There are now more than 140 refugees that the Parliament hopes to return to some form of indefinite detention.
The few sentenced through the courts have served their time and deserve freedom.
The High Court has stated that neither the Parliament nor any government minister has the right to detain any person indefinitely.
This is a basic principle of Australian law that has been upheld since federation.
No politician has the right to apply penalties. The bullying, lying, fear-mongering, paranoia and hysteria in Parliament that attempts to reinstate indefinite detention in any form is an insult to our democracy.
Legislation that tries to restrict personal freedom through indefinite detention applied by the Parliament in any form should fail.
This is no more than political posturing for the benefit of ignorant journalists too lazy to ask questions.
Gerry Gillespie, Rural Australians for Refugees, Queanbeyan, NSW
Get over it
Ian Morison (Letters, December 5) gave us the umpteenth irrelevant iteration of that trope so beloved of the bleeding obvious brigade that weather is variable.
Fortunately the world's scientists and meteorologists are able to distinguish between weather and climate when they make forecasts. And, of course, ordinary people have also long appreciated this distinction noting a single swallow doesn't make a spring.
Felix MacNeill, Dickson
Over the top
Shadow Immigration Minister, Dan Tehan, has called on Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neill and Immigration Minister Andrew Giles to resign for "failing to keep Australians safe".
Their offence: complying with a High Court ruling and releasing detainees illegally held. Four of those detainees have since been charged with committing offences following their release.
Every day convicted murderers, rapists and child molesters walk out of Australia's jails after serving their sentences. Some are rehabilitated whilst others re-offend.
This is part of the crime and punishment system that operates in Australia today.
We don't hang murderers or stone adulterers to death. We generally give offenders a chance to show that they can "go straight".
If every state or territory police minister was required to resign when a person released from jail re-offended, there would be a very quick turnover of MPs holding those portfolios.
Mike Reddy, Vincentia, NSW
Manuka Oval accessibility issues
I spent Wednesday at Manuka Oval watching the PM's XI and the replaced surface looked good.
However, probably predictably, the reflective markers which mark the edge of stairs for the low vision disabled are badly faded.
The ACT government is legally obliged under the Disability Access Act to maintain these accessibility features.
The relevant ACT Minister and staff should get out to Manuka Oval with some fluorescent paint to make it safe.
Rohan Goyne, Evatt
Royal identity crisis
In the printed edition of The Canberra Times of December 6 there was a noticeable misprint in the article gracing the top of page 9.
The headline announced the release of "New coins featuring King George III into circulation" only to confuse readers as the subsequent content consistently referred to the coins as featuring King Charles III.
But the article did explain how the changes to coins and their depictions work and provided some cool behind-the-scenes details on how the mint crafts our currency.
So, despite the royal identity crisis, there's some pretty interesting stuff going on with our cash.
Eleanor Smith, Fraser
Electric horsepower effect
The move to electric delivery trucks as proposed by delivery experts Adiona Tech ("Truck shift would speed up reductions", December 4) would be a very welcome development, especially in larger cities where courier trucks are most active.
Not only would it help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, rather than the present trend of increase, it would reduce pollution by hazardous chemicals such as sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide, and carbon monoxide.
It would also reduce emissions of fine carbon or carbon-rich particles which are doubly dangerous because they carry polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are highly toxic to humans.
With the high and increasing cost of fuel, moving from diesel to electric power is a win-win proposition.
Dr Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Democracy or tyranny?
"The people of Gaza elected Hamas as their government" says Kenneth J Mitchell (Letters, December 6) then, in the next paragraph, he refers to Israel as "the only democracy in the Middle East".
You can't have your cake and eat it too, Ken.
And the people of Israel elected their current government. Simply being democratically elected doesn't give the criminal actions of either government legitimacy. It seems that nothing has changed since 1681 when John Dryden wrote: "Nor is the people's judgement always true: the most may err as grossly as the few".
Fred Pilcher, Kaleen
We get what we deserve
In "The Robin Hood fix for healthcare" (December 5) Crispin Hull discusses the choice before us at the next election, and ends with a summary: "The voters would then face a stark choice: tax cuts for the rich few, or free dental care, expanded bulk billing, and specialists' fees brought back to reality for everyone".
In a democracy, especially a democracy like ours where voting is compulsory, we get the government, and the society, we deserve.
Harry Davis, Campbell
Storm in a tea cup
The brouhaha over Attorney-General Dreyfus allegedly losing his temper is ridiculous.
A cursory glance at the video will show he was answering a question. The journalist interrupted. The journalist continued to interrupt.
