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Sunday, July 14, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Slaughter of the Red Hill roos, third year in a row

“If encouraged, the golf course roos will move off on to the reserve, but I have no doubt they will be unnecessarily and brutally slaughtered in the annual ACT government-funded slaughter this winter.” Letter writer GWENDA GRIFFITHS despairs for the Red Hill kangaroos. 

The Federal Golf Club and its Sydney-based developer have received the go ahead from the ACT government for their 152 multi-storey retirement village.

Write to

The paper announcing the decision contains direct reference to the Red Hill kangaroos.

Acknowledgement is made that the roos will be displaced from the course, increasing risk of dog attacks, being hit by cars and starvation.The report reads: “These impacts, which may occur during and after construction, need to be considered and mitigated”

In short, the ACT government has only one response – slaughter. This report basically guarantees that there will be slaughter of the Red Hill roos for the third year in a row.

What is ludicrous is that the roos are on the golf course because, like the intelligent gentle creatures they are, after two years of ridding the reserve of roos, the remnant roos know the golf course was safe and have moved there. The actual reserve is almost devoid of roos.

If encouraged, the golf course roos will move off on to the reserve, but I have no doubt they will be unnecessarily and brutally slaughtered in the annual ACT government-funded slaughter this winter. No longer a bush capital – the killing capital.

Gwenda Griffiths, via email

No roos in the reserves, just weeds

In response to Rebecca Marks’ letter, I too am flabbergasted that the Eastern Grey Kangaroo has been categorised by the ACT environment directorate as an invasive species. 

As such these beautiful sentient creatures can then be culled each year along with rabbits and foxes, which as we all know really are invasive species. 

It is estimated that 30,000 plus roos have been cruelly slaughtered over the last 15 years – this number does not include thousands of baby joeys that are clubbed to death with mallets. This would explain why you rarely see roos around the reserves anymore, just weeds. 

These gentle creatures have helped shape this continent over millions of years and since colonisation have been deemed pests. It begs the question – who exactly are the real invasive species and who are the pests.

Jo Kirwan, via email

House has sat empty since August

It beggars belief that with the scarcity of public housing in this city some remain unoccupied for months after their tenants have moved. I’ve just been to pick up something from a house on Shellwood Street, Holt, and found that the house at number 21 has been empty since August last year. In the meantime, God knows how many Canberrans are sleeping in their cars or couch surfing at friends’ and relatives’ places.

It makes you wonder what Minister Yvette Berry is doing.

Let’s hope that the October election sees this inept government out once and for all.

Vivien Munoz, Holt

Cat among the right-wing pigeons

Well, the appointment of Sam Mostyn to governor-general has certainly put the cat among our right-wing pigeons. 

Although grudgingly admitted as well-qualified for the job by some, she is still a female. That’s what all the whingeing is about. 

It might be better and simpler for her detractors to give her a go in the job. 

In my lifetime I have witnessed two howlers as G-G – both male, as you would expect. Both lived by the Shakespearean adage: “I am Sir Oracle, and when I open my mouth, let no dog bark!” 

Following Quentin Bryce, I would not expect anything of that nature from what we have seen of Sam Mostyn’s past efforts.

What this world needs are more females in the roles of top leadership to produce a safer and calmer environment for citizenry. Golda Meir springs to mind re the present Middle East.

Let’s see what riding instructions she has received from Albo. Our present G-G abided by his riding instructions, which led to multiple ministries.

Did that pass the pub test?

John Quinn, Spence

In the grip of the captain’s pick

Amazingly, I find myself in agreement with the normally conservative views of letter writer Mario Stivala. (CN, April 18)

Mr Stivala, in noting Sam Mostyn’s employment record, attacks her nomination as governor-general as yet another “job for the boys and girls” and proposes that this nomination to the King should be on a bipartisan basis. I hear that argument from time to time, but it’s always been thus – captains’ picks everywhere

A quick Google search reveals some interesting nominations to the position of governor-general by various prime ministers since World War II. In the early period after the war, there were a number of third-level British aristocrats and minor royalty, as Menzies continued to tug the forelock to the “home country”. 

Labor had started, or should that be continued, the nomination of “mates”, with a former Labor premier of NSW.

