Irrespective of political preferences, we have elected a new government which we expect will be true to its election promises, one of which was to govern for Australians of all persuasions.
Mr Albanese said during the campaign that he realised voters were tired of combative politics, blame games, and the lack of truth and transparency. He promised to do better.
Yet, it seems politicians just cannot help themselves. The PM and his ministers constantly lay the blame on the former government rather than acting on their slogan of "building a better Australia". Despite their shortfalls, the Coalition had successes which now don't seem to count. The COVID support packages for example.
While Albo and company continue to parrot a trillion-dollar debt, they fail to mention the billions of dollars in COVID emergency programs that they supported at the time - and even wanted extended.
Record low employment bears no mention while Labor trumpets another slogan "jobs, jobs, jobs" on which the former government walked the talk.
After nearly two months in government, it's now time for Mr Albanese and his team to get on with the job and to stop laying blame. They've gone from being a lazy opposition to facing the challenges of government.
There continues a conga line of letters denouncing the folly of the tram to Woden, usually with a list of more beneficial uses for the money.
Yet there is never a response from the government or the provision of the business case based on an analysis of the benefits of the tram.
Makes you suspicious as to their reluctance. This a serious case of the government not listening to the people.
There are committed community-focused members in the ACT Legislative Assembly but it would appear that Barr and Steel are not in that cohort.
It would be interesting if some candidates at the next ACT legislative assembly election stood on a daring platform of listening to people, ripping up the tram line and repurposing it for other uses.
It might sound crazy but it would be no more so than the current activity.
Recent LNP governments have been exposed as arguably dishonest by espousing the "jobs for mates" culture. The Grattan Institute report lays this out for all to see.
Only those who perpetrate cronyism are blind to its immorality. But, given the Australian public voted them in for all those years, who do we have to blame but ourselves?
Let's hope Labor will act on the report's recommendations in an open and transparent way and appoint a Public Appointments Commissioner. Certainly the Greens and most independents would support this move to greater accountability.
There was a lovely juxtaposition in The Canberra Times on July 18 with two articles on the same page. One was promoting measures to speed up skilled migration and the other was drawing attention to Canberra's housing crisis.
The ACT government, like most state and territory governments, is slow to release greenfield land for new housing.
The new land, when it does come on stream, is usually well short of demand and is expensive. It also cuts into often prime farmland, impacts wildlife habitat and in some areas will be subject to further flood inundation.
The rush to increase worker numbers is not just about jobs. It needs to be considered on a much wider basis that we generally see either politically or in the press.
It is time for a more competent conversation.
Faye Thornhill discusses the unreasonableness of speeding restrictions in various suburbs (Letters, July 19). I drive very frequently past our local school. For around 15 years, on my "to-do" list was to write to the letters pages to advise that I had never actually seen a child cross the road.
However, before I got around to writing that letter, one day I spied a child crossing the road, and so, for the last couple of years, on my "to-do" list was to write to the letters pages to advise that I had actually seen a child cross the road. (The lack of pedestrians crossing the road is probably due to so many students being driven to school in cars or buses, and the abundance of convenient pedestrian underpasses).
Based on my experience, it is hard to imagine there is any evidence to indicate that further speed restrictions are warranted. I am happy for the ACT government to produce proper evidence to support their case and prove me wrong.
Angelo Barich (Letters, July 20) appears to suffer from the common misapprehension that electric vehicles require specialised home charging infrastructure.
My friends who own EVs find overnight trickle charging from a standard 240 volt power point adequate for their needs, and definitely preferable to queuing at petrol bowsers.
The ACT government's proposal to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035 would have the same effect as a regressive tax. The uptake of EVs in Australia is currently low, accounting for about two per cent of new car sales in 2021.
It is mostly people on higher incomes who buy EVs. The high prices disadvantage people on lower incomes. A subsidy to reduce EV prices would primarily benefit middle-income earners.
The ACT government says it is going to spend some funds on encouraging active travel. Well done and not before time. That said, I recently decided to cycle the C5 route from Kambah Village to Belconnen, having not done so before. The experience reminded me of all those complaints about ACTION bus services where travellers are delivered to their via the scenic route.
