I retired a few years ago and am now on an old age pension. On Monday I caused gridlock for a while in the upstairs supermarket at Weston Creek.
My transaction was twice declined and I had to select about $19 worth of shopping to forsake in order to bring the bill down to the amount I could pay.
It was almost time for the supermarket to close, only one cashier remained on duty, and, as a result, only one cash register queue - which I had brought to a standstill.
After the second "declined", whilst I was off to one side deciding what to leave and what to take home, the cashier checked the queuing customers through the cash register. No fewer than three young men offered to pay the gap between what was in my account and the bill for what I had originally selected.
The third "Samaritan" asked "is there anything we can do?". I hope they read this and recognise themselves, God love 'em. The spontaneous kindness was a beautiful surprise, and really touched my old heart.
Gents, your stylish generosity of spirit was both a measure of your good-heartedness, and a lovely change from the invisibility that comes from growing older.
Banning the sale of all non-electric cars by 2035 in the ACT is a typically naive and elitist move by the Canberra Greens
It's all right for inner-city trendies who earn big incomes, but Mr and Mrs Isabella Plains might have trouble affording an electric car. Where is all the electricity coming from? We have had solar and wind for over 20 years now and they are no more capable of efficiently storing it now than then.
Due to our headlong rush into renewables, we face increasing costs of electricity and the likelihood of blackouts, not to mention a huge dependence on China which makes nearly all of our solar panels.
Maybe if we go nuclear Shane, you will be able to generate sufficient electricity for this scheme and lower the cost of the vehicles. But, short of that, you are doing ordinary poorer Canberra citizens out of a reasonably inexpensive and convenient means of travel.
Before Mr G Gillespie makes disparaging remarks about former defence chief Chris Barrie's credentials as a climate change expert (Letters, June 20) he should check his facts.
Even before the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (1999) Act [EPBC Act 1999] was enacted on 16 July 2000, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) had set up a central Defence Environment Management Agency, with overview of all facets of the ADF which were covered by the EPBC Act.
At the same time, each of the three services (RAN, Army and RAAF) appointed an environmental officer, responsible for the day-to-day environmental planning and management of their respective service's activities, bases and training areas.
Over the next decade and through to the present day, the ADF became the leader in "sustainable environmental management to support the ADF capability to defend Australia and its national interest".
Implicit in this "sustainable environmental management" was an early recognition of the effect that climate change would have on ADF facilities and activities. This included the likely increase in major weather events and the impact these would have on ADF operations and operational bases.
Admiral Barrie was Chief of Defence from 1998 to 2002, and as such had oversight of the development and implementation of all ADF environmental management and policy development during this critical period of its inception. If this does not qualify him as an "expert" on the subject, perhaps Mr Gillespie would enlighten us on what does.
Your editorial on the State of the Environment Report hits the nail on the head ("Action on the environment is essential", canberratimes.com.au, July 20).
Legislation on environmental protections urgently requires updating to protect what is left of our precious natural heritage. Old-growth forest needs preserving, with the added benefit of being an excellent carbon offset.
Approvals of new coal and gas projects also need to cease, as the latest IPCC report has made very clear.
This includes our exports which account for millions of tonnes of emissions produced by third parties overseas. Greenhouse gas emissions affect us globally, no matter where they are coming from.
Hopefully, Tanya Plibersek's shock at reading the report will spur her on to action.
If the federal government can backflip on the $750 payment for those without access to sick leave, why not on new coal mines?
While I welcome Tanya Plibersek's commitment to improving Australia's environment, I thought she was being somewhat sanctimonious in insisting she had to adhere to Labor's election commitment to support new coal mines.
The latest environmental report gives her a good excuse to backflip on that promise. Has Labor never broken an election commitment?!
It was refreshing to read the article "Prepare and equip ADF to deal with disasters properly" (canberratimes.com.au, July 19) by retired General Peter Dunn.
With climate change still not under control we can expect higher temperatures, longer droughts, more frequent and fierce bushfires and more frequent and more disastrous storms and floods.
These will all put much greater demands on our volunteer firefighters and SES members. The demands will most likely exceed what volunteers should be required to do, no matter how strong their motivation.
