Letters to the editor | December 3, 2017

SAFETY: Dr Philip Dawson warns of the dangers of not wearing protection when cycling. Picture: File
SAFETY: Dr Philip Dawson warns of the dangers of not wearing protection when cycling. Picture: File

Cyclists and helmets

THERE seems to be an unseemly campaign to get rid of helmet laws.

United States figures indicate helmet wearing reduces the incidence of head injury in cyclists by 50 per cent While other data on reduction of injury in cyclists wearing helmets is inconsistent, this is probably because of low numbers and mechanism of injury.

If a cyclist is hit by a car going 100 km/h a helmet probably won’t save them, they will die of their other injuries.

If a cyclist simply falls off their bike they are unlikely to suffer a head injury, they usually put their hand out and break an arm, or slide along the road and lose skin.

However the one situation where helmets are really effective is where the cyclist comes off the bike either from a car, or a pothole, and slides along the road on their head and is scalped.

They can bleed to death in less than 30 minutes, which can be totally prevented by a helmet.

I feel more secure wearing a helmet when riding, even though I know if a large truck hits me it won’t help much.

I trust the truck drivers not to hit me.

I also wear leather gloves when cycling, to avoid losing skin on my hands if I fall off (which I haven’t for a very long time).

I wear safety glasses to avoid insects or stones in the eye, and I use a rear vision mirror to watch the traffic behind.

I have reflectors front back on pedals and flashing motion sensor LEDs on the wheels, as well as lights on bike, helmet, and reflective tape on the helmet.

A high-vis vest is a great investment.

I must look like a Christmas tree from behind at night, and I note cars give me a wide berth, whereas dimly lit cyclists get passed closely.

Cyclists decorate your bikes to improve visibility and you will be less likely to get hit.

Don’t mess with hurtling one tonne missiles (cars).

Dr Philip Dawson, George Town.

Flood protection

IN 2006 a planning and steering committee was formed within City of Launceston council.

Its aim was to prevent further development at Inveresk that would increase the consequences of a flood.

A review in 2007 was undertaken to guide further land use and development and management of natural environments until 2020, this led to classification of flood-liable land and a prohibition to include new residential developments, new schools, and aged-care homes, which could magnify flood damage.

In August, 2008 council aldermen voted to breach the agreed measures by easing the planning restrictions.

The council has since rescinded its decision to ease planning restrictions in the area.

However they are still picking apart Launceston’s Flood Protection Scheme for commercial gain.

Ron Baines, Kings Meadows.

Southern Buskers

HOBART has banned buskers from the Taste.

OK, City of Launceston council grab this and run.

Spend a few bucks on getting the word out.

Get a bus and transport as many Hobartian buskers up here as regulations allow.

Charge them a flat-rate fee for the chance to perform then distribute them from the Gorge to City Park, make sure all the coffee shops and eateries know about it and we got ourselves a Busker’s Festival.

Soon to be known nationally and internationally.

Robert Stephens, Summerhill.

Blot on Landscape

SPOT THE elephant in the scene (The Examiner, November 24) .

How could anyone consider putting such a tall, boring building in the centre of a beautiful Launceston landscape?

Val Clarke, Kings Meadows.

Label

IT HAS become a typical trait of those opposed to resettling refugees in Australia to label those who do support such action as ‘bleeding heart do gooders’ (The Examiner, November 26).  

The clear inference is to use the term as an insult, which is incredible.

If supporting fellow human beings who were being persecuted in their own countries to such an extent they were forced to leave and seek asylum in Australia, and then being subject to detention in foreign 'hell holes',  means I’m a ‘bleeding heart do gooder’ then I’ll were the tag with pride.

Unlike those against refugees (and often used derogatory terms about them) I do not make assumptions about them or why they want to come to Australia.  

That would be incredibly ignorant of me to do so.  

Each and every person seeking refugee status in Australia has their own personal circumstances and story to tell.  

As it stands many in this country refuse to hear those stories, let alone want to know the person behind it.  

That is the thing to be ashamed of.

Geoff McLean, Launceston.

Soul searching

WHAT A soul-destroying predicament the refugees on Manus Island are facing. They now have no country to return to safely.

On an island where they are not welcomed and a heartless arrogant federal government in Australia that just wants to be rid of them.

What determined these people to come by boat illegally is of no consequence as one must give a thought to their suffering war-hunger and fear.

We in Australia have never known such trauma and pray we don’t.

We all need to do some soul searching and demand that the government let these people find a safe haven here and now.

Jo Ford, Legana.

Heartless 

I TOTALLY agree with Anne Brelsford of Legana regarding her views on asylum seekers. I feel our government needs to show more care and compassion to people who have fled their countries due to wars or oppression.

These people who have been exiled on Manus Island have not committed any crime in Australia but only wished to seek safety and refuge and a country they felt would show them compassion and safe shelter.

Instead they are treated like criminals who have absolutely no rights and are exiled for rest of their lives.

Even our own criminals who have committed heinous crimes are usually given a term for their incarceration in far better conditions that those living on Manus Island and have some way of hope that one day they will be released.

Why is our government being so heartless? These people have served their so called ‘sentence’. Surely it is time to help them settle and find some meaningful employment in Australia.

To me it makes no sense for our government to keep paying for them to be stranded in a place that cannot offer them a meaningful life but instead allow them to start contributing back to our society with gainful employment.

Having said that I am now concerned that we have scarred these people for life and that they are now beyond finding any real life for themselves. What a tragedy. Shame on our government and shame on us for not standing up to bring about justice.

Sandra Walkling, West Launceston.

Health service

WE RECENTLY had occasion to use the Health Service in Launceston. My husband became unwell in the early hours of the morning and an ambulance was called.  

From the minute they arrived to his stay at accident and emergency, then a medical ward for four days, the care and service provided was second to none.   His discharge plan was effected on admission and follow up care post discharge arranged.

All the boxes were ticket for ‘par excellence’ from all staff we dealt with: ambulance, medical, nursing, allied health, catering, housekeeping and administration.  

Nothing was too much trouble. A huge bouquet to the staff and services of our wonderful and professional Launceston General Hospital.

Louise Potesky, Norwood.

Offensive Words

IN RESPONSE to Mick Leppard (The Examiner, November 21), leaving the names as they are is offensive to me, Mick Leppard. Place names such as Nigger Head Rock, Suicide Bay and Victory Hill on the North-West Coast are remarkably offensive to the majority of non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal people alike I am sure, you only need to know a little bit of history to know why. Leaving those names does nothing for community moral and building community relationships up. It’s just another issue to contend with in the lead up to Invasion Day Celebrations-let’s hope that that ‘celebration’ gets changed very soon too.

Tessa Atto, Ravenswood.

Development Planning

FOLLOWING your report on the forum to address key issues of concern about the proposed Tasmanian planning scheme, I suggest the challenge is for the people of Launceston to decide what is the ‘iconic character’ of Launceston. Then the planners, architect and artists reflect this in their designs.  For instance there needs to be some sculptures in public places and the city centre, can be found in many European towns, such as Bamberg and Bratislava, which add so much to the pride and identity of those cities.

Such developments will be of interest to locals and tourists alike.

Narendra Mahant, Legana.