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Canberra Today 6°/11° | Monday, October 25, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

‘Incredulous and dismayed’ by Woden changes

Letter writer DIONE SMITH, of Phillip is seriously unhappy about re-routed buses in Woden… 

THE recently approved construction of bus layovers on Easty Street and relocation of Woden bus interchange to Callam Street have left me incredulous and dismayed for various reasons. Let me share two with you. 

How can ordinarily prohibited development of public transport facilities in a PRZ1 area (ie the one including Arabanoo Park and Easty Street) be reclassified as “ancillary use”, when the PRZ1 definition of “ancillary use” is “[supporting] the care, management and enjoyment of these open spaces including park maintenance depots [and] small-scale community activity centres”?

A roundabout on the border of an RZ4 residential area at the intersection of two local access roads, Easty and Wilbow, will be commandeered for an estimated 200 bus movements 5am-11pm daily.

On average, that will be one bus every six minutes during the time period. Currently, no buses travel along Easty and Wilbow. 

When these heavy vehicles commence their routine circumnavigation of the roundabout, they will be emitting noise (estimated at around 90-100 decibels) far exceeding the applicable noise boundary limits for all adjoining land use areas (usually 43 decibels, 10pm-7am overnight and 53 decibels during the day).

Dione Smith, Phillip

Bigger cars, same roads

DESPITE the fact that vehicles in the past decade or more have become bigger and wider, the ACT government has done nothing to widen the parking bays in our streets. 

Suburbs hit very badly are Kingston, Manuka and Barton.

Of course, to widen would mean less income from fines of course. Will the Opposition take up this issue, including far more disabled parking bays?

Colliss Parrett, Barton 

Surgery should be ‘urgent’

READING Michael Moore’s column (CN August 19) about Vladimir Gobolokov’s long wait for treatment for a condition that causes numerous horrible symptoms, I find it hard to understand why the surgery he needs is classified as elective. 

Surely the discomfort, breathing difficulty, sleep apnoea and resulting mental health issues that he suffers from indicate that surgery is necessary, not just something that he would like to have. 

Is it not possible to reclassify him as needing surgery urgently, before his condition worsens further? 

How can this situation exist in an affluent city in a so-called civilised nation?

Tina Lynam, Queanbeyan East 

Show me the bill of sale

WHEN asked during a National Aboriginal Conference live-streamed Q&A about the Australian War Memorial’s half-billion-dollar extension plans, the National Capital Authority CEO and the Australian War Memorial Director could not answer my request: show me the bill of sale to the Crown for the War Memorial site from my Ngambri ancestors, the Allodial Title Holders. 

Shane Mortimer, Nyamudy-Ngambri Elder 

An answer to A&E misery

BILL Stefaniak’s concerns relating to Canberra Hospital Emergency Department problems are not uncommon (Opinion, CN August 12). There is a practical solution to relieving the pressure on the department and that is to have a 24-hour, bulk-billed, walk-in medical centre adjacent to A&E. 

Non-urgent cases presenting to A&E would be directed to the medical centre and urgent cases presenting to the medical centre would be sent to A&E. 

Can the Canberra Hospital Expansion Project include a walk-in medical centre? 

Peter Claughton, Farrer

Blind tram ideology

THANK you for printing the article by Bill Stefaniak (“Why my wife dreads Canberra hospital”, CN August 12). Our hearts must go out to him for having such frustration with an inadequate hospital system in Canberra, on top of his worries about his very ill wife. He is quite right to point out the tremendous waste of money and opportunity costs on the health system due to blind tram ideology. 

Max Flint, Erindale Centre

Give Afghanis a fair go

WHAT better time than now to recognise as refugees the 53 Afghanis currently held in Immigration Detention Centres and welcome them into Australia?

If our Parliamentarians have even one gram of humanity, morality, kindness and mercy inside, they would begin this process now; these Afghanis no longer have any country to which to return.

We Australians joined the coalition that created or exacerbated the crisis causing so many to flee Afghanistan; the vacuum left by our (and others) departure resulted in the extinction of Afghanistan as a country to which these 53 men could return. Ever. 

I implore members and senators to reach deep inside themselves, and connect with their personal touchstones of humanity, morality, kindness and mercy, and release these 53 Afghanis into Australian communities. We are ready and willing to embrace them and assist them in joining the country we call home – Australia.

Judy Bamberger, O’Connor 

Name the covid carriers

JUDY Bamberger (“Letters”, CN August 12) seeks more equal representation on covid information and so do I. 

Specifically, by naming those who have broken the law. Like the person who brought the Deltra strain of covid into Canberra. 

We’ve been told so much about them but their name and where they acquired the virus. Why not, government? Don’t you know or are you protecting an ethnicity?

Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla

Trapping mynas worked for me

ROBYN Soxsmith’s emotive letter regarding the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group’s (CIMAG) campaign to reduce the Indian myna population in Canberra is factually inaccurate in several ways. 

First, there is well-documented evidence that the concerted effort by CIMAG to humanely trap and destroy Indian mynas has noticeably reduced their numbers around Canberra. 

I joined CIMAG about five years ago and for a period of two years I trapped mynas in my backyard. The numbers dropped off and I haven’t seen a myna in my immediate locality for almost two years. 

What I have noticed is an increase in the numbers of native parrots, rosellas and magpies visiting my yard. Recently, a couple of beautiful Superb Parrots flew in. 

