January 26 has come and gone, attracting more controversy as the campaign to change the date continues.
The new Federal Government’s decision to allow public servants to work through the day if they chose – and the subsequent arguments inside those departments about whether other holidays were mandated in enterprise bargaining agreements – added a further layer of complexity to the question of what a public holiday is, and whether you can be forced to take one.
Is a public holiday really a holiday if people can pick and choose whether they work or not? What happens to the concept of a national day if a growing number of people don’t participate?
We asked, Should taking the Australia Day public holiday be mandatory? Some 812 readers voted.
Your choices to vote were: No, people can exercise their conscience. This received 45 per cent of the total, or 369 votes. Alternatively, you could vote: Yes, it should be a holiday for everyone. This received 55 per cent of the total, or 443 votes, making it a close winner.
This week, we’re wondering about whether scooters have had their day. The city of Paris says that on analysis, e-scooters don’t make sense, as Ian Bushnell reported recently.
“They are in the way and they are dangerous,” Deputy Mayor for Urban Transport David Belliard said, adding he favoured a ban to “pacify our streets and pavements”.
On 2 April, Parisians will vote on a referendum asking: “Do we or don’t we continue with free-floating rental scooters?” The vote is expected to be close, with influential Mayor Anne Hidalgo learning towards a ban.
In Canberra, the hire scheme operated by Neuron and Beam has been recently expanded to suburbs in Woden, Weston, Molonglo and Tuggeranong, Gungahlin and Yarralumla after Belconnen became the first district to be connected to the initial city zone in April.
Some readers love the electric scooters, noting how useful they are for short trips. But not everyone is a fan.
Souhair Naoum said: “They are always left in the middle of a footpath. So infuriating and dangerous.” Another reader wrote: “No-one said Canberrans were very smart … but let’s see a few more scooter riders die first, maybe the charging station could catch fire again, belching toxic ‘climate friendly’ smoke again!”