Letters to the Editor | Monday, November 13, 2017

The land in question has been transferred by the City of Launceston to the University of Tasmania, to make way for its Northern campus transformation project.
The land in question has been transferred by the City of Launceston to the University of Tasmania, to make way for its Northern campus transformation project.

UTAS land gift 

THE gifting of land to the University of Tasmania by the Launceston City Council is a slap in the face to the Aboriginal community – whose ancestors fought and died on the banks of kanamaluka (Tamar River) defending their land from the invading Europeans.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal community have continuously been denied land return in the Launceston area. We have had less than 1 per cent of our tribal lands returned across the state. Aborigines have a long association with the Launceston area.

Aside from the fact that Aborigines lived here for tens of thousands of years prior to the invasion, Launceston was where most of the Aboriginal families re-settled after they were forced off Cape Barren Island in the 1950s and ’60s by the Tasmanian Government’s assimilation agenda.

As difficult as it was for those families dealing with the racist attitudes of the times and the discrimination, they stuck together and persevered. 

The next generations of those families are still in Launceston today – many of whom went on to be involved in Aboriginal services and the political struggle.

The first Tasmanian Aboriginal land rights march was in Launceston in 1976.

People marched from Princes Square to Civic Square in a show of unrest towards the denial of land rights. Aboriginal marches, rallies and celebrations have been continual in the Launceston city to this very day.

Acknowledgment of Launceston’s Aboriginal history is widespread.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre receives countless requests by councils, government bodies and organisations to give a ‘welcome to country’ whenever there is a meeting or event in Launceston.

The Launceston City Council has endorsed the naming of previously unnamed landscape features around the town with Aboriginal names.

The state government has worked with us to dual-name places and features such as kanamaluka, in recognition of Tasmania’s long Aboriginal history.

There are plaques and community gardens around the town highlighting Launceston’s Aboriginal history.

With all this history, public acknowledgment and our continual requests for land return, why is it that the Launceston City Council overlook the Aboriginal community and hand our tribal lands over to UTAS?  The Tasmanian Government and the local councils should be using any opportunity possible to return Aboriginal lands.

Other states, such as NSW, are miles ahead of Tasmania.

Adam Thompson, Launceston.

Road Confusion

JUST A couple of weeks back an international driver lost her life being on the wrong side of the road and doing an internet search there is lots on the wrong side.

One solution that has not been tried in Australia in every state is a yellow line down middle of road. All other lanes to left of centre is marked white lines. 

Where you may have ‘no standing’ yellow lines on far left kerbing, change to red.

Most of us have been caught not knowing what kind of roads are at times, especially where a new stretch of freeway is used for two way traffic, where the freeways does not have duplication on other side. A car must at all times must be left of yellow line unless overtaking with broken lines. Even if a driver turns on an unknown road, going the wrong way would have yellow on left. Stop and turn around.

International drivers who hire cars should have a yellow dashboard velcro strip pressed on right side of dash or windscreen to remind drivers they are in a different country.

Last issue, I still say yellow is more visible in poor light. You have some say their is no difference but on the issue of saving lives, give it a go. The only inconvenience is road marking as you need a road marker for white and one for yellow.

Walter Christy, Shearwater.

1.5 Metre Rule

IT WAS an ironic moment this morning when I drove to my local service station to buy petrol and The Examiner newspaper.

Instead of being a four minute drive to the station it took nine minutes.

I was stuck behind a car that could go nowhere down Wellington Street because of the unaware and couldn't care attitude of five cyclists in front of the car in front of me. At one stage (for probably 80 metres) they were five abreast. Granted they were behind each other two-three abreast, but at least three metres apart. 

At no stage could the car in front continue at its normal speed, or pass because of the islands. Is it any wonder I liken most cyclists to crayfish. All meat in the legs and mustard in the head.

I proceeded to get fuel and paper, and the headline on the Sunday Examiner(November 5) is ‘Cycle City’.

Is there anyway these arrogant pedal pushers cant be taught road sense?

I don't think so.

Steve Rogers, South Launceston.

Christians

AUSTRALIA is in danger of becoming a country where the tail wags the dog.

Minority groups that try, and too often succeed, to delay or shut down  important commercial projects, that would create much-needed employment, by either taking direct protest action, or court procedures.

Wide division in our society has been brought about because people in same-sex relationships refuse to accept anything less than marriage as legal recognition of their relationships.

Although they make up 52 per cent of the population (2016 ABS census) Christians are repeatedly branded as bigots and homophobes for merely expressing their support for traditional marriage.

A minority of people are using the 18c law as a means of stifling reasonable free speech by claiming to be discriminated against or offended.

Duly elected governments are often being held to ransom by a handful of independents, when trying to get important legislation passed.

Wake up Australia before it's too late.

Ian Macpherson, Newstead.