When did the last genuine socialist resign from the ACT Labor Party? When did the last Green with a social conscience and a backbone resign in disgust from their ACT branch?
With their latest announcements of tax subsidies and exclusive land deals for "build-to-rent" property developers, Labor and Greens, now seemingly free of protests from former principled party members, are reinforcing their "neocon"-like fetishisation of housing as an exploitative and speculative business rather than as fulfilling the fundamental human need for shelter.
Attempts at framing their approach as encouraging business capital needed to solve a housing short-fall have no credibility: the 7400 Canberrans entering the ballot for 51 blocks trickled out last month are more than willing to build their own housing and avoid pernicious rent-seekers, be they the multi-nationals already established in the market, or the superannuation funds eager to transfer rent from lower income tenants disproportionately to their wealthiest members.
Thanks to the ACT's punitive land tax, renters already pay more than twice the rates of home owners. Hence this latest diversion from addressing the real housing problem entrenches not just the subsidy of the wealthiest home-owners by disadvantaged renters, but also the financial and housing insecurity they'll face into their old age.
Singapore's Housing and Development Board have demonstrated a more humane and effective approach for 60 years.
Something must be done to repair the unsafe footpaths between Turner and O'Connor. No doubt many other suburbs have similar issues.
Recently I needed a wheelchair to get out in Turner to visit the shops in O'Connor. We've long been appalled by the state of our footpaths, but this is worse for wheelchair users with almost no safe ramp access for crossing roads.
It is, of course, safer to walk on the road. Repairing the vast potholes properly must be done. As ratepayers, surely our money could have paid for such necessities.
The obsession to spend unnecessary billions on the tram diminishes our chance of having these works improved, as well as leaving little in the kitty for public housing, health systems at breaking point, and school teachers for our many schools.
Why the second stage of the tram is to be across that main thoroughfare to Woden, rather than via the many more sensible and less costly options which have been suggested by engineers and community members with appropriate knowledge, demonstrates our government's inability to consider the good of this community.
The ecological damage the tram to Woden via the lake crossing will cause, plus the traffic chaos for years does not in any way justify the notional gains of light rail versus electric buses.
As well as perhaps missing the irony of an elected parliamentary official being handsomely paid through the Westminster system, so as to concurrently decry it, Lidia Thorpe is mistaken in her sentiments regarding the national flag.
Our current ensign with its featured Union Jack, Commonwealth star and Southern Cross, beautifully encapsulates what Indigenous academic Noel Pearson several years ago sagely called in his "Declaration of Australia" the three strands of our grand narrative: an Indigenous foundation, British institutions and a modern-day multicultural character.
Indeed, the Southern Cross constellation has an important status in traditional Aboriginal astronomy, featuring the deity Mirabooka, the shape-shifting spirit Dharramaalan and the story of Mululu, the leader of the Kanda tribe.
Furthermore, in 2018, the International Astronomical Union recognised the smallest star of the Crux constellation as Ginan, the traditional name given to it by the Wardaman people of northern Australia.
The genuine path to both reconciliation and restoration is not through raised fists, a renewed tribalism, grievance and decimation of our civil pillars, but rather through mutual listening, giving aided agency to those at the margins and metaphorically walking hand in hand with all who are grateful to call Terra Australis home.
There are more reasons to agree that "The ACT's fossil-fuel vehicle phase out and electric car push doesn't go far enough to ensure safe climate" (canberratimes.com.au, July 25).
The government's Zero Emissions Vehicle strategy ignores emissions that occur outside the ACT. Those emissions account for more than ninety per cent of the ACT's carbon footprint, and about half of the ACT's carbon footprint from transport. Canberrans' air travel alone causes an estimated 170,000 tonnes of emissions per year.
The strategy also ignores the humble pushbike. Most trips are faster by bicycle than by Canberra's highly polluting and heavily subsidised buses. But for every seven trips that we make by public transport, we make only two trips by bicycle.
Our bicycles spend most of their time gathering dust. One reason for that is that few of our bicycles are equipped for carrying groceries, for riding on wet roads, or for riding at night.
The government's Active Travel Strategy is open for comment until August 24. It is an opportunity for us Canberrans to urge our government to provide better reasons for us to bring our 300,000 bicycles out of our garages and back sheds, to dust them off, and to actually ride them.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says that Russia has a nuclear arsenal and it can basically do what it likes. According to him the West has no right to help Ukraine, an independent sovereign nation defend itself against Russia's brutal invasion and destruction of its country.