Menzies also used the position twice to get rid of political opponents within his own party, and Hawke rewarded Hayden with second prize at Yarralumla. 

Gough, Malcolm then Paul nominated four former judges, one of whom proved he knew nothing about our constitution. Then there was John Howard’s failed attempt to link church and state by elevating a priest to the job of the Queen’s representative, and that did not end well.

And, in an attempt to add even more “legitimacy and gravitas” the Coalition nominated three ex-generals, interrupted only by Rudd’s nomination of the lawyer activist Quentin Bryce. 

Together with Sam Mostyn, all nominations could be said to be captains’ picks, but we will never know because the process won’t be in the cabinet documents released in 30 years’ time

Thankfully, the master of the captain’s pick, Tony Abbott, didn’t nominate the Duke of Edinburgh as his governor-general. 

I wonder if Mr Stivala would be calling for bipartisanship if Mr Morrison had remained in power and taken the opportunity to select one of his political or religious “mates”.

For what it’s worth, I can’t see bipartisan selections happening in either of our lifetimes.

And personally, I’d rather see someone with broad life experience than someone from the cloistered environment of politics, the military or high-functioning law. And it should be noted that all of the above nominations performed adequately in the job, with one glaring exception.

Bill Brown, Holt 

Not sacked, Griffin left of his own volition

PM Hughes did NOT sack Walter Burley Griffin in 1920 (Robert Macklin, CN, April 18) Griffin left of his own volition, having been given an ultimatum by (his) Minister Groom, that he did not accept.

In 1920, Griffin’s then-monthly tenure as Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction had expired. He was given an ultimatum by the Minister for Railways and Construction, Littleton Groom: “Join the Committee or walk away from Canberra”. (Alasdair McGregor. Grand Obsessions: The Life and Work of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, 2014). 

Groom’s ultimatum would have left Griffin in a role subordinate to the very bureaucrats who were found earlier by a 1917 Royal Commission to have blocked him in that role. 

Griffin did write to PM Hughes, but “his entreaty was answered only by silence from the prime minister, who had been forewarned and briefed by his ministerial colleague” (McGregor).

As the National Archives records: “Changes in government administration led to the establishment of the Federal Capital Advisory Committee, from which Burley Griffin was excluded because he rejected the conditions of appointment”. 

Late last year, The National Capital Authority agreed to commemorate both Marion and Walter and the contribution they made to the design of Canberra. Finally.

Peter Graves, chair, Canberra Chapter,

Walter Burley Griffin Society

Who gets the benefit, the woman or employer? 

I do not know why anyone would be surprised at the fact the number of women working from home has gone up (“Returning to the office would unravel the benefits”, CN April 18). 

After covid, all clerical work was done from home. The comment was made by author Leonora Risse: “It is clerical and administrative workers – occupations that are three quarters female – who had the biggest jump in working from home” 

It is understandable these positions can be done from home because in most cases they do not need to be in the office. If they are working from home because they have little kids, are they working full time or taking care of the kids? If the latter is the case, the only one getting the benefit is the woman, not the employer. 

A side issue, but in relation to the comment that three quarters are female, if the quota were male, people would be jumping up and down wanting equality in gender numbers.

Vi Evans via email

Children suffer at hands of non-caring government

The article by Katarina Lloyd Jones (“Club kicks on as government forgets its promises”, CN April 18) is disturbing considering it is our children that suffer under the hands of this non-caring local government. Trying to get a comment from Yvette Berry is like obtaining blood from a stone. She seems to make lots of promises, but fails to deliver, even with an election coming up in October. 

The decision to turn off water supply or neglect playing fields impacts not only the immediate community, but also undermines trust in local governance. 

Such actions disrupt recreational activities vital for youth development and community cohesion.

Additionally, neglecting infrastructure maintenance risks long-term consequences, such as deteriorating facilities that become more costly to repair in the future.

It’s imperative for governments to prioritise the well-being of their citizens, particularly the youth, by allocating sufficient resources and following through on commitments to ensure equitable access to recreational spaces and essential services.

