As an architect, I understand the the intention of limiting the size of a second dwelling to 120 square metres in the new planning legislation. I don't agree that it wasn't part of the consultation process.
We live in a 155sqm extended ex-government house (that started out as a 96sqm three-bedroom house) in Curtin with our teenage son and we have more than sufficient space. I am also very interested in efficient space planning, the inherent environmental benefits and affordability.
My concern is imposing a blanket limit on the size of the the second dwelling is trying to artificially manipulate a planning supply and affordability outcome. The are plenty of complicated issues in the Australian economy, but housing affordability is very simple. It is about supply (or the lack of it). Look at the recent release in Whitlam where over 7000 expressions of interested were registered for 115 blocks.
There are so many other planning methods that could have been implemented to restrict the size of the second dwelling. I would imagine that a large number of the 40 per cent of Canberra's RZ1 blocks that qualify for a second dwelling under the new legislation are in areas where a 120sqm second dwelling will not be financially viable. What is the percentage of blocks that are between 800 and 1000sqm?
I think that both the planning minister, chief planning executive and chief minister are not fully on board; hence the media campaign to say how good 120sqm houses are.
Opposition Leader Dutton demands national cabinet discuss "concerns raised by Australia's Jewish community about their safety".
What about concerns raised by Australia's Muslim community about their safety?
Dutton wants "a statement [where all] confirm their support for Australia's Jewish community, condemn anti-Semitism in all forms, and declare any attack on Australians for their religious beliefs unacceptable".
What about confirming support for our Muslim community and condemning Islamophobia?
I'm Jewish and disgusted by Dutton's sycophanting to the Jewish community and even more disgusted by Dutton's mindful omission of Muslims from his statements.
I condemn strongly the Hamas massacres, and I was sickened by the blue-and-white Opera House sails.
I condemn strongly Israel's destruction of Gaza and killing thousands of children and women, and I wonder where are the black, white, green and red Opera House sails?
Dutton chose sides, emphatically creating, fostering, encouraging division. Albanese chose leadership: "I make no apologies for trying to bring communities together, not divide them, because that's the role of political leaders".
It's impossible to be Jewish and ignore the plight of our Muslim sisters and brothers. I mourn with all.
For the fourth time in the past week I have heard the claim that counts of deaths in Gaza are probably exaggerated by the Hamas Ministry of Health to garner sympathy.
It is a callous, silly argument. These are mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.
I think we can assume that most of the children at least are not Hamas terrorists. They stand testament to the conclusion that neither Hamas nor the Israeli Defence Force give a tinker's cuss about how many Palestinians die. It is a denial of their humanity to say that the death toll is overestimated for political purpose, as is calling the victims collateral damage.
No one knows how many bodies lie beneath the ruins of collapsed buildings. Like the 1200 Israelis murdered by Hamas, Palestinians are the chips in an obscene poker game with neither player regarding civilian losses as consequential.
The actual number of thousands is immaterial. Let us not hear again that the IDF does not target civilians or that Hamas is fighting for downtrodden Palestinians. Neither cares about the body count.
The problem is Hamas are not terrorists but freedom fighters. If you live in Gaza, the biggest open air prison in the world, Israel controls everything that goes in and out. It is a walled city with machine guns at each checkpoint.
This is why you see the rise of freedom fighters. If the Zionist settlers are never controlled and allowed to kick out Palestinians from their land and move in and build settlements, then you can expect to see the rise of freedom fighters.
If we can't protest about what Israel is doing to the Palestinians then we have become an Orwellian society with Newspeak and everything we should think thrust down our throats.
Well, David Purcell (Letters, November 14), I can tell you buses can work.
Once upon a time Canberra had a good bus system servicing all suburbs and providing express services.
Once upon a time I lived in Hawker and worked in Barton. I could get to work with two buses conveniently linked. One to Belconnen Interchange, one to Barton. There was more than one service so I was not dependent on just one time to get to and from work. The buses were packed.
We were a one-car family. My husband drove to Belconnen to work. I took the bus to Barton.
The tram does not have the same flexibility of routes that buses do.
Re "The silence of the republicans is deafening" (Letters, Novembers 15).
Here in our 61 per cent "yes" "Royal Borough of Sandringham" the Voice was expected to be a mere formality, soon followed by a vote to liberate the colony from British oppression. The two were inextricably linked.
