Letters / Hate is an awful word

HATE is an awful word, defined by the dictionary as “to feel an intense aversion, to detest or to abhor”. It is possibly one of the most distasteful words in the English language and yet our head of government in the ACT seems to “hate” all and sundry.

He hates the media, people over 40, ClubsACT, objections to high-rise proposals, objections to the tram, traditional marriage, objections to development etcetera.

Is this the sort of person we want to lead the ACT? Commentaries on all TV channels and the media express the view this is a really dangerous situation for Canberra. Maybe he’s trying to follow in the footsteps of the Chinese premier and setting himself up to be chief minister for life?

Cedric Bryant, Watson

Time the ‘Times’ toughened up

IT is most strange that the arrogant Chief Minister is castigating the media and journalists for their coverage of ACT politics and suggests that the decline in readership is due to the way it covers actions by his government.

In my view the local paper has suffered a decline because it is not forceful enough in its approach to governance and lacks good investigative reporting.

Hopefully, now that Andrew Barr has cancelled his subscription to “The Canberra Times”, the paper will take a tougher line on governance in the ACT and not pander to the bully-boy tactics of the Chief Minister.

Ric Hingee, Duffy

President Barr… for life!

I THINK we should change our constitution to allow Andrew Barr to be President of the ACT for life. This would facilitate his ascendancy to total autocracy.

Alan Luther, via email

Canberra’s not a good neighbour

I AGREE that the ACT is not neighbourly to NSW (Jon Stanhope column, CN March 1).

NSW kids only being allowed to attend ACT schools where enrolments need a boost is just the latest. Building 5000 houses in NSW while promoting “densification” in ACT is no surprise, either. And Canberra’s renewable energy goals mostly rely on solar and wind farms built in NSW.

Meanwhile, NSW residents pay the ACT government higher “water extraction” charges for water taken from NSW rivers in the first place. And then there’s the attitude – especially of young Canberrans who frequently refer to Queanbeyan as “Struggle town” or “Queanby-hole” – obviously ignorant that Queanbeyan voted “no” to becoming part of the national capital in a referendum of residents in 1911.

Perhaps this attitude is why ACT thought it okay to build its prison as close as humanly possible to Queanbeyan.

The Canberra media is also guilty – just after moving here, I was in a Queanbeyan shop where a Canberra commercial radio station was playing and the hosts were discussing the TV show “Wife Swap” and heartily joking about how hard it would be for a Canberra family to adjust to a bogan mum from Queanbeyan! Yes, really on the radio!

It seems “treating children from NSW as second-class kids” is a Canberra meme. Thanks Jon Stanhope for touching on one aspect of what is a nasty undercurrent Canberrans don’t like to talk about. If the attitude did not persist why would developers of places such as Googong and Jerrabomberra play down their Queanbeyan local government area location. According to the advertising, residents of Googong are to be known as “Googonians” while residents of Jerrabomberra misguidedly voted themselves the “best suburb of Canberra” in a radio poll.

Like Washington, Canberra is understandably sick of being kicked by the rest of Australia because of Federal politics, but kicking NSW neighbours, especially young people, won’t make it hurt any less.

Simon Finger, Queanbeyan

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