I WAS walking the streets of Melbourne one evening in mid July.
I walked past a homeless man staring into his cap on the ground. It had 60 cents in it, his gaze never moved, he didn't break eye contact with that cap, head hung low, just staring into it.
Everyone walked past him as if he didn't exist,.ashamedly including myself.
I returned about four hours later, my stomach full of food and beverage from a work function.
That same person was still in the same spot, crouched down, staring into his cap. He now had about $1.50 in it.
I put some money in his cap but felt helpless to do more, I didn't know what more I could do.
There are now seemingly so many people living on the streets in ever increasing numbers. It seemed everywhere I walked, someone was around the next bend in the same situation.
I know the same thing happens here in Tasmania but I guess I am not confronted with it on the scale that I saw the other day.
I've heard it all before, where people say things like "many of them are con men, many are druggies, many have mental health issues".
No matter what their personal circumstance, people should be made feel that they matter and that society cares. I don't have the answers, I only wish I did.
All I do know is that as a society, and as individuals, we need to be better than this, we need to do better than this.
I can't get that man staring into his cap, out of my thoughts.
And I can't help but feel guilt.
Todd Lambert, Devon Hills.
National Homelessness Week ran from August 7 to 13. For more information visit homelessnessaustralia.org.au
IT WAS interesting to see the social media exchange between Opposition Leader Rebecca White and Health Minister Michael Ferguson recently.
Ms White claimed that St Lukes Health Insurance is implementing the 'medihotel' concept to care for new mothers who have just given birth and require hospital care over the road in the hotel before they are ready to go home.
And Mr Ferguson challenged medihotels on safety reasons. Surely this innovation would be welcomed by all concerned?
However it serves to reason that health policy makers and insurers should always make sure that top quality care is the goal, not trying to save a buck. We will all watch how successful this medihotel will become.
Obviously the nurses and doctors unions were consulted because I don’t see them protesting in the streets.
Brenda Coggin, Trevallyn.
I APPEAL to Premier Will Hodgman and Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding to review their decision to build a new bridge for the Perth bypass.
This road may be necessary to allow the large trucks to race to and from Hobart.
The problem is, and will still be, the South Esk bridge at Perth.
Imagine once stage two is completed the double-trolley trucks will be doing 110 km/h.
Surely we need a new, wide bridge to cross the river and keep the current bridge for the local traffic on either side?
The small roundabout could become an underpass.
I appreciate the state government has the funds to complete stage two but it is going to be much more expensive and dreadfully disruptive to Perth and highway traffic to start again with stage three.
I appeal to the state and federal government to find the additional money to build the new bridge and do the proper and definitive job now rather than start again in 20 years’ time.
Berni Einoder, Launceston.
TO DESCRIBE recent political efforts regarding the same-sex marriage imbroglio undertaken by federal politicians as 'tongue in cheek' and 'paying lip-service to', elevates the issue to a place many of us might not wish to go.
Dave Robinson, Newstead.
“UNBELIEVABLY unfair” is how this grieving father describes the laws here in Tasmania.
While a woman gets nine months jail for ripping off Centrelink, the speeding, negligent driver who killed two people (including my son) and seriously injured a third person gets off scot-free.
Such injustices never allow shattered parents to move on.
A.R. Trounson, Needles.
Phone use in cars
ALREADY in the past five days I have reminded drivers as I've been beside them at the traffic lights (on my bike) that it is a $300 fine and three demerit points for their mobile phone use that they are currently engaged in, even at the lights.
Well wouldn't you know, yours truly has received four different responses to this very serious action.
The classic verbal 'none of your business', the 'bird', the 'death stare' and you guessed it, being totally ignored. May I say, isn't it better a member of the public remind them of their errant ways before the men and women in blue do and more importantly before there is an accident.
Robert Lee, Summerhill.
IN REFERENCE to the editorial Region's battle with drugs (The Examiner, August 2).
The editorial acknowledges that the "solution isn't simple", but suggests that educating people at a young age around the inherent risks is the best answer.
It's only part of the solution. The more important answer, though the most difficult, is to dedicate the required resources into finding out why. Why do people feel they need these drugs to cope with life?
And what do we need to do to relieve this pressure?
Geoff Mooney, Westbury.