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Canberra Today 17°/20° | Thursday, January 20, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Insurance issues if cops don’t bother to turn up 

Letter writer MAX FLINT wonders what the insurance industry will make of the police decision to pick and choose what burglaries they will respond in person to. 

WHAT on earth is this Greens-led government doing to our police force, in no longer attending burglaries for lack of manpower and more important duties? 

More important duties are like manning radar speed traps to catch all those model citizens who happen to wander over the speed limit. 

But, of course, that is very important revenue for an out-of-control Rattenbury/Barr government that needs every dollar to pay for the black hole that is light rail. 

More importantly though, I would be very interested in what the insurance industry has to say about all this. 

I was burgled some six years ago. The police finally showed up, had a look but refused to let me have a copy of their report, presuming there was one. But I needed to advise my insurance company that the police had attended. 

I also wonder what legal advice the government had before taking this decision. 

Max Flint, coordinator, Smart Canberra Transport

Christmas ‘tree’ disappoints

I THOUGHT it prudent to alert readers to prepare for disappointment should they be considering a visit to Civic to see the ACT government Christmas tree.

I recently was in Civic with a friend who told me the tree was not the usual one in Civic Square, standing tall and festive, adorned with lights and a Christmas star. 

Apparently the Barr government had not provided this usual festive feature but instead had installed an alternative somewhere in Civic. I stumbled across it near the “Canberra Times” fountain and what a disappointment it is.

A green, metallic-like structure, not unlike a dalek, extends upwards from a scaffold type base. Instead of the usual Christmas images the “tree” is covered with pictures of birds and other non-Christmas images.

The crowning glory of this monstrosity is not a Christmas star or an angel but a COVID-19 virus particle complete with spiky protein tentacles. 

I realise that Andrew Barr and his government probably have no interest in Christmas, however many Canberra families, children and people appreciate and value the symbols, history and meaning of Christmas, including the Christmas tree.

After another year of doom and gloom, was it too much to expect the Barr government to provide a little Christmas cheer with our usual splendid tree and decorations? As I was contemplating this question a passing bird made its opinion of the new tree clear by making his own, somewhat messy, contribution to its decorations.

Anthony Noakes, Florey

Developer needs to do better

WHAT a shocker! (“A world-class heat island in the making!”,, December 10). Columnist Paul Costigan exposes another unbelievable suburban renewal plot by the ACT planning and housing bureaucracies to slap down built forms with little attention to their surrounds and impacts, not just in relation to the new residents but also those whose physical and visual amenity will also be compromised long term by the harsh and unbalanced aspects of this residential project in Dickson. 

The future occupants of the two dwellings deserve far better solutions and comfortable living options, particularly outside the four walls provided. 

The ACT government should be leading by example on its own housing blocks, including in responding to the clear objectives and actions set out in its myriad of plans and strategies aimed at cooling and treeing this city. 

Instead, like others, it hopes to get away with poor, minimalist design and landscaping, leaving it up to already world-weary community volunteers to find the time to wade through the DA documentation, and to formally justify why basic remedial action across the whole block would be in the immediate and broader public interest. 

It would be helpful if the planning, sustainability and housing ministers could trawl through the documentation themselves and advise the public how this example of intended renewal in Dickson proves that this government is acting both in the spirit of the upcoming planning review reforms, and as a credible role model for others to follow. 

Far more sustainable and climate-conscious living options should be the norm for all development across new suburban and renewal locations.

Sue Dyer, Downer

Viae malae sunt, so to speak

HAVING driven around this morning shopping, I am inclined to agree with a Roman Centurion from Vindolanda who wrote to a friend “viae malae sunt” [the roads are bad].

Charles Hirst, Latham

Missing my copy of ‘CityNews’

I HAVE just come home from doing my shopping at Woolworths in Charnwood. I am 83 and use a walker. 

This morning I found out that Woolworths will no longer have “CityNews” and the other free magazines available for their customers. So much for service! 

I have only lived in Canberra for six years, as my son lives here and I moved from Sydney to be with him and his wife, and I look forward to being informed by your publication. 

I am sorry to vent this all on you, but I happen to like reading “CityNews” each week and look forward to getting it. 

Jane Scammell, Macgregor 


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2 Responses to Insurance issues if cops don’t bother to turn up 

Jim says: December 21, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Who on earth is ‘Smart Canberra Transport’? There is zero website presence, appears to be zero facebook or other social media presence, and I can find out nothing bar a single submission made to the inquiry around stage 2 of light rail.

No issue with anyone having their say and point of view, but we’ve seen it before where people try and pretend that they are representing the views of a whole group of people, when in reality is the view of one or two people alone, or a very small group (like the ratepayers association previously that was shown to have what 4 or 8 members or something).


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