Does the ACT government expect Canberra's commuters to help it out by commuting on unreliable, poorly equipped bicycles?
The government targets the proportion of cycling commuters to increase from 2.3 per cent in 2001 to seven per cent in 2026. By 2016 the rate had risen to only 3 per cent.
In 60,000 kilometres of bicycle commuting and a year of managing the Australian Greenhouse Office bicycle fleet, I found bicycles with normal road tyres required unscheduled maintenance at average intervals of about five hundred kilometres. Most of those unscheduled services were puncture repairs.
Last Friday I checked 124 bicycles, parked in Civic and the inner north. Only three of them were equipped to travel at night, on wet roads, with luggage, and with working brakes.
A BikeCBR scheme, similar to ChooseCBR, could subsidise every Canberra commuter to buy a bike with mudguards, theft-resistant lights, puncture-resistant tyres, and baskets or saddlebags, or to upgrade their bike to that level. The cost would be similar to the cost of designing (but not building) a light rail route between Woden and Civic.
This past week two events might have passed without the notice of your readers, due to the post-election excitement.
On Friday, May 27, public comment on the draft plan to protect Mature Native Trees in the ACT closed. On Tuesday, May 31, public comment on a proposed crematorium complex on Mugga Lane on the northwest boundary of the Callum Brae Nature Reserve will close.
The future of Canberra as the "bush capital" is at stake given the ongoing destruction of mature native trees and the threat to Nature Reserves such as Callum Brae.
Callum Brae Nature Reserve protects yellow box and Blakely's red gum trees which are on the critically endangered list as well as grassy woodland. Many species of birds, some of which are critically endangered including the swift parrot and the gang gang cockatoo are found in Callum Brae. Callum Brae is a popular location for birdwatching and walking, accessible to people with mobility issues.
Callum Brae Nature Reserve is under severe threat by a proposed large crematorium infrastructure on its boundary. Not only is the proposed crematorium complex damaging to the fragile environment adjoining Callum Brae Nature Reserve, another crematorium is not needed according to the 2020 survey by the Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association which indicated that with just the Norwood crematorium operating, Canberra was utilising only 18 per cent of its existing cremation capacity. Since that time the Gungahlin crematory has been added and the Southern Memorial Park at Hume is underway.
We urge friends of Callum Brae Nature Reserve to make a submission on the ACT government website, Symonston Development Application 202138789.
To say Peter Dutton's dour demeanour was due to the heavy responsibilities of his office is ridiculous.
His jailing asylum seekers for what appears to be life is appalling, especially in the case of the Biloela family.
Particularly disgusting is his sneering referral to the two little girls as "anchor babies", insinuating that the parents had them only to use them as a form of blackmail on the government.
Offering sanctuary in Australia to refugees from Ukraine is a generous idea but as they are not "coloured", it is in galling contrast to Dutton's policy towards people from the Pacific area.
I agree with Gary Kent's comments (Letters, May 28) that the failure of Seselja to be elected was because the ACT Liberal Party's values do not align with those of most Canberrans. The mismatch has been apparent since 2007 when Seselja became its leader in the Assembly and in the repeated electoral defeats since then.
The Canberra community has been the loser with the Labor/Green government becoming increasingly lazy, arrogant, opaque and unaccountable.
It has failed to do the analysis to support its policies. Its ineptitude is most apparent in health, housing, urban development and transport, including the unnecessary and wasteful light rail.
The community will continue to be the loser until the Liberal Party improves its electability and/or the Barr/Rattenbury government adopts policies on evidence.
Every so often the tired old objection to compulsory voting gets aired. Most recently, for example, Mario Stivala (Letters, May 24) does so.
If a person doesn't want to vote, his or her (unwilling) vote would no doubt be ill-considered and likely distort the electoral process. It could well be best if he or she didn't vote but just left the voting papers blank. Nevertheless it is important that he or she is at least obliged to accept the responsibility that every citizen has to take part in the process.
Mr Stivala, like others before him, misses the main point altogether.
The principal virtue and necessity of compulsory voting lies in the resulting removal of the prospect of voter-suppression shenanigans such as parties get up to in other countries (like the USA) where voting is not compulsory.
This is a real consideration for Australia - even in this election, and notwithstanding compulsory voting (for those on the roll), there was disenfranchisement of a significant number of First Nations People in remote areas of the country,
Compulsory voting is essential and must be retained.
