It’s time to clean up the ACT liberal power brokers

Writer SUE DYERof Downer, offers fearless advice to Canberra Liberals.

IT IS now clear that it is not just the letter writers who despair of the incompetence and senseless behavior of the ACT Liberal Party HQ and its incumbent in the Senate for far too many years.

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Unable to learn from the pathetic antics they forced on the electorate in the last ACT election, they delivered a 2022 federal campaign devoid of smart and relevant content and communications, relying instead on tactics reminiscent of desperate and disconnected crusades and manoeuvres. by enthusiastic strategists for Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.

Everything the Liberal campaign team tried and touched went against the norms and expectations of a well-informed and educated electorate.

Too often the Liberals and their allies have shown no respect for the right of others to run and work hard to compete for the second seat in the Senate here.

A thorough cleanup of the ACT’s current liberal power-brokering mechanism is needed before the party even embarks on an attempt to win back the interest and trust of more of the territory’s voters in the future. DIY around the edges will not work.

Sue DyerDowner

Pain to recruit party volunteers

NO ONE wants to talk about elections now, not even me. However, I want to talk about the voting processes in the hope that the procedures will improve next time.

In the 2022 federal election, 104 ACT polling booths were open on Election Day. All of this provided useful pocket money for Australian Electoral Commission volunteers who helped staff these outposts.

But what about political party volunteers, those whom voters face in front of these voting booths?

With polling taking place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., if each booth saw a party employee for the entire 10 hours – a big ask – 104 people would be needed. If a reasonable two-hour roster was in place, then 510 volunteers would be needed.

Granted, some would double up, but even with such dedication, common sense tells us that one person per booth on any list is insufficient and, depending on the location of the booth, at least three or even four party supporters would be needed – a strong demand whereupon we are told that membership and support for the party is dwindling – and that the pressure is increasing as the population of the ACT grows and more polling booths are created.

This is despite the fact that some 45% of voters vote before the election or by mail, because it is still necessary, apparently, on election day, to provide documents indicating how to vote for the parties. Democracy is not served if people do not have the opportunity to vote for whoever they want, even if they do not know how to do so.

We are therefore faced with a dilemma. We don’t have enough party volunteers to man all the booths in the future to show people how to exercise their democratic right and responsibility.

Where do we do?

Why not introduce the rule of 100 meters around the voting booths which applies to elections to the Assembly also to federal elections? People seem to be doing fine without having wads of paper thrown at them, and absent improved voting methods for a long time, that would be a better outcome than the current system, which will inevitably break down.

It would also be fairer for smaller parties and independents who often have no chance of having adequate staff in the polling booths.

And for once, politicians might listen. Think of the votes they could lose if the cabins are unmanned under current rules.

Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla

Democracy well served by sausages

“MANDATORY” voting is undemocratic and almost useless because the only thing it does is force eligible voters to go to a polling station (or

liable to a fine) and have his name removed from the electoral lists. This

does not necessarily result in a vote.

You can take a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. The only good thing about “compulsory” voting is democracy sausage!

Mario Stivala, Belconnen

Examine the stacking of boards

SO Phil Gaetjens, who headed the Prime Minister’s Department, has been removed from his post.

Now I look forward to Kathryn Campbell, the current head of Foreign Affairs and Trade, following him. She was the head of the Department of Social Services when Robodebt was introduced and was later promoted to DFAT by the Morrison government.

I hope the new Federal Integrity Commission will examine the piling up of councils, tribunals and the like, as well as the appointment of politicized heads of departments, ambassadors and delegates to various other Australian and international bodies, which should be based on merit rather than political favour. .

Ric Hingee, Duffy

Blind Commitment to Light Rail

The blind commitment to light rail, a discretionary and unnecessary project, demonstrates the government’s incompetence and arrogance. The increase in working from home and improving electric bus technology reinforce the stupidity of going light rail. A real review of Canberra’s land use and transport strategy is needed before more money is misspent on the scheme

Mike Quirk, via

The slow and obsolete “vibrant” tram

HERE in Canberra the message is: “The ACT government is building a tram to Woden. We are investing in the future of our city by ensuring Canberra is a more connected, sustainable and vibrant city.

