Letters / When will the gouging stop?

RETURNING to work after July 1, like thousands of other Canberra workers who have to park in one of the many ACT government-operated parking lots, I got yet another stark reminder that Andrew Barr and his government are fixated on gouging Canberrans (to fund their white-elephant projects).

Parking fees have gone up yet again, the fourth year running of such increases (20 per cent in the lot that I park at) for no justifiable reason, that when coupled with similar across-the-board annual increases to rates, taxes and other fees is very quickly and noticeably making living in this city very expensive.

Once-off or increases to government fees and charges in line with the annual CPI inflation rate are reasonable, but the rampant increases in costs imposed on us by this government per its so called “taxation reform” (aka cash grab) over the last several years is well out of hand.

When is the gouging of Canberrans by this government going to stop?

When will this government live within its means and work with the capital it raises already versus continually seeking to appropriate more from us year after year after year?

Answer – when we vote them out at the 2020 election. Canberrans it’s time to wake up and take action.

If we let the Barr government continue with and sustained practice of raising taxes and charges year after year unopposed we are setting ourselves up for a future where living in Canberra is simply unaffordable and where those without work or who are students or pensioners are especially disadvantaged.

Simon Lenz, Lyneham

Complacency to our corrupted system

UNLIKE Paul Costigan and Jon Stanhope, I’m unsure if the Hare Clark electoral system is what we want, but I am as one upon the complacency of our community to our corrupted system (CN, July 5).

Although Paul did not say so, I suspect most of the 160 or so citizens at the meeting about Canberra’s planning were, as is all too usual, the elderly.

Yet we hear constant dire predictions from we oldies of the poorer lifestyles awaiting our children and grandchildren unless something is done.

If there are grandchildren, there must be adults, but where are these people who allow their parents to express their concerns? Too busy, too self-centred?

Good luck, Toni Hassan, you’ll need it to encourage more-focused residents of the future.

Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla

Pay attention, Paul

IT was not unreasonable for columnist Paul Costigan to suggest that my public speaking capacity is well past its “use-by” date (CN, July 5). I am in my mid-80s and hard of hearing so that, fortunately, people tend not to call upon me any more.

In the case of the Canberra Conversation Lecture Series, I was responding to three main points that Jon Stanhope had raised in his introduction by specifying six main issues that need to be addressed, not only by the ACT government but also by the Canberra community generally, as follows:

  1. The need for revised town planning procedures based on accurate and broadly-based “needs assessments”.
  2. More efficient and more effective planning administration methods and organisation.
  3. An unwarranted emphasis on urban intensification and high-rise housing development to the detriment of conventional needs.
  4. The unwarranted cost and low transportation utility value of the light rail project stages one and two.
  5. Manipulation of the land administration system by the government to the detriment of socio-economic needs.
  6. The problem of electoral inertia, which means no pressure on the Assembly or the government for better performance generally.

Perhaps Paul Costigan might like to turn his mind to these aspects of my address, which could be a useful thing to do, rather than worry about my, and my colleagues’, decrepitude.

Tony Powell, via email

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