Letters to the editor | July 12, 2017

PROCESS: A file photo of salmon processing.  Robert Lee wants to know if a federal assessment will be needed for the planned Okehampton Bay project. Picture: Fairfax
PROCESS: A file photo of salmon processing. Robert Lee wants to know if a federal assessment will be needed for the planned Okehampton Bay project. Picture: Fairfax

Assessment needed?

IT’S certainly a contentious issue that the federal government's Commonwealth Grant Agreement (which is basically taxpayer money) of some $ 712,000 is to be provided to Spring Bay Seafoods which will help meet  half the expected cost of a salmon pre-processing and loading facility at Triabunna.

This no doubt will benefit Tassal Group's proposal to harvest some 800,000 salmon in 28 pens at nearby Okehampton Bay.

Well, I say, all this may  depend on the federal Department of Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg's decision whether the Okehampton Bay project needs federal assessment due to concerns over impacts on protected migrating whales, seals and coastal marine reserves.

If federal assessment is needed, one had better not count their 'alevins' before they hatch for the $712,000 taxpayer dollars may be better spent elsewhere.

Robert Lee, Summerhill.

Missile shield

CHINA will have to act now on their crazy southern cousin, North Korea, now that country’s missiles can now reach China’s most southern port.

Of course I mean Port Darwin, China’s newest asset.

Peter M. Taylor, Midway Point.

Gun law changes

I AM an old age pensioner (80) and also a firearm owner.

Own only, a single shot, .410 calibre values (I’m told) at about $25. I use it to disperse crows etc. from my poultry runs.

When the gun laws came into force regarding gun storage I purchased an approved unit. Now I’m told my $300+ cabinet is illegal and I must buy a new one. I’m expected to pay the same cost to store one only firearm as someone who has up to nine. No-one would break into my home to steal an item worth $25.

Try and explain this to the city bred politicians who have no idea that to a farmer a gun is just a working tool, like an axe or a spade. It is not a weapon of mass destruction.

The new regulations mean a gun safe must be made of 2 inch thick metal walls, an increase I’m reliably informed of the thickness of two playing cards. What a huge deterrent, it would probably take a thief an extra 10 seconds to cut through with an angle grinder. We have all seen (on television) thieves cutting into ATMs composed of much more robust material.

Also, if the current gun cabinets are so unsafe, why have gun owners been given a full six months to comply with the new regulations.

C. Mooney (Senior), Campbell Town.

Top heavy government

IT APPEARS that the two most progressive areas in our region of the world are Queensland and New Zealand, both of which abolished their Upper Houses of Parliament many decades ago. Queensland almost a century ago.

Tasmania is so bogged down with governments of all levels that it is a small miracle that we can function at all. We have a Legislative Council which is not necessary, 29 local councils and more boards, consultants, mayors, aldermen, experts and executives than probably anywhere in the world.

We have a council and its infrastructure for every 17,000 people, Victoria one for every 76,000.

Too much of our money is wasted on government instead of governing. It is wrong that young families and pensioners should have to ration basic needs in winter to be able to provide warmth because they struggle to meet government imposed bills, Hydro rates, water.

If our state is ever to be regarded by the other states as anything other than a chain around their necks then we should take the lead from Queensland and New Zealand and dispense with the Upper House and cut local councils by more than half.

Lyle Cook, Shearwater.