Please, please, Jon, return to the political fray

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Letter writer HELEN WADE is pleading for former chief minister Jon Stanhope to return to the political fray.

JUST a brief comment on Jon Stanhope’s article on Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers (“We may not be the people we think we are”, CN, February 6). 

It is disgusting and inhumane, and history will condemn us!

I am a regular reader of “CityNews” and nearly always agree with Mr Stanhope’s comments regarding our incompetent government – both local and federal. 

Please, please could he consider returning to the political fray as we in Canberra and Australia desperately need a person such as him. There are many Canberrans who feel the same.

Helen Wade, via email

Sidestepping in the latest spin

THE ACT transport minister has avoided owning up to the fact that last year’s savage cuts to local Sunday bus services will remain untouched for an indeterminate time, according to the government’s latest fiddling with the April 29, 2019, public transport network timetabling (“Bus changes come after months of complaints”, citynews.com.au, February 5). 

The impacts of years of poor planning and workforce risk management for the “new improved network” are still real for too many, given the months of highly unreliable weekend servicing experienced after April 2019 and the subsequent major losses of services last September. 

For how long will Sunday local bus frequencies provide inequitable servicing and remain unappealing, inefficient and basically unusable for many, minister? 

Sue Dyer, Downer

Punishing apartment owners

ANOTHER day, another price record set for a capital-intensive detached house in Canberra!

AllHomes is reporting “Crace home breaks suburb record for a second time” (7 Langtree Crescent, unimproved value $471,000, market value $1,630,000, unimproved value to market value ratio 0.29).

Meanwhile, across Canberra tens of thousands of owners of townhouses and low-density apartments await the March quarter instalment of their rates bill with its unit-title surcharge. 

The reason for this collective punishment from the Barr Labor/Green government, they have UVRs of 0.3 and above, and use capital-intensity just to put a roof over their heads. Not too many theatre rooms, hot spring spas, and wine cellars in those properties.

Peter Bradbury, Holt

Legal drugs kill more than coronavirus

WE keep hearing from the soothsayers that many countries are examples of success in combating drug overdose deaths. 

Portugal, which has virtually legalised most illicit drugs, has been hailed as arguably the most successful. The facts are different. Recent data points to an almost 30 per cent increase in such deaths, having reached their highest figure in the last five years.

It’s now public knowledge that new data from the National Coronial Information shows that opioid-related deaths skyrocketed between 2010 to 2016 (the last year nationally consistent court records were available) fuelled by some of the strongest narcotics on the market. 

In 2016 opioids killed more people than the road toll. Recent reports indicate Australia had almost 8500 opioid-related deaths in six years as reportedly pharmaceutical companies with links to the US drug crisis spent millions of dollars aggressively marketing powerful painkillers to doctors. 

Prescription drugs and legal ones are killing more than the coronavirus in Australia – and yet our governments do nothing.

Colliss Parrett, Drug Watch International, Barton 

Macklin should be grateful

INSTEAD of making snide remarks about people of faith, perhaps columnist Robert Macklin should be grateful that he lives in a country based on Christian principle (“Our chickens come home to… roast”, CN, January 30). 

If he lived in a country without such principles he really would think all his chickens had come home to “roast”. Not only would he be jailed for speaking against the government, if he lived in a city like Beijing, he would be able to see the air he breathed on a permanent basis.

Rewa Bate, Coombs

Slowing school-zone speedsters

HOW can motorists be stopped from speeding in school zones?   

School has only been back a matter of days and we have real, personal  concerns with grandchildren starting primary and high school.  

Firstly, it’s time the ACT came into line with NSW and other jurisdictions of having school zones operating only when students are going in and coming out. There is nothing more frustrating having all-day restrictions.  

Secondly, having flashing flights on all school zones.  

Thirdly, double the fines for speeding through school zones.

We go through around six to 10 school zones almost every day and are staggered at the speeds of vehicles.  

What we cannot understand  is seeing commercial vehicles speeding with the names of their companies clearly displayed. We certainly would not do business with those irresponsible firms.

We live only a couple of hundred metres from the Majura Primary School and, unfortunately, it is often what appears to be mothers speeding in the school zone.  

Lastly, for those responsible parents who fail in one important aspect – let the children out of the car on the kerb side, not the road side.  

We all know all motorists speed in Canberra working on the principle there is little chance of getting caught speeding in school zones. The numbers, according to the police, indicate this.

Cedric & Gerdina Bryant, Watson

People losing hope

THE people who were evicted so the ACT government could sell the land they lived on were low income and, as such, beneath our government’s concern. 

Drive by some of the purpose-built accommodation in Lyneham if you want to see an instant slum. 

Some occupants are sole parents, already rejected by their partners now by their government. No wonder people lose hope and turn to drugs and booze. How can we expect them to have hope for tomorrow?  

Sosaidh Wilkinson, Dickson

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