With much self-congratulation the ACT Legislative Assembly passed the Crimes (Consent) Amendment Bill 2022. The government asserts this will make a substantial difference to the successful prosecution of sexual offences in the ACT in which consent is an issue.
I believe the new law will achieve almost nothing. Consent has always meant "free and voluntary consent". It is wrong to suggest, as the government did during debate, that consent has been previously presumed unless positively disavowed.
Part of the problem with the government's tinkering with laws is that they take much of their advice from bureaucrats and representatives of various interest groups, including the Victims of Crime, the Rape Crisis Centre and others who may not have a clear understanding of how the criminal justice system operates.
There are already substantial safeguards built into the law in terms of negativing consent in the event that consent was procured by a substantial power imbalance, violence or the threat of violence, any threat of humiliation, physical helplessness, intoxication or other circumstances. (Section 67 of the Crimes Act 1900 (ACT).)
The bill does nothing to address the failure to educate people from a young age about the respect we all owe one another and, in particular, the respect with which women should be treated by men. This is partly due to a lack of education and partly to intergenerational disrespect for women.
Until rapists, bullies and wife bashers are shamed by their conduct and have a proper appreciation for the right of any man or woman to choose - or not choose - to engage in sexual activity, no amount of tinkering will change anything.
On Tuesday night it was refreshing to see ACT Senate candidate David Pocock take the time to present a public forum "Energy, economy and economic opportunity" in support of his plan for a world-first trial in Canberra that would accelerate our transition to smart energy use and lower our energy and living costs.
The ANU theatre was given insights into the visionary thinking, expertise and entrepreneurial know-how that would underpin the plan's electrification of suburban households and vehicles.
David showed he is pragmatic about new clean, skilled jobs for the territory. His ability to link up and work with experts will help to provide significant economic and social betterment and innovation for the ACT, should he become our second senator.
In the meantime, Senator Seselja is silent about the Coalition's climate and energy targets, particularly their impacts before 2030 at community and household levels. Instead he promises tens of millions of dollars for ACT road and intersection upgrades that should have been part of any government's ongoing investment in regional infrastructure and maintenance.
A mere $20 million would be needed as seed funding for David Pocock's "Suburb Zero" trial that could set the standard for helping millions more households across the country adopt and adapt to electrification and the use of renewable energy.
Fair dinkum, Mario Stivala and the "many" you claim reckon the ABC has a bias against the Coalition (Letters, May 11), you're off your own balance beam. It is not "bias" when a journalist asks a "why?" question, or follows up an inane response with "you didn't answer the question".
Politicians get away with rubbish when they are asked leading questions without follow-ups. Being interviewed by an ABC journalist is not a licence to answer as they do for Dorothy Dixers in Parliament. When they don't get away with doing that they cry "bias".
The Australian Institute of Sport main arena was closed to major events in 2020 due to outdated lighting, seating and safety systems.
After many years of LNP neglecting maintenance of the AIS main arena Zed Seselja and Richard Colbeck have announced $11.4 million to fix the arena.
To reopen the AIS main arena it now has to be bought up to date at 2022/23 inflated building costs, at the expense of the Australian taxpayer.
Is this neglect rectification at inflated costs an example LNP superior economic management?
Mario Stivala is right to complain about the undisciplined "debacle" of Sunday night's debate (Letters, May 11). He's a bit mixed up though; it wasn't the result of a "biased" ABC as he implies.
In case he hadn't noticed, the program was on the Nine network and the problems arose because of an inexperienced moderator, who was shown no respect, especially by Morrison who dismissed her futile attempts to curb his outbursts (he started them) by turning his back on her and literally waving her aside as if he was brushing off a fly.
Mario should ask himself what is the real reason Morrison keeps declining to appear on the ABC during the campaign.
Besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol's residents are slowly starving. Could drones deliver them food, water and medicines?
An Australian supermarket chain has gained valuable experience in Canberra with home deliveries of up to 1.5 kilograms per trip. Skilled Canberra operators could be sent to train Ukrainians to do this, ideally using bigger drones to increase payload.
The Russian Embassy and International Red Cross should be involved to avoid the drones being shot down by the Russians.
