Letters to the editor: Saturday, August 12, 2017

Malcolm Scott, of Newstead, says if we had had the plebiscite on February 11, the same-sex marriage debate would have been done and dusted.
Malcolm Scott, of Newstead, says if we had had the plebiscite on February 11, the same-sex marriage debate would have been done and dusted.

Same sex marriage

THE situation is verging on the ridiculous. Let’s face it, the only result that will be accepted by its vocal supporters will be a yes vote. A conscious vote by members of both houses of federal parliament is the only way to achieve this it seems. A voluntary postal vote is a stupid idea, if it is going to happen it must be compulsory. If it is voluntary there could be tremendous pressure, firstly, to get people to vote and secondly, to get them the way you want them to. Should there only be a small response neither side would accept the result. If we had had the plebiscite on February 11, it would have been done and dusted one way or the other.

Malcolm Scott, Newstead.

Schools’ Tree Day

LAST WEEK schools and communities around Tasmania took part in National Tree Day and National Schools Tree Day. With Sustainable Timber Tasmania this year donating about 8000 seedlings to schools around the state, Schools Tree Day is a great hands-on opportunity for students to experience planting and caring for seedlings and to learn about the importance of trees to our environment and the value of wood as a natural, renewable and beautiful resource.

Many people would not be aware that in Tasmania we plant three trees for every single tree that is harvested. Half of Tasmania, or almost 3.4 million hectares is forested. Because of our world leading forest practices system, many of these forests have been previously harvested and regenerated, and will be again in the future. I commend all schools involved in this year’s Schools Tree Day and Sustainable Timber Tasmania for its ongoing support of the event.

Guy Barnett, Resources Minister

NAPLAN

PETER Underwood Centre’s Professor Kitty te Riele stated the obvious (The Examiner, August 4) when she said comparing averages on NAPLAN testing is not the key. In fact it shows how foolish the government’s goal is to have our state at or above national averages on all NAPLAN measures within three years (2020). If the results of our students worsen our teachers would be dismayed, but if the results of other states fell by more the goal would be met and our government would then be gloating having achieved its goal.

Terry Polglase, Lindisfarne.

Female Dr Who

HOW INSULTING of A.R. Trounson (The Examiner, August 9) to state that as the Dr Who character will be played by a female that to reflect that the character’s name should become ‘Nurse Who’.   The inference that can be derived from that comment is that women are of a lesser calibre than men and unable to be adequate doctors (or Timelords).  The flippant remark is also insulting as it implies that nurses are somewhat lesser professionals than doctors. It also completely ignores the fact that in this day and age female doctors are many and male nurses are in greater number.  The character of Dr Who has clearly been androgynous for some time now and as a fan of the show I am really excited to have a female Dr Who.  She will be simply another incarnation of a timeless Timelord who has entertained and thrilled for decades.

Geoff McLean, Launceston.

Manus Island

THE transcript of a phone call in January between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and US President Donald Trump, reveals that Mr Turnbull repeatedly stressed that Mr Trump did not actually have to accept any of the asylum seekers on Manus Island or Nauru, but only to vet them for resettlement.

The men, women and children detained by our government for more than four years are terrified about their future and their safety, with no policy by the government for their resettlement. What is going to happen to them? Where are they to go? Who is going to represent them? We need answers.

Sara Strong, Launceston.