The observations on gum trees by James Coats (Letters, December 1) are in agreement with the findings of a Legislative Assembly committee inquiry into the West Belconnen supercell thunderstorm that occurred in January 2022.
Extensive property damage was reported, including from fallen trees. Evoenergy reported thousands of homes being left without electricity, due to extensive damage to power lines.
On the other hand, the ACT government Tree Protection Unit responsible for the tree protection legislation still permits large gums to be inappropriately located too close to houses.
This is out of touch with the fact storm events linked to climate change are becoming more frequent and damaging.
During site visits and on reviewing submissions, the inquiry committee noted the proliferation of large mature eucalyptus trees in suburbia as a specific issue. These trees are shallow-rooted, making them more likely to fall during storms, and are prone to dropping limbs. They are also tall, often overshadowing power lines.
Submitters, included Evoenergy, commented it would be more appropriate to plant smaller, less hazardous trees in Canberra's suburbs.
The committee recommended that the ACT government consider the appropriateness of tree species as part of future urban planting with regard to risk of damage from severe weather events.
Murray May, Cook
Is anyone having the same problem as I have been subjected to by the ACT government.
They have planted trees so close to my boundary that mowers can't mow the areas which will create a fire hazard.
They have also planted in front of my kitchen window blocking my view to the mountains. They have also planted in front of my back gate blocking access for garden deliveries.
I would be interested to know if other residents are having these issues
Tony Cook, Kambah
Claim was ill-informed
Mr White of Queanbeyan, in his letter "Too cynical for words" (Letters, November 29) does total injustice to the efforts of the IDF in helping with the dire circumstances at the Al-Shifa Hospital.
It is well-known that Hamas was using that hospital, along with others, as a storage facility and a launching place for attacks on Israel. They knew that they were deliberately breaking international law to use it in such a way.
The administrative staff of the hospital knew what was going on. They weren't ignorant of Hamas' use of it.
Hamas used it as one of their many underground and above ground bases as a front, knowing that the buildings, staff and patients were their "shield".
Hamas knew beforehand that an attack would be great propaganda for themselves and bad for Israel.
There are many other things that the IDF has done to help the people in Gaza that haven't been reported.
Irwin Ross, Higgins
Cambodia legitimate target
Your editorial to mark the death of Henry Kissinger ("Dr Kissinger a controversial diplomat", December 1) was largely even-handed in its assessment of a complex legacy.
The notion that Cambodia was "a neutral country" when bombings were ordered of the Ho Chi Minh Trail is, however, not correct.
The very fact that the North Vietnamese were supplying their guerrilla forces in South Vietnam via these roads and tracks using the non-combatant status of Laos and Cambodia as cover is proof that it was the North Vietnamese, and not the Americans, who were the ones who initially violated those countries' neutrality.
One does not have to necessarily support the bombings to point this out.
Anyone who is so foolhardy as to pretend the Vietnam War was some kind of morality lesson is doing just that - pretending.
Bede North, Turner
On the other hand
"De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est" (of the dead nothing but good is to be said) does not apply to leaders whose decisions affected the lives of millions.
To say in your editorial ("Dr Kissinger a controversial diplomat", December 1) "Kissinger may have saved the lives of millions" is far too generous.
Nixon was elected on the promise to end the war in Vietnam by an electorate ready to clutch at such straws.
The public pressure to end US involvement and bring the boys home was becoming explosive. But far from ending the war Nixon and his adviser Kissinger authorised almost 4000 bombing raids on Cambodia.
The war was ended by a powerful North Vietnamese offensive and protests in the US which persuaded Congress to cut off funds to the military.
To give Kissinger and Nixon any credit for ending the debacle in Vietnam is quite wrong.
Harry Davis, Campbell
Who claims what?
Does anybody dispute that the Elgin Marbles are the Greeks' to take back?
After all, if Jews felt entitled just post World War II to take land back they had last controlled two millennia before, surely anyone can lay claim to anything they historically possessed, however they came to lose it.
The Russians and Australian Aboriginal people are exceptions, of course.
Alex Mattea, Sydney, NSW
Netherlands under Nazis
David Perkins (Letters, November 30) commented on the article "Wilders vote sends a chill across Europe" (November 24) and made some valid points.
I was also aware of Dutch people not making much effort to resist the movement of Jewish people targeted for internment and death during WWII. My mother told me many Jews were transferred to trains bound for Germany from Amersfoort and that the station was very busy. I understand there was some initial resistance from local citizens but it was swiftly put down.
While the Netherlands had remained neutral in World War I it experienced severe supply chain disruptions and food shortages, some of which led to riots and deaths.
