Your community, your voice.

PROPPED UP: Anne Layton-Bennett, of Swan Bay, believes taxpayer subsidies have propped up the forestry industry for decades.
PROPPED UP: Anne Layton-Bennett, of Swan Bay, believes taxpayer subsidies have propped up the forestry industry for decades.

Forestry industry

For decades millions of taxpayer subsidies have kept forestry propped up - at the expense of properly funding our public services. The industry has never been either sustainable nor profitable. Minister Barnett’s jobs argument doesn’t stack up. Forestry has been shedding jobs for years, while automation is rapidly replacing those that still exist. Forestry employs barely two per cent of the workforce. Several international awards confirm Tasmania’s future lies with tourism. We are a must-see destination, due to our exceptional wilderness environment. As a result the Blue Derby bike trail is one example of a region undergoing an economic resurgence, an example that could so easily be replicated if the Hodgman government showed some vision, and the ability to recognise new employment and economic opportunities. 

Anne Layton-Bennett, Swan Bay.

Climate change

Who could argue with Dave Robinson (The Examiner, April 11)? Insurance companies are hiking their premiums after a couple of floods, so climate change/global warming must be real. Yet, in this land of “droughts and flooding rains” climatic extremes in both cases have been constant. The flood barrier at Royal Park is a reminder of a flood that occurred in 1929 and thousands more have followed in the intervening years here and interstate. The climate change disciples assured us in 1990 that the Maldives would be under water by 2000 – they are still there, still accepting tourists. The Arctic ice has been going to melt “within a couple of years” since 2000 – it hasn’t. The sea level was going to rise and drown us, yet the isthmus at Port Arthur and another on Bruny Island are unchanged, still sitting just above sea level as they were when settlement occurred. The effrontery of global warming experts is astonishing.

M. Chugg, Prospect.

Budget Action

Which political party has the ticker to bite the bullet on housing affordability and price stability? It could be contentious and cost votes. Although votes lost from traditional sources may be recouped elsewhere, since recipients have already received considerable taxpayer financial concessions. Perhaps the reason for refusing to act is all politicians have negative geared investment properties ranging from two to 50 properties each. Negative gearing and stamp duty concessions cost the budget $23 billion annually or $285 each property a week. Established properties are mainly investor preferred, neither of which provide employment or growth. Taxation and capital gains laws were amended in 1983 and 1985 respectively, with the intentions of subsidising retirement incomes. However, only investors benefit by artificially inflating rents and house prices. Restricting negative geared properties to new properties with financial upper limits would create employment and stabilise prices. It needs to be implemented now, not discussed in committees going on ad infinitum like their annual travel expenses, currently exceeding half a billion dollars.

Wally Reynolds, Perth.

Coalition Leadership

A combination of Tony Abbott’s comments and the push of the Right Faction of the coalition has obviously caused the Prime Minister to support the heir apparent, Peter Dutton, to pander to the Nationalistic and announce, what in reality are really tinkering with existing regulation for 457 visas and citizenship. But the likes of Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambie will no doubt feel that their voices are being heard and will tie up their votes in the Senate. When will Australia and the coalition accept their ill conceived involvement in the Middle East have totally caused the exodus of the people from Iraq, Syria and Libya, and still refuse to grant a safe haven for those whose suffering has continued for, in excess of 10 years. Just what are Australia’s values?

A Carter, Mowbray.