We need to differentiate between the right of the ACT and Northern Territory to determine their own policy on issues such as voluntary assisted dying, and the question of whether or not they will do so.
The vote to restore the right of the territories to introduce legislation on issues such as this should not be a conscience vote for members of the Federal Parliament.
The right to discuss legislation and policy development should surely be enshrined across all states and territories, and should be supported by all members of the Federal Parliament. The ability to move from discussing policy to actually legislating voluntary assisted dying derives from the right to legislate relevant policy.
Such legislation should be the subject of a conscience vote that only concerns the legislative assemblies of the Northern Territory and the ACT.
The federal government should have no say in the matter, just as it has had no say in the decision by all the states in Australia to legislate and enact their own laws in regard to voluntary assisted dying.
Canberra now has significantly fewer police per capita than it did in 1980.
Our suburban streets, roads, gutters and storm water drains are dilapidated.
Housing ACT operates under a cloak of secrecy, never held accountable for its dismal record for both tenant and neighbour alike. Our hospitals are crumbling with understaffing and those staff who remain, are overworked and burnt out.
Wouldn't any thinking government put these issues first as part of its territory spend and management, rather than squander two billion dollars on a stage-two tram that a majority of Canberrans neither want nor need?
The ACT government must stop this short-sighted madness and start managing our city properly, for all Canberrans. Our rates and taxes deserve better than an outdated pipe dream that this city simply cannot afford.
There are so many other areas requiring urgent attention first. It's a matter of priorities and common sense. It's a matter of good government.
I'm reading the letter sent to Mr and Mrs Brice by both the ACT ministers for health and mental health. This letter is published on the ACT Magistrates website and was posted recently in response to the coronial findings into the very tragic death of Dean Brice.
The ministers refer, in a reassuring manner, to the current development of the next "ACT Drug Strategy Action Plan" and action relating to the "Responding to People With Co-occurring Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Conditions Plan".
Having volunteered in the ACT mental health sector for the past 12 years, I would like to let Mr and Mrs Brice know that there are always more plans that are in development in the sector, but unfortunately, very little reviewing of those plans to see if significant outcomes have been achieved.
Outcomes and results are never published. A new plan is put together every three years or so, thus it appears something constructive is being done. The lengthy process keeps many people in the sector "consulting on" and "drafting" new versions of the plan.
The ministers have known for years that people with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues are not being looked after well in the ACT, so why are we still in a planning stage? Planning is important, but that shouldn't be all that happens.
Where are the outcomes from the past 20 years of planning?
With the US Supreme Court having recently ruled to diminish the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency in relation to emissions, it is clear that America is going to struggle, at least in the short term, to take meaningful steps towards reducing climate change.
This has major implications for the whole world, especially if other countries also decide to take their foot off the pedal of emissions reduction.
The lesson for Australia is clear. We have to keep taking every possible step towards the reduction of our own emissions and we have to stop digging up coal and sending it overseas. The atmosphere doesn't care where it is burnt. When the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases go into the atmosphere, it all mixes around and we get it back in our skies in around 18 months.
The other clear lesson is that climate change is already with us and it will only get worse, so we need to prepare for more intensive storms, floods, heatwaves, droughts and bushfires. This will impact on every level of government, on planning, on construction, on insurance, on farming and on households.
We can't just keep rebuilding in locations that are going to flood or burn. There is a desperate need for serious future planning.
So what does Chris Smith (Letters, July 5) have to say to the American woman from Highland, Chicago, who was quoted after six people were killed there in a mass shooting on July 4? She said: "You can't go anywhere in America now. You can't find peace. I think we're falling apart".
The USA certainly must be the home of the brave these days.
You'd need to be brave just to venture out on the streets, to shop, to go to school or college, or to a religious service. Just to try and live a normal life.
Communists were fighting Italian and Spanish fascists and their close cousins, the German Nazis, long before the start of World War II. The USA did not join that war until 1941.
Communist Russia turned the tide of that war in the battle of Leningrad, where it inflicted the first significant defeat on the Germans.