To make himself more electable Geert Wilders had already clipped his wings when the Dutch went to the polls. Let us hope his eventual coalition partners will clip them further. We must never forget, nor allow these events to be erased from the history curriculum. At the same time, we must move on and encourage and support people who build bridges, not walls.
Herman van de Brug, Holt
Playing by the rules
Car makers are not fudging fuel consumption figures on new cars ("Tests reveal how car makers fudge on economy, emissions" December 3).
Australian vehicle design rules require consumption to be tested in a specified manner and the result to be printed on a sticker attached to new cars.
If people have a problem with the figures being incorrect, their ire should be directed at the regulators.
Stephen Jones, Bonython
Population figures questioned
The recently released ABS Population Projections (medium series) project an ACT population substantially lower than projected in the ACT government's medium projection.
The ACT government's projection resulted in a 2030 population of 547,300, a 2050 population of 695,700 and a 2060 population of 784,000. The corresponding figures in the ABS projection are 516,500, 638,000 and 689,100.
A reduction in the level of overseas migration, to address housing and infrastructure shortfalls, could reduce ACT growth expectations.
The ACT government needs to ensure its infrastructure and planning strategies have sufficient flexibility to respond not only to potential population volatility but also to social, economic, technological and behavioural changes.
Its refusal to reconsider the need for the high-cost light rail, despite increased working from home and improvements in electric bus technology, suggests it does not possess the necessary agility.
Mike Quirk, Garran
Trump is accountable
Olympic gold medallist swimmer Klete Keller who joined the mob who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 to mount an "attack on the seat of American democracy" was sentenced to six months' home detention, three years' probation and 360 hours of community service.
Keller told the judge: "I have no excuse for why I am in front of you today. I understand my actions were criminal and that I am fully responsible for my conduct."
Trump should follow this example by manning up and taking full responsibility for his role in instigating that abhorrent attack.
But Trump is not known for admitting any wrongdoing, even when there is clear evidence of it.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
To the point
LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS
Every spy in the country must be angling for hospitality jobs in the pubs, clubs and restaurants in and around Parliament House given information about AUKUS is casually exchanged and needs to be committed to paper in the wee hours of the morning.
David Perkins, Reid
WE NEED PEOPLE
The birth rate is well below replacement level, an existential crisis that barely rates a mention. Yet Jenna Price thinks humanity has to fix a few things before women start having more babies. But what's the point in fixing things if there are no humans around in the first place?
Vasily Martin, Queanbeyan, NSW
TIME TO MOVE ON
I am sick of post-mortems about the Voice. I voted "yes" and it grieves me, for our First Nations people, that I was not in the majority, but that's democracy. Throwing insults and endless analysis does not change the result. Let's get over it and move on.
Barbara Bankovsky, Kaleen
WEATHER IS VARIABLE
A week ago the climate change brigade were forecasting a long hot and dry summer with bushfires. Eastern Australia has now been drenched. Mother Nature has reminded us the weather is variable.
Ian Morison, Forrest
DEATH TOLL TOO HIGH
If Israel is trying to avoid killing civilians why have there been more than 15,000 Palestinian deaths in Gaza alone since October 7, including 6,150 children (accounting for 41 per cent of the Palestinian fatalities)? Why does the death toll include at least 198 Palestinian medics, 112 UN staff and 70 journalists and media workers?
J Brooks, Holt
DUTTON NO SILK PURSE
News Ltd is using Simon Benson and Dennis Shanahan to reinvent Dutton. Unfortunately, as everybody knows, you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
Jon Jovanovic, Lenah Valley, Tas
THE HURLY-BURLY'S DONE
You've published more letters commenting on the Voice. Maaate. It's all over red rover. Done and dusted. Correct weight has been declared.
Vincent Komorovskaya, Chiang Mai, Thailand
CLAIM IS FALSE
Peter Marshall says Israel is taking Palestinian hostages on the West Bank (Letters, December 3). That's not true. Palestinian terrorist activity and other violence has ramped up since the war started. Israel is detaining more people in response.
Sharon Wilson, Uriarra Village
BLAME THE GOVERNMENT
Mario Stivala (Letters, December 4) is right. The government erred in putting two issues into the referendum question. It should have realised most Australians (mainly males) aren't capable of understanding more than one thing at a time. It's always easier to blame the government.
Eric Hunter, Cook
WE ARE DOOMED
Mark Sproat ("The tide is rising", Letters, December 4) don't worry, be happy, it's all too late. Climate feedback loops are in place and so strong that it doesn't matter what we do, catastrophe is inevitable. The population will plummet.
Kenneth Griffiths, O'Connor
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