I have just read the statement from Katrina Spadafora ("Calls for formal inquiry into Canberra's paediatric services", canberratimes.com.au, September 18) regarding the terribly sad death of her daughter Rozalia.
Andrew Barr should hang his head in shame, but will he ever? So many terrible stories about things that happen or don't happen in the Canberra hospital, and Mr Barr and his Health Minister tell us it's due to a lack of staff.
Well, if that's the reason then employ the necessary staff and pay the necessary wages to get the very best we can find, to give every patient that enters the hospital the appropriate care they need. Mrs Spadafora and her daughter waited 14 hours, only for Rozalia to die.
I am shaking with rage that this could happen here in our national capital. We know that the staff do their best, but there are just too few of them.
But, meanwhile, billions of dollars are being wasted on building the tram no one wants, and the construction of the West Basin (whatever is it for?). I notice a huge extension being built at the Canberra hospital, but what is the use of another huge building when we can't afford to pay the staff to run the hospital properly?
On the subject of the hospital, what provision is made for disabled people to park close to where they need to go? Yes, we see disabled parking available, but how on earth is a disabled person to make their way into the hospital building?
In the past month my family has had two emergency visits to the Canberra Hospital. On both occasions treatment by ambulance officers and emergency medical staff was excellent.
Unfortunately, the second visit required a stay in a ward for several days. This was an experience not to be repeated if possible. Medical staff were attentive and professional but were let down by hospital administrative services.
Canberra Hospital meals, as always, are unappetising to the point of being inedible. Beds were not made during my four-day stay. Other than a cursory mopping, surfaces were not cleaned during that time.
I was in a four-bed ward with a locked bathroom. Other bathrooms that were available were continually in an unhygienic condition. In one case a bathroom had faeces and urine on the floor and toilet for in excess of 24 hours.
Like the rest of the Canberra community, I appreciate and sympathise with the enormous stress that has been placed on our hospital system over the past years due to COVID-19. But the failures I observed are fundamental flaws in hospital management and undermine the efforts of the admirable medical staff.
The speeches by Danielle Wood and Ross Garnaut at the Jobs and Skills summit outlined the reforms necessary to transform Australia.
The Albanese government's current risk-averse approach will not deliver these reforms and will result in insufficient resources being provided to address housing, health, disability education, aged and childcare needs; to enable the transition to a low carbon economy and to significantly reduce debt.
A strategy of being just a little to the left of the Coalition may deliver a second term but does not cut the mustard.
The government needs to be forthright and honest if it is to have any hope of persuading the community of the need for reform. No easy task given the increasingly materialistic society, opposition from the Murdoch media and vested interests including the fossil fuel industry.
The October budget is the opportunity for the government to commence the difficult journey to a fairer and more efficient Australia.
Negative equity looming? Can't find a builder or a tradesperson? It's all largely caused by a proliferation of excessively large houses (on tiny blocks of land), crappy high-rise apartment blocks, and the likes of "Airbnbs" destroying the sensible distribution of our trade and labour resources (and money).
Our once well-regulated construction "industry" has been exploited by developers, banks, realtors, speculators, investors, and over-reachers, egged on by tax breaks, and unsustainably low interest rates.
Climate change is now causing fires and floods in poorly sited residential areas. And, of course, borrowers are now in trouble.
Grownup government-led social and fiscal reforms, as well as mandatory professional planning and design, are all needed, now.
It would seem that Peter Dutton's coalition would rather die in the ditch of climate change denialism rather than support Labor's modest climate change plans.
In an attempt at increasing irrelevance, Dutton and his cohort have decided to ignore the will of the people so clearly expressed at the last election. Such tactics will keep the votes of the rusted-on voters but won't retrieve or win the votes they need.
A long time in opposition is staring them in the face if they do not wake up to the world around them. Living in the 1950s is no way forward.
As a baby boomer, I was fortunate by accident of birth to live in the best of times, in the best country, and in its most livable city.
I have owned a car for all my adult life, a magic carpet that took me effortlessly wherever I wanted to go, and any time I wanted.
There are, however, problems with this dream lifestyle. For one thing all the easily extracted oil had gone. We are now forced to drill the ocean bed and tar sands and rely on fracking. But more importantly, the constant release of carbon has caused a climate emergency.
