Reading The Canberra Times coverage of the first few days of the election campaign, one can't help but think Canberra has only one federal representative. Whatever the motives and context, Zed Seselja is the only one offering a plan, securing funding, and talking about what the government can get for Canberra.
It's easy to not notice that there are four - count 'em, four - whole other federal representatives, two of whom are likely to be senior members of an incoming government.
Sure, they've been in opposition, but where is Andrew Leigh in advocating for AIS Arena? Has Alicia Payne written to the Sports Minister about a city stadium? Does David Smith - to the extent he exists at all - have a view on Viking Park?
Senator Gallagher, of course, is not even in Canberra. She's minding the leader of the opposition as he goes around the country. What projects is she committing to deliver for Canberra?
So when David Polkinghorne writes "Pocock's already helped Canberra win" (canberratimes.com.au, April 13); the framing is wrong. Pocock is challenging Zed, yes, but he's also exposing the fact that for all their staffing and resources and local support, the four local Labor representatives have not been successful in putting pressure on or securing anything at all for our city and have no plan to do so.
A card, authorised by David Smith, MP, Australian Labor Party, appeared in my letterbox, defining integrity as "the practice of consistently adhering to personal strong moral principles and values" and adding "anything that is the opposite of what Scott Morrison does".
Labor know they can't beat Morrison unless they discredit him, but this not only takes things too far, but is demonstratively untrue and indicates a strong lack of "moral principles and values" in David Smith and the ACT Labor party that all voters should consider.
After all, do we really want people who behave like this governing us?
If David Pocock had not been standing for the Senate, spending money on overdue and much needed maintenance for a once well-used federal asset would have remained another non-race for Senator Seselja and the Coalition ("Independent David Pocock's already helped make Canberra a federal election win", canberratimes.com.au April 13).
Now that the opposition has committed to matching the funding the Liberals will no doubt seek to rely on their love of high-vis vests and hiding behind other infrastructure "announcables" to distract ACT voters from the Coalition's poor and reactionary record on addressing pressing matters like climate change and territory rights.
If a second miracle delivers the Coalition another electoral win Scott Morrison won't have Josh Frydenberg or Anthony Albanese to thank, but the state premiers and chief ministers.
Morrison's claim that his government saved 40,000 lives during the COVID pandemic is utter nonsense and dishonest.
It was the leaders of the states and territories making the hard, and often unpopular decisions about lockdowns and restrictions that kept the death rate low while the Prime Minister and his Treasurer criticised and opposed the measures with statements such as "hermit state, come out of the cave" and the like.
Not only did states and territory leaders, particularly Labor, have to deal with a barrage of criticism from the federal Coalition government but they also had to find work arounds for the Morrison's bungling of the vaccine supply and appalling management of nursing homes.
In the next five weeks we will see plenty more of this nonsense, rewriting history and taking credit for the achievements of others.
But I'm confident Australians can pick a fraud and a charlatan a mile away and won't make the same mistake twice.
I went for a walk the other day in the Canberra Rabbit Conservation Park (formerly known as City Hill). The good news for the rabbit breeders in the ACT government is that the rabbits are looking healthy and well fed. The bad news for City Hill is that it looks mangy, rabbit-eaten and full of trip hazards.
Is there any actual plan to get rid of these imported pests? Or are we breeding them up to have a big rabbit stew come winter time?
We have been asking for over two years why the AIS Arena had been closed, and when it would be open again. And all during that time Zed has been sitting on his hands, with mouth closed.
Wonder of wonders, as suddenly as the election was announced, Zed has pulled his hands out of wherever they were, waving them about and telling us that some $11 million has been allocated to fix the arena.
Wonder of Wonders. Aren't the results of the election date announcement interesting.
Bob Salmond (Letters, April 10) doesn't mention the climate crisis but his solution to the housing crisis of "reduce net immigration to zero" would be a small step in the right direction.
In the face of the evidence, "serious" commentators, still hold to the old paradigm.
Columnist Bradley Perrett writes that, for national security, Australia must get more people as quickly as possible, and the target should be a population of 70 million.
Reading Nicholas Stuart's story "Plenty of Australians won't be winners this election campaign", canberratimes.com.au, April 11) brought to a head my anger over a recent letter to the editor suggesting people were poor because they spent their money on "booze, cigarettes and drugs".