Communist Russia participated in the final defeat of the German Nazis. Vietnamese communists later defeated the French and the USA.
Christopher Smith (Letters, July 5) says: "Americans defeated both fascism and their close cousins, the communists".
Do Australian schools still teach history?
We are so lucky to have Zoe Wunderburg reminding us in this paper about the day-by-day experience of ordinary working folk ("Workforce Australia and mutual obligations in the jobseeker market are not new, but they are wrong", canberratimes.com.au, July 5).
She paints a vivid picture of the misery created by notions like "mutual obligation" and "the importance of a motivation to look for work" as they are disappointingly expressed again in the new government's program called "Workforce Australia".
Expressing the absurdity of our insistence on work, Wunderburg asks "why does the system require partial capacity to work, rather than support them to take care of themselves (and others)?"
I cannot understand why generous-thinking people like this articulate career-consultant don't urge governments to make the big change to admitting we have enough in this country to support each other with our basic needs.
We need teams of people who begin to offer to help reshape our social security as a guaranteed minimum income which would remove its stigma. Then, as Zoe dreams, we might have people being cared for.
The abortion debate is about to take off again just because a US president, of doubtful character, has created a Supreme Court bent on repealing laws related to human fertility and sexuality. The church should stay out of it. Not only because about half the population of Australia claims to have no religion, and would protest loudly at any legislation that breaches the separation between church and state, but because it does not have a good track record for wisdom.
Long ago it placed Galileo under house arrest until he recanted his view that the Earth moved around the sun. In the 19th century it fought passionately against Darwin's theory of evolution. In the 20th century revelations of child abuse damaged its credibility.
Questions about the fertilisation of an ovum, it develop into an embryo and then into either a baby or a non-viable foetus, or any other matter that threatens the survival of either itself or the mother (or both), is for people accustomed to making life-or-death decisions such as obstetricians, philosophers, and legal experts.
In the early 1930s, when FDR's "New Dealers" were trying to resuscitate the US economy, Henry Agard Wallace, the Secretary of Agriculture, told President Roosevelt: "We cannot restore prosperity by giving consumers more money if that money buys less than before". Plus a change, plus c'est la même chose. (The more things change, the more they stay the same).
To those several writers who dumped on Christopher Smith because of his letter of July 5; it's the opinion section. If you want facts go to the news section.
Not only did Glen Humphries have the viewing day incorrect in this week's The Canberra Times television guide, he was watching True Colours through a set of genre glasses that said more about him than the show. It is worth watching.
What makes Nick Kyrgios think he is so special that he can abandon common decency on the tennis court?
In comparison with Nick Kyrgios, Ash Barty just keeps on looking better and better as the time goes by.
I used to think Bernard Tomic was a pain, but our new drama queen at Wimbledon leaves him in the dust.
What a joy it is to watch our own Canberran Nick Kyrgios displaying his tennis talents and unique character at Wimbledon Championships. Stefanos Tsitsipas has shown himself a sore loser. We love you Nick.
No thoughtful person is arguing Adam Bandt has no right to do what he wants to do with our national flag, Eric Hunter (Letters, July 2). It's just his daft assumption that our Indigenous brethren are so childishly immature as to need it to be out of sight if it's in their vicinity that gets up noses, both black and white. Mr Bandt's concern over such a momentous triviality raises him from being a routine virtue signaller to gold-medal sanctimoniac.
Adding insult to the injury of ignoring "lapping water", our Pacific family are being treated as poor relatives with gifts of unfit-for-service patrol boats which could be more dangerous to their operators than to their targets.
I have just regained some respect for the French President. When asked if he was going to ask our Prime Minister to apologise over the acrimonious submarine deal, he replied "Why should I? He wasn't responsible for it". These are words that will probably be lost on our local professional and divisive cultural agitators.
In The Canberra Times car reviews there is no mention of how much pollution will be emitted by the model of car being reviewed. Isn't it time to give consumers this information so as they can make informed decisions when purchasing vehicles?
Hats off to Albo for having the courage to go to Ukraine at this time. I won't do it and ScoMo never did it either.
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