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Canberra Today 1°/7° | Monday, October 25, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Is parking paranoia a covid-related condition?

Letter writer JENNY STEWART, of Torrens, wonders if the slightly paranoid behaviour of householders towards a car parked out front is a covid-related phenomenon.

MY friend and I had arranged to go for a walk together, as one does in these days of lockdown. I walked to the rendezvous, while my friend drove. 

I almost missed her as, quite distressed and thinking she must be in the wrong place, she had started to drive off.

It turned out that two local householders had made it quite clear to her that she was not welcome to park in front of their house. 

Naturally, I pointed out to her that this was a public street and as she was definitely not blocking the driveway, she was perfectly entitled to park in a convenient place. 

So we ignored the local vigilantes, who were still eyeing us in an unfriendly fashion, and went on our walk, which we both enjoyed.

The whole incident was, though, rather disturbing. Is this slightly paranoid behaviour a covid-related phenomenon? Or are there, even in normal times, people all over Canberra who dislike strangers parking in front of their property, to the point that they will glower balefully at them?

Can “CityNews” readers enlighten me?

Jenny Stewart, Torrens

I disagree with the lockdown

I DISAGREE with the lockdown and believe it should be an individual choice.

My brother in Toowoomba, relatives in England and everyone in Denmark are free to roam.

Why not us, if we choose to take the risk? (and of being hit by a bus, or catching pneumonia).

If others choose to self-isolate at home, with masks and Coles deliveries, they may do so.

Hugh Dakin, Griffith 

‘Caring’ team on the doorstep

I READ Jon Stanhope’s column (“Mental health demand rises as funding is sliced”, CN September 9) with interest and dismay.

I am afflicted with Bi-Polar-2 and recently had a rather severe onset. I live in Oaks Estate and rang Queanbeyan Hospital emergency department, but found they had no psychiatrist on duty.

I then rang Canberra Hospital emergency and was promptly put through to the Mental and Allied Health Team.

I spoke to a wonderful and caring lady on the phone and soon a team of three, equally caring, workers were at my doorstep ready to assess me and offer all the assistance I would need. 

The team’s visit was followed up with a phone call and an appointment was made for me to see a Canberra psychiatrist. Another team came to my home, days later to follow up on the first team’s assessment, the day before the psychiatrist appointment. 

Then I received two further follow up calls and have another psychiatrist appointment booked. 

All these workers were kind, compassionate, caring and professional. I offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to all these good folk, and feel my road to recovery will be enhanced and aided by their good work. 

Thank you so much to the entire HAART team, I luv yez all!

Michael White, Oaks Estate 

Canberra no longer the lovely place

COLUMNIST Paul Costigan is spot on, as usual, with his comments on the deterioration of Canberra’s environment (“Compromised Greens turn backs on biodiversity”, CN September 9). 

I think Canberra should be renamed “Canyon City” and Northbourne Avenue would be “The Grand Canyon”. I think of Athllon Drive as “Zigzag Drive” though temporary repairs have recently patched some of the potholes. 

Canberra is no longer the lovely place we came to in 1966.

Gordon Worrall, Torrens

Back to when we welcomed refugees

YES, Robert Macklin (“A Glimpse of the Australia we used to be”,

CN, September 9), I too would like to go back to a time when Australia’s government welcomed refugees warmly and with understanding of their circumstances. 

Of giving them the time and space to put themselves back together before anyone seeking refuge felt the need to prove to the world that they are worth being considered human. 

I’m paraphrasing the pleas of a recent Afghan arrival in the Middle East after escaping Kabul. 

It’s a damning indictment of what sort of society Australia’s become ever since dehumanising refugees with terminology like “those sorts of people” played well with the voting public.

Michael A Crowe, Hawker

Property investment is ‘unproductive’

JIMMY Savitsky (Letters, CN September 9) laments “the ACT government is by far the most hostile jurisdiction to (property) investors in the country and by a very long way”. 

This may be true, but has he considered how nationally unproductive investment in property can be?

When investors, usually with negative-gearing tax concessions as a basis for making profit, go about buying up established properties, they do nothing to ease housing affordability. 

They add not one dwelling to the available stock of housing, they create very few construction jobs, they reduce the number of houses on the sale market thereby forcing up prices, and they usually outbid young couples and the not-so-well-off thereby pushing them into a high-rent situation. 

Yes, property investors provide rental accommodation, but wouldn’t it be better if the millions of dollars invested in speculating with established housing went into the production of new homes to increase supply, hopefully lowering prices and creating jobs?

