Brendan Cox of Narrabundah writes to complain about "road user pests", otherwise known as "people" (Letters, August 1).
Why should a pedestrian wait for a crossing that only activates when he arrives in time to press a "beg button" to keep walking? The term "jaywalking" was invented by the car lobby in response to public anger at pedestrian deaths. It was part of a decades-long campaign by car makers leading to the current domination of our cities by cars and suburbia.
Why should a cyclist not jump onto the footpath to go more quickly through traffic signals that are only necessary because of the people driving cars taking many multiples of the space they do?
Why should the scooter rider not take advantage of the fact that they take up less room, weaving through the cars? Why should pedestrians and cyclists, forced to use badly-maintained, inconsistent, patchy infrastructure, not cherrypick from the lavish provisions for the motorist?
The motorist is the one occupying disproportionate room, producing noise, carbon, and particulate pollution. The motorist is the one whose convenience puts others in danger. The motorist is the one inevitably given priority and the best infrastructure. The motorist should bear the greater responsibility.
Mr Cox falls into the mental trap of cars being the norm, while anything else is "other". The city should be safe for the people that live in it, not convenient for cars. Lower speed limits, raise pedestrian crossings, narrow roads, widen paths. Return the streets to people.
Our Chief Minister and Treasurer Andrew Barr has said that the ACT government was already meeting the demand for key services when justifying the use of the GST "windfall" to reduce the ACT deficit.
Whatever the urgency of reducing the deficit, Barr's comment on the ACT government's provision of services is nonsense. The quality of service provision in the ACT, whether in education, health, or the maintenance of roads, footpaths, and parks and gardens, has been declining for some years.
The reason for this obvious to many of us: the distortions in the budget inherent in the need to fund the government's obsession with the provision of light rail.
The 2022-23 ACT budget allocates $3.6 million this financial year for, amongst other things, "detailed design works for a new community hub and skate park" at Kippax. In other words, the government is about to sell off to commercial interests what has been the best community hub at Kippax - the playing fields - and reduce the wellbeing of many local residents.
Further, the government's unwise and outdated Variation to the Territory Plan 361, which rezoned the playing fields in 2020, has locked in numerous developments including a new road, pedestrian crossing, ground floor residences and a skate park. These are to be located on what is, in effect, the Kippax Creek flood plain. Where is the government's coherent and credible flood mitigation strategy to manage the increased risks of flash flooding arising from climate change?
How is the federal opposition even credible on housing, energy, wages and cost of living?
They opposed evidence-based structural reform of private housing; didn't fund public housing enough; opposed the most anti-inflationary measure we have - renewable energy; legislated for wage stagnation; and refused to increase welfare for nine years.
Flat wages are relevant to whether people can afford electric cars and housing upgrades and hence decrease fossil fuel dependence and bills.
I could pass on my budget tips, but they just may not be enough for people at the sharp end of this fossil fuel price hike, housing affordability crisis and climate change-related fresh-food shortage.
The federal government needs to target assistance because it takes experts to create a package that actually does what we want. We want the package to protect people from disaster, but not reduce the price signal telling people to electrify everything and stop using fossil fuels.
Getting to Melbourne and back recently cost us $16 for electricity in a $25,000 second hand EV. Don't dismiss renewable solutions.
I want to thank all the nurses and doctors managing patients with COVID. They are amazing.
My recent experience of COVID was no fun (as we all know) but the support I had from the Home Care team and from nurses and doctors during a short ED visit got me safely out the other end of COVID.
I live alone but my family was reassured I had the support I needed.
I was saddened however to hear a young nurse say she has had enough and felt unappreciated.
I really don't understand why these professionals can't receive a bonus like other states. A bonus says "we appreciate you". Sure, a lot more needs to happen to improve health services, but it's a hug and we all need those. I wonder if the ACT health executives get bonuses?
Andrew Barr has said he wasn't in a rush to legislate to introduce Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) in the ACT. Well Chief Minister, you might not be in a rush, but there are people in the ACT who are. They include those who have witnessed great suffering of loved ones dying from a drawn out terminal illness and those who already have a diagnoses of terminal illness and may themselves be in a rush to avoid such a fate.
