Letters to the editor: Saturday, May 20, 2017

Dick James, of Launceston, says Sustainably sourced timber parallels a farmer growing crops except that the cycle is a 30 to 40 year one.
Dick James, of Launceston, says Sustainably sourced timber parallels a farmer growing crops except that the cycle is a 30 to 40 year one.

Timber Re-Awakening

QUITE excitingly the building industry is once again turning to wooden structures, and often these are high-rise. In Sydney, Lend Lease has just built a six-storey office block entirely out of sustainably sourced timber using cross laminated timber technology.

This is being applauded as heralding a new era for timber construction. In praising this development, Romilly Madew, of the Green Building Council, stated: “Sustainably sourced timber is a fast growing renewable resource. A timber building acts as a carbon sink, storing the carbon. Timber provides a range of co-benefits that support social sustainability. Timber buildings provide great thermal performance.”

In the light of this why are so many opposed to a Tasmanian timber industry utilising what grows so well and renewably in our state and provides constant ongoing employment in rural areas? Sustainably sourced timber parallels a farmer growing crops except that the cycle is a 30 to 40 year one. We shouldn’t get upset when such crops are finally harvested.

Dick James, Launceston

Citizenship Standards

Consider prospective new Australian citizens attempting to distinguish “Australian standards”. Some will or have already established themselves as employers, others as employees, some will receive disabilities others unemployment. All wish to become law-abiding citizens, understanding and complying with Australian "standards". At some point, a dilemma could occur requiring clarification.

After considering a media report of a construction company allegedly operating an unsafe work site whereby a wall collapses killing three people. The company was fined $250,000 for three deaths. Likewise, a legitimately elected body of construction workers choose to peacefully protest against unsafe work practices could find themselves liable to a fine of $3,000,000 for attempting to save lives? Which “standard” is to be accepted?  

Wally Reynolds, Perth.

Water and Sewerage

PETER Gutwein says 'I am surprised that the Tasmanian Conservation Trust accepts the state of Tasmania's infrastructure as satisfactory' (The Examiner, April 28). The trust doesn't accept the status quo, we ask the minister to tell the truth about how bad sewerage management is and the causes.

Taswater reports more spills than the national average but this does not mean they have more spills or spill more sewerage by volume. Taswater is required by the Environmental Protection Authority to report smaller sewerage spills (above 1000 litres) than utilities in Victoria (50,000L), Queensland (10,000L) and Western Australia (10,000L). No-one knows the total volume of sewerage spilt in Tasmania or other states. Fixing our problems will be far more costly and time consuming than other states. Taswater has far more treatment plants, dams, pumping stations etc than mainland utilities it is compared to. Taswater manages 111 sewerage treatment plants (78 large, 33 small). No mainland utility manages more than 27. Some manage a single plant.

Peter McGlone, Tasmanian Conservation Trust director

George Town Council

LOCAL Government Minister Peter Gutwein is well aware of the ongoing problems within the George Town Council. Ratepayers have had to endure six general managers or acting general managers in less than four years. Confidential severance payments most certainly occur but sadly ratepayers are not informed for the reasons for the revolving door in the top office.

 The mayor should be transparent. When in Opposition, Mr Gutwein was adamant that an inquiry was warranted. Now as Minister, Mr Gutwein’s reluctance to inquire into serious matters placed before him in regard to the George Town Council is puzzling.

Sue Neilsen, George Town.