Murray Upton (Letters, June 2) argues that Labor's economics guru, Andrew Leigh, should be promoted to the cabinet.
Leigh is the ideal person to explain to Finance Minister Katy Gallagher that, according to ACT government estimates, bus rapid transit would produce two dollars' to four dollars' worth of benefits for every dollar invested. That compares with a mere 60 cents' worth of benefits for each dollar invested in stage two of light rail.
Leigh can explain that the federal government's existing $130 million commitment would go a long way to providing bus rapid transit between Civic and Woden, and that for the cost of 25- to 30-minute light rail trips from Civic to Woden we could have 15-minute trips from Civic to Woden, plus rapid transit to the airport and to Tuggeranong.
Bus rapid transit can carry 18,000 people per hour in each direction. As patronage increases it can be upgraded to light rail, at 20,000 people per hour. The ACT government expects Woden-Civic patronage to be below 10,000 people per hour until at least 2046.
I am absolutely devastated to hear that the wonderful historic cypress trees in front of the Albert Hall are to be cut down. Is it because they are unsightly? No.
Are they diseased? No; they have to make way for a tram that we don't need.
The bus from city to Woden takes up to 15 minutes, whereas the tram will take 30 minutes. I wonder how many ratepayers like me object to this unwarranted expenditure.
Jack Kershaw (Letters, May 29) sets out the glaring problems in getting a tram from Civic to Woden, but he dismisses the alternative of electric buses. He says the cost is on a par with the tram because of the need for pavement strengthening.
Not so. Brisbane is introducing the Metro. It's not an electric bus, but a trackless tram. Some typical figures: A conventional articulated bus weighs 26 tonnes and is 18 metres long; a trambus weighs 33.5 tonnes and is 23.8 metres long; a trackless tram weighs 51 tonnes, is 31.6 metres long and can carry from 250 to 300 passengers.
By way of comparison, a seven-axle B-double weighs 57 tonnes and is 26 metres long, while a 12-axle A-double weighs 85 tonnes and is 50 metres long. My figures are taken from the Australian Transport Research Forum 2021 Proceedings 8-10 December, Brisbane.
Most publications put the cost of a trackless tram at an order of magnitude less than a tram. In our case, the difference is even greater - because with rubber tyres, a trackless tram can get up hills. Lifting London Circuit because the tram can't manage that feat? Was it April 1st when I read about it? Any way you look at it - the expense, the environmental impact, the disruption to lives - it's demented.
The ACT government is proposing the most complex, costly, damaging and unsustainable solution to a problem that frankly does not exist until you introduce a steel-on-steel vehicle. Unless the real problem is how to keep itself in power with Greens backing, and be damned to the citizens of Canberra.
The COVID pandemic has reinforced the importance of vaccination for both individual protection and keeping our health system functioning properly. So why are COVID vaccines free and promoted for most of the population, while virtually every other vaccine is not even subsidised, let alone free, for most adults?
The government has a National Immunisation Program, but this only funds childhood vaccination and some jabs for older adults or those with medical conditions.- Glenn Pure, Kambah
The government has a National Immunisation Program, but this only funds childhood vaccination and some vaccines for older adults or those with specific conditions.
For example, most people accept the importance of an influenza vaccine but with the exception of some states it is user-pays for many adults. This must be a major problem for those with limited incomes who have to consider whether they put a roof over their head and food on the table or get ill or even die with the flu.
Many other vaccines for serious diseases such as tetanus and pertussis require boosters during adulthood for immunity to be maintained. Some of these can be quite expensive ($50 or more).
It seems utterly illogical that, for such a simple and obvious preventative health measure, vaccines aren't made available to all adults on either a subsidised or free basis, especially for those on low incomes.
Before the election, Labor leader Anthony Albanese and then-shadow foreign affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wong issued a joint statement calling on the Morrison government to expel Russian diplomats in lockstep with our European partners.
They said EU countries including France, Germany and Italy have taken steps to expel 206 Russian diplomats and staff - while allowing ambassadors to remain in most cases. Labor's view was that Australia should follow suit.
We know Penny Wong has been busy with Pacific matters. Can we now have some action to expel Putin's followers holidaying here in Australia (an unfriendly country, Putin said), and building more holiday apartments in their compound here while destroying all in Ukraine?
Prime Minister Albanese wants to meet with the premiers and chief ministers.