David Pocock says Canberra has been dudded by the federal government. He's right - and there is a very simple explanation.
Canberrans keep voting for Labor and the Greens, both federally and locally.
It's a sure thing for Labor and a futile effort for the Coalition. So guess what? Labor doesn't need to spend money when they are in government because they are on a sure thing anyway. The Coalition doesn't even try knowing no one here will ever vote for them anyway.
Next door in the NSW seat of Eden-Monaro people are a lot smarter and vote on merit. It's a bellwether seat. They get lots of government money. It's that simple David.
Zed Seselja says $115 million has been allocated by the federal government for an upgrade of the Monaro Highway. Could Senator Seselja please inform us when this upgrade will be done?
I travel up and down the Monaro every day and see the signs there proclaiming a major upgrade that will making my trip faster (safer might have been a better choice of word).
The signs have been up for at least two years now. When will work actually begin? Is this just a recycled announcement using the same money, as seems to be the coalition government's modus operandi?
Thank you Christopher Hood for raising the issue of the Health Care Card (Letters, May 7) and your suggestion it should not be available to the top income earners in our community.
I agree with everything you said. Your suggestion that a means test be applied is critical if there is to be a fair and equitable system for all. For years I have known wealthy people who have a health care card. I do not begrudge them this. The system has allowed this to happen. Managing taxable income by the recipients of the card ensures that they will continue to be eligible for it.
It is however very unfair to people like myself who do not qualify because I earn just above the amount, set by the various authorities. My medical bills and prescriptions are escalating out of sight. I get no concessions from a number of specialists I see, nor do get any of the other benefits that one gets with a health card.
With luck, no matter which party I vote for in a couple of weeks, I will be eligible for the Gold Card.
Zed Seselja has found $30 million to fix a dangerous intersection in Gunghalin but did nothing to stop the NCA approving the removal of the safe cloverleaf intersections on the north and south side of Commonwealth Bridge and converting them into dangerous traffic light intersections.
In the 60 years the cloverleaf intersections have been in use there has never been a serious accident. Converting them into traffic light intersections will see multiple minor shunts and some serious accidents involving injuries as well as creating the biggest traffic jams in Canberra. 76 per cent of submissions were against the raising of London Circuit and removal of the cloverleaf intersections but Zed did nothing.
I love it when the RBA increases rates then banks pass the full increase to customers and when the RBA decreases rates banks pass on less than the full value. The RBA has become as dysfunctional as the UN.
Why is it that no media other than The Canberra Times is apparently carrying stories on the policies of the Greens? They appear the only party with any detailed policies focused on the future, the homeless, the poverty stricken, indigenous issues and the environment, yet they get no coverage in electronic media.
Let's think more carefully about the language we use. The prefix "pre" means "before", thus making a nonsense out of terms like "pre-polling", "pre-booking" or "pre-ordering". You cannot poll before you poll, book before you book or order before you order something. The word "advance" would be more appropriate but like a lot of the jargon used today these terms are used universally.
Apart from feeding the media I am not sure leaders' debates offer any real worth to election campaigns. Time to ditch them along with the polls.
China's armed forces have carried out another round of exercises near Taiwan. First the military exercises then the war of invasion. That's what Russia did in Ukraine. Should anybody be surprised if China does the same?
I've just read another article stating that the fastest growing group of homeless people are women aged over 50. While the proportion may be increasing off a relatively low base ABS figures indicate that two out of every three homeless people are male. When are we going to do something about that?
Go figure. A man made lake with a dam and two bridges has national heritage significance but the core of our wonderful city with real heritage doesn't. How typical of a decision by the so called Environment Minister Susan Ley and her cronies who don't understand and don't care about Australia's heritage, the environment or Canberra.
The debacle billed as "the great debate" showed why we need more independents in Parliament. The behaviour of Scott Morrison (in particular) and Anthony Albanese indicated neither is fit to be the prime minister. In Canberra we have good independents standing for the Senate. Vote for them.
During my regular morning runs at the National Arboretum I've been wondering what all the construction work I've been seeing was for. Now that the Commonwealth Avenue bridge has been given heritage status I'm guessing it is going to be for tram route Stage 2B Plan B.
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