In the list recently released of ACT schools with lead and asbestos contamination I note that only the presence or absence of lead and asbestos is given. There is no indication of how serious the problem in an individual school may be. A considerable number of the schools listed are close to 50 years old and were built of materials commonly used at the time; some materials later discovered to present significant health risks. If a school has recently undergone an extensive remodelling and refit, such as Belconnen High School, removing as much of the offending materials as possible was surely undertaken. I don't suppose many schools have been been remodelled in a similar fashion; it was apparently an expensive and very time-consuming project. I wonder how former pupils, teachers and support staff are feeling about the risks they may have been exposed to during the years they spent at a particular school. It would surely help them, as well as current teachers and staff and parents, to be informed of the likely level of risk in each instance. Lead paint was banned in Australia with effect from 1974. Why are schools still testing positive for lead paint? Did the previous Education Department corner the world supply of lead paint? Has a contractor been cheating by importing lead paint for school painting work? Or have these schools not been painted since the last application of lead-based paint? How on earth has anyone had lead paint to apply in new schools such as in Gungahlin, which only had residents since early 1990s? Belconnen's first school was Aranda, which was opened in 1969 when the imminent ban would have been known. Tuggeranong started residential construction in early 1970s, so schools came later. Only in Kaleen was the school built before houses and then in the wrong suburb. It is understood that the treatment of lead paint surfaces is to paint over them. This protects painters from the danger of sanding, thus paint dust and then the public. How can the lead-painted surfaces not have received regular protective maintenance painting since the 1970s? If a painter is found to have applied lead paint in schools then all work undertaken by that contractor must be examined. Illegally-imported paint containing lead may have been used in other buildings. Tony Burke (Labor, right wing) thinks that Mathias Cormann (Liberal, far west) has "genuinely changed his position on climate change since his time in government" ("Cormann lands prestigious OECD role", March 14, p8). A miraculous conversion on his road to Paris. Burke said: "I expect that what he says about climate change now is what he believes." Even more surprising. So will he put pressure on his old mates in the Coalition government to greatly lift their game on emissions reductions? The Canberra Times readers should be thankful for its very timely expose of "the highest rates of physical violence" directed at ACT school principals ("Principals cop violence most in ACT", March 14, p1). Accompanying reportage of the ACU's Professor Herb Marsh and the most estimable CEO of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools, Beth Blackwood, warrants respect. But, there's a caveat. They're surprised. I'm not The ACT government's obsession with an "inclusive education system" requires substantial resources if such a concept is to operate broadly. Those kinds of resources are inadequate. This is especially so where violence is exhibited in the classroom, or on the playground, or in surrounding school approaches. Pupils' violence is too often sanctioned by the ACT government on the basis of "inclusiveness"; and is replicated within elements of the parent body. "Rights" and free speech prevail at the expense of accepting responsibility for one's actions. Victims' experiences demand sober reflection by the local education authority. I recently met four nice people at the Yarralumla shops. They were tasked with explaining (soft selling) the light rail to Woden project. Given its seemingly inevitable construction based presumably on "a sound cost-benefit analysis" I wonder why the government sees the need to do this. Mike Quirk (Letters, March 14) summed it up succinctly. Before the soft sell perhaps a re-evaluation of the rapidly developing bus technology would be a better use of public funds. Poor Nick van Weeldon (Letters, March 15). His complaint about having to walk from plane to baggage collection must be particularly galling for him. The fact that the walk is exactly the same as, or even shorter than, most airports is lost on him. Come on, Nick, the 100-metre walk will be good for you. Perhaps while he is trudging along he could reflect on the problems of others. You know, COVID-19, homelessness, joblessness and so on. Get a grip. Many thanks to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for lifting the roof on our boring lives, particularly during a time of boring COVID restrictions. QUOTE The Duke and Duchess's stoush with the rellies is like watching old episodes of TV shows from Dallas right through to Seinfield. I think I can bravely state on behalf of most loyal monarchists and republicans "hats off". This is jolly good stuff. We eagerly await every new episode - and it's free. Last