Letters / Labor fiddles as the battlers suffer

JON Stanhope’s column (“How Labor has turned its back on Canberra’s battlers”, CN, April 19), on battlers being bashed will have struck a chord with all who care about decent, affordable housing.

Looking at the middle-class nonentities that run the ACT Labor Party the words of Kim Beazley come to mind.

He said: “The Labor Party was run by the cream of the working class. Now it’s run by the dregs of the middle class.”

As in the case with much of Canberra’s public housing units they are being pulled down to make way for expensive units the previous tenants would not be able to afford. We have lost about 3000 public housing units in the last 20 years. We have the second highest pro rata number of homeless in any Australian city and this ACT Labor government fiddles with light rail while St Vinnies and other social service organisations are battling to help people on low incomes survive.

The Liberal Party is deafeningly silent on homelessness. Our two Federal MP’s have fingers blocking their ears.

I will be finding an independent or Caroline Le Couteur [Greens] to vote for at the next election. Naming her as my choice is probably the kiss of death for her. But all of us who have an interest in Canberra will be aware of her untiring efforts for the needy.

P.S. I used to be a member of the Labor Party.

Howard Carew, via email

Anyone seen the integrity commission?

PSSST! Anybody seen the ACT ICAC aka ACT Integrity Commission?

You know, that body the London Circuit mob promised us 18 months ago when seeking our votes.

Has it been kidnapped? Is it being held in a dark and dingy cellar, its toothless mouth gaffer taped lest it spill the beans on Canberra’s gangsters?

Are venal forces preparing to dump its emaciated body in the lake to escape a spell in the Katy Gallagher Wing of the Alexander Maconochie Centre? If found, please notify the Commission Abuse authorities.

Bill O’Connell, via email

Another billion to get the buses right

CANBERRA’S rapid bus network (“Fitzharris plans ‘more frequent’ bus services”, citynews.com.au, April 20) was expected to deliver Labor’s commitment to 16 per cent of journeys to work by public transport in 2026.

It is performing well below expectations. The public transport share of journeys to work increased from 7.8 per cent in 2011 to only 8.2 per cent in 2016. That’s less than the combined increase in walking and cycling, which was achieved at much lower cost.

Worse still, the expected reduction in car use simply did not happen. Car driving increased more than did public transport!

Light rail’s greater amenity and higher vehicle speeds will be offset by less frequent services, longer walks to stops and increased waiting for connecting services. The rapid bus network may be able to deliver the promised extra passengers, but only at the cost of an extra billion dollar investment in buses.

Leon Arundell, Downer

Nichole’s pure platinum!

“YESTERDAYS” columnist Nichole Overall is so talented. Every column she writes keeps the reader hungry for more. I’ve been on one of her “Queanbeyan by Moonlight” events and was blown away by her research skills.

You have struck platinum having her on your team… what a talented and gifted lady she is!

Gary Bradley, via email

Cannabis call ‘unbelievable’

THE Greens’ promotion of legalised cannabis and virtually unrestricted access to illegal toxic drugs will increase the numbers of our youth handcuffed to drugs for life – or death.

It seems unbelievable that such proposals would lead to a substantial reduction in drug-free lives instead of drug harm.

The illogical and unreasonable arguments we are hearing have held politicians in drug-policy handcuffs for too long.

Colliss Parrett, Drug Advisory Council Australia, Barton


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