Furthermore, a presenter on Russian State television has said that Putin could "wipe out Britain with a nuclear tsunami in retaliation for supporting Ukraine". This bloke obviously needs psychiatric treatment.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says correctly "Putin is not mad, he's a murderer". When will the civilised world wake up to this KGB monster and pathological liar, Putin?
I write regarding your article "Nats pledge to act as a 'rural conscience'" (canberratimes.com.au, July 26).
Whose conscience does David Littleproud think they represent. Does he believe his party's stance on marriage equality was "progressive"? How does he account for Barnaby Joyce not being present in the chamber when it came to a vote? Joyce vocally opposed same-sex marriage citing "family values", all the while hiding a clandestine affair with one of his staff, eventually resulting in his own marriage break up.
Littleproud also believes the Nationals are progressive on climate change. What a joke. They (and their Liberal minders) held back any meaningful action during their entire time in government, despite many of the agricultural peak industry bodies telling them otherwise.
Their rural conscience seems to only benefit mining and resource extraction companies, not the farmers.
Your editorial about prioritising nature was thoughtful and timely ("Nature needs us to sweat the small stuff", canberratimes.com.au, July 31). Thursday, July 28, was Earth Overshoot Day: the day in which humanity uses more natural resources than the earth can regenerate in that year. Globally we are therefore using 1.75 earths each year.
In Australia we consume over four earths' worth of our natural resources each year. Clearly this is not sustainable. For too long we have placed "growth before nature" with devastating consequences.
We are nature. Governments, businesses, industries, and individuals each need to play their part, no matter how small. Every change that lessens our planetary impact and preferences regeneration, is a change worth making.
Too many Canberra letter writers can be a miserable lot. Two months after the election and they are still sinking the boot into the Coalition when they should be asking themselves what exactly has the Labor government managed to achieve so far to tackle the serious problems that confront our country.
Two months since the election and all we have heard is whinging about nine years of Coalition neglect, being stuck with a trillion-dollar debt (that Labor helped to create, endorse and is now extending), a plan for everything, action being taken by every minister, but we are yet to see any detail of these myriad plans and actions being taken.
M Moore (Letters, July 30) thanks the heavens for a powerful Indigenous voice in Senator Jacinta Price. I am puzzled. There are a number of Indigenous voices in parliament. But somehow Senator Price's voice is powerful and those other Indigenous parliamentarians are not. The obvious explanation is that Senator Price's views coincide with those of M Moore.
My thanks to Megan Doherty for her article on the polarising effect of the puffer jacket ("Caroline K in a puffer jacket", canberratimes.com.au, July 31). It's good to know that I am not alone in not being signed up to the puffer army.
Many capitalist markets are not working for the benefit of citizens.
Does Lidia Thorpe's black power salute, as seen on TV at her swearing in, really assist the Indigenous Voice referendum proposed by the federal government?
Adam Bandt and Lidia Thorpe deserve credit for signalling that their republic of Australia might be quite a scary place for we, the common people, who are just trying to keep our heads above water, pay their salaries and benefits, behave decently and care for our environment.
The rapidly increasing rate of inflation creates opportunities for profiteering. One solution would be to break point of sale prices down into their individual components. This would be updated with any price change. It would highlight any profiteering in the pricing of product and identify where it was occurring.
The idea that independence became a communist cause during the Vietnam war and was a powerful aid to victory, expressed in my recent letter, was advanced by Pulitzer prize winning American historian Barbara Tuchman in her analysis of her country's long and tragic involvement in this small Asian nation, The March of Folly.
Why can't the Green/Labor government understand that it can't bring more people to Canberra without updating infrastructure such as hospitals other health services? We also won't have the water if we enter another dry spell. The money wasted on the tram could have built two new hospitals.
So Scomo didn't turn up for work last week, despite being paid to do so. I wonder what Prime Minister Scott Morrison would have said about that?
Well done to Dr Monique Ryan for calling out the Coalition for not mask wearing in Parliament, unlike the government members almost all of whom seemed to be wearing masks. Clearly the opposition doesn't give a rats. Typical.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.