December 27, 2017: Your say on the Tamar, refugees, and pedestrians

Don Davey, of Launceston, puts forward his idea for the Tamar River in Launceston.
Don Davey, of Launceston, puts forward his idea for the Tamar River in Launceston.

Tamar Folly

IN RESPONSE to Robin Frith’s barrage suggestion, Dr Ian Kidd asks why a Tamar Barrage at all?     

Very simple, however it would need to be accompanied by the re-routing of the North Esk across the existing wasteland (usually flooded in winter) and exiting approximately at the rowing club on the Northern exit. 

It is estimated that up to 90 per cent of the silt entering the basin is contributed to by the North Esk,  as the majority of silt emanating from the South Esk is contained by the dam.

Not only would the North Esk become free flowing, rather than snaking its way into the city. It would stop the associated silt from entering the basin. A barrage with a bridge and a loch, which could be opened at high tide allowing the access of boating, along with an occasional flushing, would also allow West Tamar traffic to access East Tamar areas .

It is not difficult to imagine a fresh water lake in Launceston which would be for the most part full, it would vastly improve its tourism prospects, along with water sports, regattas and swimming carnivals.

However until the council resolves the third-world effluent and sewerage problem that currently exists, it will be left to future generations.

This solution has been forwarded by many more experienced engineers than yours truly, but one doubts that any such notions will be examined and or considered unless there is a serious outbreak of illness contributed to by this current folly . 

Don Davey, Launceston.

Refugees

CONTRIBUTIONS to the refugee debate by Peter Doddy and Len Langan (The Examiner, letters, December 9) reveal a marked insensitivity to the plight of those on Manus Island and Nauru.

It is a pity that these gentlemen pay insufficient attention to relevant facts. Most importantly the refugees are not illegal. 

The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights states "Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution".

They not illegal, they have committed no crime, and the overwhelming number have been assessed as genuine refugees.

Meanwhile, every year, many thousands come to this country by various means and overstay illegally. This inconvenient fact barely gains a mention by the media or relevant authorities.

Better to demonise the refugees, a task most zealously executed by Minister Peter Dutton, who has continually misrepresented their situation.

After four years or more there is no end in sight for these people nor is there much evidence of a plan B.

This situation has gained international attention and we have been roundly condemned by international refugee watchdogs. I find it breathtaking that anyone would find comfort in our intractable stance.

Nobody suggests that the situation is less than difficult but the report card reads "much more application is required to solve complex problems. Failed to achieve a pass mark."

Ralph Marshall, Launceston.

Roads

I WRITE in response to Col Hayward (The Examiner, letters, December 8).

Please don’t blame the state of our roads for the countless accidents (many fatal) that have occurred this year.

The main causes (and I’m sure Tasmania Police will confirm) are caused by excessive speed, unlicensed drivers and drunk/drugged road users, who don’t care about themselves or any other road user they may have the misfortune to encounter.

Regardless of road conditions there are people who will totally disregard all road rules because they have this “I’m invincible“ mentality. Guess what - it won’t always end well.

F. O’Sullivan, Riverside.

Religious privilege

MANY of us are still reeling from the horrors of the survey on marriage equality.

It has to be said that we are not looking forward to a similar public opinion poll on the findings of the panel instigated by the Prime Minister and headed by Philip Ruddock to investigate religious privilege here in Australia.

I say we are not looking forward to it but I concede that just as it was with the marriage equality survey, it is paramount that the opinion of every Australian voter is sought regarding such matters that have an enormous effect on our Australian society.

David Broughton, Legana.

Gaming Machines

WITH THE recent decision of the Tasmanian Labor Party to phase out gaming machines in pubs and clubs over a five-year period with associated compensation, the party must be prepared for the robust defence of the Federal Hotel Group, Tasmanian Hotels Association, and interstate lobby groups, for example, Clubs NSW.

The aforementioned three will defend profits before some people’s welfare, with the predictable retort of employment and entertainment, but ignoring evidenced based research, which finds the riposte to be somewhat misleading.

Let the battle for state government begin.

Kenneth Gregson, Swansea.

Kamikaze Pedestrians

WE ALL know that Christmas shopping can be hectic, frustrating, tiring and test one’s temper and stamina, particularly in the last several days before the big event.  

Thus the time spent waiting at traffic lights is a total frustration testing one’s patience.  

Unfortunately some respond to this by ignoring red ‘Don’t Walk’ signs.

I would remind pedestrians that motorists can get equally frustrated as they inch their way along busy streets.  

Both groups must respect the rules as flaunting them will inevitably lead to injury and death.

Dick James, Launceston.