I hope when they meet that they discuss the desperate need for a new agreement on the appropriate use of tied grants under section 96 of the constitution of Australia.
The abuse of this section by recent Commonwealth governments is a cancer on the Australian political system.
The meeting should agree it is inappropriate for the Commonwealth to give grants for such state, territory and local responsibilities as sports change rooms and car parks.
It should also agree to develop better ways of accounting for state and territory compliance with the conditions on which section 96 grants are given, so states and territories cannot simply substitute Commonwealth money for state and territory funds previously allocated for similar purposes.
Why do people persist with the myth of left-wing bias on the ABC?
Have they been completely oblivious to the extreme right-wing bias of the Murdoch media?
Some of the "shock jocks" display such bias that are they are prepared to lie about the circumstances under which the teals triumphed and Labor won government.
We should be wary of the information any media source feeds us, and be prepared to check the veracity of the facts and the reliability of the sources.
Senator Hollie Hughes felt compelled to bag out Katy Gallagher and Canberra by suggesting "we've got a Finance Minister whose biggest portfolio responsibility in the past was fundamentally mayor of a regional centre".
What is the size of the ACT's budget again? About $6.7 billion, you say? And what is the budget of the largest NSW regional council? Wagga, at about $0.13 billion, less than 2 per cent of the ACT. Fair enough.
And the previous finance minister, Simon Birmingham? What did he do before Federal Parliament? He worked for the Winemakers' Federation of Australia - with an annual budget of barely $2 million, or about 0.03 per cent of Katy Gallagher's responsibility.
I look forward to seeing Senator Hughes being appointed shadow finance minister.
Congratulations to Sussan Ley and Perin Davey. Fantastic to see two strong and smart women raised in Canberra and schooled at Campbell High and Deakin High respectively elected the new deputy leaders of the Liberal and National parties.
Hopefully this connection to Canberra can help inform their future policy platforms and reform the Coalition's brand here in the ACT.
The new leadership of the Liberal Party is uninspiring. Dutton walked out of the apology and is offside with Indigenous Australians. Sussan Ley is offside with young Australians and their parents.
The Nationals, on the other hand, have accepted the national sentiment and chosen David Littleproud, a quietly spoken, articulate advocate of carbon farming, and Perin Davey, who "takes targets seriously" and who, as deputy leader living on a farm with two children, could help the Nationals step up on climate change policy. Only with bipartisan support from these new leadership teams will the climate wars be truly ended.
With regards to Stephen Corby's misguided search for religion through politics ("Against my will, I've become a zealot of the worst kind", canberratimes.com.au, June 1) who on Earth asked him to worship me (or any other fallible human being) as an idol? If you demand politicians who never make mistakes, you are destined for disappointment.
Kevin Rudd's opinion piece ("Kevin Rudd: I don't believe Peter Dutton regrets walking out on the Apology to the Stolen Generations", canberratimes.com.au, June 2) regarding the integrity of our new Opposition Leader Peter Dutton says it all ... an insincere individual devoid of any empathy. Furthermore his [Dutton's] inflammatory comments regarding China were very unnerving and irresponsible.
So Russia is now complaining about the US supplying Ukraine with rocket launchers. These weapon systems, and for that matter any others operated by Ukrainian forces, present no threat to Russians outside Ukraine.
So Zed is emulating the orange clown by refusing to concede. I hope if his supporters try to storm the Capitol (Hill) they know it's well defended by a couple of battalions of rabbits, inspired by the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog of Monty Python fame.
A death tax might help pay off national debt and fund an increasingly costly Medicare.
I'm waiting for the new Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, to cease federal government proceedings against Bernard Collaery for telling the truth about the Australian government's misbehaviour in Timor-Leste, and properly compensate him. Will I be waiting long, perhaps forever?
A definition of optimism? The Liberal Party's attempts to persuade the electorate that sow's ear Dutton is silk purse Peter.
The only way we can go carbon neutral is nuclear power, which has been proven safe and adopted by all Western nations except us backward Australians. It has no carbon emisions. More pollution is caused by solar and wind turbines that cannot be recycled at the end of their use.
Barnaby Joyce was often toted as "Australia's best retail politician". I think his only skill was selling himself to himself.
Does the ACT really need a Queen's Birthday holiday, and does it really have to be on a winter date that has no relationship to her own birthdate? Why not a public holiday to commemorate something Australian, and why not on a warmer date in October or November?
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