Not in our backyards

Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding

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Not in our backyards

Chris Vedelago’s report on the toxic waste dump at Kaniva (The Age, 4/3) was frightening. It also raises issues about our own backyards. In my shed is a jerry can of diesel which, those who know tell me, is too old to use in my four-wheel drive. There are also paint tins with residual paint from various maintenance jobs.

There must be hundreds of sheds like mine. What do we do with these toxic substances? Some waste-management transfer stations will take them but what happens after that? Maybe some brilliant chemists can work out ways to detoxify these products.

What we do not want to see is a repeat of the Kaniva experience where toxic substances are dumped illegally and without the knowledge of the Environment Protection Authority.
Graeme Lechte, Brunswick West

Admirable step forward

The City of Melbourne has pitched new rules that would require high-rise developments to meet international energy efficiency standards, including electric-vehicle chargers, solar panels, rainwater tanks, bicycle parking, green rooftops and vertical gardens, and gas connections effectively banned (The Age, 4/3).

There are 880 hectares of roof space in central Melbourne. So instead of merely storing heating and cooling equipment, more solar panels and roof gardens for insulation, respite and carbon sequestration will be a win-win. The council is to be congratulated on showing the way, but why has it taken so long for sustainable solutions to be given teeth?
Jennie Stuart, Balwyn

Dangerous spending

Re “Out of credit? The solution for retirees who want a card” (Sunday Age, 26/2). Surely, a debit card is a much better option for retirees than a credit card. In retirement, one has a finite income, so common sense says don’t bother with credit: that way financial madness lies. Certainly, debit cards are a no-brainer for young people who are starting out on the road to financial wisdom. Spend only what is yours and you can’t get into trouble.
Elaine O’Shannessy, Buxton

Train boost needed

The editorial (The Age, 4/3) calling for increased off-peak train frequencies was most welcome. Melbourne cannot consider itself a globally competitive 24/7 city if we run provincial-style timetables, including half-hour waits at night. Our travel patterns have changed with far more people working at nights and weekends than 40 years ago. Many live in northern and western suburbs where train waits are longest.

With 10-minute or better service overseas, and Sydney boosting its services to every 15minutes in 2017, it is time Melbourne had all-day, frequent services on all lines.
Peter Parker, Chelsea

Baking in Watsonia

I agree with your correspondent that we had a lovely summer (Letters, 4/3), but he must not have been at home on February 17 when it was 41 degrees in Watsonia.
Glenn Hilling, Watsonia North

Our very different times

The negative image of grannies in story books (Letters, Sunday Age, 26/2) is a high-handed, modern perception by a younger generation grown up in the horn of plenty, never wanting.

As an octogenarian, I well remember my grandparents’ generation worn out by physical hard work, without modern appliances, lots of children, little money, and limited medical help. By the time they reached 60 and with no aged-care facilities, they were “little old ladies” often sitting in a chair, most likely due to a health issue.

Now with more money, health insurance and medical help, our longevity has increased and our quality of life has improved, enabling a different lifestyle. From this vantage point, it is easy to be critical and point the finger at the past. I think people were generally more content and less demanding then.
Helga Anderson, Black Rock

Political contradiction

Roshena Campbell, the Liberals’ candidate for the Aston byelection, is “calling for the Albanese government to rein in spending to put downward pressure on inflation” (The Age, 4/3). However, the Liberals are against the budget savings proposed by the government in last week’s super tax decision.

And Campbell opposes savings made on road infrastructure projects in the October budget, including the cancellation of several in Aston, and will fight to have the funding restored (The Age, 3/3. Surely, Aston’s voters will not be fooled by this contradiction.
David Withington, Berwick

Strange lure of power

I have heard the roar of planes associated with the Avalon Airshow over the last week. These planes are mostly instruments of war but I cannot help feeling awed by the technology and extraordinary skills of their pilots. As someone who abhors violence and war, I am puzzled by the contradiction between my personal views and the exhilaration of power.
April Baragwanath, Geelong

The AFL must act

Congratulations to the AFL players who have taken a stand over their images being used in betting ads (The Age, 2/3). I hope this will send a strong message to the AFL to be a good corporate citizen.
Christine Hammett, Richmond

Promises and deliveries

If Australia Post wants to reduce letter deliveries to two to three times a week, that’s fine provided delivery within four days of postage is guaranteed. That would be a better service than we have now.
Ian Black, Essendon

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