Letters / Why can’t they just cut the ‘forest of weeds’?

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Reader DAPHNE HARDING, of Farrer, lives near a thick, tall forest of weeds that could prove to be a fire hazard in the summer and also a haven for snakes, but no one in authority wants to cut it. 

FOR many months, the strip of land between Athllon Drive and the rear of homes in Pridham Street, Farrer, has not seen a grass-cutter. 

The grass on the slope beside Athllon Drive has been cut as has the strip right along the back fences of the properties in that street. Between them is a thick, tall forest of weeds that could prove to be a fire hazard in the summer and also a haven for snakes. 

I understand that the areas concerned are the responsibility of different cutters and this untended area is the responsibility of Forestry. Well, they are certainly not doing their job. Is it that what you don’t see from the road doesn’t matter? 

It is ludicrous to have two different organisations undertaking this work. Why can’t one group cut the lot? I certainly do not wish a fire hazard left at my back door nor do I wish to be confronted by a snake slithering out to sun itself on the cleared area or coming into my backyard. 

It would be appreciated if those responsible for this fiasco could get their act together and get this grass cut.

Daphne Harding, Farrer

The cost of closing Civic?

FOR four days, a quarter of Civic’s roads were closed off for a one-minute-37-second clip of a film featuring a well-known actor.

No doubt this blockbuster will be seen by thousands worldwide who will be irresistibly drawn to visit Civic and make us money.

Meanwhile, could an Assembly member be bothered to ask the cost of closing the centre down and the yellow and orange workforce guarding the closures?

 Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla

Skin-cancer rise is ‘scary’

THE information that ACT hospital admissions for skin cancer have risen by 300 per cent in just the last five years (“Skin-cancer numbers on the rise … or are they?”, CN January 7) is scary. 

It’s certainly cause for extreme caution about sun exposure by me and my family, which seems particularly susceptible to skin cancers, including the most malignant of all: melanoma.

I have had four identified and one suspected basal-cell carcinoma (BCC) excised – fortunately from my thighs rather than my face or other very visible areas of my body – but never a melanoma. 

I know it sounds strange, but I count myself very lucky: both my brother and my sister have had serious melanomas operated on in recent years. The last was just last week, on top of my brother’s head.

The message is clear: if you have skin with a Celtic connection, like mine, keep it covered as much as possible. Whenever you do expose your skin to the sun use a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50+.

Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin

Brothers with an ‘amazing’ story

I READ with interest, and enjoyment, the piece by Belinda Strahorn about the Alrajab brothers (“Escaping a broken world for hope in Canberra”, CN January 14).

I have met both Mohamad and Ali at Big Barber in Jamison and Mohamad has cut my hair more than once.

They have an amazing story, which should be recognised and celebrated. Also, well done to the owners of Big Barber for providing these two lads with the opportunity to work and learn a trade.

I have no doubt that given their work ethic and appreciation of their adopted city, they will both be contributors to Canberra for many years to come.

Ben Jones, Dickson

Send Parto over the border…

ARE there lessons that the ACT government, and its planning, environment and city services directorates in particular, might learn from the Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council (“Queanbeyan parks still rate the best“ and “Council nabs ‘most progressive’ prize” (CN January 7)? 

Perhaps Mark Parton MLA could lead a bi-partisan, fact-finding trip over the border after he returns from losing track of his New Year border-hopping in NSW and WA.

Sue Dyer, Downer 

Phill sorts out the Manly fans

FURTHER to Belinda Strahorn’s story about the Queanbeyan swimming pool (“Big birthday looms for the pool full of memories”, CN January 14) that quotes local history buff Phill Hawke. During the ’60s, Phill had an early morning job cleaning the Queanbeyan pool. 

My young brother and I often swam laps at this time. We supported the unpopular Manly rugby league team and had bought Manly jerseys, which we wore to the pool to Phill’s chagrin.

After our swim, as I struggled to get into a Manly jersey, I noticed my (smaller) brother was wearing one several sizes too big for him. While we swam, Phill had swapped the positions of the two jerseys!

Russell Wenholz, Holt

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