5 July 2021

Probing the polls: aggressive drivers and seaplanes on the Lake

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Cessna seaplane

Would allowing seaplanes to land on the lake be a nuisance? Photo: File.

Our opinion writers have struck a chord with many Canberra road users, who agreed with Zoya Patel that Canberra drivers are becoming more aggressive.

Hundreds of readers commented after Zoya asked, “Is it just me, or are drivers getting more aggressive? Are we becoming complacent about how risky dangerous driving is and the consequences it can have? Do we need to change the way we monitor and police the roads, or is it time I invest in a dashcam and assume the responsibility myself?”

READ ALSO Are Canberra drivers becoming more aggressive?

There were plenty of specific examples of bad driving and more thoughts on whether this is a general trend.

OpenYourMind said: “What I find amusing with this discussion is that when the topic of cyclists is raised, there is the usual noise about cyclists breaking the law, eg ‘I once saw a cyclist run a red light or I once saw a cyclist riding two abreast’. Certainly my anecdotal evidence is that such events are relatively rare.

“Meanwhile a mention of crappy car driving and there’s 231 responses clamouring to say how bad Canberra car drivers are. Remind me, where’s the problem?”

And Frustrated wrote: “I have always felt Canberra drivers were agressive, self centred and rude. However, it is definitely worse now, if that was possible since the population has grown so much in the past two decades”.

We asked Are Canberra drivers becoming more aggressive? A total of 1138 readers voted

Your choices were to vote No, it’s all relative and our traffic is no worse than elsewhere. This received a total of 29 per cent, or 325 votes.

Alternatively, you could vote Yes, I see dangerous driving on our roads frequently. This received a total of 71 per cent, or 813 votes.

This week we’re wondering whether we should allow seaplanes to land on Lake Burley Griffin.

After a test flight last December, the NCA is considering a proposal for four daily services between Rose Bay and Canberra, two of which would land on and take off from the lake, tying up at the dock near the National Museum of Australia.

The test flight involved a single-engine Cessna Caravan, but the company plans to use the bigger, two-engine amphibious Twin Otter operated by two pilots and carrying a maximum of 14 passengers.

READ ALSO Seaplanes bid a tipping point for Canberra, say Lake Guardians

The Lake Guardians and other lake users have raised concerns that the plans would lead to a qualitative change in the use of the Lake, including fears over noise pollution and interruption to well-established recreational sailing and other activities.

Capital Retro wrote: “As long as the government charges the operators landing/takeoff fees and docking (parking) fees at the same rate as the Canberra Airport does I don’t have a problem with it. Maybe down the track a carbon tax to offset the exhaust emissions should be applied.”

But Ross Bryant said: “Years of no powerboats and now they want to land seaplanes. Wow, that’s a pretty big turnaround.”

Our poll this week asks:

Should we allow seaplanes to land on Lake Burley Griffin?

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Gerald Lynch11:30 am 08 Jul 21

What suggests it will be “fun” and “enliven the lake”? This is a judgemental statement that ignores the rights of all other active and passive users of the lake in favour of a privileged minority seeking to make personal financial benefit from a public asset.

Steve Austin11:26 pm 06 Jul 21

Canberras lazy cops went with removing markrd police traffic patrols in favour of lazy cameras and unmarked cars to get their quotas then knock off.. drivers know that they can do as they please with low chances of being caught.. you can only police ALL road laws with real police in real marked police cars… that’d keep more drug drivers off the roads too…

Peter Graves3:46 pm 05 Jul 21

What has not been noticed is that the proposal involves taking off from Rose Bay in Sydney. This is not the “City Centre” as the promotional material maintains. There is a very crowded New South Head road to the city, or a ferry route. And reverse. Not quite the convenience of city-city transport.

And to make money, wouldn’t the proponents need to conduct joy flights around Canberra, in between the scheduled Canberra-Sydney-Canberra flights ? I don’t mind the Careflight helicopters coming in over our house, as that means serious injuries.

But part of the bliss of Canberra is not having plane engines and their noises over our heads. There’s a reason why houses around Sydney Airport are cheaper than suburbs further away.

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