Letters / Thank you, Paul and Michael

URBAN development and renewal in a city the size and age of Canberra should be innovative, creative, exciting, visually and physically appealing, high quality and a source of pride for years to come.

It should be a beacon for others to follow and be envied by those living in large and harder-to-manage metropolises. But it isn’t.

Thank you, columnists Paul Costigan and Michael Moore for distilling the planning, development and renewal issues that have been causing so much despair and disappointment across many parts of Canberra this year.

Most of these issues should never have had to be written about, let alone have required, time and time again, various inputs and statements about “the bleeding obvious” by numerous individuals and community associations.

So many do care very much about the quality, design and adherence to standards that should be aiming to improve the changing environment in which we live, work and welcome others, in far more transparent and integrated ways.

Hopefully, by early 2019 the two responsible ministers will take the opportunity to lead the charge and bring about a discernible and lasting change to the culture, approach and vision that is needed to turn around the “here and now” development that is occurring across our city with little evidence of adequate attention being paid to the longer-term impacts on current and future residents.

Clearer leadership and action is needed also to ensure the simultaneous planning and delivery of far more attractive, useable and linked-up public spaces, community and cultural amenities and other social and physical infrastructure that is required by a growing population.

Sue Dyer, Downer

Cancelled: Christmas in Civic

THREE years ago it took two months to build a Christmas tree outside the Canberra Centre.

Two years ago they made a permanent hole for it…. shorter set-up time.

Last year it moved to Glebe Park.

This year… zip… not a Christmas decoration in sight in City Walk.

Who cancelled Christmas in Civic?

Robert Smith, Kambah

All kids have fantasies!

Re “The Santa myth: do you tell them lies or not?” (CN, December 13): if these are the experts from any field I worry what is happening in this world.

I remember going to visit Santa when I was little and he was very special and I have absolutely no adverse effects from believing in him.

All kids have fantasies whether it’s an invisible friend or pet. It encourages their imagination. Sometimes they imagine a ghost or ghoul in their wardrobe, explaining this away with a nice fantasy is better than telling them it is in their imagination.

The article’s author Sophie Heizer said: “Don’t you deserve the credit for buying all the presents” and psychologist Ameneh Shahaeian said: ”You bought those presents; you should take the kudos”. The idea is not for kudos to be sought by the parents but to see the delight on the kids’ faces when they get a present from Santa.

Vi Evans via email

Ask the Europeans

I HOPE that the assertion by Collis Parrett (CN, letters, December 6) that voters aren’t interested in slowing the growth of government expenditure and getting the Budget back in balance is not true.

The one “crime” that any democratically elected government can commit is failure to balance the Budget and subjecting future generations to an unacceptable debt burden – ask any current European leader.

Peter Claughton, Farrer

Smokin’ out of Space

LOCATING the Space Agency in SA instead of Canberra is eminently sensible.

The troposphere starts at the Earth’s surface and is the densest of the spheres. The Space authorities realise that before very long the ACT government will move to legalise marijuana use. As dense as the troposphere may be, the increasing clouds of cannabis smoke and the honey-pot effect in coming years will make driving to work too hazardous, let alone achieving reliable space information!

Colliss Parrett, Barton

 

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