Again, Canberra is the lucky city. Half of Pakistan is under water and thousands are dying from water-borne diseases and tens of thousands will later die from starvation as crops fail. Even in Australia, many living on our coastal flood plains have had their homes and livelihoods destroyed.
One easy step Canberra can take is to update our public transport system by interconnecting the major town centres with light rail as Walter Burley-Griffin originally planned. Voters have endorsed this policy at successive elections.
Yet there are some who believe that they can continue to use petrol or diesel private transport as they have done in the past. To keep this delusion alive, they have written letters to the editor for almost a decade now. Just one more letter and the inconvenient truth will go away.
The detailed analysis of the proposed purchase of nuclear-powered submarines ("Rethink nuclear subs proposal", Trevor Findlay, Marianne Hanson, Tanya Ogilvie-White, Maria Rost Rublee, Jingdong Yuan, Benjamin Zala, canberratimes.com.au, September 17) will surely promote discussion.
For $171 billion of taxpayers' money we are going to accept delivery in 20 years' time of nuclear-powered submarines. In addition to the multiple problems analysed by the authors, what will such a weapon be really worth militarily?
No one suggests their weapons will be anything special. While submerged they will be incommunicado, and their speed cannot match the fastest surface ships, much less a plane. By 2040 they will most probably be vulnerable. If China can land men on the moon or even Mars, finding and destroying a submerged vessel will not be much of a challenge.
If the powerful analysis of the authors does not prompt a rethink on this lumbering blind weapon of war, then the forces of entrenched militarism are powerful indeed.
I wonder if objectors to the term "God" appearing in the appointment of Charles III as our head of state missed the earlier report that the King had insisted on the reference to "God" appearing.
This, assuming accurate reporting by whoever constructs such reports about King Charles, is a lesson in the identity of our head of state and the limits of the power of our Governor-General; the latter being merely an appointee of the former.
To be clear lest confusion is possible, we learn from the above that our Governor-General is not allowed to write an announcement about recognising the latest English monarch as our head of state.
Those who claim the UK does not have a constitutional monarchy are remarkably ignorant of the events following the "glorious revolution" of 1688 which resulted in the passage of the Bill of Rights in 1689.
THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN
Bill Deane (Letters, September 20) favours retaining the monarchy on the basis of "if it ain't broke; don't fix it". Sorry but it is "broke". Britain is a foreign country. I do not want a foreigner as my head of state and certainly not an unelected monarch.
MAKE THE CHANGE
The move to change the ACT/NSW border demonstrates that lines drawn on a map should never be seen as a barrier to creating a true sense of community.
LET'S GET ON WITH IT
Okay, I've waited more than the 10 days. With all due respect, we need to move on. It's time we become a republic with a president chosen from us. A fair dinkum person who wears a T-shirt from Kmart, hard yakka shorts or a skirt, and rubber thongs.
A VOICE FOR CHARLES III
Climate change is a scientifically based, environmental and human rights issue that is increasingly an existential threat to us all. It should never have been politicised. Let the King speak.
LAWS, NOT MEN
Australia is a constitutional monarchy. Should a referendum pass it will be a constitutional republic like the US. My understanding is that Britain is, by contrast, a monarchy or kingdom with no written constitution. Under a republic the rule of law as evidenced by Parliament and the constitution will prevail.
SPIT HOOD BAN OPPOSED
Spit bags being banned has just made life harder for police and correctional officers. Once again the restraints on police tighten. These were supposed to be a deterrent and worked really well. It's another case of do-gooders complaining about something they have no idea about.
WORDS OF WARNING
To those republicans who favour a directly-elected head of state, I have two words: "Donald Trump".
OFF THE PLANET
In what alternate reality could Ron Chapman (Letters, September 19) legitimately attach the title "self-proclaimed special ethnic interest group" to descendants of the original occupants of this continent? Albo has not identified the Voice as a precondition of a republic. He's just recognised that it's more urgent.
WHO COULD DO THIS?
What a disgraceful and despicable act; using a vehicle to intentionally run over kangaroos and then upload the footage to social media. As for wanting to kill a joey by "a bang over the bull bar", I simply say, what have you become?
A FAR CRY
Kerry McGaw (Letters, September 22) mentions the role the armed forces played in the Queen's funeral procession. Britain was harking back to its glory days when its might enabled it to rule an empire whose domain encompassed a quarter of the world - a far cry from its present situation.
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