Bill Bowron, Wanniassa

Had Mario bothered to look…

MARIO Stivala writes that independent Senate candidate Kim Rubenstein would be well advised to indulge in something more substantial than statues of women (Letters, CN September 9). 

If Mario had bothered to look at the Kim4Canberra website he would have seen her wide range of “substantial” policies, including climate change, gender equity, citizenship, refugee policy, constitutional change, a First Nations Voice to Parliament, economic and cultural renewal.

Ernst Willheim, Campbell

Roof-top solar is the wrong way

THE current adaptation of solar energy into the electricity supply demands an explanation from governments of both sides of politics.

Most people would readily appreciate that their suburban rooftop is not the ideal place for solar panels. The marring of the architectural feature, access, the small scale of each project, the fixed orientation of rooftops and the fewer sunshine hours compared to much of Australia, as well as grid-related issues, mean that roof-top solar is the wrong way to develop renewable energy in Australia.

I can only conclude that for governments it is the cheapest way to boost renewable energy content and offer consumers a chance to save a buck on their electricity bill.

Solar farms can collect up to 50 per cent more energy per solar panel through optimal orientation, tracking and more sunshine hours. Utility of scale results in a halving of the cost per installed panel, and a high-energy utility scale battery storage system operating in conjunction with a solar farm costs about one third that of small-scale installations, per unit of energy.

Overriding all of this is that the utility scale solar/battery lends itself to conventional grid integration, whereas if roof-top solar is taken to the extreme feed-in potential, the distribution network will have to be rebuilt.

As usual with governments, it is a case of short-term gain but long-term pain for the taxpayer, and I haven’t mentioned the cost of making the electricity supply reliable.

John L Smith, Farrer 

The crisis that goes beyond covid

AUSTRALIA is a land of fire and flood and, over the last decade, with accelerated global warming, the world is becoming one of fire and flood, too.

As columnist Robert Macklin points out, it is an existential crisis that goes far beyond the impact of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Climate crisis also refers to species extinction, deforestation and increasing encroachment on areas where wildlife still exists. 

Hunters now have to go further and further into these areas for food and, with this closer contact, viruses and diseases are more easily passed on, for example in “wet markets”.

Bernadette Gately, Stirling

I’m going nowhere near Giralang!

HOW Michael Stachow (Letters, CN, September 9) presumed I was not vaccinated is beyond my comprehension, I was in fact amongst the first to be fully vaccinated with AZ as soon as I was allowed to.

I quickly realised that any degree of immunity is better than none. Michael appears not to understand that covid vaccines do not

provide full immunity, only partial immunity; they also reduce the

severity of infection. That’s why I have given consideration to the status of other people .

He can rest assured that I will not be going anywhere near Giralang any

time soon!

Mario Stivala, Belconnen

Quiet street to become a ‘rat run’

THE ACT government is going to close off a large part of Woden’s Callam Street to traffic to relocate the bus interchange and install a tram station.

As a result, the quiet residential, park and cemetery side, Easty Street, which is parallel and to the east of Callam, will experience much increased traffic, not to mention intrusive bus “layovers” (bus parking areas), turning it into an unsightly, noisy rat run.

Far better to install the new bus interchange underground, with climate-controlled space, shops, cafes, skylights – like Brisbane’s very operationally and commercially successful central underground bus interchange. Callam Street would then sensibly remain open to through traffic.

The underground bus interchange could be below part of its current site (earmarked for a new Institute of Technology facility) and/or under Callam, with its trees preserved.

Bus layovers could be successfully confined to the new facility being installed now, which is off Launceston Street, beyond the northern end of Callam Street.

Jack Kershaw, Kambah

Give us the choice on lockdowns

I BELIEVE in quarantining positive COVID cases, and vaccination of the people who opt for vaccination freely, but not in a lockdown that doesn’t end until a percentage of people are vaccinated. 

Especially when that percentage is decided upon for the people and not by the people. 

Enough people are pro-vaccination, so why not give us the choice? The spread will be reduced considerably, and people are not pressured or coerced into being administered a vaccine that in itself could cause death or long-term health effects

The US had 1.5 million people die in 2018-19 from heart disease and about 4.5 million deaths in total. Covid deaths to date in the US total 664,000. The US is at the top of the list for the number of deaths caused by covid worldwide. 

When covid peaked in the UK in January, the total number of deaths on a per week basis from covid was on par with the total number of deaths from influenza/pneumonia on a per-week basis.

Bernadette Carroll, via email


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