Errol Good, Macgregor

Old school nuclear isn’t the answer 

Nuclear power is last-century technology that has simply not lived up to its promise. Like supersonic air travel, the Concord, hovercraft and the rotary engine, it has simply been overtaken by the economics and realities of the 21st century. It is twice the price of the cheapest form of power generation.

Even so, it can be argued that this expensive and dangerous form of power generation has a place in our national grid to provide energy security. This would be a very limited role.

Australia is a very dry continent. We simply do not have the water to cool a nuclear reactor anywhere in inland Australia. To keep the argument local, a traditional large reactor with flow-throw cooling uses 1.9 billion litres of water a day. Our total water storage capacity is sufficient to provide the residents of Canberra and Queanbeyan with half a billion litres of clean water a day.

Of course, sea water can be used for cooling. That is why the Fukushima Daiichi plant was constructed so close to the sea. The additional cost of transmission, though, would add to the cost that Australians would pay for greater energy security through their power bills.

In the meantime, talk about building nuclear reactors on the sites of closed coal-fired plants should be regarded with the same scepticism as using pixie dust to reduce family power bills.

Noel Baxendell, Holt

Columnists inspire reader to draw on Shelley

Keeping Up the ACT (April 18), together with the thoughtful and informative piece by Prof Beatrice Bodart-Bailey in the same issue, prompted me to draw on Shelley’s Ozymandias.

I met a traveller from Capital land,

Who said — 

“Two long unfinished lines of steel

Lie in a desert, dividing a community. 


Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;


And in the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Andybarias, Chief of Ministers;

Look on my works, ratepayers, and despair!


Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The desert that was a real town is blown away.”

Tady Carrol, via email

Strong element of truth among the hyperbole

In his article “Concern at Japan’s ‘evolution’ in sub pact”, Robert Macklin wrote “The (post-World War II) Japanese ‘economic miracle’ even brought protests in the 1980s that Japan was ‘buying Australia'” (CN, April 25). This may seem exaggerated, if not outrageous, but there is a strong element of truth among the hyperbole.

Japanese companies now own or control several well-known Australia businesses. These include: 1. AMP and Challenge (Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Group); 2. Carlton & United Breweries (Asahi Group Holdings with a loan from Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group); 3. BHP’s best Queensland coking coal mines (50 per cent owned by Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd); and 4. Lion Nathan and National Foods (now Lion Nathan National Foods owned by Kirin Holdings Company Limited).

This may seem disloyal, even treasonous, to some, but I confess that I rather enjoy a beer from either of the specially designed and branded glasses supplied to pubs and clubs by Asahi and Kirin.

Dr Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin

Alas, the emperor won’t change

Keeping up the ACT (CN April18) largely says it all. It could form the basis of an opposition manifesto. But alas, methinks there is unlikely to be a change in emperor except by coup. By the way, I loved the “CANBARRA”.  Very clever.

A Kusta, Deakin

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2 Responses to Slaughter of the Red Hill roos, third year in a row

cbrapsycho says: 30 April 2024 at 12:02 pm

How disappointing to read Vi Evans anti-female and anti-mother letter. Why doesn’t she ask the same questions of the men who work from home? Why does she think women at home are neglecting their work? If they’re meeting their work KPIs, they’re doing their job however they manage their time. If they are looking after children at the same time, the benefit is to the children, their father and our community, from the care of a loving mother.

Additionally, if she can work from home she’s less likely to be worried about her children’s wellbeing and more able to do good work, as is their father. Or perhaps he is the one at home caring for the children whilst working. If so, does she question whether he has sufficient focus on his work?

Why are people working from home assumed to be failing in their work responsibilities? Few people need to be watched and stood over to do a good job. Micromanagement prevents focus on the task, discouraging initiative, responsibility and creativity. If their employer is doing their job properly, they’ll ensure commitments, responsibilities and outcomes are met. Outdated authoritarian attitudes prevent people from being treated as responsible adults, thus discouraging them from doing their best work.

Palmerston's Lament says: 3 May 2024 at 10:33 am

In counting the number of kangaroos on the Percy Hill Nature Reserve, it is obvious the population is beyond a supportable level with massive ground degradation, mobs pushed out to feed on busy roads, and high road casualties numbers.

A more effective, regular, and holistic animal management practice is required. Removal of 50 head would barely dint current numbers.


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