illegal. Instead she ploughed on with implementing it. At Senate Estimates she did her best to defend its flaws and reluctantly displayed a token amount of contrition for her department's failings.
Yet JobKeeper overpayments were somehow different as the government did absolutely nothing to claw them back from other thriving businesses. The fact that the careers of generously-paid executives and the Aged Care Minister continue to be unaffected doesn't make any sense.
Parachuting Ms Campbell into the DFAT Secretary position sent a very loud message that, regardless, she will always remain a favourite of influential decision makers who won't allow their pride and ego to acknowledge her failures.
This can only mean that PM Morrison and his team simply don't care about the views and real-life experiences of the vulnerable, regardless of how extenuating their circumstances might be.
The electorate is fed up with rorts and maladministration. A federal ICAC needs to be established and political donations banned.
The Canberra Times editorial of Tuesday, March 8 - ("Game on, it's yet another khaki election") is spot on.
We have a desperate government looking for a way to distract the Australian voter from the real domestic issues, and ignoring the existential threat of climate change.
Sure, the current serious international conflict can't be ignored, nor can compassion not be shown for those millions of innocent citizens.
But this election should not be a "khaki election", think total LNP incompetence and hubris in failing to deliver policies for the benefit of all Australians.
Ian Douglas (Letters, March 3) refers to Putin's fear that the Western democracies could defeat autocratic Russia just as the Greeks and Macedonians defeated autocratic Persia under Alexander.
Putin's fear is well founded. Once you start rigging elections and imprisoning, torturing and murdering your opponents you no longer deserve to be in charge: you have lost your legitimacy, and your country is no longer a democracy.
The West deserves to prevail over Russia - not by invading it or threatening it with nuclear weapons, but by its superior example and its ability to offer its citizens prosperity and peace.
If democracy can happen in Ukraine it can happen in Russia. If Persia could be Hellenised Russia can be westernised.
What an absolute farce the governance of this country has become. We make almost nothing except flat whites and boutique equipment for war.
We fail abysmally in crisis management of fire, pandemic and flood and now we find the core functions of the state are substantially in the foreign, profit motivated hands of four big multinationals ("Advisors reap $500 million", canberratimes.com.au, March 8).
For the love of God, surely we can do better than make like a satrapy of the American Empire where even our officials are in the pay of foreign interests. Morrison must go.
Over the past decade the Coalition has been smashing its self-anointed title of "best economic managers" to pieces with profligate ill-targeted spending.
Budget deficits have been de rigueur, debt is approaching $1 trillion, and examples of waste abound.
Now for the icing on the cake. Australia's treasurer has scrapped railway car parks promised for his own electorate.
These car parks were announced the day before the last election was called and were very poorly planned other than targeting Liberal and marginal seats.
The average cost per car park space was ridiculous. It would seem that the leader of the country's finances cannot even pork barrel his own electorate effectively.
What hope is there for the future of Australia's finances?
Surely it is time to create more dams. These floods keep coming and causing death and devastation.
Having more dams means that rivers will still flow in the dry times but there needs to be catchment for these catastrophic wet times.
Greening Australia is possible if the water is utilised properly. If the water is saved, the bush can be greener and the farmland the same. The water is wasted during these dreadful floods and as we have seen causes untold heartache to so many.
Houses should never be built in the flood zones.
Reason has to prevail. Do we really have to be a land of droughts and flooding rains? We can have control over this but just need the have the courage to try something new. Why not be a land of great lakes?
The theme for International Women's Day was "Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow". This recognised the contribution of women and girls who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response.
Women's capacity for empathy and collaboration, and their connection to community means they are well placed to educate and inspire the changes needed for a more sustainable world.
Women also have a strong sense of ethics and inherent desire to nurture and protect.
It's no surprise that politically we are seeing a rise in female independents putting up their hands to champion greater climate action.
Gender equity in the climate debate has long been the missing piece in Australia's debate on climate. We urgently need this.
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