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Canberra Today 12°/14° | Monday, December 4, 2023 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Government scours streets for parking fines

Letter writer JOHN MURRAY is disgusted at the ACT government for chasing fines from families who were paying their respects for those who served in Vietnam.

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IN a further plunge to the depths of fiscal depravity, on August 18 while an estimated crowd of nearly 3000 was attending the Long Tan Day ceremony and 50th anniversary of the withdrawal of Australian troops from Vietnam, the ACT government had its number-plate recognition vehicle furtively scour the surrounding streets seeking the merest of parking offences. 

Vehicle owners, including scores from interstate, began receiving their fines in mid-September, many passionately commenting with disgust that they believed their families had already paid enough and that while they arrived to pay respect, the memory of those who served was treated with petty contempt. 

John Murray, via email

Is there a Machiavellian twist to more fines?

After reading the articles “Tram petition preys on government disquiet” by Michael Moore, and “More fines boost Barr’s ‘miraculous’ budget” by Jon Stanhope and Khalid Ahmed (CN September 28) it got me thinking about what may be the meaning of two apparently unconnected events.

Lately, I have noticed an increase in the number of speed camera vans parked in cunning strategic locations, a surge in the number of mobile phone-detection cameras, and the installation of new traffic lights with red-light and/or speed cameras.

The revenue earned, fair or foul, from these cameras is a drop in the ocean compared to the possible final cost of Light Rail Stage 2B, let alone future extensions into a network. I therefore suspect that the real reason for all this fining is to scare – or force – more people out of their cars and into a light rail carriage. How Machiavellian if that were true!

Dr Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin

E-scooter ban? Don’t hold your breath

The socialist Mayoress of Paris has recently banned the 15,000 electric scooters in Paris as “nuisances on the streets and footpaths” of the city. Perhaps Chairman Barr could follow suit, but I will not hold my breath. 

Max Flint, Erindale 

Not for us to worry about South Jerrabomberra

SOUTH Jerrabomberra is fully ensconced inside New South Wales. All the economic benefits of the land sales and future rates stays in NSW. I’m at a loss as to why Robert Curtis (Letters, CN September 28) thinks it is a failing or responsibility of the ACT government to provide services to those residents. 

Next thing he will be blaming the ACT for the chaos that John Howard perpetrated upon us when he sold off the airport and let private developers destroy the town centre concept, leaving the ACT to provide millions of dollars for road and other infrastructure that was not of its making. 

P Paulson, via email

Cheers to the wine columnist for the memories

THANK you, wine columnist Richard Calver (CN September 28), for springing back memories. 

I was introduced to Bull’s Blood wine by my cousin, who lived in the UK. As an academic’s partner, she was always seeking a “good drop”. Until decent full, Australian reds became easily accessible, Bull’s Blood did the job nicely. 

Diane Wright, via email

FOI reveals butchering of kangaroos at cull site 

A RECENT FOI request submitted by Save Canberra Kangaroos revealed shocking new information about the Greens/Labor government’s annual kangaroo cull, which has been taking place for 15 years now.

The FOI request revealed that after the shooting has ceased at the cull sites, the kangaroos are butchered on site for the purpose of being used as bait to kill dingoes, as well as cultural reasons.

Butchering the kangaroos at the cull site means that any kangaroos and joeys who have managed to escape the shooters are then terrorised by smelling the blood of their family members, or even worse, seeing what terrible things are being done to their loved ones.

It is simply unacceptable for the Greens/Labor government to use taxpayer funds to inflict trauma, injury and death on these gentle sentient beings who are known for their close family bonds and long-term relationships with other kangaroos.

Minister Vassarotti, the cruelty must stop NOW!

Jo Kirwan, via email

Killing isn’t enough, now it’s poisoned baits

KILLING more than 40,000 healthy kangaroos and bludgeoning their joeys to death is apparently not enough for the ACT government. 

