I’VE spent many weekends door knocking middle-class Canberra on the campaign trail. When we ask voters what issues concern them most they say: “Everything is pretty good, no complaints”. People have homes, jobs, decent health care and education. Roads are being duplicated. The grumbles are minor.
So, I want to make a plea to Canberrans: please have a heart and vote this time on behalf of ones who don’t have it so good, the ones who are really suffering. Vote for affordable housing, more places for the homeless in this cold town, to put the funding back into refuges for women and children fleeing violence, and for continuing action to attempt to stop the worst effects of global warming.
Dr Julie Kidd, Bonner
Public transport going in circles
IN 2012 the Greens rejected bus rapid transit, in the naive belief that light rail would cost less than $300 million. Labor rejected a $215 million bus rapid transit system, despite secretly estimating that the $254 million extra cost of light rail would produce less than $45 million in extra benefits. Without the benefit of transit lanes, the public transport mode share fell from 7.8 per cent in 2012 to 7.2 per cent in 2014.
Now the Liberals naively believe that they can build three quarters of Gungahlin-Civic kerbside bus rapid transit for only $58 million. Labor and the Greens again reject bus rapid transit, apparently without having estimated either the costs or the benefits of their proposed alternative.
Leon Arundell, Downer
Transport mix is ‘wrong’
DAMIEN Haas’ view that light rail and buses plus ordinary road users will provide an efficient mix is wrong (“Don’t wait for driverless cars”, CN, October 6).
If light rail takes over the link from Civic, along Athllon Drive to Tuggeranong there will be a 70kph tram replacing buses that can cruise at 120kph. If the trip is from Civic to Tuggeranong, the time difference is 20 minutes.
Additionally, the cost of installing rails and overhead wiring plus the cost of the trams themselves, which are five times the cost of buses, is prohibitive.
Damien lives in a world that is changing faster than he can imagine. It is a shame that his thinking cannot change with it.
Howard Carew, Isaacs
We’ve already paid for the buses!
DAMIEN Haas (CN, October 6) and most Labor-Greens (and pro-tram commentators also) overlook the cause of our public-transport problems They would say that congestion is the problem, when it is the symptom of a much bigger issue.
For years Canberra motorists have turned their noses up at catching the bus and are unlikely to catch the few trams ultimately available. Convincing motorists to shift to public transport will go a long way to improving public transport patronage. Oh, by the way, we already have paid for our buses!
Russ Morison, Canberra Public Transport Alliance, Theodore
Gas idea ‘crass’
ONE of the rattiest ideas promoted by the Greens at this election is the stopping of reticulated natural gas to all new suburbs.
I was involved for 25 years in the gas industry coming to Canberra as the manager of Esso Australia in 1968. In a relatively short time we had thousands of homes using bottled gas with the advantage of an easy switch to piped natural gas when it did come to the ACT.
The idea of no natural gas for new suburbs is as crass as the light rail with the Greens eliminating a popular option for a clean and efficient energy source.
Cedric Bryant, Watson