A decade ago, Canberra watched Labor prime minister Gillard gift Charles and Camilla a Queen Elizabeth Terrace. On Saturday, there was Labor Prime Minister Albanese, imposing a Queen Elizabeth Island on Canberra in place of our Aspen Island.
Sure, this casual insult was Morrison's scheme, not Albanese's. But the point remains. Even in the 21st Century, three of our seven prime ministers have been giddy royalists, while Gillard and Turnbull were of the craven wait-till-she-dies school.
For Australia to expunge its 121-year white hereditary Christian monarchy will not at all be easy. It will require bipartisan support. In that sense, Labor's Minister for a "Republic" is off track. Mr Albanese, we don't need any grand "republic" per se. We're fine as a Commonwealth or federation. Most of all, we do not need an unwieldy indirect-election republican chief, as recently floated by the Australian Republic Movement.
Even in the second or third term of an Albanese government, I'm convinced that small renovation is the best (or only) shot for bipartisan backing. Which means, leave the Governor-General powers much as is. Let the prime minister pick this updated head of state. Or, let the pick be made by a two-thirds majority of a joint sitting.
What gets conveniently overlooked: even if our timid Commonwealth finally plucked up the courage to disconnect the Palace, its courtiers would still be hooked into our six state governors. Who knows how many decades it might ever take to ditch that colonial claptrap.
Congratulations to our new Prime Minister for taking the decision to move into The Lodge. He has thereby restored the integrity of the link between The Lodge as home of the Australian Prime Minister and Canberra as the seat of federal government.
Let us hope that his excellent example and his sustained presence here will inspire our local "Labor-Greens" government to strive for greater transparency, accountability, high standards and openness.
For example, I was shocked last week to hear our local Minister for Planning Mick Gentleman state plainly in an interview with ABC, that, in his forthcoming planning law, he wants to move away from a "rules-based" planning system to an "outcome-based" one, one moreover, based on values rather than rules. A law without rules? A law telling us that the ends justifies the means? One where even next-door neighbours do not have the right to appeal?
Prime Minister Albanese has indicated both in word and deed that he wishes to emphasise the role and importance of Canberra in national life.
Let the ACT government respond to his call by getting the new planning law right and by determining to give more prominence and legitimacy to Canberra's federal role and world-renowned heritage as a Griffin-planned city.
The Canberra Hospital has been much maligned in recent times with allegations of bullying, harassment, poor patient outcomes and management deficiencies. However, on a recent visit to the hospital, where I was required to attend two departments at virtually opposite ends of the hospital, I was overcome with gratitude for the volunteer assistance service provided.
These selfless, obliging and caring people, strategically located, provided directions but then commandeered a wheelchair and transported me to the required destination; it was so very much appreciated. And not only these angels, nursing staff, who went way beyond their duty statement, returned me to the main entrance.
So, a big shout out to ACT Health, the TCH executives or whoever it was who instigated this wonderful initiative and, of course, to the wonderful volunteers.
Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest is right: successive Coalition governments have been "conned" by the coal and gas industries into joining the fossil fuel "religion" and demonising renewable energy ("Fossil fuel 'worship' to blame for crisis", June 6). The "crisis" in Australia's gas supply is a relatively short-term problem. A far more acute and permanent crisis is the relentless advance of global heating.
The burning of coal and oil initiated global heating 170 years ago, and has more recently been joined by gas. Natural gas is predominantly methane, which is at least 30 times more potent as a "global heating gas" than the CO2 produced by burning coal and oil.
The new Labor government's conversion to the fossil fuel religion and the use of more, rather than less, gas and coal, is a real crisis of its own making.
Greg Jarosch seems to live in a parallel universe. After nine years of Liberal government, we don't have a gas reservation rule to keep enough domestic gas onshore for our needs, we don't have a strategic reserve of gas or oil, we don't have investments in grid capacity, renewables or batteries, nor do we have reliable coal power or sufficient gas power.
What we do have is a global price shock caused by the war in Ukraine. The notion that someone can blame the incoming Labor government for these things is just crazy. If people are freezing this winter it is a result of the policies of Angus Taylor, Barnaby Joyce and Vladimir Putin.
Once again this ACT Labor/Greens government has shown its dismal regard to ACT residents by not following other states in offering free flu shots to all, thus preventing a spread. Our ACT Health Minister makes a big announcement about free to concession card holders only, but you have to go to Weston. Minister, are you going to send one of your ministerial cars around to pick us up.
