It is right and proper that Andrew Barr seeks the ACT's proper share of GST for housing, health care and education. Good on him for standing up for Canberra. However he also talks about housing, health care and education "that will support the growth of the nation's capital into the future".
Why must the ACT grow any further? It is already 454,000 according to the last census count. If growth is maintained (14.4 per cent), at the next census there will be another 65,000 or so people, taking the population to well over the half-million mark. Is this desirable?
Will there be enough water now that La Nina has reportedly come to an end? Will infrastructure keep up? Another 65,000 people will require another 24,000 housing units assuming an average household of 2.7 people. Where will they be built? If the city crosses the Murrumbidgee there are fire issues as well as biodiversity loss. Or do they go ever upwards, wrecking the amenity of a pleasant city?
At some point growth has to stop. Mr Barr does not have the levers that determine the factors that lead to population growth (immigration and social policy affecting natural increase) but he could send a message to the Albanese government.
He could say that the ACT should not grow beyond half a million, thank you very much, and would it please adjust the levers to end the growth?
The AWM has been important to all Australians hence this letter from outside Canberra.
But perhaps AWM should now refer to the Australian War Museum since much of it will have little to do so with a memorial, and this even although we already have plenty of war museums.
How much better if that money had been spent not on additions to the memorial but on the ongoing real needs of veterans and the remainder added to a substantially increased level of aid to our needy overseas neighbours. "Forewarned, Forearmed" is our Corps motto but that overseas aid is a good form of arms apart from its provision being a Christian duty.
Why is it so difficult for Canberrans to have a respectful debate about the merits of extending the light rail network? The short answer was kindly provided by Felix MacNeil (Letters, July 1). The thrust of his argument in support of light rail was limited to denigrating its opponents.
Why can't we have a civilised discussion in which, with complete transparency, the merits of the proposed $2 billion plus extension are all laid out, weighed against what our community actually needs, and all other options for best meeting our community's needs properly considered? Why indeed?
Congratulations to ACT Health, they continue to do an outstanding job.
However, I was amused to see a typo in the online form sent to persons testing COVID positive. It notes some people are at increased risk of severe illness if they have a range of conditions including "severe chronic lover disease".
I'm not sure if this was a deliberate error to lift the spirits of the reader.
We had a good chuckle. I note the typo was corrected in the subsequent guidelines received.
Many is the morning that, like Gordon Fyfe (Letters, July 1, I too have braved the early morning cold to fetch a copy of the The Canberra Times from the front lawn and, like him, when I did, I gave a thought of appreciation to those who put it there.
These days I'm spending a lot of time in places that don't suffer frosts or sub-zero temperatures and, of course, I get my The Canberra Times fix via an online subscription.
Gordon's letter, however, also reminded me of a time many moons ago when I, as a 12-year-old, rode the streets of inner Braddon on my trusty (and rusty) old bone-rattler bicycle tossing The Canberra Times into the front yards of the residents of that area.
I can assure Gordon that in mid-winter it was cold - very cold. Thick woollen gloves and a beanie did little to warm my fingers or ears which glowed red by the end of my round. After serving my time and proving my worth (and character, maybe) in that role I graduated to a much easier plum role hawking afternoon editions to workers in the offices of Hobart Place and, once done there, from a position on the corner of Hobart Place and London Circuit.
If valuing every cent earned from that hard work counts as character building then I have to agree with Gordon that the job is (was) character building.
Of course, child labour restrictions don't allow 12 year olds to build character like that any more.
Dr Mackenzie (Letters, June 30) criticized M Flint for writing that 63 per cent of ACT electricity demand was met through the NSW grid. Dr Mackenzie claimed that the ACT has been able to "source 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable generators" and also pointed out that it's the eastern Australian rather than the NSW grid.
Even at midday on June 30, according to the AEMO dashboard, 74 per cent of the energy across our power lines was generated by coal or gas.- Kym MacMillan, O'Malley
But the name of the grid is an irrelevancy, and Dr Mackenzie avoided the reality that the ACT is in fact highly reliant on fossil-fuel derived energy coming from beyond its borders. The ACT's 100 per cent claim is based on the generation of an "equivalent amount" of energy over a 12-month period which is quite a different thing.