He told her not to interrupt; he answered the question.
Helen M Goddard, Canberra
What is going on?
We now hear, only thanks to Senator David Shoebridge's request, that "value for money" to the Australian taxpayer was removed as a criterion in the tender evaluation for the already controversial $45 billion "future frigates" project. The highest ranking RAN official at the time has gone to work for the "successful" British contractor.
The Defence Industry Minister of the time - Christopher Pyne - become an industry lobbyist after leaving Parliament.
The public servants complicit in this scandalous process have, even after the scathing administrative review, suffered no consequences at all.
Why does the media only hound to hell and back incompetent, offensive corporate CEOs, and not uniformed and non-uniformed public servants and politicians who handle public funds contemptuously?
Alex Mattea, Sydney, NSW
God save the King
The Australian Monarchist League is delighted to learn that King Charles III, King of Australia, accompanied by the Queen Consort, will be visiting Australia in October 2024. This will be the first visit by King Charles as sovereign and we trust that the Australian and state governments will not restrict people being able to come out and welcome their new King as they did 70 years ago for the then new Queen, Elizabeth II.
The visit will also be the monarch's first time as King and head of the Commonwealth at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Apia, Tuamasaga, Samoa from October 21 to 25.
Eric Abetz, Australian Monarchist League, Sydney, NSW
Goodbye and good luck
I breathed a rather loud sigh of relief when I read that Jeremy Hanson is no longer the deputy leader of the ACT Liberals.
Elizabeth Lee and her cohorts got it right!
Mr Hanson's extreme right-wing convictions merely served to make the Libs look like draconian numpties, with members having clearly demonstrated "differences" in opinions and perspectives on policies and legislation which affect all members of the ACT community.
Perhaps Mr Hanson could team up with old mate Zed Seselja and set up their own political party and continue with their radical behaviours; just not in the ACT please, and preferably not in Australia.
Janine Haskins, Cook
Apology was warranted
So Dreyfus has apologised. That suggests he was out of line.
M Moore, Bonython
TO THE POINT
CHANGE OF HEART?
Barnaby really thinks voters must be dumb. He has called for the nuclear ban, introduced by Howard, to be rescinded by Labor. If this is such a good idea why didn't the Coalition remove the ban? They had nine years to do so. It's easy to govern from opposition.
Ross Hudson, Mount Martha, Vic
STAGE THREE OVER-EGGED
I have seen a lot of references to the stage three tax cuts by journalists who say their cancellation would result in a huge windfall for the government. I doubt that. The rich (and rich corporates) manipulate their accounts so as to pay little or no tax anyway.
Stewart Bath, Isabella Plains
A VERY BRITISH TRAGEDY
I came across this pithy description of the infamous Balfour Declaration - the British promise of Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people - by author and journalist Arthur Koestler: "One nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third." It is estimated there were 700 deaths in Gaza in the first 24 hours after Israel resumed its air attacks.
Roderick Holesgrove, Crace
BEYOND THE PALE
Netanyahu's Israel, having launched its murderous attack on Gazans while simultaneously launching a West Bank blitzkrieg, has no right to claim it is a "civilised" rule-of-law democracy.
Albert M White, Queanbeyan, NSW
WHAT A NOVEL IDEA
Phones banned in schools? Wow, who'd have thought that was a good idea? When I was at school we had no phones, the level of literacy was higher and people were nicer to each other. Just saying.
Ian Jannaway, Monash
With Australia Post letter deliveries to change to every second day, does that mean I will get deliveries on Tuesday and Thursdays, or on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays? It's important to know this so I can monitor my letterbox accordingly.
Don Sephton, Greenway
AT ALL COSTS?
Israel will win but at what cost? If the international community had really cared we might have never come to this hellish state of war, death and destruction. What is happening in the Israeli war on Gaza is an indictment against all humanity. We have failed the Palestinian people.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
M Moore (Letters, December 6) objects to the ABC describing Hamas as "militants". Should we instead describe them as "pacifists"?
Leon Arundell, Downer
DUTTON GOES GREEN
Has the protector of whales and the marine environment, Peter Dutton, ever called for the end of things like offshore seismic testing for new oil and gas fields? Has he ever called for an end to offshore oil and gas field developments? Or is he just concerned cheaper energy may affect the big end of town?
Doug Steley, Canberra
THE LIBS' NEXT STEP
Given that the Canberra Liberals now have an apparently centrist leadership the challenge is to develop policies that match the change of direction.
Graeme Rankin, Holder
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