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Canberra Today 8°/9° | Monday, July 4, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Crematorium plan a threat to fauna and flora

Letter writer PATRICIA WATSON, of Red Hill, says the plan to contruct a new crematorium near a Symonston nature reserve is uncecessary and a threat to the fauna and flora.  

WHY are we beset by a government that seems to have a penchant for considering developments in ill-conceived locations? 

Write to editor@citynews.com.au

The latest is a commercial development application (Development Appln. 202138789) by InvoCare, to construct a cemetery and crematorium complex adjacent to the Callum Brae Nature Reserve on the corner of Mugga Lane and Narrabundah Lane, citing overloading of the current crematorium complex in North Canberra as the reason for the application. 

A recent survey by the Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association stated the ACT is using only 18 per cent of its current crematorium capacity.

This commercial, inappropriately sited and unnecessary proposal has the potential to damage endangered flora and fauna with the loss of mature native trees such as the critically endangered Yellow Box and Blakely’s Red Gum, grassy woodland, and nesting hollows of up to 168 avian species, including the Gang Gang cockatoo and Swift Parrot, all of which were sighted in this area up to this month by accredited observers. 

For anyone who cares for these lovely birds and the woodland of Callum Brae Nature Reserve, please make known your objections to the proposal and lease variation for this development by casting your vote before July 1 on the e-petition posted by the office of MLA Jo Clay. The website is bitly.ws/rZeH. 

Let’s protect our environment and the wildlife which inhabits it.

Patricia Watson, Red Hill

Rather steel than consultants

AN interesting juxtaposition of words in “CityNews” letters recently to give us pause for thought. 

This was the information that the government is “discussing how to build the tram bridge over the lake with consultants” (sic). 

I think I prefer the writer’s initial thought that it should be built with steel.

Of course, as the founder of the Progressive Pedantry Party (3Ps) I can reveal that is why I do not live in a glass house.

Eric Hunter, Cook 

No more weasel words, please

WITH luck and the application of some robust political will, Canberra’s ratepayers and taxpayers should soon be informed, in very plain English, about CIT’s monumental expenditure on, and results from, the mentoring and organisational renewal services delivered by a consultant mainly known for his mountaineering experiences and expensive motivational talks. 

A range of CIT personnel and ACT government members (“I’m a survivor, get me out of here, comrades”, “Seven Days”, CN June 15) showed they could easily and quickly provide the public with “verbal diarrhoea” versions of what has been going on.

It is likely they were grabbing at quotes from CIT contracts, annual reports and the provider’s opaque websites, where he also promotes himself as “an active contributor to the nascent field of anthro complexity”. 

It would be helpful if Mr Steel and the CEO of CIT could also decipher this term and its contribution to human resources operations at CIT, because, from reading two of the definitions available on Google, this inquirer is left wondering if she is suffering from sudden onset brain-fog syndrome. 

The minister, the CIT CEO and board need to be extremely honest and transparent with the public about the contracts’ expenditure breakdowns, processes, practical deliverables, staff learning impacts and any evaluation results.

Sue Dyer, Downer

What a thoughtful government we have!

WHAT a thoughtful and considerate government we have here in the ACT. They actually employ people, paid for by ratepayers, to clean up after the kangaroo shooters, also paid for by ratepayers.

We couldn’t have our weekend walks in the nature reserves spoiled by the sight of kangaroo blood, could we? Blood on some of our favourite walking tracks, blood on the vegetation, blood on the large rocks where kangaroo joeys have had their heads smashed in… humanely, of course.

Yes, it’s lovely to live in such a civilised city where these things are not spoken of, swept away before they can be seen.

All this nasty, cruel stuff takes place under the cover of darkness, as it should be… against an enemy that has lived peacefully and in harmony with other creatures on this land for millions of years.

Jane Robinson, Evatt

Kangaroo slaughter ‘senseless and obscene’

CONSERVATOR Ian Walker recently defended the ACT government’s kangaroo-killing policy. His remarks would be hilarious if they were not so tragic.

He claimed that kangaroos damage the ecosystem because they eat grass. What kind of science is that? 

He claimed the government doesn’t need any notion of how many kangaroos are left in the ACT before deciding to kill 1650 more of them. Yet 1650 is a whopping 40 per cent of all the kangaroos that are left in the reserves, according to the only independent direct count that has ever been conducted in the ACT.

It is well-established that kangaroo populations cannot increase faster than 10 per cent a year. There can be no possibility of recovery from this scale of onslaught.

After the first three weeks of shooting on Red Hill Nature Reserve, the government sent in cleaners to wash away the blood trails of kangaroos wounded but not killed.

This scale of wounding was entirely predictable. In the Red Hill Reserve, the dense tree cover, along with the high winds of the last three weeks, guaranteed a horrifically high wounding rate. 

The “Code of Practice” says the shooters must not shoot in adverse environmental conditions, but this has never stopped them yet.

Similarly, the code requires that joeys be killed instantly by a sharp blow to the head. Tell that to the poor young kangaroo found in a government burial pit in 2012. The autopsy report showed it had been shot, bludgeoned and stabbed before dying of either suffocation or blood loss.

The government’s slaughter is senseless and obscene. It has to stop.

Frankie Seymour, Queanbeyan

Black blot on the landscape

I HAVE complained previously about the new, big, black building east of City Hill that hits you in the eye as you travel north on Commonwealth Avenue. 

I was appalled, therefore, to read it has won the Sir John Overall Award for Urban Design, as part of the Constitution Place complex. 

I understand it was Overall who, as first NCDC commissioner, ordained that buildings in Civic should be “white to off-white”, to ensure a visually harmonious centre in its wonderful landscape setting. 

This dictum was faithfully followed by generations of planners (including me) but unfortunately in recent years the planning authorities have dropped the ball on this (and many other things).

