As someone whose mother died of ovarian cancer, I have witnessed the physical, emotional and financial impact on women of having to travel to Sydney for their life-saving (or life-extending) surgery.
We now have the rare opportunity to establish a gynaecological cancer centre in Canberra and relieve this additional burden on women and their families at what is possibly the worst time of their lives.
Given that the government already has to compensate Sydney hospitals for operating on Canberra women with gynaecological cancers, and that we have supporting infrastructure at the Canberra Regional Cancer Centre, the financial impact on the budget would be minimal.
The need is already there, and with the latest census showing that our population is growing it will only increase.
The decision to fund this centre is a no-brainer on so many fronts and is an opportunity that if rejected might not present itself again for decades.
Minister, please don't do that to the women of Canberra and the surrounding region.
I was mesmerized by the joy and fun of the live performance show Sonnets and Sondheim I attended on Wednesday night in Canberra.
From knowing very little about the modern story and music that was to be presented, I was taken aback by the sensational journey that I was taken along; a thought provoking and cheeky reflection of a lesson in life of taking one step forward and thinking it is two steps back, when being judged by others.
Treat yourself to Sonnets and Sondheim. It is playing until Saturday night (tonight).
A great deal of misinformation was provided by Dr Colin Mendelsohn in his article about the health effects of vaping ("Government's vaping strategy dangerously misguided", canberratimes.com.au, June 29).
Dr Mendelsohn did not declare that when he was chairman of the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) it accepted funding from the vaping industry to establish the association.
The "evidence" he provides has been refuted by the most comprehensive review to date of e-cigarettes, by the ANU, and more recently by Australia's premier source of health advice, the NHMRC.
The use of e-cigarettes by non-smokers increases their likelihood of becoming future cigarette smokers by three-fold, and e-cigarettes are no more effective in helping smokers quit than existing TGA approved nicotine replacement products.
There is also evidence that e-cigarettes adversely affect cardiovascular health, including blood pressure and heart rate, lung function, and adolescent brain development and function.
Australia is now facing an epidemic of e-cigarette use by children, teenagers and young adults, and this new epidemic is a direct result of massive pressure being applied by Big Tobacco, their lobbyists and their funded front groups.
Some correspondents seem disturbed that individuals choose not to "honour" the flag or want to change it because it is a symbol of our democracy which thousands "fought and died for" (Letters, June 23).
Actually, they also fought for the right to protest; an equally important democratic tenet. Besides, do we hear from the same writers when vital elements of our democracy are under real attack, such as the systemic degrading of our institutions and lack of political integrity?
Do we also need to remind ourselves our present flag isn't the same "sacred object" we first lived and fought under?
As a citizen, Adam Bandt had every right to make his point just as others may argue for a change of flag. And if we need confirmation of the relative triviality of these matters, we might learn from the example of the US, perhaps the most flag-supporting nation on earth. In June 1989, the US Supreme Court, in a five to four decision, upheld burning the flag was symbolic freedom of speech under the US First Amendment.
I fear we still have a long way to go before we grow up.
There is a sense of déjà vu in the way in which the Labor Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, is refusing to accept the views of the Greens, or of anyone else in Parliament, concerning action on climate change.
The Rudd government was rhetorically strong on this, but its emissions reduction plan was judged by many to be feeble and of low ambition. Rudd refused to negotiate with the Greens. Hence, they had little sense of collegiality when it came to voting on his proposal.
They were in the majority that voted it down. Unlike the larger part of that majority, lead by our most destructive politician, Tony Abbott, the Greens wanted something much better. In due course, Rudd and Abbott were both unseated by their own parties.
Rudd was replaced by Julia Gillard, whose negotiating skills enabled her to lead a minority government supported by the Greens and some independents. She succeeded in legislating an emissions trading scheme to the design of which the Greens and independents contributed.
The question is will Albanese be like Rudd or like Gillard?
The signs are not good. Albanese's government lacks a majority in the Senate and will not have one without the Greens and an independent. His target for emissions reduction is well below that of the Greens or independents. Rudd-like, he refuses to talk to the party whose support he absolutely needs.
Australia should have a conversation about nuclear energy. We have the world's third largest reserve of uranium and nations such as China, Japan, India and South Korea are increasing their investment in nuclear energy. In December 2020 the International Energy Agency estimated that nuclear energy has the lowest expected costs of all energy sources and that only large hydroelectric dams could compete.
Let us seriously consider adding nuclear energy, especially small modular nuclear reactors, as a low emissions option, using best practice safeguards. Australia left its move to a low-carbon emissions scenario until far too late. It now needs to be open to consider all options including nuclear power as part of its energy mix. Public opinion has shifted, including among the left; more detailed polling will confirm this.
Andrew Barr has lamented the hundreds of millions of dollars Canberra has lost since the last census. He said his government leans heavily on population data to plan for hospital upgrades, schools and housing.
Our hospitals are in a terrible state.
Our nurses and doctors are wonderful but they are overworked and exhausted. I hear many horror stories about patients left asleep on toilets, bells going unanswered and other distressing situations.
Then we are told that 7400 buyers registered for the 51 blocks of land just released.
Although acknowledging the issues of supply and housing affordability, the Minister for Housing says it is unrealistic to suggest the government should ignore environmental and cultural impacts to provide more land for Canberra residents.
The government, in order to save money, is restricting the release of land in the ACT and so many people again go over the border to buy decent sized blocks.
If Mr Barr wants to fix these serious problems there is an easy answer, just cancel the billion dollar tram that no one except the Greens want.
I am sure there are many environmental and cultural impacts the government is ignoring in order to provide the tram. We don't need it, we don't want it, and we certainly can't afford it.
In the early 1980s I was chair of the Australian standards committee setting the first standard for sunscreens, later to become international, and then lobbying our government to make it mandatory here. We introduced the sun protection factor, the SPF. This is the ratio of your protection in the sun with and without sunscreen. So I have skin in the game.
Now a misrepresentation has spread, even by our illustrious Academy of Science.
We are not interested in how much radiation a screen absorbs, only in how much it lets through because this is what causes damage.
While it is correct to say that a SPF of 50 absorbs 98 per cent of radiation and a SPF of 30 absorbs 96.7 per cent and the difference seems negligible, what is important is that the SPF 50 lets through 2 per cent while a SPF 30 lets through 3.3 per cent, a ratio of 3.3/2 = 1.67. This a 67 per cent improvement, not negligible as the publicity states.
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