If the cost of light rail stage 2A from Alinga Street to Commonwealth Park is to be $577 or $800 million ("Light rail cost reveal", December 8), depending on whose estimate you accept, I shudder to think of the cost and traffic disruption caused by stage 2B from Commonwealth Park to Woden Town Centre.
There are major engineering and construction problems at several locations along the route.
These include a ramp from State Circle to Adelaide Avenue; the Adelaide Avenue overpass of Hopetoun Circuit - a long span that may require a central support; the Cotter Road overpass of Adelaide Avenue (a 15-degree slope and a massive pylon in the median strip); the Yarra Glen median near the Royal Australian Mint (a three-metre-high, 400-500-metres long hump with numerous trees), the Carruthers Street overpass of Yarra Glen (a massive mid-median pylon and large tree ; and the three-way intersection of Yarra Glen, Yamba Drive and Melrose Drive.
The last involves complex vehicle traffic flow and a large concrete drain that is prone to flooding in the heavy rain that will become more common and extreme with the advance of global warming.
Overcoming all of these issues will probably take at least 10 years, including extended disruption of traffic, and cost at least $10 billion. A benefit-cost analysis would produce a horrifying result.
Dr Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Power to the people
Our government provides a substantial subsidy for those who own their homes to install solar panels to reduce their electricity bills.
Recently they extended this subsidy to help people in apartment buildings. The only people who do not receive this help are those renting their homes, including those in retirement villages or in government housing (many of whom live on a pension).
When will our government adjust this patently unjust situation?
Bob Nairn, Page
Not good enough
I visited South.Point shopping mall at Tuggeranong, last Friday, Saturday, Sunday and on Monday.
I now wonder what standards of cleanliness and health are required from these venues, or rather their toilets.
I repeatedly saw overflowing urinals and toilet bowls, wet floors and paper shortages.
Surely this isn't right.
Ed Harris, Bonython
The reason why
Rajend Naidu (Letters, December 7) asks what threat the journalists who have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war posed to Israel.
Perhaps he should ask those "journalists" who somehow knew to accompany the terrorists on their October 7 invasion of Israel.
Hamas "journalists" who solely write for the terrorist group's propaganda organs have been seen participating in fighting, while wearing "Press" vests.
Rose Lai, Hawker
Deja vu again
I find it extraordinary that more than 20 years after the disgraceful Tampa, children overboard saga of the Howard government it's déjà vu all over again with the focus on refugee detention and toxic, manipulative political games being played.
The High Court ruled the indefinite detention of refugees was illegal. This has resulted in the release of almost 150 people, some who have been detained for up to 12 years.
It would have been the last thing the federal government would have wanted but they had no choice but to release all detainees in the same predicament.
The Coalition is peddling complete nonsense suggesting that they were only required to release one person.
Some of the people released have no criminal records and five had already been released in one way or another under the Coalition.
The Albanese government was bullied into introducing legislation to ensure those deemed a risk to the community could be detained again. The Coalition voted against the legislation deciding it was a great opportunity for a political win.
Now we're hearing Dan Tehan and Peter Dutton talk about keeping Australians safe and yet again turning this into a political point scoring exercise.
It appears to be a race to the bottom.
Peter McLoughlin, Monash
Israel is justified
Kathryn Kelly (Letters, December 3) claims Israel's response in Gaza is disproportionate, but in truth, Israel is only using the level of force necessary to achieve its legitimate military objectives.
That's the international law definition of proportionality.
It also tries to spare civilians by advising them to evacuate - something no other warring nation does.
She claims Israel has made a two-state solution impossible due to settlements, but they still only cover an insignificant portion of the West Bank.
Israel critics such as Kathryn never mention the three offers by Israel of a Palestinian state, or the various other Israeli attempts to negotiate peace, all rejected by the Palestinian Authority.
Nor do they mention Israel's total withdrawal from Gaza or the fact that Hamas is committed to eradicating Israel no matter what it does.
That wouldn't fit with their "it's all Israel's fault" narrative.
She says what is needed is for Israel to be forced to change. The actual solution is an end to Palestinian intransigence.
Athol Morris, Forde
Israel is compliant
Brice Hamack (Letters, November 30) makes a number of assertions that are incorrect.
His accusation that Israel is guilty of war crimes is incorrect. Israel has complied with the laws of war by targeting Hamas, and warning civilians to evacuate.
In contrast, Hamas has committed war crimes in numerous ways: deliberately murdering Israeli civilians, targeting civilians through rockets, taking civilians hostage, and using its own civilian population as human shields.
His description of Palestinians as indigenous implies that Jews aren't; this is also incorrect. Jews are indigenous to Israel, and substantial numbers of Jews have lived there for thousands of years.
Regrettably the line between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism is often blurred and crossed. Denying Israel's right to exist is a direct threat to millions of Jewish lives.