I worked as a home visitor with a well-known charity for years and can assure people that, in most cases, this is not true. Poverty has many causes, starting with the inadequacy of government pensions.
Some people find it hard to get work because they are just not very intelligent. They are last to be hired, and then first to be fired because they are simply too thick to be trusted to work by themselves.
People who suffer from poor health are limited in the kind of work they can do. Poorly educated people (and we can probably add to these people whose English is poor) are lucky to be relegated to the lowest paid jobs - the type of jobs that are most likely to be subject to wage theft by the rich and greedy.
Stuart's story mentions the poor chap whose age pension left him unable to buy food or heating. You can't imagine the strain on some families to provide things like sports gear for kids, to repair or replace broken household items, let alone provide some kind of enjoyment, like a visit to the pictures.
I realise that there must be some rules to stop people just bludging to get on the dole. But these rules should be set by people who understand the problems of the applicants. I doubt that the rule-makers understand how the fares to get to interviews and the need to keep some standard of clothing bite into the funds of people applying for jobs.
It doesn't take long for those living in an over 55 village, or have assisted a loved one with this, to realise how expensive this accommodation option is, with lots of fees and charges that aren't always obvious up front.
Many villages were also slow in developing policies to accommodate issues associated with COVID, lockdowns and the ability to provide vacant possession. In the case of my pensioner mum, this cost her thousands of dollars in extra fees.
Since the pandemic I have moved my mum twice, once within a village itself, the second time into residential care. Both moves coincided with lockdowns. During the first move a well-known Deakin village informed me to take my time as they couldn't refresh or show the townhouse. What they didn't tell me was they charged mum for that period, and whilst we clawed back some money, their response was I should have sought legal advice.
On the second move they imposed a hard lockdown (above ACT government health guidelines), preventing me from providing vacant possession for a month. This time they eventually had a policy to split the lockdown period fees 50:50 with the resident (one quarter of the fees were for food they weren't purchasing).
With each transaction we identified calculation errors in their favour, and on leaving the village mum was charged their legal fees along with hers (as per the contract).
It is time there was a review into over 55 villages to ensure transparent and fair practices.
It's interesting to note that the odds of an LNP win on May 21 shortened considerably on all the major online gambling sites after Monday's gaffe by Anthony Albanese.
I hear George Christensen MP, the "Member for Manila", has joined One Nation. This is the party founded on a fear of Australia being "swamped by Asians". There must be something new on their dartboard.
To those who refuse to vote, spoil their ballot, or say their individual vote won't count, some people have recently been exiled, jailed, or shot dead campaigning for a free election vote in places such as Hong Kong and Myanmar. Voting is a collective exercise.
C Williams wrote "could fortnightly bin collections be a Machiavellian Greens plot to force Canberrans to have smaller families?" (Letters, April 11). Finally, a positive comment about the ACT Greens.
It would be good if the media reported the facts. May 21 is not the last day that the election can be held. The Senate election must be held by then but the House of Representatives election can be delayed to September 2022.
Australia started as a penal colony which means, unfortunately, that we are quite good at bullying and intimidation. But it is not a trait we want to encourage by electing leaders who are good at it.
Why do we taxpayers have to bear the cost of compensation paid to alleged female victims of former judge Dyson Heydon and the previous or current (take your pick) cabinet minister Alan Tudge?
Australian democracy having asserted itself, the High Court has affirmed that persons may stand, in the hope of being seated. The sooner the better for many members of the public. Plenty of work ahead.
Yes, the election is there to win but my fear for the future is that, Albanese, if he wins, will just be a mouthpiece for Shorten. Everything he is saying and spruiking is vintage Shorten. If Albanese wins he will be toppled before the next election and Shorten will be re-elected to the leadership position and that would be horrible for Australia.
Alan Shroot encourages us to get COVID boosters, saying case numbers in the ACT are unsatisfactory (Letters, April 13). Being vaxxed and boosted doesn't prevent infection as the cases of the Queen, Prince Charles and Scott Morrison clearly attest. The BA.2 Omicron variant is now dominant. While the first million COVID cases in NSW took 731 days the second million cases took just 75 days.
"Gotcha" moments, long beloved of journalists and, it seems, many of their readers, are shallow and puerile. Grow up, please.
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