Last Tuesday I had a minor medical operation. On Wednesday, I was rung by the surgeon's office saying that my surgeon had tested positive to COVID that morning.
I rang the ACT government to check what I should do and was told, after the answering officer's consultation with others about the length of time I had spent with the doctor, that it was entirely up to me to decide what to do.
I have decided to quarantine for a week but think that many in the same position wouldn't, based on the number of people I have seen in preceding days not bothering to wear masks when out and about.
Earlier that morning, I had rung my GP suggesting that I have a fifth booster vaccination as it was more than four months since I had had my fourth, and ATAGI, the committee of medical experts advising the governments on vaccination, had said that immunity wanes after three months. Answer: No, as the government hasn't approved a fifth dose.
It seems to me that the ACT government has dropped the COVID ball, apparently isn't worried that around 3000 Canberrans per day are soon expected to get COVID, that the hospitals will not be able to cope and quite a few more deaths will occur.
All because they think that some of the population won't cooperate with greater restrictions and are likely to vote them out of office at the next election if more restrictions are imposed.
Adam Schwab has his sights set on Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe ("If Australia tumbles into recession, Philip Lowe's hands are dirty", canberratimes.com.au, July 13).
According to Schwab, Lowe and his predecessor Glenn Stevens should have hiked interest rates ages ago in response to the rampaging cost of housing. That would have dampened inflation and left the RBA with the scope to lower rates and help recovery from an economic downturn.
This a bit rough. Lowe was foolish to put on a Dumbledore hat and say that rates wouldn't rise until 2024, but that blunder is now being used to demonise him for not having the 20/20 hindsight to start raising rates six months earlier, like NZ.
Yes, housing in Australia is shockingly over-valued, but it is not fair to heap the blame for that on the RBA for having kept interest rates low. Making borrowing easy has been an enabler of the high cost of housing but government policy settings (negative gearing, capital gains, means tests) together with supply constraints and uncontrolled overseas investment have all played their part. Raising interest rates to bring down housing prices is the bluntest of blunt instruments.
Reports on the death of Private Parker in the Boer War as the first "Aboriginal" soldier to die in war adds further to what anthropologist W E H Stanner, in his 1968 Boyer Lectures, referred to as our national attempt to "disremember" Aboriginal people.
Australia will never be able to move forward emotionally as a nation until such time as we confront the terror and slaughter which constituted the Frontier Wars. What better place do we have to do this as a people than at the national war memorial?
The Australian War Memorial's profligate expansion plans will bring us no closer to the truth if it does not recognise our Indigenous past. Go ahead if we must and waste hundreds of millions of dollars reliving the defeats and losses of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. However, our hearts and souls would be far better served reliving the history of home and telling the truth about how we got here.
Australia did not come to wealth on the shoulders of giants but on the bodies of Indigenous Australians. The Uluru Statement from the Heart calls for a Makarrata Commission, to supervise a process of "agreement-making" and "truth-telling" between all the people of Australia.
The best place to start telling the truth is at our single greatest memorial to sorrow and loss. The new AWM must have a Frontier Wars gallery.
So why would we find space at the Australian War Memorial to acknowledge some ad hoc conflicts (Letters, July 9) where only one side was equipped with rifles and the loss of life was overwhelmingly one sided? Surely this can hardly be called a proper war?
We need to do this so that the descendants of the people who were here in 1788 can hold their heads high. They and their children's children need to know they did not willingly abandon their custodianship of the land, the waters, the bushfire management, the animals, the birds. As a nation we now struggle with our many failures in understanding the complexity of this responsibility.
And perhaps those who are not descendants of First Nations people need some reminders of the many dots on the Australian map that shows where killings happened. Where, for so many of the dots, the researchers explain as "opportunity". We now have another opportunity.
It is time the ACT government came clean with the big picture for its Canberra-wide tram service. Let's face it, Stage 2 isn't going too well and has already been broken into Stages 2A and 2B because 2B has some unresolved issues. Such piecemeal approach to city planning just literally pushes problems further down the track and is simply irresponsible. The government should now reveal the big picture: When and at what cost will the future stages of Woden to Tuggeranong, Civic to Belconnen and Civic to the airport be carried out? Presumably the timing and cost of such major infrastructure projects are already known to government.
The United Nations has been crystal clear that a liveable future depends on ceasing all fossil fuels developments. Yet, new gas and coal developments are still being approved in Australia, such as the extension of Woodside's Pilbara gas development and the expansion of Santos' Surat Basin project. These massive gas projects are inconsistent with the trajectory of gas phase-down recommended by the United Nations to safeguard our climate, and puts us at risk of more climate catastrophes.
