Letters to the editor | December 4, 2017

NO FLOW: Sediment in the Tamar River has been a factor of the estuary's poor health. Picture: File
NO FLOW: Sediment in the Tamar River has been a factor of the estuary's poor health. Picture: File

Tamar Barrage

WHY install a barrage at Long Reach and not at some other location in the Tamar River? The primary driver for this location is the almost total elimination of new sediment deposits in the Tamar.

Tamar Lake modelling showed that with the barrage situated as close as possible to Bass Strait, without disrupting port operations at Bell Bay, the fine particle silt entering the Tamar from the catchment remains suspended in the freshwater flowing from the South and North Esk rivers as it flows through the lake and the gates in the barrage until it hits Bass Strait, provided the barrage gates are opened on the commencement of each ebb tide.

Positioning the barrage at any other location between the North Esk and Batman Bridge would simply move the sediment deposits further downstream. 

Locating the barrage in Long Reach has numerous other environmental benefits such as: Protection of the whole valley against sea level rise, including the low-lying areas of Launceston; an almost unlimited supply of freshwater in the valley for agricultural irrigation; a reduction in flood levels in Launceston for all flood events from five years to 200-year events; and eradication of the introduced pest rice grass allowing the recolonization of native species around the shoreline.

The transformation of a section of the Tamar from an estuary to a freshwater reservoir has numerous of other benefits including greatly improved water quality in the upper reaches, 24/7 minimum navigation depth of 5 metres from Low Head to Launceston Seaport, and an aesthetic presentation that greatly enhances the economic development potential for Launceston and the whole Tamar Valley in the tourist, industrial, agricultural and commercial segments.

Robin Frith, Launceston.

Tassie Talent

WOW, it is hard to imagine how much Tassie talent there is, of all ages. 

I was lucky enough to attend the annual concert of the Melissa Wimmer School of Theatrical Dance at the Princess Theatre on November 25.

There were such beautiful young performers in the children’s concert. Lovely smiles, beautiful costumes, good routines.   

A great credit to their teachers and parents who worked so hard to achieve a wonderful result.

And then, in the evening, the adult dancers set a high standard for the youngsters to work towards.

Again, great routines, beautiful costumes, and lovely smiles.   

How good to see a sprinkling of fellows in the numbers also.

How lucky we are to have such wonderful, dedicated and versatile people to brighten our lives.  Keep up the good work.

Bill Carney, Riverside.

Taswater Takeover

IT IS most unfortunate for Launceston that the state government’s planned takeover did not succeed.

With the Tamar arguably Australia’s most polluted river urgent action is required, but with 29 owners all vying for attention there is little hope that Taswater will in the near future do much constructive to right this situation.

One should not be surprised at the Legislative Council’s decision; it is, after all, dominated by former local government members with five former mayors and others former aldermen, all harking to determined campaigns by mayors Chipman and Downie. 

In the circumstances we Launcestonians must applaud the supportive stance taken by Rosemary Armitage and Ivan Dean. Local government in this state has not served its population well.

All require attention and one can imagine that the grossest of these serving greater Launceston is going to have to wait some years.

Dick James, Launceston.

Library art

THE so-called artwork on the north side of the library sorry LINC appears to have collapsed in on itself and looks really awful, what will the tourists think?

To me it always looked untidy and I could never really understand what it was meant to convey. It needs to be replaced.

Why not get exciting artist Leon Cooper (writes letters to editor at times) to design something exceptional as a replacement?

I think Leon is to Launceston, what Mona is to Hobart.

Malcolm Scott, Newstead.

Taxation by Stealth

A REPORT(The Examiner, November 11) stated that councils received dividends of $19.4 million from TasWater. It should be noted that councils also received $1.5 million in “loan guarantee fees” and $9 million in “income tax equivalents”.

In total councils received exactly $30 million from TasWater. While the councils receive $30 million per year TasWater proposes price increases for five years. The amounts received by the councils represent taxation by stealth.

The relentless pursuit of revenue by the three levels of government is forcing, small businesses, sporting clubs and residents of regional areas into penury.

Bernard Lee, Deloraine.

Trump card

FOR my entire 70-plus years I have been under the impression that if one is born in this country,  they automatically become a citizen of Australia regardless of where their parents and or grandparents were born and that interpretation appears to be backed up by my Collins dictionary.

Malcolm Turnbull may not be my favourite individual since his knifing of Tony Abbott (deserved or not), as a Prime Minister elected by the people should be allowed to see out his tenure and on no  account must we allow the Labor rabble to gain control as Bill Shorten has shown his criminal (in my opinion) union tendencies allied with his abject disloyalty to the Rudd/Gillard leaderships and we certainly cannot afford a local “Trump” that would be totally unAustralian.

Don Davey, Launceston.