A “vibrant city” with a slow, outdated tram that will take almost twice as long as the new electric buses between Woden and Civic?

“Sustainable” when the construction of the tram infrastructure with the necessary tracks and bridges as well as the import of 16 additional fully assembled trams from Spain will cause massive greenhouse gas emissions? “Making Canberra be a… more connected city?” The authors obviously don’t frequent the Canberra buses otherwise they would know that on the R4 bus one can sit in Tuggeranong and end up in Belconnen via Woden and Civic without getting up from their seat.

It is the rapid buses that connect parts of Canberra and not the tram. Even if, after a cost of billions of dollars, a streetcar would eventually take this route, the journey would be so slow that anyone is unlikely to opt for it.

And, of course, never telling the public the cost. The $3 billion that the short trip from Civic to Woden would cost would upset them. Better to ride them on a virtual tram through a wonderland of neatly trimmed lawns so they forget the years of traffic chaos to come.

Robin Underwood, via

A deep hole attracts buckets of money

THE ACT government will renew talks for additional funding for light rail from the new Federal Government, after the Federal Labor Party reasonably reneged on its pledge of $200 million during the campaign.

The ACT Government will seek Commonwealth support for Stage 2B through the Parliamentary Triangle.

Max Flint (Letters, CN May 24) says Light Rail Stages 1 and 2 will cost around $5 billion or more.

While I recently voted for a change of federal government, I hope Anthony Albanese, with his strong infrastructure background, can see that this ACT project is a dud that hasn’t stood up to auditor scrutiny. general to this day.

If the federal government wants to use the funds wisely, they would be much better used to bolster the struggling health system in ACT. The tram is a deep hole that keeps draining big buckets of useless money.

Murray May, cook

It’s elder abuse

Re “So broke, ACT government turns on widows” (“Seven Days”, May 19): Call it what it is essentially – elder abuse by the ACT Labour/Green government .

Vesna Strika, Gungahlin

Remember your words, prime minister

DYING with Dignity ACT would like to remind Prime Minister Anthony Albanese that he opposed the euthanasia bill proposed by Kevin Andrews with the following words in Federal Parliament in 1996:

“I oppose this bill because I support human dignity. I oppose this bill because I support freedom of choice. I oppose this bill because I support civil liberties. I oppose this bill because my Christian upbringing taught me that compassion is important. I oppose this bill because modern medical practice should be open and accountable, not secretive and dishonest. I oppose this bill because I believe the national parliament should only intervene against the state or territory legislature when there is overwhelming public support to do so at the national level.

We call on Mr. Albanese to remember his words and act immediately to repeal the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997.

Jeanne Arthur, President, Dying with Dignity ACT

We price out of existence

DURING the election campaign, we often heard calls for affordable housing. Few understand how deeply rooted the problem is in mainstream culture and the pursuit of so-called success and wealth, to the point that it is now a question of survival.

Since the Second World War, we have gradually built up extensive social security and welfare schemes on which millions of Australians now depend (spending accounts for about a third of total Australian government spending).

These programs have effectively displaced the family as guardians of social welfare, but they are no longer viable today simply because there are not enough children born to fund them in the future.

Australian fertility was 1.9 in 2010 and 1.58 in 2020. The price of housing, the pursuit of a career and the maintenance of a certain standard of living are all factors of birth shortage. We have become addicted to wealth. Family and children hinder our addiction.

The decline in fertility in Australia is masked by immigration. While large-scale immigration increases the number of skilled workers, it suppresses wages, especially for the unskilled.

It also increases demand for housing, driving up property prices as well as competition from investors and maintaining inflation. Housing prices become prohibitive for young people, discouraging the formation of families.

In the beginning, people didn’t have children because they wanted more (materially). Today it is because they cannot afford them (financially). We price ourselves out of existence.

John L Smith, Farrer

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Ian Meikle, editor