We are already experiencing the effects of climate-exacerbated catastrophes; we had the Black Summer bushfires in 2019-2020. Now in 2022, New South Wales has had their fourth major flooding event within 18 months. These disasters will only worsen and become more frequent if we do not act on climate change. If Australia is to get serious on tackling climate change seriously, then approval for all new or expanded fossil fuel projects in Australia should cease without exception.
It annoys me that some of your letter writers purport to speak for us all. Such was the example of P Bennett (Letters, July 13) who sang the praises of Kyrgios with ridiculous hyperbole.
No Peter, in my view and I daresay the views of many others, he is not a Canberra icon, nor does he deserve to be compared favourably to our ANZACs. I for one would not share a foxhole with him. He is an embarrassment. To behave the way he does, arguing with and disrespecting officials, spitting, breaking racquets and generally being unsportsmanlike, uncouth and ill mannered is unacceptable and sorry, it is not entertaining in my eyes. Underarm serves to me equate to the Chappell underarm bowl in NZ.
How can you say "I know every proud Canberran stayed up late ... and be in awe...". I am a proud Canberran and I didn't, and I think (or rather know) the vast majority also did not. To suggest that "We all dared to dream of Nick lifting the shiny mug..." is also ridiculous. In my opinion Nick, you did not "do us proud".
You need to mature a whole lot, learn how to behave professionally, stay focussed, and learn some manners and self control. Then maybe you will both win all the way and earn some respect from most of the rest of us.
Memorandum to Michael Lane (Letters, July 12) and like-minded readers. I received my first security clearance in 1969 to work on an Army project, and others throughout the rest of my career.
I saw innumerable cases of cases of information being overclassified, sometimes due to an overabundance of caution but often that being an excuse to avoid embarrassment if the information became public.
No one should be prosecuted for whistle-blowing about information that should not have been classified at a criminal level in the first place.
As for the cases he mentions, apart from Mr Assange, all of them exposed egregious of breaches of the trust democratic governments demand of citizens, not because the events occurred, that is to be expected. But because when the people he names tried to get their superiors to take corrective action, they did not. I was fortunate that throughout my career I never found it necessary to have to consider public "whistle-blowing".
Business must be booming. There are so many new business ventures scheduled to open on July 24 which is not far away. I see signs everywhere saying: "Open 24/7".
The 47th Parliament is yet to convene and already newly elected independents, Greens and the LNP are whinging inter alia about staffing, accommodation, being ignored, and yet-to-be-seen legislation.
To paraphrase Greens MLA Jonathon Davies "we could do a lot of good for the community with one billion dollars". A lot more good than building one tram to Woden. An improved health system, more social housing, better schools and more urban maintenance spring to mind.
Anthony Dyson, O'Connor (Letters, July 13) does not seem to know that the ACT has access to 1.8GW of pump storage at Tumut 3 in the Snowy Scheme.
Good on the ACT Greens for calling on the government not to proceed with the $93.33 million duplication of Athllon Drive, saying this could be "much more effectively spent on new, dedicated public and active transport projects in Tuggeranong". How about applying the same logic to the $2 billion for light rail stage 2.
No, Malcolm Robertson (Letters, July 13), it is not unconscionable to lose the Himalayan pines for the tram route. Unfortunate yes, but unconscionable no. We are looking at the need for a viable sustainable transport system for a city rapidly approaching a population of half a million. Keep things in perspective.
The killing of kangaroos on local Canberra nature reserves started in 2009. Since then, concerned citizens have been seeking to stop the madness. If this program is considered industry leading and based on science, why wouldn't our elected local politicians simply recommend an independent inquiry into it? Nothing to hide, right?
Jim Chalmers, who likes to dabble in political science despite being paid to be serious about our extraordinary debt, federal and state, has now decided to make matters worse by including a "wellness" component into the budget. I'm afraid that he's not following the lead of New Zealand's pleasant but vacuous Prime Minister, as you would think, but our own Belle Gibson.
Why is COVID-19 the only disease people die from that reports cite other factors including "co-morbidities"? Did anyone ever hear of car accident victims being reported in this way?: "A 72-year-old male with underlying co-morbidities died following a two-vehicle accident yesterday"? Ridiculous, or what? It's time to stop glossing over the reality of dying from COVID and to start telling it like it is.
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