year candles and bugles marked first light as neighbours stood solemnly in driveways then gathered (distanced) to yarn about Anzac Day. It was memorable. As numbers at the Australian War Memorial Anzac Day services will be limited again I hope that the AWM and the RSL encourage that in every street there will be a gathering at dawn. Hopefully resources for these gatherings will be available on the AWM and RSL websites. But please delete the third stanza of McRae's poem In Flanders Fields. As a veteran I find it inappropriate to be told "Take up my quarrel with the foe". I also hope that when all is done I do "rest in peace". On reading Chris Fowler's letter "Top journalism" (Letters, March 13) I turned to Frank Bongiorno's article, (Inside story, canberratimes.com.au, March 6) which he so highly recommended. It was called "Sunday, I've got Wednesday on my mind". It's about the elitist, status-conscious, patriarchal and cut-throat culture of Parliament House and its occupants' custom of undisciplined drinking together in neighbouring suburbs on Wednesday nights. I then read the letter "Too many grog shops" (Angela Kueter-Luks, March 13). I don't think I am the only citizen who thoroughly objects to the business of government being heavily influenced by inebriated encounters outside of the sensationally-expensive building designed specifically for the purpose of government. We need a culture which values moderation and self-control. If Peter Dutton is thinking about Australian values, I suggest he gives these due consideration. Shirley Gerrard (Letters, March 13) suggests that in 1988 we Canberrans voted "yes" to the Hawke government's offer of self-government. My recollection is that we soundly rejected, by more than two to one, a similar offer by the Fraser government in 1978, had self-government foisted upon us without our consent in 1988, and expressed our opinion at the first Legislative Assembly election in 1989 by bestowing less than 40 per cent of our votes on Labor and Liberal combined. Reported flooding, as well as powerline noise and visual blight, in and around a new development in Holt ("Flooding hits estate properties", March 13, p17), reveals the nature of some land "deals". One such was struck by the nearby Belconnen Magpies Golf Club, which "sold off" nine holes of its course to a developer who created the subject estate and park. The bulk of the remaining golf course is on high ground, above the new development. The ACT government was apparently complicit and allowed a children's playground and park to be sited directly under the power lines and pylons. These have reportedly been increased in size. The government should fix the flooding problem and pay for offending power lines to be put underground immediately. Surely Ian Morrison is misquoted (Letters, March 15). The termination of Annette Kimmitt at MinterEllison is a turning point in the fight against being controlled by women. A decade ago Cleaver Greene, a lawyer played by Richard Roxburgh in the ABC TV series Rake, declared (series one, episode one) "I care about the law. It's justice I don't give a toss about". In 2018 (season five) "Cleave" was elected to Parliament. Perhaps life does imitate art. On breakfast television last on Monday Dan Tehan spoke about what would be normal for Scott Morrison to do. That's the problem. What politicians normally do is not good enough. It's great news that Mathias Cormann has won the race to win the top job at the OECD. We can look forward to more appearances by the Cormann-referencing Darius Horsham character on Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell. It is indeed "a huge win for Australia", not least in satire. Dealing with so many scandals must be draining Scott Morrison's capacity to focus on his primary role as PM. His "don't blink first" approach appears reminiscent of John Howard who, I suspect, is lurking behind the Kirribilli curtains urging Scotty to hold his ground. RE "Rape laws flawed" (Letters, March 13). How sexist. Why shouldn't such a presumption be made for all defendants in legal proceedings? Then we could save vast amounts of time and money by avoiding the justice system entirely. ScoMo's anticipated response to the vaccine delay: "I don't hold a syringe, mate." I'd rather be woke than still asleep. At least I'd be aware of what was really happening instead of being lost in dreams. Perhaps the (rightly) under-fire Scott Morrison could prevail on Mathias to get him a plum PR job with the OECD? If the protesters had been builders, labourers or truckies, would the "daggy Dad" have told them they were lucky not to be shot? What a disconnect between our PM and the people on the Hill last Monday. He may as well have been on the moon. So much for Barr's commitment to keep the price of fuel down. I paid $1.41 a litre at Shell in Hawker for 91 octane on Wednesday. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send from the message field, not as an attachment. Fax: 6280 2282. Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Canberra Times, PO Box 7155, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610. Keep your letter to 250 or fewer words. 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