January 3, 2018: Your say on barracks plan, pedestrians, section 44

Alan Hardman, of Legana, offers his praise and suggestions for a plan to turn the Paterson Barracks into a history hub.
Alan Hardman, of Legana, offers his praise and suggestions for a plan to turn the Paterson Barracks into a history hub.

Paterson Barracks

I COMMEND the four groups that have joined together to try and obtain the old Paterson Barracks.

With so much significance in the history of Launceston for the storage and display of so much of the history of the city’s past, it is a brilliant idea and I am all for it and suggest we should all support their efforts.

I would also suggest another identity, the Launceston Tourist Information Centre could be moved here as it would work in extremely well with the hub of our history.

It would all be easy to find and parking is available. In our travels around Australia I can not recall a centre like this could be.

We travel in our caravan and get many comments from other travellers that the present information centre is difficult to find and parking is impossible if you are in a caravan or motor home.

I urge the council to work with the groups involved with the big increases we can expect in the number of tourists in the future, we don’t want to send them away from our region with negative vibes.

Alan Hardman, Legana.

LGH

A NEW honour board recognising Launceston General Hospital trained nurses was served during the world wars has been unveiled (The Examiner, December 14).

That’s absolutely marvellous and the timing, that coincides with the 100th anniversary of World War I is perfect.

The LGH’s Ex-Trainee Association president and committee chairwoman Deanna Ellis said “the honour board features the names of 32 female nurses who enlisted during World War I and 26 for World War II, and one male nurse”.

It’s great that, not only is the honour board recognising the LGH’s excellence in training, but also the women who enlisted in both wars.

There are some of the many brave Australian nurses who followed the Anzacs, treated  their wounds, tended the sick and comforted the dying. Lest We Forget.

A.R. Trounson, Needles.

The Rules Need Changing

There is ample evidence - nearly everyday it seems, that the Australian Constitution is flawed and out of date.

After all, a 19th century piece of British legislation that quite naturally has difficulties of relevance in the 21st century world we live in. Very few things of the 19th century have relevance in 2017 and the Australian Constitution is no exception.

It never had any of the soaring aspirations of the American Constitution such as a Bill of Rights. And it never will because it is just too hard to change, amend, improve or even set things right.  Good and necessary change such as constitutional recognition of Aborigines as the original inhabitants of Australia does not even make it to the ballot because of the very real and justified fear that it would look very bad for Australia’s international reputation if this was, as is very likely, voted down.

We are stuck with this anachronistic document because the requirements of a majority of states and a majority in a majority of states, like the double majority, just sets the bar too high for the successful passing of a referendum. The imbalance of eight successful referenda as opposed to 44 failures sadly attests to this imbalance.

Rather than lament individual problems such as Section 44, would it not be more practical for all parties to agree to mount an informed, bipartisan campaign to address the core of the problem and have a referendum to change the conditions of passing future referenda to be set at a realistic level.

Other countries such as Switzerland can and do amend their constitutions when it is deemed necessary because circumstances have changed over time. 

Of course it should not be easy to change the laws by which we are governed but equally it should not be too hard as it is at the moment.

Rod Fenner, Launceston.

America

SO JACK Sonnemann, (Letters, The Examiner, December 16)  more Americans are in work than ever in its history and  America now has the lowest unemployment rate in 18 years and the highest stock market ever. 

That is good for every American.” Well, maybe not for the 41 million people, identified in a recently released UN report, who live in poverty, nine million of whom have zero cash income, they do not receive a cent in sustenance”.

The report was authored by Professor Philip Alston, an Australian accademic who is the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

And the sweeping tax cuts, so praised by Mr Sonnemann and  because of which “more Americans now have much more of their own money in their own pockets,” will deliver a bonanza for the super wealthy (60 per cent of the tax cuts go to the wealthiest 1 per cent) while in time raising taxes on many lower-income families. No thank you.

Peter Sanders, Hadspen.

Banjos

IN RESPONSE to letter from Dick James (The Examiner, December 20) regarding Banjos at Campbell Town.

Banjos didn't come here until after Zeps was well established.From memory it was at least one or two years later. Zeps was also opened by a Campbell Town woman and her Hobart partner.

Marianne Baker, Campbell Town.

Kamikaze Pedestrians

WE ALL know that Christmas shopping can be hectic, frustrating, tiring and test one’s temper and stamina, particularly in the final 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 the Don’t Walk signs.

And then some seem to have a kamikaze desire in rushing across streets with traffic bearing down. 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.