Letters / Liberals lack the policies to govern

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Letter writer NOEL BAXENDLI, of Macgregor, says a change of government may be good in any democracy, but it must be to an alternative government ready to govern.

DEMOCRACY does require that governments change. So on the surface “Give Coe a go” (Letters, CN, August 13) does seem like a sensible move. 

However, it is never wise to reward a political party with government when it has not done the basics needed to form a stable and workable government – and this applies especially as the ACT tries to rebuild its economy after a terrible pandemic.

The Canberra Liberals have not built a sound, experienced and balanced team to take the reins of government. Two candidates have been sacked.

They have not built a sound set of policies any new government needs. Opposition leader Alistair Coe has committed to a policy of planting one million trees. My research indicates that the cost of planting a tree and keeping that seedling alive for the first three years ranges from $18 to $26 depending on tree type and size. 

That is perhaps a $10 billion hit to the annual Budget – though, of course, this labour-intensive project will create many jobs that will be needed in the COVID-19 recession.

A change of government may be good in any democracy, but it must be to an alternative government ready to govern, not one with an unachievable wish list of impossible promises.

Noel Baxendell, Macgregor

Appalling financial record

THE pattern is forming, Andrew Leigh’s “Why are the Canberra Liberals so extreme?” (CN, August 20) lists apparent right-wing positions upon various issues without explaining why the matter was opposed.

This follows the Barr government’s constant “conservative” jibe. Desperate attempts in name-calling to offset the Labor/Green’s appalling financial record as set out by Jon Stanhope.

Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla

Leigh’s punching below his weight 

THERE are not many members of the Australian public who can claim to have an apparently significant academic economist as their federal member, a fact that would definitely have escaped public notice in the ad hominem (on the man) attack on the Liberal Party by Andrew Leigh (“Why are the Canberra Liberals so extreme?” CN, August 20).  

Political figures are demeaned when they mount opposite arguments while apparently claiming to be on the moral high ground. 

Andrew has attacked the NSW Police Minister David Elliott for trying to stop public protests (which was the public health advice) during this pandemic. 

I happen to have some exposure to public health issues, and am also a civil libertarian but I do not think anyone would be advocating protests in Victoria at the moment as they would probably incur the wrath of Daniel Andrews (and rightly so). 

The only difference between Elliott and Andrews is their political party, otherwise their actions are entirely consistent with sensible evidence-based policy advice. 

It’s refreshing to read some serious analysis by Jon Stanhope and his colleagues on the state of public finances of the ACT. I note that Andrew has not added to this debate, or his silence implies support for the current state of things under his party in the ACT. 

While Andrew continues to punch below his weight on this important economic issue, it has not stopped him in his punching below the belt in these gratuitous partisan attacks. 

His academic grade might come with a helpful note about “able to do better”. 

Martin Gordon, Dunlop 

Stanhope’s touch of the Trumans

WITHOUT wandering too far down the prophetic road I nevertheless believe I have detected in recent weeks an ongoing factual criticism by Jon Stanhope of Andrew Barr and his government. 

His contributions remind me somewhat of US president Harry Truman in retirement whose retort to the few critics he had was: “I never gave anyone hell, I just told the truth – and they thought it was hell”.

Colliss Parrett, Barton 

Who’s to blame for Coombs plan?

WHO was responsible for passing the plans for the Coombs Shopping Centre? Blind Freddy could have seen that the building wouldn’t be big enough for a much needed supermarket to cater for the new, high density living population of Coombs and Wright. 

I wrote a letter to Planning Minister Mick Gentleman suggesting the parking area should be turned into a supermarket, with underground or rooftop parking. 

Minister Gentleman kindly replied, but said the terms of the lease did not allow for government intervention to change the plan. Why was the poorly planned design passed by the ACT government in the first place?

Rewa Bate, Coombs

Gungahlin: crowded, noisy and unfriendly 

ANOTHER perspective on Eddie Williams’ column (“Dormitory suburbs wake with a roar”, CN, August 13) is that Gungahlin was a great place to live from mid-late-’90s to the late ’00s. 

For 10 years it was a few suburbs large and was like a peaceful village; just a short drive or bus ride from Civic or Belco. There were only a few shops and that was all that was needed. 

Early on there were none of the revolting junk-food franchises. Magnet Mart was in many regards a much nicer hardware store than Bunnings; also with it being locally owned. 

And at the one large supermarket, you soon got to know the staff and it had the old-school, friendly Australian vibe that is rapidly disappearing amidst the frowns, glares and disdain of those who weren’t raised here and whose attitude seems to be one of hostility towards strangers. Going to the shops used to be like seeing friends. It’s become an awful experience; intimidating and unpleasant. 

We knew it was going to happen eventually but it feels it happened too soon that Gungahlin has become a crowded, noisy, unfriendly and unpleasant place. 

The same can be said for Canberra as a whole. It was MUCH better in so many ways until about 10-15 years ago. Many early/older Gungahlin residents have left and others like ourselves plan to do so soon in order to re-find the quieter, friendly, charming, country-town vibe that we once had – and miss.

Robin, via citynews.com.au

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