Hospitals, prepare for a busy winter.
Peter Moran decries the change in terminology from people "dying from COVID" to "dying with COVID". The latter is more accurate as evidenced by a study released by the Centres for Disease Control in the US mid 2021. In that study it was found that in over 95 per cent of deaths associated with COVID there were co-morbidities. No conclusion could be reached in the remaining cases as the death certificates did not provide sufficient detail.
In a disappointing display of sour grapes, Greg Jarosch (Letters, June 4) incorrectly preempts the new federal government's inability to achieve. In a refreshing first fortnight, the new convincingly-elected Albanese government has hit the ground running and has already given this country hope as it sets out to solve what the previous incumbents could not.
While it is the letters editor's prerogative to publish whatever is chosen, Greg's submission, lead letter no less, is unnecessarily negative, hypothetical and fictional. In any case, we give everyone a fair go in this country. Greg would do better to accept the clear result and examine why the Coalition was voted out. That part is easy.
As an aside, we can ask whether his Eden-Monaro seat has regained its famous bellwether status.
We are currently seeing our new Prime Minister and Foreign Minister visit PNG, Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa to strengthen and rebuild relationships with our Pacific Island neighbours, to in part help counter Chinese encroachment into the region.
We should not forget that as recently as January 2017 it was the Morrison government that allowed the ABC to end its shortwave broadcasts to the South Pacific after 88 years of services. The impact of this was significant in sending a message to island countries about how Australia rated them.
Over the years I have variously lived and worked in PNG, Fiji and Tonga and recall that my Pacific Island friends and I were all regular listeners to the ABC news. I understand China now occupies the radio frequencies vacated by Australia. Need one say more?
Steve Evans ("Steady ship as China makes waves", Forum, June 4) says "If China tries to take Taiwan by force, military control of the Pacific will be essential'.
I disagree. Historically Taiwan is part of China. Taiwan was politically excised from China by US interference using Chiang Ka-shek's regime to establish control of Taiwan in opposition to China's mainland government in 1949. Because of historical, fraternal and economic ties China won't need to reunite with Taiwan by force but even if that was to occur, neither China nor any other nation needs to take "military control of the Pacific".
The issue of reunification of Taiwan with China is a domestic issue involving over 1.4 billion Chinese. It has nothing to do with Australians or non-Chinese peoples in Pacific Islander or other countries.
Who knew Dutton had a sense of irony? Bridget McKenzie for infrastructure (sports stadium anyone?), and Angus Taylor shadow treasury (Cayman Islands version?). Brilliant.
I am glad that the Albanese government has committed itself to implement the Uluru Statement From The Heart. It is my belief that the present Senate will be supporting the government action. We should not waste any more opportunities because we have done enough. It's long overdue
At last ... a prime minister in the Lodge. How good is that?
RE: "Strong performers bookend new Labor team" Why are you referring to Senator Wong & Dr Chalmers as Ms Wong & Mr Chalmers? Sounds disrespectful to me.
C'mon Zed - your constituents are awaiting your guidance and leadership. Concede son. Show some dignity. You're a goner.
Our new PM Albo can live in Kirribilli, Camperdown or the Opera House for all I care. Give us four more senators if you don't want Canberra to be ignored!
In the UK the government is giving £400 to families because of rising fuel prices. Is our new government going to match this?
Here we go again, another armchair expert on nuclear energy (Geoff Masters, Letters, June 6). Thorium reactors are relatively environmentally safe and thorium's half-life is 500 years. Certainly a viable energy source in this country.
Good luck Peter Dutton, a conservative thoroughbred stitched together with fine cotton.
COVID-19 booster shots are still very low in Australia, I like to suggest to Mr Albo to pay $250 per individual as a booster incentive.
In America you can buy an assault rifle at 18 but you can't legally drink alcohol till you're 21. Makes sense? You wouldn't want drunken youths running amok with their newly purchased weapons of war. It's as far as they're willing to go on gun control.
The ABC has interviewed Ed Husic as Industry and Science Minister twice, but not one question about science. I have two questions - what is the government going to do about restoring funding to our flagship scientific research institution, the CSIRO, and what is it going to do about restoring funding for research at universities?
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