Most reasonable people would also judge that putting racist stickers on a shop just because it's owned by Jews, is anti-Semitism.
George Rothman, Chapman
While the sun shines
Both parties in the case of the alleged rape at Parliament House appear to have obtained financial gain, some courtesy of the taxpayers. Part of the Commonwealth government's pay-out to the accuser was compensation for "loss of earning capacity".
Does this mean that if she ever again finds gainful employment she will pay back the money? Or does she get to keep it?
Anne Willenborg, Royalla, NSW
Nakba no holocaust
Jill Sutton's (Letters, November 30) comparison of the Palestinian Nakba with the Holocaust is most inappropriate. The Holocaust was an horrific unmitigated genocide that killed 6 million innocent people.
The Nakba was the result of Israel defending itself when it was attacked by Arab states from all sides immediately after declaring independence. If Israel's Arab neighbours and local leaders had accepted the UN partition plan, there would have been a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and no Nakba.
As it was, while Israeli soldiers forced some Palestinians from homes in strategically important areas, most fled for various reasons without even seeing an Israeli soldier.
In this case it was the Palestinians and their allies who were intent on genocide and ethnic cleansing, not Israel.
Karina Okotel, Dickson
Two state solution
Is a "two-state solution" even possible? The contrasts between the two societies and perceptions of government are enormous. On one hand, a patriarchal society with tribal and religious leaders; in some respects a medieval legislated society.
On the other hand the intake of Jewish people from Europe brought with them a desire to create a liberal democratic nation.
The question is "what system of government represents my desire for peace, my desire for education, health care, housing, a decent life for my children?".
Perhaps peace can only come when we acknowledge the reality of a situation; "Is peace part of the raison d'etre of groups in my community or is their true purpose the destruction of a community and the extermination of a race of people?"
Do groups such as Hamas only exist to perpetuate despots whose power is threatened by the existence of a liberal democracy?
Are Palestinian families simply the fodder within the process? I suspect the children know the answer.
Mike Flanagan, Farrer
TO THE POINT
THIS IS CRAZY
Is the ACT Greens-Labor government mad? $577 million for 1.7 kilometres of tram track? Were Messrs Rattenbury and Barr deprived of a toy train set in their childhoods?
J Grant, Gowrie
IGNORANCE NOT BLISS
Wednesday's The Canberra Times gave the very bad news that "15 year olds in the ACT are performing worse in science, maths and reading compared to 20 years ago". How ironic the article was opposite a full-page ad for a fruit-based product claiming it was "free from chemicals". While I'm sure it wasn't intentional, there could have been no better illustration of scientific illiteracy.
Fred Pilcher, Kaleen
AN OLD CAPTIVITY
I wonder how Paul Revere and the other "sons of liberty" would feel about our new coin reportedly featuring George III?
Maria Greene, Curtin
THE TRUTH KILLS
Rajend Naidu (Letters, December 7) asks what threat did at least 61 journalists and media workers killed in Israel's war on Gaza pose to Israel. The answer is "the truth".
Graham Downie, O'Connor
Bill Deane (Letters, December 7), I distinctly recall Errol Flynn, brilliantly portraying Robin Hood, engaging in a beautifully choreographed sword duel with the Sheriff of Nottingham. Are you suggesting that Hollywood got history wrong?
Eric Hunter, Cook
ALPHA BETA MALES
If Albo is a beta male, as someone has suggested, and Dutts an alpha, I think beta is better.
Michael McCarthy, Deakin
WAR AND PEACE
I sat in the courtyard the other day and felt the sun on my skin. It was quiet and peaceful. I watched a butterfly on the flowers. I thought about Gaza on the other side of the world. Nobody there is enjoying the warmth of the sun. It is not quiet. There are no butterflies. There is no peace. Just man's inhumanity to man. It was ever thus. Have we learned nothing?
Elizabeth Chisholm, Kingston
I wonder what water Israel will use to flood Hamas's tunnels. Their own? Gaza's? Seawater?
S W Davey, Torrens
WE WILL PAY FOR CHARLIE
Re G Hansen (Letters, December 7). The royal visit will probably be a state visit as it will be his majesty's first visit as King. The state will pay.
Ian Jannaway, Monash
It is a bit rich that the Israeli Defence Force is attempting to direct the attention of the world to the horrors of the Hamas attack on October 7 while it hides behind rocket launchers and in tanks and fighter aircraft that tear apart bodies, destroy homes and bury people alive in far greater numbers.
Geoff Mander, Hawker
FINE DRIVERS NOW
Given using your mobile phone whilst driving is illegal why has the ACT government given offenders caught by the detection cameras a "grace period"? Surely drivers who are caught breaking the law should be fined now?
Graeme Rankin, Holder
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