That energy is primarily generated and fed into the grid during daylight hours - and without access to that broader grid (and its fossil fuels) the lights would go out across Canberra each evening. Even at midday on June 30, according to the AEMO Dashboard, 74 per cent of the energy across our power lines was generated by coal or gas. I suggest M Flint was closer to the mark than Dr Mackenzie is prepared to admit.
Can letter writers please get off the subjects of the price of lettuces, groceries, climate change, rate hikes, global warming, masks, solar versus nuclear and so on.
They have all been done to death for months now and there can't be anything more to be said about these subjects.
To the people who continually rabbit on about them, I can honestly say "you are a bore ... if you have to spend your entire day rabbiting on day in day out on the same subject then get a book or a hobby.
If the ACT government redirects money from horse racing to transport then by 2024 it could use that money to extend the transit lanes between Woden and Civic, and to buy zero-emissions buses that would do the trip in under 20 minutes.
Alternatively, by 2025 it could use that money to fund a design for stage 2 of light rail, that would take at least twenty-five minutes to make the same trip.
By 2062, it could use that money to construct light rail from Civic to Woden.
Minister Gentleman says he uses his call in powers "when the development has substantial public benefit".
What is the benefit in handing over a gazetted public park established nearly 100 years ago in an inner-city suburb - Bill Pye park in Ainslie - to the YWCA for social housing.
Both the YWCA and YMCA have substantial property portfolios. So why are they seeking this piece of valuable land close to the city when they have other choices.
Could it be to change the lease in a few years time from social housing to tourist accommodation? After all it is a very valuable parcel of land. The YWCA currently leases a small corner of the park, they do not own it.
The current government doesn't own it, the park belongs to Canberrans. This is a blatant misuse of call in powers which the government is fond of using when the development in question is spurious.
I am delighted that Professor Ian Chubb has been appointed to head the review of the carbon credit scheme.
While there will be cries of faux outrage from those who will try to politicise the appointment, anyone who has followed Professor Chubb's career as a scientist, ANU vice-chancellor and lastly, as Australia's chief scientist will have the greatest confidence in his integrity and ability to arrive at a fair and equitable conclusion based solely on the evidence.
Unlike, of course, far too many of the "jobs for the boys" picks made by the previous government.
New federal MPs are complaining about the reduced allocation of advisers for their parliamentary offices. But nothing is being said about the four electorate office staff each MP is entitled to. Three questions: First, why so many? Second, what do they all do? Third, why not give one (or more) of them an "adviser" role, thereby supplementing the existing allocation?
The news Trump was "too unhinged" to lead America comes as no surprise. His niece Mary L. Trump warned us about that in her book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The World's Most Dangerous Man. It was consistent with Trump's debased, narcissistic, megalomaniacal character to attempt a coup to cling to power after losing the presidential election.
As the revelations about Trump's involvement in the January 6 failed coup attempt grow the notion he could have another run for the Presidency should be shelved. Treason charges would now seem inevitable given the stream of evidence. It's not accurate to compare him with Nixon and Watergate. Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, seems a more viable precedent.
As long as European leaders allow Russia to maintain its dangerous monopoly on energy supply Putin will continue his ruthless war in Ukraine. That's what is paying for it. Free countries need to be self-sufficient in available, reliable, and affordable power. If not they won't stay free for long. Take note Chris Bowen.
I agree with Jenni Van Bijon (Letters, June 29) that English speaking South Africans were just as racist as Afrikaners during the apartheid era.
I can remember as a teenager in Eswatini/Swaziland hearing black Africans continually vilified by them.
Black Africans were also forced to sit in the front seats of the Mbabane cinema.
An industry that publicly executes injured participants and permits them to be whipped does not deserve any government funding. Why would any government want to fund animal cruelty? Good on you, Jo Clay MLA.
So, Health Minister Stephen-Smith is "keeping a close eye" on COVID case numbers.
Her remark is in line with a string of similar comments over recent days and weeks.
Is she a newsreader? A disinterested observer?
Or is she an elected representative who should be announcing public health measures to address increasing COVID infections and the concomitant strain on Canberra's hospitals?
Just a little reminder to the tiny but dedicated band of obsessives who love using these pages to blame light rail for pretty much all the ills that beset us: the dogs may bark, but the tram moves on.
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