Bob Salmond's ('Emphasis on sporting facilities in the ACT is misguided", Letters, April 17) assertion that Canberra does not need high quality sporting facilities demands a response.
Governments have a responsibility to build infrastructure which will enhance the health of the community they serve, so it is incumbent on the ACT government to build sporting facilities which encourage sports participation, whether in partnership with the private sector or on its own terms. It should not be up to private citizens to wholly do the government's job.
It is not a "small minority" of Canberrans who want high quality of sporting facilities in this city. Canberra has one of the highest sport and recreation participation rates in the country. We are an active community whose commitment to sport and exercise the government has a responsibility to support.
Mr Salmond observes that major events should be played "not in tiny Canberra where such facilities are inappropriate", as if Canberra is some sort of insignificant village somewhere in regional Australia. Canberra is the national capital, with a population of near 500,000, with teams in national competitions across a range of sports (AFL, NRL, rugby union, hockey, women's cricket, hockey and a number of others). As the national capital, Canberra needs to be able to showcase national and international events in high quality facilities.
Governments have a responsibility to build infrastructure which will enhance the health of the community they serve.- Mark Slater, Melba
I understand that some people in Canberra do not embrace sport or think it is terribly important, but in this city they are in the minority.
Regarding concerns over GP waiting times and the doctor shortage: "Number of junior doctors choosing general practice plummets" (April 18).
My late sister-in-law Ingrid Hume of Goulburn Hospital was a highly experienced nursing sister of many years' standing and wide experience in a variety of hospitals, particularly in isolated rural centres. City doctors she later worked with would often ask her opinion on various medical matters. She was able to diagnose as well as any GP, and I am sure there are many like her.
It is long overdue that experienced country nurses, particularly in rural areas (such as where we my wife and I spend six months of the year on our farm) were given greater discretion to diagnose and treat common health problems. Too often we have had to drive up to 300km just for some basic care, when a local nurse could do the job. Most small rural hospitals have such nurses, but no doctor. It is ridiculous that even in our less than remote area, we drive past such a hospital, and have to do a round trip of 150 km just for flu shot, or a prescription of antibiotic ointment.
It is time to allow experienced registered nurses to set up in their own private practices should they so desire.
For the umpteenth time we have been enjoying that wonderfully satirical Australian TV series, The Hollowmen, a comedy-drama set in the offices of the "Central Policy Unit, a special think tank personally set up by the Prime Minister to help him in his most important task - getting re-elected". Its remarkable resemblance to the current political scene is uncanny to say the least. No doubt, due to the brilliance of its creators, Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch.
After putting up with the present pre-election caravan as it traipses across our screens, we're beginning to wonder if perhaps the above producers have been responsible for providing the script for Scotty and co.
Is the Russian Minister for Defence Sergey Shoygu, a close friend and ally of Putin, by disappearing for an extended period without explanation "doing an Albo", by making himself a small target ? Or is he just out of favour with Putin after the disastrous "special military operation" and is just being kept out of the limelight? Either way, if he is still alive, I would hate to be in his shoes.
Putin's representatives in the Russian Embassy are building a swim pool and bar and more apartments. Once they are expelled, that building project will stop. They classify Australia as an unfriendly nation, and patently do not influence Putin's actions in Ukraine in any way. And once Putin is out, his current mouthpiece personnel here will have to go anyway, to be replaced by new representatives of a new Russian leader. There is no advantage for Australia in keeping them here now. Get rid of these currently indoctrinated people, immediately.
I could not agree more with Rob Ey's letter (April 16) concerning our non-representative senator, Zed Seselja. I, like other letter writers, have been the recipient of Seselja's increasingly hysterical missives, as he realises he has a real fight on his hands for his Senate seat. He signs off as "Senator for the ACT". I believe this is a misnomer. He is, in fact, the Senator against the ACT. We have an ageing population. The issue of Voluntary Assisted Dying is an increasingly important and relevant issue. To deny us the right to debate and make our own decisions on this matter is, as Mr Ey says, an absolute disgrace.
I know several rusted on Liberal voters who cannot stand Seselja. Might I suggest they vote for the Liberal Party's No 2 Senate candidate, but this would only be a protest vote if they gave their second preference to Seselja. It is important that Zed be put last. This is the best opportunity we have ever had to get rid of this senator. Even if the second seat was won by one of the independents, it would probably only be for one term. It would give the ACT Liberal Party the chance to select a candidate who represents the general ACT electorate, not just the minority extreme religious right.