It was some 28 kilometres return and involved a non-stop round trip of three hours, or 90 mins each way. That is what it used to be for ACTION pre 2000. Perhaps the government only means it for the inner suburbs, not those in the outlying suburbs.
The Transport Minister should consult and fix the problem. The path needs to be off the road and parallel to the parkway.
There was an interesting juxtaposition of the first two letters to the editor on July 25.
Lee Welling told us to get vaccinated, quoting data showing people who aren't are up to five to eight times more likely to be in ICU than someone who is. Then Ruth Wilson tells us that, since May, the ACT has had the highest rate of hospitalised patients in the country. Yes, Lee quotes ICU numbers and Ruth hospitalisations; yet the former is surely a strong indicator of the latter.
So why does one of the most vaccinated jurisdictions in the world have the highest hospitalisation rate in Australia? Something is not adding up.
It is a tradition that departmental secretaries retire with speeches that describe how they could have made Australia a paradise if only they had had the power.
We hear of their neglected and tragic genius; that they were powerless to counter the looming chaos. But do our secretaries protest too much?
For decades at the peak of power secretaries enjoyed unique access to government, industry, scientific and international leaders; hand-picked and servile political lackeys appointed at will and apparently with disregard to merit.
They are in joint control of a regional superpower with awesome military and intelligence assets and alliances. An economy worth trillions of dollars is under their stewardship. They also have the freedom that comes with official secrecy, and with the powers to imprison those who reveal crimes, however brazen or degenerate. All that on top of the other powers and privileges enjoyed by the gatekeepers to the powerful.
What extra power do they need? Could our mandarins ever be powerless, especially under a government so self-absorbed and feeble-minded as this last one?
Secretaries stand at the end of their Faustian bargain, decades of vast power squandered, begging for one more day, hour, minute ... Oh, if only.
"I coulda had class! I coulda been a contender! I coulda been somebody!"
Our mandarins with no clothes are cowardly lions in search of heart, brains and courage.
Once we live in the Barr/Rattenbury Utopia, complete with ambling trams and red flags, we will need another form of warning for recreational road users. A "silent electric vehicle is approaching from behind" one. Flashing laser beams perhaps?
I'm with Ron Chapman ("What's the point of paying billions for future submarines?", Letters July 26). We need only one submarine: to be on hand to evacuate the last of the power elite to Shangri-La when the nukes rain down from Cape York and Pine Gap to Curtin and the Cocos. Armed neutrality, anyone?
Right on, Crispin Hull ("Anthony Albanese could use double dissolution, preference snub to leverage Greens on climate targets", canberratimes.com.au, July 26). "Sustainable Australia with its vigorous policy to reduce or eliminate population growth is better environmentally credentialed than the Greens who will not go there". A timely message calling the Greens to account.
It seems that the reviewer of Daana ("Why Daana in Curtin is one of Canberra's most beloved suburban restaurants", Food and Wine, July 26) thought it would be a hoot, when reviewing an Indian restaurant, to litter the review with a tedious string of cliched cricket references. I think the generous and hard-working owners and staff deserve more respect.
Australia is afflicted by preventive hospitalisations, with hospitals not geared to the elderly, mentally ill, or dental-related cases. Perhaps we need nurses and doctors attached to aged-care facilities, mental hospitals (without detention), and social dentistry?
A coroner has found Mootijah Shillingsworth died in 2018 from an ear infection in custody. If he was white this would not have happened. How can anyone in 2018 die from a simple treatable condition like this? Only because of institutional racism and the lack of willingness by governments to stop it.
How are governments going to regulate the registration by emissions? You have someone who drives 30,000km per year then you have others that drive less than 10,000km. Are they all going to be charged the same rate?
Could the Greens, teals and others demanding even higher carbon dioxide emission reduction targets please tell us how much the increases they want would change the climate and what the associated costs would be?
Well said, Alastair (Letters, July 25). I agree the ACT government has far better things to spend money on than the tram. They should follow federal Labor and institute a "value for money" review.
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