Letters / Forrest didn’t ‘snaffle a barony’

I AM usually in awe of columnist Robert Macklin’s attention to detail. However, as a great great great nephew of Sir John Forrest, I take issue with his accuracy in “The Gadfly” of September 14.

Macklin asserts Forrest “arrived in Australia as a servant”. Of course, he did no such thing. Forrest was born on the Forrest family property at Leschenault, near Bunbury, WA, on August 22, 1847. After schooling at the then-Bishop Hale’s School in Perth (now Hale School), where he did very well academically, he was apprenticed to the assistant surveyor – a position with training leading him to his later explorations. Forrest went on to be Premier of WA and a Federal minister in the new Commonwealth Parliament, including Minister for Defence, Treasurer, Minister for Home Affairs and Acting Prime Minister.

As a result of his contribution to public administration, he was created Baron Forrest of Foret (the family’s Scottish ancestral home). He did not, as Macklin disparages, “snaffle a barony”.

Another of Sir John’s descendants, Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, continues to work towards significant public improvement and yet another, Natalie, is that well-known Canberra news presenter.

Rowley Tompsett, Nicholls

No tax break for Raiders

A $3.6 million tax break for the Raiders’ apartment development in Braddon would be yet another example of the ACT government encouraging clubs to abandon community service in favour of financial gain.

Some years ago, without submitting a development application and in breach of the Territory Code, the Raiders constructed 200 car-parking bays on their Braddon club site.

The planning and land authority bizarrely claimed that it could not act unless the Raiders lodged a development application. The Raiders breached their lease by erecting a sign to advertise their parking, without first obtaining the written consent of the territory.

Using similar bizarre logic, the authority argued that the sign in question met the lease condition because a smaller sign in a different location complied with the Signs General Code. The Braddon club lease was generating parking revenue of $300,000 a year when it was deconcessionalised, but the government accepted the Raiders’ valuation for the original lease, and $600,000 after deconcessionalisation. The Raiders now value the lease at $7.7 million.

This implies that the removal of concessional status increased the value of the lease by a whopping $7.4 million, rather than the $300,000 on which they paid a lease variation charge. A further $3.6 million tax break would be merely the icing on the cake.

Leon Arundell, Downer

Time to move on, Tony

I AGREE wholeheartedly that it was wrong to make homosexuality illegal. I think Michael Attwell’s letter (CN, September 21), if he was serious (which I doubt), was very silly. I believe it was more tongue in cheek.

But, Tony Whelan (CN, letters, “Time to grow up, Michael”, September 28), I think you are talking about years ago, not now. There is a lot of homosexuality in the military and the police. I have worked with a lot of homosexuals who did not hide it and they were not sacked, abused or mocked. We all got on with no mention of their sexuality.

I have had many friends over the years that are homosexual and not once did any of them complain about being abused, sacked, unable to get jobs or beaten.

Anyone who is fat, thin, tall, short, coloured or just plain different suffers abuse at times, that is human behaviour even though it is wrong. So maybe, Tony, it is time you grew up and moved on.

Vi Evans via email


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