Richard Johnston, Kingston 

Good luck with the Chinese, Albo

WHILE I wish the prime minister luck with his trade negotiations with the Chinese Goliath, I think he should carry a sling and stone in his baggage. And the Port of Darwin ?

Colliss Parrett, Barton

Crippling case of fig jam? 

LOVED the June 2022 issue of that self-promoting, vote-for-us-again letterbox rag-stuffer called “Our Canberra-Belconnen”. 

Having had it forced upon me, I now find myself in a state of panic. 

I relocated here in 1969, so I am a senior stumbling into his twilight years. Friends have been warning me for ages to keep checking my marbles bag to detect any early loss of aggies or bottleohs. 

I fear it has started, hence the panic.

The front page of this publication has a beaming photograph of and message from our chief minister. In that message he reminds us of his $6.6 billion infrastructure program and spending, detailing proudly where it’s all going, which I worry: “Did I forget all that, along with its generational debt?” 

I must have because it all has to be shoved in my face again. The minister’s little message also proudly reports: “And it will be infrastructure that is uniquely Canberran; built to support the lifestyle Canberrans want.” 

Did I also worryingly forget that this caring government sought my opinion on infrastructure and its costs and my marbles loss has caused me, once again, to forget? 

Andrew I’m in a state of panic! Can you please clear the air and explain what your take is on consultation, because my marbles bag is starting to feel lighter? 

Please, please tell me this is just a crippling case of fig jam, the acronym of which stands for F (eff) I (I’m) G (good) J (just) A (ask) M (me). 

John Lawrence, via email

Public transport emissions a ‘myth’

CANBERRA’S public transport causes more greenhouse emissions than the car travel that it displaces. Yet the Conservation Council and Transport Canberra continue to promote the myth that public transport is good for the environment.

The Conservation Council’s “Make the Move” website advises: “The easiest way for couples to start active travel is for the person who has the simplest daily commute to swap out of their car and on to public transport.”… “Buy a MyWay card to access public transport” and “Drive to a ‘Park & Ride’ or ‘Park & Pedal’ location and catch a bus or cycle the rest of the way.”

On World Environment Day, Transport Canberra advised Canberrans to “start incorporating public transport into your routine and reduce your carbon footprint”.

In 2014-15 Transport Canberra’s buses caused 33,000 tonnes of CO2-e emissions and provided 13.4 million journeys. That’s 2.5 kilograms per person-journey.

Since then Transport Canberra has not reported its greenhouse emissions. From its reported fuel use, I estimate that its emissions fell to 2.1 kilograms per journey in 2018-19, and then rose to 3.5 kilograms per journey in 2020-21.

The average 10-year-old car causes about 270 grams of CO2-e emissions per kilometre.

The 2017 “ACT and Queanbeyan Household Travel Survey” found that Canberra’s average public transport journey is 10 kilometres, and that cars carry an average of 1.46 people.

On that basis, a 10-kilometre car trip causes about 1.8 kilograms of emissions per person. That’s 15 per cent less emissions than Transport Canberra’s best result.

Leon Arundell, Downer

Inspire ATSI children to literacy and numeracy

THE ABS 2021 “Prisoners in Australia” report shows that half of the prisoners in the ACT have committed “offences against justice”, presumably breaches of parole etcetera. 

This is a protest by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people who feel a lack of acceptance by society.

The sad thing about this situation is that wider acceptance of ATSI people does not need the changes to the “social imagination” demanded by the sexual revolution. It just needs a good public relations effort.

Every weekend the football stadiums are populated with an over representation of ATSI athletes who draw deafening applause for their extraordinary performances. 

We need these people to continue their careers as ambassadors for their people, replacing the vastly overweight, fair-skinned people waving branches over a ceremonial fire on TV. They are needed to inspire ATSI children to literacy and numeracy.

Then we can hope for a future when an ATSI plumber, electrician, communication technician or refuse truck driver will serve the community with pride in their race and their achievements.

John L Smith, Farrer 

Time to get on with nuclear energy

AS we have now found out to our chagrin, renewables on their own without large storage facilities (which are proving problematicand costly) are unreliable. 

The time for procrastination is over. Australia must repeal existing laws and consider the use of nuclear reactors to cater for reliable baseload requirements or face disruptive and costly ongoing unscheduled power outages. 

In the interim, as a medium to long-range stopgap, decommissioned coal-fired power stations must be brought back on-line in conjunction with gas-fired ones.

Expense is a secondary consideration under the circumstances we are now faced with; the sooner we start, the better. 

The safety and performance of reactors has dramatically improved over the years, particularly now that thorium is being used instead of uranium, and small modular ones greatly reduce the spread of radiation should a mishap occur. 

Mario Stivala, Belconnen 

Catalogue of false or misleading claims

MAX Flint (Letters, CN June16) makes it abundantly clear that he is an entrenched climate-change denier. 

His “organisation”, the grandly-named Australian Logistics Study Centre, amounts to a catalogue of false or misleading claims and, frankly, crazy “explanations” for what is happening to Earth’s climate.

For example, he ignores the now conclusive evidence from the work of hundreds of climatologists, climate scientists and meteorologists that global warming was initiated by the burning of fossil fuels, beginning during the first Industrial Revolution. These fuels generate carbon dioxide, the main driver of global warming.

Nuclear energy is not being considered in Australia because nuclear power stations cost about $12 billion and take 10 years to build. We simply do not have time to implement that “solution”, even in the case of small modular reactors.

Mr Flint is also wrong to claim that renewable energy “will ultimately prove to be unsustainable”. This is not the view of the energy production industry, energy retailers, or the Australian Energy Market Operator.

I could go on, but I think any reasonable person would get the picture.

Dr Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin

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