The need for a specialist disaster force that is a part of the ADF makes a lot of sense. The administration already exists.
We just need suitable training program and, as General Dunn pointed out, the right type of equipment including our own water bombers.
The fire season in the US, from where we source most of these resources, now overlaps our own.
While we cannot predict how bad things will be this summer we do not that fires and floods will be worse in the years to come.
I hope our new federal government will heed the advice of this former senior member of the ADF, former Commissioner of the ACT Emergency Services Authority and one of the emergency leaders for climate action with whom our former Prime Minister refused to meet.
I totally agree with Chris Parks ("Space is inadequate", Letters, July 20) about the way densification of housing is occurring in the ACT.
The essential question is, how can the current burgeoning increase in human population be housed without these negative impacts on suburbia?
Anyone who drives along the east coast of Australia cannot miss the vast numbers of new housing estates built on farmland or natural forest areas to meet population pressure.
This contributes to climate change. The alternative is densification in existing suburbia.
There is no evidence any truly satisfactory solution has been identified to accommodating our population growth, deemed essential by economists.
In the meantime, existing residents have to put up with the disruption Chris describes.
After all, there was consultation on the rezoning that permitted such developments. Just ask the ACT government.
Scott Morrison has to have been the worst Prime Minister in Australia's history.
However for him to to tell Australians their government should not be trusted is beyond contempt, even by his standards.
Coming from an ex-PM, his statements could almost be considered treasonous.
The sooner Mr Morrison is consigned to being little more than a footnote in Australia's history, the better for this nation.
The eighth anniversary of the criminal shooting down of MH17 reminds us of Vladimir Putin's growing rap sheet.
The world has looked on, apparently powerless to respond in a consequential way, to the outrages on Putin's watch.
These include, but are not limited to, the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, the Salisbury poisonings, the shooting-down of MH17, the hijacking of Ryanair 4978, and now the criminal outrages in Ukraine.
With his finger on the nuclear trigger, Putin remains impervious to international outrage.
Surely the words of Henry II have never been more apposite: "will no one rid me of this turbulent priest"?
The correspondence on reduced speed limits in residential streets reminds me of the gospel blues number: Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven But Nobody Wants to Die. In this case it's "Everybody wants a safe street but nobody wants to slow down". With the pandemic it's "Everybody wants their granny but nobody wants a mask". When did altruism cark it?
Lower speeds might marginally reduce road traffic trauma but will significantly increase automotive pollution. Cars are designed to operate most efficiently between 60 and 100 km/h; below 60 km/h efficiency deteriorates and pollution rises - both exponentially.
Your article "ACT facing 'worst time of pandemic'" (canberratimes.com.au, July 20) says that the government has "stood firm" on not providing bonus payments to nurses. Given the circumstances our nurses currently face - at least in part of the government's making - I think "dug in", "stubbornly refused", or "obdurately resisted" would be more apt descriptions.
I feel for retailers. But shortening isolation periods will mean more infections, and therefore less staff and less customers. A mask mandate for all your staff is a better idea.
The article by Ian Chadband ("How Cam Smith won the British Open", canberratimes.com.au, July 18) had me spellbound. Winning the British Open at St Andrews is the ultimate prize in golf and an Australian did it. Congratulations Cameron.
Surely you can avoid publishing ill-informed letters such as the one from G Gillespie (Letters, July 20) asking what does former Defence Chief Barrie know about climate change. Chris Barrie is an expert in the field of national security and climate change and is an executive of the Australian Security Leaders Climate Group.
Andrew Morris, Kingston (Letters, July 18) hopes for a "viable sustainable transport system". Can he explain how the tram's doubling of current travel times between Civic and Woden for about $2 billion will achieve this? It is a mystery to me.
I think Merrie Carling (Letters, July 20) is saying Albanese finds himself unable to assertively make decisions on his own. He "listened to the premiers, heard their arguments and decided it would be a good idea to reinstate this payment". This is make believe.
Given Mick Gentleman's dogged refusal to release sufficient land for housing, he must be grateful that Shane Rattenbury is ensuring no one wants to live here ("New fuel car ban in 2035", canberratimes.com.au, July 18).
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