Letters to the editor | October 13, 2017

Malcolm Scott says the benefits of public transport and walking are huge.
Malcolm Scott says the benefits of public transport and walking are huge.

Public transport

SO GLAD the editorial (The Examiner, September 27) tackled the issue of public transport.

As a very regular user, I would like to make some comments. Yes, we are often looked upon with contempt as we wait at bus stops. The one in southern St John Street is very antisocial, something must be done.

While accepted as the norm in major cities, there is something of a stigma about using public transport in Launceston. Sometimes fellow passengers can be annoying, but I am just thankful I am not on a flight to London or a 20 day bus trip with them.

Actually the Metro bus service is very good, if you can read a timetable.

Taxis are very useful, my advice is to find an excellent driver and make that driver your regular. Taxi drivers must remember they are on the front line of tourism.

I recently got a ghastly one on arrival in Brisbane, it spoilt my whole trip and I never want to visit Brisbane again.

Walking is the best exercise known to man, but few do it, I smile when i see people driving their cars to fitness establishments.

I have enrolled in a balance program, we are told to do very strange exercises at home,but walking doesn’t seem to count, all the members of the class except me arrive by car.

As a former economics teacher, let me say, the economic benefits of not owning a car and using public transport are huge.

Malcolm Scott, Newstead.

Apathy

THE abject apathy of its constituents is exactly what our government’s and council's rely upon in the distribution of  their rates, taxes and other numerous charges they have continually foisted upon us over the years.

About 12 years ago my rates were about $1200, which included water, after which TasWater was formed as a separate entity, and the rates dropped to about $750.

Now my rates are more than $1200, and my now separate water bill is $243 a quarter.

A total of $2172, almost a 100 per cent rise.

Wages and pensions certainly have not increased by this amount, and the Tamar is still a stinking sludge pit, little better then many third world countries.

Perhaps an investigation needs to be conducted into exactly where and how our money is spent.

Don Davey, Launceston.

Inveresk campus

GEOFF McLean (The Examiner, October 1) claims the city centre is five minute walk from Inveresk. It is in fact at least 15 minutes. 

This continues the assumption, without evidence, that because the university people can walk to the city they will. 

The university could in fact measure the impact of the current Inveresk population on the city centre, not only to measure the number making the trip to the city (apparently small), but also whether this caused a net increase of economic activity there.

Though why would students walk to the city for a coffee to fuel the putative coffee led recovery when Inveresk has its own cafes?

All the claimed benefits so far of the move are simply zero sum. A coffee drunk or a building built at Inveresk is simply not one at Newnham. 

I suspect that this whole exercise is a manifestation of Parkinson’s Law. The more a project costs the less evidence is required and less objective measurement occurs.

The university needs to state the clear measurable objectives of the move the current baseline and the predicted increases.

It would be too much to expect the statement of the consequences of failure.

For example the university had equal ratio of male to females in 2005, but now there are about 7000 more females than males. Can we expect more males?

Richard Pickup, Karoola.

Dole bludgers

THE unemployed are not dole bludgers. They work for the dole and pay GST.

Leon Cooper, St Leanards.

Terrorist laws

ONCE again the leaders of the Western World tell us that terrorist attacks will not change our way of life, and yet we are continually subjected to more and more intrusion by the government into our lives.

This follows the usual government line of create fear, but tell the populace that they have the answers,however you will have to be subject to reduction of rites of freedom of passage. Let’s hope that any terrorist who wishes to carry out an attack will make sure that their driver’s licence is current.

A Carter, Mowbray.

Tall buildings

IN HIS letter responding to Peter McGlone (The Examiner, October 4) Planning and Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein states that “a proposal cannot be eligible under the other broader significance criteria if the height provides the only means of it meeting the significance.  A building just because it is tall is not a major project...”

Here’s the rub. What he doesn’t say is that a tall building can not be a significant project, the criteria for which can subjective and open to political influence, a trait we have seen too often in the past in Tasmania. The community needs assurances this can’t happen again.

Minister, can we be confident that, as you say “our current planning processes are more than adequate to cope with assessing hotels”, even tall ones that might be ruled to be significant projects?

Malcolm Cowan, West Launceston.

My hope

MY MAJOR hope is to see the Tamar River become the tremendous playground it could be. It would be wonderful to see people of all ages using its waters with rowing, kayaking, sailing, swimming and fishing all being thoroughly and safely enjoyed. All these activities are possible but first we must clean up the river so that its waters are not health risks. Tentative steps are being taken to bring about this delightful scenario, but I am impatient.

We need state and federal funding to expedite the river’s renewal and this is why I support state government takeover of TasWater.

Dick James, Launceston.