As P.O'Keeffe points out (Letters, April 16), the simplest and most effective protection against COVID-19 is wearing a P2 mask indoors. Several studies, including one published by the CDC in February, show that masks help control the spread of the disease. People who wore an N95 [P2] mask in public settings were 83% less likely to test positive for COVID-19 than those who wore no mask.
With the costly human and economic impacts of COVID-19 continuing, it is worth noting the return of masks in other cities. Philadelphia -- with a population of 1.6m, compared to the ACT's 435 000 -- has recently re-introduced indoor mask requirements due to concerns about case numbers and hospitalisations. Philadelphia has been averaging 142 new cases a day, with 46 hospitalised, including 6 on ventilators.
The ACT's daily case numbers and hospitalisation figures, per head of population, are much higher, yet we have no mask requirements.
I can appreciate the feelings of indignation expressed by the Solomon Islands government in regard to the recent visit by Zed as a demonstration of Australia's commitment to their welfare and that of the Pacific region. I feel the same way when, as every election approaches, the stranger they call Zed suddenly creeps out of the woodwork to tell us what a fine fellow he is and remind us of all the things he's achieved for 'us'.
But Zed is like ScoMo's "mini me" and has proven time and again that he represents Zed but rarely the interests of Canberrans.
Another prospective politician has had to deal with Section 44 of the Constitution ("Liberal Ben Small resigns from Senate", April 16). The dire need to change the Victorian era document to reflect modern Australia is enough reason for me to vote for an expert on the Constitution. For that reason I intend to vote for Kim Rubenstein, her expertise will be an asset in the Senate.
Anthony Albanese has shown a tiny glimmer of compassion towards refugees by suggesting that we consider whether torturing innocent people in offshore detention camps is achieving anything apart from creating living hell for the detainees. Immediately, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton claimed "the boats will start", the mantra the Coalition has used at every election for at least 20 years.
Despite the tragedies in Ukraine, Afghanistan and elsewhere which have created millions of refugees, Morrison and Dutton refuse to consider how we might compassionately respond. Instead they are happy to use desperate refugees as pawns in a game of political point-scoring.
For Ricky Stuart's attention, here are two golden rules to abide by in modern rugby league. Number one: A team's best player must be the fullback. Jack Wighton is totally ineffective at No. 6. Number two: you need discipline regarding penalties.
Rob Ey (Letters, April 16) expresses an opinion on a major party candidate toward voluntary assisted dying, could our independent candidates, Kim Rubenstein and David Pocock, give the ACT voter their views on the subject?
In throwing $18 billion at voters, a, now familiar, fossilized Joycean myth is being rehashed that Australia can only afford his extravagance if "we pay for it with coal...with gas", to fill dams and build roads and railways to nowhere ("Infrastructure props up Nats campaign hopes", April 16).
To take an American approach, the government is loaded down with funding rorts, dodgy decision-making, last-minute political appointments, climate change denial, refusal to commit to a fair dinkum federal integrity commission, a PM accused of being a liar and a bully, and a whole lot more - but Albanese's gaffe is the news story?
Worried about pork barrelling and corruption in politics? Don't expect Morrison to do anything about it. His latest promise is that he won't. If you really want action on this issue Labor is the only major party promising a federal ICAC.
Scott Morrison should promise an integrity commission if he's re-elected. It worked for him last time.
Another demonstration of the ACT Government's deep affection for road users: the resurfacing on the Tuggeranong Parkway already needs resurfacing. Yep, the road surface has broken down before the roadworks have even finished. Unbelievable.
I encourage those who are wondering which political party to vote for on 21st May to be mindful of the possibility that Donald J Trump might be elected as USA's President in 2024. If his buddy, Scott Morrison, succeeds in being elected as PM I fear that this duo's blatant hawkish attitudes will be detrimental to Australia's security and trade in the Asia/Pacific region.
I always thought Trump was the most stupid president of our times, now, Putin has trumpeted him.
May I ask through your letters column why the flag of the Russian Federation continues to fly as part of the International Flag Display on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin? Let's see the Russian flag lowered before Anzac Day, and this insult to the democratic values shared by Australia and Ukraine terminated.
It's my opinion that it's not a crime to forget the official unemployment rate. But it's a crime to forget the unemployed.
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