The Labor government can govern without the Holmes à Court "independents" and the Greens votes in parliament as they appear to have won an outright majority.
The Coalition should recognise the Labor Parties democratic mandate and should inform the Labor Party that the Coalition will use their numbers to ensure that the teals and the Greens have no ability to use their voting power in parliament to exert a radicalising control or influence on the government.
Such actions would render the teals and Greens totally powerless and ineffectual over the next three years until the next election.
This would be a good outcome for Labor and the Coalition and, most importantly, for the country.
The teals and the Greens are no friends of the Coalition and no friends of the Labor Party, it is in both the major parties' best interests to render them powerless and ineffectual.
If anyone thinks that Peter Dutton is a remedy for what ails the Liberal Party, please think again.
It is precisely the backward-thinking, male-oriented forget-me-nots who caused the latest election rupture. Any new leader needs to be capable of more than one train of thought, and to be preferably feminine.
Josh F. would have been just the ticket, and in touch at least with his feminine side. And for heaven's sake look at the lonely little petunia in a cabbage patch electorate that Kooyong now is.
Maybe in a different electorate Josh could do a Lazarus with only one by-pass?
Why is the media suddenly promoting Peter Dutton as a personable man who has not shown his true colours up to now? This is the man who said black gangs were preventing Melbourne citizens from going out at night. This is the man who inferred that refugees were terrorists.
This is the man who stated we should prepare for war to counteract China's growing ambitions. Suddenly we're being told he is a decent man who has been misunderstood. The population of Australia can only judge a person by the persona they present and Mr Dutton has not shown any sign of being a gentle man who cares for others. His leadership of the Liberal Party is a worry.
Good grief, Ian Morison, (Letters, May 25) an ALP government started taking over the reins of government on Monday, May 23 and already you have a letter to the editor bitching about the ALP publicity machine abusing the taxpayer's purse to achieve "endless good news stories". Have you been asleep? It has been notorious that the recent Prime Minister only went to photograph opportunities, which generated contrived photographs which kept that individual in the media.
Your antenna for issues should have been activated during the recent three years. The resulting attention to integrity within that government would very likely have started a new Menzies term. Perhaps complacency of power is the fault here and not a barely formed new government.
Can someone explain the science to me how an Albanese government intends to reduce green house gases when Australia according to the EPA contributes 1.12 per cent of the emissions and China, USA, EU, India and Russia combined, contributes 66 per cent? The rest of the world contributes 32.8 per cent. It's hard to stop cows farting but that could be a start.
Has Anthony Albanese said whether he is going to live in The Lodge, the PM's official residence in the national capital, the seat of the national government and home of the national parliament? With no school-age children to tie him to Sydney, there is every reason why he (and his partner) should move to Canberra now.
Karen Barlow writes that David Pocock was first approached by proACT to run as an independent in May 2021. It was only many months later, and long after Professor Kim Rubenstein announced she was standing, that proACT revealed Pocock's candidature. Some proACT supporters who were led to believe there would be an open transparent selection process may feel they were misled from the outset.
I can understand why Liberal MP Stuart Robert doesn't think Peter Dutton should be judged on his views or actions. Apart from the "water lapping at the door" of Pacific Island nations remark, Dutton has made inflammatory remarks about refugees' literacy levels and, when home affairs minister, he personally intervened to stop the deportation of a French au pair after he was lobbied by AFL boss Gillon McLachlan.
Joyce's gloating at the party's "success" - in torpedoing Morrison - renders foreign any concept of embracing "wider views" - minus rorting (?) - confident (?) constituents will continue to cleave to their discordant babble, despite it having consigned them endlessly to exterior darkness.
Scott Morrison has failed to understand and accept the message again. We're not changing the window dressings, we're changing the house.
The message from the 2022 election is that Australia changed, rejecting the Big Swinging Dicks to embracing the Big Swinging Chicks.
Ian Warden (canberratimes.com.au, May 29) reminds us, through pertinent references to musicals from many years ago, about the pleasures of new love we are experiencing through the election of Albo and his merry men and women. But as one of the new hopefuls has sagely pointed out, they are bound to disappoint. Will it be a case of "When a lovely flame dies, Smoke gets in your eyes"?
Perhaps Albo should introduce four-year terms?
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