Letters / Be certain, Julianne, at least two of us care

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Letter writer ERIC HUNTER, of Cook, is reaching out to assure indigenous, strip-search victim Julianne Williams that there are people who care about her plight, including him and his wife…

I’M as mad as hell

First, columnist Robert Macklin’s disgust (CN May 27) at the ACT government and especially Chief Minister Barr’s deafening silence over the treatment being meted out to Bernard Collaery and also the imprisonment of Witness J at the AMC. 

As Macklin pointedly asks, did Andrew Barr know about it? The then-attorney-general Shane Rattenbury claims he didn’t know anything about it. If he didn’t, that must also raise questions about his competency. 

Second, in the same edition, Jon Stanhope’s utter dismay at Julianne Williams’ totally unacceptable treatment in being strip searched in front of male prison officers, also at the AMC. 

Jon is also understandably disappointed that there has been no reaction either from government or the public at large over what “CityNews” headlines as a “shameful obscenity”. 

Julianne told Jon the lack of official or public reaction is due to her Aboriginality and criminal record and that no one “other than [her] people would care about anything that was done to “[her]”.

Julianne, I can assure you that I know at least two non-indigenous people who do care – very much, about you and the others above who have also suffered grievous indignity and loss of basic human rights while supposedly in the care of the ACT government.

My wife Jenny and I call upon the Chief Minister and all MLAs, Labor, Liberal and Greens to all state publicly and openly where they stand on these travesties and how they propose to right the wrongs that have clearly been perpetrated in the name of our alleged democracy. If any of them can’t or won’t, it says a great deal about their lack of integrity.

Eric Hunter, Cook

Rude shock of Coombs

HAVING spent most of my married life in the leafy Sutherland Shire in Sydney, the latter half in a home which overlooked a native plant reserve, and even receiving a Keep Australia Beautiful Award for helping to maintain it, it was a rude shock to retire to the Bush Capital’s non-leafy suburb of Coombs, where even the birds don’t perch on the uninteresting street trees.

Consequently gardening writer Cedric Bryant’s article on Canberra’s trees really rang a bell (CN May 20).

In Australia’s “Bush Capital”, we aren’t permitted to plant anything but dirt, weeds and lawn in our “nature strip” without prior permission, although, apparently, grey metal, on soil first covered in plastic to stunt the growth of the street trees starved of moisture, is apparently acceptable.

Feeling caged in by a tall jail fence, I decided I needed to have a colourful garden in our mini plot in order to keep my sanity.

I know nothing about exotic plants (except that they die easily, or become covered in black spot) and ferocious leaf-eating insects.

Consequently, the first article I turn to in “City News” (after the sudoku and crossword) is Cedric’s, with his excellent gardening tips.

Rewa Bate, Coombs 

Government’s cynical spin

THE Australia Institute recently released its report on whether Australia is really reducing its carbon emissions as claimed by the Morrison government. 

In fact every emissions sector has been rising since 2005, except for electricity (due to energy efficiency and renewables) and, most strikingly, land use change and forestry. This was substantially due to Queensland banning large-scale land clearing after 2005 and a spike of clearing anticipating the ban that artificially lifted the base figure for emissions. Cynical spin engaged in by this devious government.

Richard Johnston, Kingston

Weeds in Deakin… still there at the local shops says letter writer Douglas Mackenzie.

The weeds are still there…

ON April 1, I wrote to “CityNews” about the inadequate progress made in attending to the numerous municipal problems around Deakin raised in a previous letter (CN March 4). 

Progress is still either inadequate or inappropriate. Much of the ochre-red, brick-paved area at the rear of the Deakin shops has been replaced by “non-aesthetic” black asphalt, an effective heat sink – the last thing we will need in the next scorching-hot summer. The “ankle-high stumps” of the two dead trees have now been chipped down to ground level. A pothole in the nearby roundabout on MacGregor Street has also been filled in, and some dislodged concrete kerbing blocks have been cemented back in place. 

But the metre-tall grass and weeds are still there, as are the sick-looking oak trees with their multitude of dead, blackened branch tips, and the rear halves of their canopies brutally sawn off, presumably by arborists working for ActewAGL.

My street in this supposedly affluent, showpiece suburb still looks decidedly shabby.

Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin

‘Grave’ risk of borders

THE federal government is under growing pressure from several fronts to reopen its international border.

The border should only reopen when the vaccination program has reached the COVID-19 herd immunity level of a minimum of 70 per cent, which will give us the chance to dramatically reduce the infection rate.

Under the current circumstances, health advice must have

priority over financial considerations. It would be a “grave” mistake to reopen the border prematurely .

Mario Stivala, Belconnen

 

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