Letters to the Editor | July 16, 2017

EMBARRASING: Anne Brelsford thinks former prime minister Tony Abbott is not the man to lead the country.
EMBARRASING: Anne Brelsford thinks former prime minister Tony Abbott is not the man to lead the country.

Turnbull or Abbott

I DO wish Mr Abbott would slink off somewhere and keep quiet.

I admit Mr Turnbull has been disappointing, but the far-right keep holding him back, so there it is. But Mr Abbott had his go at the top job, and succeeded only in embarrassing Australia worldwide. Who can ever forget that brilliant captain's call of giving a knighthood to Prince Phillip?

Surely even the Liberals would not be stupid enough to let a man like that influence current policy? (Or shudder, have another go).

Anne Brelsford, Legana.


IF CATS ate crops, the government wouldn’t hesitate to implement an effective, strict cat management program.

Our iconic wildlife is precious and must be protected also, especially from cats.

Cat owners, by keeping your pets contained, you are keeping them and the wildlife they destroy, safe.

The government should show greater incentive by making the desexing of cats cheaper. Unchecked breeding leads to the cruel dumping of cats with all its horrible consequences.

Elsa de Ruyter, St Helens.

Launceston Airport

THERE appears to be a surge in potentially available public moneys to improve infrastructure in the North of the state.

When such moneys become available a quick search is done on what to spend it on, otherwise it will be lost, and this means sometime not the best use of the moneys due to a required quick decision. For example upgrading malls, bus stops and so on.

An ideal project would be to extend the runway at Launceston airport to accommodate larger aircraft and allow direct international flights. 

As we are aware, Hobart’s Lanherne Airport 500-metre runway extension has been recently completed. This will allow direct transport of milk products from North-West Tasmania’s Woolnorth agricultural complex each fortnight. It will also allow other Tasmanian products to be directly flown from Tasmania to China and Asia.

An extension of the Launceston runway would be relatively straight forward and would need levelling of a rocky knob at Breadalbane, creating work for local construction companies. This, added to the work to extend the runway, would provide an everlasting infrastructure asset for north Tasmania.

Whilst this would take a couple of years’ work the benefits will be ongoing, plus allow flights from overseas to have an alternate landing field in the state when required due to weather conditions or freight waiting.

Over the next three years it is probable the number of visitors to Tasmania will increase, some coming directly on international flights, but the domestic visitor increase will probably be coming on larger planes directly to Lanherne, thus reducing the Launceston Airport traffic.

An incidental bonus is that the Western Junction rail is adjacent to the airport and any future tourist train could link directly with the airport terminal. Possibly a service to Launceston, Scottsdale scenic railway via tunnel and to north west Tasmania?

This is a real doable and ongoing valuable infrastructure build for consideration by local, state, federal and industry representatives.

The federal government is currently investing in airport infrastructure with the funding of a new Sydney airport, a rail link to Melbourne airport, and the planning of an inland rail system from Melbourne to Brisbane.

A new privately funded international airport has been recently built and is operational in Toowoomba. Mildura runway has been extended and hosts international flights to carry its local produce direct to Asia.

The time is right to start the process of getting this aviation project off the ground.

G. Long, Launceston.

Traditional Marriage

BEING heterosexual I support traditional marriage.

That does not mean I hate homosexuals.

Jack Sonnemann, Lucaston.

Question of Indifference

MARY Bates (The Examiner, June30) might be a little beyond reality when she asserts that gay marriage is a concern to most Australians.

One can think of dozens of greater concerns before this arrives on the list.

Having an opposition that could genuinely offer an alternative government might be number one. Having an opposition that was capable of managing our economy with a credible leader might be a major item.   

We might go on to reassess our out of control foreign aid programmes as against the needs of our own children, grandchildren and pensioners.

Encouraging our parliamentary representatives to behave as if they believed in Democracy with an obligation to actually communicate with the electorate would also be a priority consideration.

The list is not easily exhausted and a great many items stand before the overplayed question of changing the marriage act to favour the over-vocal minority at the cost of the majority.

The eventual outcome of this question will be decided more by general indifference than support.  The majority of us are sick and tired of the subject.

Len Langan, Longford.


AT FIRST I was against the notion of a plebiscite to determine the progress of marriage equality here in Australia, but of late I am warming to the idea that the decision making process that is supposed to be carried by our elected representatives could be made a great deal cheaper if all decisions were to go directly to a public vote in the form of a referendum.

We would no longer need any elected representatives because, in effect we would be representing ourselves, and the savings on salaries, and advisors, and travel allowances, and living away from home allowances, and pensions and so on would be astronomical.

Perhaps the various matters for decision could be saved up and, say once or twice a year, presented to the entire nation for our input and determination?

We might need one or two lower-level public servants to carry out our wishes (cross the Ts and dot the Is so to speak), but on the whole it might prove to be a splendid way to go.

Trail blazing?

I know that I would certainly welcome the opportunity to comment on whether or not our soldiers should go overseas to fight and possibly die.

I would also enjoy being able to directly influence the question of corporate tax cuts.

And I’m not at all sure that I wouldn’t object to the penalty cuts that our poorest workers will be subjected to.

I know that I would never have to decide on wages increases for politicians, because we wouldn’t need any politicians.

What about fracking: can we decide on fracking?

The environment clearly needs some serious thought as well because those in power at the moment don’t seem to care all that much.

What about euthanasia: could a public vote on euthanasia sort it out once and for all?

What do you think?

David Broughton, Legana.


LOOKING at Donald Trump's latest tweet war with CNN, I do believe he's trying to draw attention away from the fact that his administration isn't doing as well as he would like.

The stalling of his attempted destruction of Obama Care being just one example.

It's either that or he needs to go back to kindergarten.

Richard Hill, Newstead.


HOW refreshing to see in (The Sunday Examiner, July 9) last week a large section of the letters page devoted to positive experiences at the Launceston General Hospital.

The LGH is a great hospital and the staff are outstanding.

I would like more people to write to The Examiner and recount their good news stories.

So often we see people use the LGH as a political football especially around election time, because it is a big target.

The more that people travel interstate and overseas the more they appreciate the LGH and all that it offers.

We are a lucky city and region, so stop whinging and be grateful for what we have on our doorstep.

John O’May, Riverside.

Educating Millennials

A REPORT from the Educational Testing Service for the OECD found that American millennials are way behind millennials in most other industrialised nations.

Half of American millennials score below the minimum standard of literacy proficiency.

Only two countries scored worse by that measure: Italy (60 per cent) and Spain (59 per cent).

The results were even worse for numeracy, with almost two-thirds of American Millennials failing to meet the minimum standard for understanding and working with numbers.

That placed US Millennials dead last for numeracy among the study's 22 developed countries.

Australians came second last.

Jack Sonnemann, Lucaston.