But when the "yes" proponents introduced "racist" to describe any "deplorable" who dared to question (let alone disagree), alarms rang loud.
Many sensed that the ABC were twisting the Voice to promote their republican cause rather than showing us practical examples of how the Voice would remedy injustice, squalor and deprivation.
As for the "head of state, flag, date and statues" debate, that's theatrical fluff.
Until the republicans use their influence to liberate the homeless young woman and her faithful dog begging outside the supermarket, the republic is dead.
David Purnell (Letters, November 15) makes the vague claim that "buses never attracted the support needed for a workable public transport system".
Canberra's buses provided well over 10 per cent of journeys to work in the 1980s. By 2011 this share had fallen below 8 per cent.
The government estimated that 12km of light rail would boost the public transport mode share to 13.3 per cent by 2031.
But 12km of bus rapid transit, at half the cost, would boost the mode share to 13.2 per cent.
Purnell rightly says that "light rail boosted interest in public transport".
Public transport patronage increased by about one-tenth in the first year of light rail, but by 2021 the public transport commute share had fallen below eight.
In saying that light rail is "the most promising option", Purnell demonstrates an ignorance of high-occupancy vehicle lanes, bus rapid transit and trackless trams.
I'm not a big fan of much of what the ACT government does. However, a bouquet to Transport Canberra.
My car was broken down on a busy road. In a fairly short period of time, a couple of Transport Canberra people turned up, and not only made things safe, but also got the vehicle going again.
Now, that's what I call service (as Basil Fawlty would say). An impressive response for which I was very grateful.
And while I'm passing judgement on people, a brickbat to the driver who ignored my gestures to move to the lane next to the one in which my car was broken down, and just sat behind my car waiting for it to move.
Who was responsible for unlawfully jailing arrivals to Australia indefinitely?
Did that former government know and/or should that former government have known that locking the aforementioned arrivals indefinitely was illegal?
Finally, why should those criminals who have served their respective sentences be treated differently from home-grown criminals who have served their sentences?
Do we detect a whiff of racism in the opposition's conflated outrage?
Rex Williams (Letters, November 13) informed us of the number of UK Labour politicians receiving donations from a "prominent pro-Israel lobby group" and has alleged our PM and Foreign Affairs and Defence ministers are in "Israel-control". Could Rex do a similar "expose" on the UK's conservative government and Australia's LNP?
Watching the Palestinian protest in Civic, I said: "Israel is illegitimate because it has no sanctuary, priesthood or tribes." The Muslims and virtue-signallers all agreed. Then I said: "But what about Islam and Constantinople where the Turks turned the Hagia Sophia into a mosque." This didn't go down as well.
Israel has said "based on intelligence the IDF is carrying out a targeted operation at Al-Shifa hospital". That must be poor intelligence. No credible evidence has been produced to date.
Yes, Peter McLoughlin (Letters, November 16). The ABC is not biased, not pro-Hamas, and not anti-Israel. Bias is to a great extent in the eye of the beholder: someone looking for bias will, more likely than not, eventually find it.
As for the ABC being "the best news service available" I suggest he watch SBS World News.
My wife, a keen follower of her superannuation balance, coined a great neologism on Thursday. She asked me to keep a close eye on the "shock market". Quite clever, I thought.
Those defending Pauline Hanson's right to air her opinions should refer to the everyday definitions of the word. The Macquarie says "[a] judgment or belief, resting on grounds insufficient to produce certainty". I prefer the Concise Oxford's "[a] judgment or belief based on grounds short of proof".
I'm just back from a cruise to New Zealand. The first thing the Kiwis said to us was "have you seen the price of gas? It's $3 a litre". There's a perspective-changer for you.
Yes, Michael Kennedy (Letters, November 16) this is not the Canberra of my birth 66 years ago. Everywhere you look there are weeds, poorly maintained green belts, and high rises and it makes our nation's capital scruffy and uncared for. What are we paying increasing rates for?
The Israelis should remember the Holocaust, and avoid repeating it in Gaza.
Apparently Israel has just found Saddam's missing weapons of mass destruction underneath [insert name of any appropriate Palestinian health facility here]. A press conference will follow shortly.
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