Passing legislation by Mr Barr's deadline of the ACT Assembly elections in 2024 is just the first step. Following that has to be a drawn out process of setting up required medical services. All Australian states have already enacted VAD. We can look at their processes and cherrypick the best. To wait two more years for the legislation is both cruel and unnecessary.
It was recently suggested that the small size of the Canberra market is to blame for our consistently high petrol and diesel prices. This has never been the real reason.
I have, in recent weeks, observed fuel prices in many locations in central western NSW, such as Parkes and Bathurst, and the towns between them and Canberra.
Fuel prices there (including those of the "big" oil companies) were consistently about 20 cents below those in Canberra. Last May, I observed the same difference in Coober Pedy and elsewhere in central Australia. These are much smaller markets than Canberra's.
This is not a new phenomenon; I have made similar observations over many years.
The reason for Canberra's high fuel prices can hardly be the "small" size of its market or, for that matter, its "remoteness". I believe the reason is price gouging. Oil companies charge what the local market has long been bludgeoned into bearing. What is the ACT government going to do about this?
In times of savage winter conditions, starving Inuit clans would leave their naked elders on ice floes for the polar bears to feast on (hopefully, cold killed the ancients off first).
Now Robert Breunig, chairman at ANU's Tax and Transfer policy Institute has produced a paper proposing a land tax of 0.1 per cent on mainly wealthier and older property owners, as being the best way to repay some $500 billion of government debt incurred during COVID.
Mr Breunig's proposal appears to be the equivalent of Inuits without elderly parents surrendering other elders to the ice floes.
Elderly ACT homeowners living in suburbs perceived to more affluent than others should pay more, according to Mr Breunig, since they, owning most assets including property, were most protected under COVID (though families who lost elderly loved ones during COVID) would surely disagree.
As a former ANU alumnus, I feel acute discomfort that my alma mater is considering proposals roughly equivalent to Inuits and their ice floes.
When people such as Trevor Bainbridge and Pamela Weiss (Letters, July 31) write about VAD couched in the terms "quality of life" and "dying with dignity" they are obviously writing in the abstraction that arises when death is remote.
If suffering and death are real, then it is the love shown in the various relationships that overrides any other consideration.
Archbishop Prowse ("Rights vote intervention", July 29, p1 and p8) understands that love is the only way to uphold the dignity of a person, and human love endures.
People should always be protected by the state, including by providing palliative care to those in need. VAD is a way for the state to avoid its responsibilities.
One definition of war is "a state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country". Therefore how can the AWM justify ignoring the Frontier Wars? It is an Australian institution that should acknowledge all Australians, including Indigenous communities, as part of the reconciliation process.
Since 1985 I've been meaning to watch an episode of Neighbours to see what all the fuss is about. It seems that I have now missed my chance.
Doug Hurst (Letters, July 27) seems unable to grasp the vital importance of increasing emission reduction targets. Doug, like the shattered Liberals, is concerned about the cost of action, but totally immune, it seems, to the incalculable cost of doing nothing.
In response to Tony Cook (Taxing challenge, Letters, July 27) every new car comes with a mandatory label showing not only fuel consumption but also carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre. In the case of my Skoda the number is 128. I expect that it will be this number that will be the basis of the proposed new emissions-based registration charge.
Pauline Hanson hasn't gone far enough. She stormed out of the Senate chamber during an acknowledgment of Country. She should have kept going out of the building and out of the job as a representative of the people.
Why not invite China to membership of AUKUS? As a permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations, whose charter is "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war", China is well qualified to be an active member of the regional security pact. CHAUKUS would be a formidable force to ensure peace in the Pacific.
Frank Kish (Letters, July 29) didn't have to go all the way to Orange for cheaper fuel. Last Friday diesel at the BP service station at Murrumbateman was $2.10 a litre. Diesel at the BP in Phillip was $2.28 a litre. I doubt the cost of transport was the reason for the difference.
Coal demand and price are at record highs, and there is no prospect of it being phased out in the near future. Australia is the world's largest coal exporter, and one of our principle competitors is currently sanctioned. Isn't it time to levy a substantial coal export tax to help pay down national debt? Such an opportunity may not arise again.
Why is public housing such a poor cousin in the ACT government's plans to address housing access and affordability? Why only 140 new public housing properties? Why not 1400? Or 14,000? Is this just an ideological bias or is it based on some sort of evidence I'm not aware of?
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.