Some 3400 dingoes, dogs and foxes are now to be subjected to the indescribably agonising death caused by 1080 poison. This will achieve nothing, of course, because these animals breed much faster than anyone can kill them.

Sadly, this is not the case for kangaroos who have only one baby a year, most of which are taken by dogs, dingoes and foxes.

A release under Freedom of Information has revealed the government’s use of a professional butcher during this year’s annual kangaroo slaughter. This has fuelled long-standing rumours that the government is making money from its alleged “conservation cull”. It is hard to imagine what could be done with 3400 poison baits, other than sell them to other landholders.

A commercial motive would certainly explain why the government is undertaking the kangaroo slaughter. 

The “conservation cull” excuse was debunked in 2017 when an earlier release under Freedom of Information included a critical report by CSIRO. 

The CSIRO’s analysis of the ACT government’s own data showed: that vegetation on all Canberra Nature Park reserves where kangaroos were present was richer and more diverse than where no kangaroos were present; that this richness and diversity did not decline where a higher density of kangaroos was present; and that no more than three kangaroos per hectare were present on any reserve where data was collected.

Frankie Seymour, Queanbeyan

We’re living in a state of emergency

A STATE of emergency exists in the ACT. Can you really conclude otherwise after reading Jon Stanhope and Khalid Ahmed’s brilliant assessments of the billions of dollars’ debt being imposed upon us which will become generational, written so well for readers of “CityNews”. 

The excellent letter “Sunk by Canberra’s Titanic debt” by Tim Walshaw (CN September 28) adds further weight to this “Yes Minister” nightmare. Andrew Barr and his government no longer have the confidence of the citizens of the ACT and must defend themselves by going to the polls on economic management and any other issues they feel relevant. Opposition members need to answer for allowing this to occur when they are supposed to be our failsafe gatekeeper. 

The Legislative Assembly of the ACT has become questionable and needs to immediately face the voters before we terminally crash.

 John Lawrence via email

The answer every male over 50 needs to know

THERE has been a major breakthrough in the accurate diagnosis of prostate cancer.

It is now possible to diagnose prostate cancer from a simple blood test with 94 per cent accuracy. This is a major advance and brings the diagnosis of prostate cancer out of the ’50s and into the 21st century.

Previously, the diagnosis of prostate cancer has been hit and miss and unreliable. The PSA (prostatic surface antigen) test can give false negatives and false positives. Meaning it can miss a cancer that’s there or can say there is a cancer when there isn’t. Accuracy of the PSA is guestimated to be about 30 per cent or less. 

Various combinations of blood tests, manual examination and MRI have been tried to accurately diagnose prostate cancer, but none have been very impressive.

The treatments include wait and see, have a repeat blood test, surgery or irradiation. Some men opt to have the prostate removed rather than take the risk of it having cancer. One in eight men will get prostate cancer.

In Oxford in 2007 a group of scientists collaborated on advances in genomics and subsequently raised more than 50 million pounds, and produced the first reliable 3D denomics test for prostate cancer. 

It is a game changer. When will it be available in Australia? Who knows. That’s the answer every male over 50 needs to know… now.

Paul Crowhurst, Hawker


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2 Responses to Government scours streets for parking fines

Palmerston's Hillside says: 10 October 2023 at 7:33 am

In a surprising twist, the benefits of last year’s green summer have increased the populations of a number of species on Percival Hill. Not only have the number of Eastern Brown snake encounters reached daily sightings, the rabbits have made a noticeable return following the winter culling.

It is the kangaroo numbers that make for the most interesting of studies. In a typical boom/bust reproductive pattern, mothers are now splitting from the main mobs with two companion joeys and a big joey in the pouch. One would suggest there is an embryo present as well waiting on the space to become vacant.

Curious Canberran says: 10 October 2023 at 2:00 pm

As I understand it, the ban of e-scooters in Paris is only in relation to rentals.
This is a ban on companies that rent to tourists.
It is not a ban on privately owned e-scooters.


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