I’m not claiming to have eliminated mynas from my suburb, far from it, but my immediate local area has certainly improved birdwise. 

What this shows is that if more people joined CIMAG and took up myna trapping, Canberra’s urban natural environment would be improved, as the depredations of mynas against native birds’ nests would be further reduced.

Ms Soxsmith goes on to state that the current scale of killing of kangaroos, if sustained, will lead to extinction. 

The current scale of killing of kangaroos is doing nothing more than replacing the predation they faced from dingoes and other predators. Without predation of herbivores their numbers explode, they wreak environmental damage by overgrazing and when drought inevitably strikes, they starve to death in their thousands.

I wholeheartedly agree with Ms Soxsmith that the ACT government’s appropriation of green space and wildlife habitat for urban development is a travesty. 

The urban jungles that this government is presently creating don’t even pay lip-service to environmental issues. The Greens are more interested in keeping their couple of ministries than in standing up for their supposed values, and the ALP has grown more arrogant every year they stay in power.

John Franze, Gowrie

Tacky, plastic message?

A LOCAL wealthy property owner and investor who has long fought betterment, greening and tree-retention proposals from government and the community for a major inner-city development site now shows a predilection for adorning the emerging complex with a large long swathe of tacky, plastic “greenery” (“A little splash of green (plastic) brings smile”,, August 12). 

Given the history of the site, could the messaging also be about raising the first two fingers in the shape of a “V” with the palm facing inwards?

Sue Dyer, Downer

Damned if they do or don’t

RE Michael Moore’s article “Katy aims to get government to clean up its act” (CN August 12). 

You would think that the other political parties have never done what she is claiming. Wrong. Katy Gallagher also states the government has not established an Independent Commission Against Corruption body despite promising this at the last election. This really is the pot calling the kettle black. How many times has the Labor government of the day promised things and never delivered?

Has Senator Gallagher said anything about the Victorian Labor government spending $2 million of taxpayers’ money on running surveys to see how popular they were when this should come out of Labor coffers? 

Likewise, the Queensland government has done the same to the tune of half a million dollars, yet they are both quick to ask for government (taxpayer funded) assistance.

Dan Andrews, in Victoria, shuts down the whole state even though the only covid infections were in Melbourne, then expects the federal government to come to their financial aid with taxpayers’ money. 

Then the Labor Party criticises the federal government for getting into so much debt. It is a case of they (the federal government), whatever the issue, are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

Vi Evans, via email

Vaccine lotteries not the answer

INCENTIVISING Australians to get vaccinated by offering cash or setting up a “vaccine lottery” is not the answer. 

A carrot-and-stick approach would be more productive by introducing stringent restrictions on the non-vaccinated while allowing the fully vaccinated a lot more leeway.

Common sense dictates that the biggest incentive is self preservation by reducing the severity of infection and not ending up in intensive care. It is not a valid excuse to delay or alternatively refuse to be vaccinated owing to the very remote possibility of potentially fatal side effects, as one is more likely in Australia to be killed by a lightning strike or involved in a car crash.

Mario Stivala, Belconnen 

In praise of Cedric Bryant

Cedric Bryant, the “CityNews” gardening writer for the past decade has been forced by ill health to step back from his column. Here’s a selection of fond letters from readers keen to say thanks. 

Our garden will suffer

CEDRIC Bryant’s gardening column in “CityNews” will be missed. It’s a highlight for us and the thing we turn to first when we read “CityNews”; so much so that my husband and I simply refer to the “CityNews” as “Cedric”. 

For example, when he comes back from the shops, he will tell me that he picked up “a copy of Cedric” or that “there were no new copies of Cedric yet”. 

And our fridge door holds many articles from his column as reminders of things that need to get done in the garden. What we will do without his column, I don’t know. But I do know our garden will suffer! 

We wish him all the very best.

Adriana Vanden Heuvel, Bruce 

Always relevant to my garden!

I WAS very sad to read that gardening writer Cedric Bryant is retiring. I look forward to his column every week and really enjoy it. He has a wonderful knowledge of plants and what he writes about always seems to be relevant as far as my garden is concerned. 

Fortunately, I have kept a copy of each of his articles for the last couple of years so will be able to refer to them in the future. Incidentally, I absolutely agree with him about being able to prune roses much earlier than usually recommended. 

I have really appreciated his contribution to your newspaper.

Elizabeth Johnson, via email

Sad to see Cedric go

IT is with great sadness that I read of gardening writer Cedric Bryant “throwing in the trowel”. His weekly advice has been a joy and inspiration.

He has spoken to listeners on my radio gardening program at Reading for the Print Handicapped (1RPH) a couple of times and has given me answers to gardening questions for the program.

I shall always be grateful to Cedric and wish him well.

He will be sorely missed.

Camilla Shaw, via email

He will be missed

I AM so sorry to see gardening writer Cedric Bryant go. I always read his article before I read anything else. He will be missed.

Sue Horsfall, via email

Encyclopedic knowledge

IN the “Seven Days” article “In praise of Cedric, as he throws in the trowel” (CN August 12), columnist Ian Meikle recalls the day in February, 2011, when gardening writer Cedric Bryant arrived at “CityNews” after being “terminated” by “The Canberra Times”.

Since then I and many other Canberrans have benefitted from his encyclopedic gardening knowledge.

Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin


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