Reaching back to a ‘pure’ past is foolish

Reaching back to a ‘pure’ past is foolish

Reader PETER ROBINSON, from Ainslie, says attempts to reach back to a “pure” past are foolish, nasty and ultimately unsuccessful.

COLUMNIST Robert Macklin’s outlandish claim (“Exposed to the natural world of our past”, CN January 19) that he would “cast a voice for my gentle marsupial visitor” was born out of the most troubling aspect of Voice advocacy.

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Namely the romantic idea, as presented by Robert, that “the real Australia survived in the Aboriginal people and their unique totemic beings”.

In fact, the real Australia is much more complex; it also includes 97 percent of the population without Aboriginal ancestry and the full panoply of modernity.

History warns us that attempts to reach back to a “pure” past are foolish, nasty and ultimately unsuccessful.

Peter Robinson, Ainslie

Surely the government has the message?

NOW that the representatives of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy have emphatically rejected the support of the Vote, surely the government must have got the message that going ahead with the referendum would be a total waste of time, effort and $82 million of taxpayers’ money be.

It is now abundantly clear that the Vote was an ill-conceived, ill-conceived and poorly managed exercise in futility, and by continuing to rush headlong towards a referendum towards the end of the year shows the government to be stubborn, arrogant and out of touch with reality.

The government treats voters with contempt by stubbornly refusing to provide important relevant details before the referendum is held and instead tries to trick them into voting “yes”.

This is a very dangerous situation because with insufficient safeguards nothing can stop it from doing what it wants once it is enshrined in the constitution.

Mario Stivala, Belconnen

Everything, it seems, has a planned obsolescence

FOLLOWING the article “Shoppers are no longer buying the throwaway culture” (CN January 12), it appears that almost everything we buy, use, work or live in has a built-in planned redundancy or planned obsolescence.

For example, most electrical appliances are built to last 10-15 years before needing to be replaced. Larger appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines seem to have a planned lifespan of 10-15 years as well, depending on their complexity. High-tech devices such as computers, smartphones and “smart” TVs are usually replaced when a more advanced model is released.

Homes are built to last, say 40-50 years before becoming tear-down-rebuild properties. Larger buildings, such as office blocks and shopping centers become “old fashioned” or not fit for purpose after about the same time.

This way of living, with its enormous waste of material and labor is clearly unsustainable.

Dr Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin

Boarding places are in short supply on light rail

IN an interview on 2CC, Canberra Public Transport Association chairman Ryan Hemsley waxed lyrical about the runaway success of Phase 1 light rail, claiming it came in on budget.

First, then Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said she would pay no more than about $650 million for Phase 1, but it came to $1.78 billion (Auditor General’s figure).

It may have come in within budget, but budgets are adjusted every year by Rattenbury and Barr for escalation – it cannot be said to have come in within early cost estimates.

Second, it cannot be called a raging success if the best it has done so far is 4.5 million lodgings per year, while the justification for the dull business case was 6.3 million.

Third, at best of 4.5 million boardings to date, the subsidy is only at $15 per boarding (less between $2.50 and $5 for a fare).

I have yet to hear an argument for light rail from the Public Transport Association other than that it is a good idea – like sliced ​​bread and ice cream.

Max Flint, Coordinator, Smart Canberra Transport

‘Defensive’ Russell amazes me

RUSSELL Wenholz’s defense letter CN January 19 amazes me. Russell, your initial letter was undoubtedly less than complimentary of CN letter-to-the-editor writers. What on earth did you expect? Certainly not silent submission with a thanks-for-reading and that we educated ourselves and corrected the mistakes of our negligent editor (steady, men – Ed).

I have used a “pen name” in this reply to comply with your request that it would be nice to see letters from people you are not familiar with. As the saying goes “if it waddles, quacks and looks” it’s probably a duck!

“Rufus McDuck” by email

(Editor’s note: in the spirit of good humor, I allowed the nom de plume on this occasion.)

Too much to ask, Russell?

RUSSELL Wenholz (Letters, CN January 19) wishes there were letters from other than “the common people” on less familiar or new subjects. Russ himself is becoming a “serial letter writer” on the now rather tired subject of “author diversity” and “author homogeneity”.

Perhaps Russell could fulfill his own wish and write a little less often about little explored or new topics – or would that be too much to ask?

Dr Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin

Does tradition count for nothing?

Disturbing news coming out of Melbourne: Victorian racing authorities are considering moving the running of the WS Cox Plate from October to November – moving it from the weekend between the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup carnival.

Does tradition count for nothing? Are the Victorians reacting to NSW introducing new events in the (wrong) belief that increased prize money creates more exciting racing?

Already the former LKS Mackinnon Stakes, which is traditionally offered on the Saturday before the Melbourne Cup, is now the Champions Stakes and runs after the Cup.

Russell Wenholz, Holt

Write to Rebecca about killing ‘roos

Even after the fires in 2020, the ACT government continued to eradicate kangaroos. The killing continues annually.

Kangaroo numbers have been declining for years. Just go for a walk on Farrer Ridge. The 185-hectare reserve should be home to more than a hundred, but you’ll be lucky to see a few because they’ve been shot.

Last year Red Hill was a target and there are very few kangaroos to be seen. Neither reserve has high kangaroo numbers.

It is only when species become extinct that we regret our decision as humans to protect and coexist with our magnificent wildlife.

Environment Minister Rebecca Vassarotti can and must stop the killing immediately. Write to her at [email protected]

Alex Kuch, by email

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