Letters / Walkers tripped by ‘discrimination’

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MORE than 600 walkers from Australia and overseas participated in the Canberra Walking Festival on April 1 to 3.

quillBefore 2016, this annual walk, known as the Canberra Two-Day Walk, had been operating successfully for 24 years, with past walkers proudly showing off their medals and yearly pins that they had earned in previous years.
This year, new organisers opted for a change in the award procedures. However, in their enthusiasm for change – or for economic reasons – they decided that they would not send out reminders, entry forms or Walk details to previous participants by Australia Post (as had been the case for years), but only provide such information to previous walkers whose names were already on their email address database.
As a result, many walkers who had not provided their email address in the past were totally ignored and left to obtain the necessary information by whatever means possible.
There was considerable muttering during the course of the walk, including from at least one participant who was walking for the 25th time.
According to recent reports, there are more than four million Australians who do not have internet access or email, mostly the poor, the old and indigenous Australians.
This is yet another example of discrimination against ordinary people who cannot or do not wish to join the internet fraternity.
We can only hope that next year’s Walking Festival organisers are better prepared than this year’s.

M. McGregor, Curtin

Jon should know

JON Stanhope says” “I often wonder what people so involved [in offshore detention] think about what is being asked of them. Do they ever fear, as I do… that their involvement would make them ‘complicit in a system that is unfair and inhumane?” (“Stand firm and fight for asylum-seeker rights”, CN News, April 7).
As the administrator (or “Commonwealth representative”) of Christmas Island from 2012-2014 Jon Stanhope is surely uniquely placed to answer his own question.

Michael Eburn, Cook

‘Disingenuious’ CSIRO plan

THE CSIRO needs to develop its Ginninderra field station to fill a hole in its budget. Its “think tank” about affordable housing is canny but disingenuous.
The ACT government and electors have no control over development on a site five times the size of Spence.
The CSIRO can only pursue its plans because the site is “National Land”, not “Territory Land”.
The Federal Government should declare the site to be Territory Land before any rezoning by the NCA. Otherwise the CSIRO will be able to profiteer as much as it likes while citizens of the ACT are left to pick up the infrastructure bill.

Kim Fischer, ACT Labor Candidate for Ginninderra

Spirit of the trees

FURTHER to Cedric Bryant’s timely piece “Time to stand up for our neglected street trees” (CN, April 14).
Don’t the American Indians believe that within each and every tree is a spirit and before one can be cut down a worthwhile reason has to be given to this spirit and respectfully ask for permission. It is to your peril if you fail to do so!
Okay, a bit over the top for some of us, but we could well give it a try.
A lot more good decisions about our trees would be made, I’m sure.

Suzanne Mitchell, Lyneham

Poor tree choices

NATURE strip trees should be selected with careful consideration.
There are hundreds of species well suited to our Canberra climate yet, as we drive around our suburbs, we see the very poor choices made previously.
Excusable 50, 40 or even 30 years ago to have planted natives and other evergreens that block the winter sun from our houses but today, when the advantages of deciduous trees are well understood (not to mention their beauty in autumn), I have to question the decision to replace dying or dead (unsuitable) trees with the same.
Surely an opportunity for improvement is being missed.

Kit Huang, Yarralumla

Greatest Shave says thanks

ON behalf of the Leukaemia Foundation, I would like to thank the community for their active participation and support of the World’s Greatest Shave 2016.
Each year, the foundation supports thousands of people and their families by providing practical services at no cost. These services include: information, emotional support, transport and accommodation for regional families required to relocate closer to metropolitan treatment centres. We also invest millions of dollars each year into vital research to improve treatments and find cures for blood cancer.
Thanks to all of our supporters, we are only $40,000 away from reaching our goal of $450,000 in the ACT. There is still time to make a donation to help us reach this milestone at worldsgreatestshave.com.au

Christine McMillan, general manager,
Leukaemia Foundation NSW and ACT

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