Your correspondents' healthy scepticism about the integrity of the University House bunker (Letters, May 4) is timely as work proceeds to repair the buildings for reopening next year.
It's true that the antechamber pictured was better suited to storing part of University House's magnificent Fred Ward furniture collection than as a bomb shelter. The history of University House records that its construction accorded with new regulations applying in 1949, that major public buildings should be able to withstand an atomic blast.
The architect, Brian Lewis, noted the value of the (windowless, underground) tunnels as a nuclear shelter but it seems that some of the final measures to enable that use, notably fitting blast-proof doors, were not completed; perhaps for the financial reasons that dogged construction.
Lewis also noted that the underground wine cellar was well-suited to use as a bunker.
Despite assurances to the contrary when I was appointed as Master, that part of University House history seems even more mythological.
Tim the Yowie Man has offered to lead a search of the tunnels for this Holy Grail, should we ever navigate our way through the WHS restrictions on accessing confined spaces.
In the meantime, our Friends of University House Fund is receiving donations to restore and embellish the furniture, fittings and artwork in conjunction with the building repairs.
We'd be delighted to expand the scope of the fund to bring the bunker up to standard; for better or worse, it might be a wise investment in this era of renewed great power rivalry.
The call for "the introduction of nationally consistent abortion laws" in Australia as "a priority" for the next parliament ("Women's rights must remain protected", canberratimes.com.au, May 6) may put a big spring in the step of Senator Anne Ruston who has been anointed as the Coalition's future health minister in the event it is returned to office on May 21.
Senator Ruston and some of her colleagues, including senators Amanda Stoker and Zed Seselja, hold - and have previously acted on - their strong and rigid anti-abortion positions in the past. There can be little doubt they would no doubt try, very opportunistically, to apply highly restrictive, nationally consistent abortion laws across Australia.
Should such religious conservatives make any more legislative moves to restrict abortion rights in Australia, including by tampering with women's access to Medicare, the Parliamentary Triangle would not be able to contain the number of protesters who would descend on Canberra to voice their opposition to such antediluvian interference in women's lives.
In the meantime ACT voters can at least bolster the Senate by electing a strong and far more fair-minded, rights-conscious representative such as David Pocock or Kim Rubenstein.
I feel pretty confident that you don't necessarily have to belong to the "strident, ultra conservative anti-abortion lobby" to be distressed by the thought of a baby being torn to pieces in the womb, and the possibility of the woman being left physically or emotionally harmed.
As Wednesday was "May the Fourth", the annual day marked by Star Wars and pop culture fans (as in "may the Force be with you"), let me also register my deep disappointment with the sad fact that during this current federal election there have been no Star Wars alliterations applied to candidates or announced policies.
As for Hansen, Palmer and Katter, they are all much more than one short of being the Australian Political Wiggles.
Surely, with cartoonish characters and policies like the ones in this year's federal election, The Force must be very deeply disturbed.
Did I really hear this on Radio National this week? A pro-life woman in Utah suggesting in an interview with Patricia Karvelas that one reason for prohibiting abortion was that there was a long list of families wanting to adopt babies.
Could anybody actually justify this? What is the world coming to?
I'm a superannuant with a pretty good income. I don't have a health care card - and I shouldn't.
Morrison says I should. Morrison says I should qualify for a much easier safety net on excess PBS prescription costs, too, and plenty of other benefits for which health care card holders qualify. So should lots of people in the top 10 per cent and many in the top 5 per cent of incomes: and in the top 1 per cent of the wealthy, too, where they manage taxable income down.
But already medical practitioners, and others, are cutting back special treatment for health care card holders.
The more holders, and the higher their incomes - and no asset test at all! - the less they can be treated as people in special medical need, or in special income need.
Cut the PBS maximum payment for medicines, too.
Then there's less capacity for the PBS to direct more help to the people with special medical need, or with low incomes.
This bad government keeps providing handouts for the greedy, at the expense of necessary help for the needy. Here we go again.
I agree with Mr Morrison: a NSW-style Independent Commission Against Corruption is not an appropriate model.
But better an ICAC than the swamp full of ravenous lampreys that this government has loosed on us.
To fathom the current government's rorting and pork barrelling we must fish them out of a near-bottomless cesspool.
Perhaps one approach could be to use some depth charges?
The Coalition's stance on the creation of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament is pathetic in the wake of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
They must be aware of reports that some 80 per cent of Australians have expressed support on the issue.
Selecting and nominating one of the 2023 most suitable dates as proposed by the Indigenous proponents should be the easiest and most urgent task for implementation by the incoming Parliament. Just nominate the date; the rest will fall into place.
The second most urgent need is to represent the Integrity Bill (with teeth) as proposed last Parliament by the independent Helen Haines.
The third task would be to tackle healthcare.
All of these issues could and should be finalised in the next government's term of office.
Issues such as climate change, security and the economy, though important, are ongoing, slow going and long-term in achieving goals.
The campaign by Advance Australia against David Pocock in the ACT is dishonest and does ACT politics a disservice.
Pocock chained himself to a digger as a protest against the mining of coal, which, when burnt, will release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere we all have to breathe. Does this make him a Green? Not in itself, of course not, because there is far more to the Green platform than being anti-coal mining.
Is coal mining bad? It provides jobs for many Australians, money for coal mine investors and royalty revenue for the government. So it is good for some of us. But the burning of Australian coal does contribute to global warming, which almost all of us now know will be very bad for every one of us, our children, our grandchildren and their descendants for hundreds if not thousands of years.
The increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere takes no account of the purpose of burning coal or how many jobs there are in coal mining or how much money is made by companies from it or creative accounting to cover it up. When coal is burnt the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere goes up and so does the temperature. Is being a Green a bad thing? I'm sure the Greens believe that coal does not have to be burnt to have the jobs and the money. Creative accountants will always find a home.
The dishonest Advance Australia campaign is a cynical cartoon of a campaign. Its shadowy perpetrators should come forth and declare who they are and that they stand for a hotter climate and all that implies.
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