Letters to the editor | March 14, 2018

Symphony under the Stars at Launceston's City Park has been a popular event.
Symphony under the Stars at Launceston's City Park has been a popular event.

Changing of the guard

WITH the imminent changing of the baton at the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO), managing director Nicholas Heyward is set to retire at the end of 2018.

Over the past 17 years, quite a number of changes has occurred to the TSO, including collaborations with contemporary artists like Missy Higgins, who played alongside the TSO at the first Skyfields Concert outside of Sheffield, with the imposing Mount Roland as the ideal backdrop. Bus transport was provided from Sheffield to this wonderful site, with a kind and somewhat concerned gentleman providing information that a coat would be highly recommended.

With a temporary lapse of hubris, this advice was acknowledged, but unfortunately not acted upon, with the length of the night seemingly strengthening the all-pervasive cold.

City Park in Launceston has always been an outstanding annual event in February, with a relaxed and contented audience of thousands always returning year after year.

I am sure Mr Heyward will not be contented with retirement, and look forward to his next chapter of endeavour, whatever that maybe – good luck and thank you for years of pleasure and enjoyment.

Kenneth Gregson, Swansea.

Parliament size

GREG Hall MLC (The Examiner, February 25) putting his views on why the parliament needs to increase from 25 to 35.

Tasmania has about 515,000 residents. Victoria has a population of 5.791 million (2013), there are 128 Victoria members of parliament.

Comparing Tasmania to Victoria we are already over governed with 25 members, should the parliament be increased, which shouldn’t happen due to our modest population the parliamentarians received a 40 per cent pay rise when the decrease to 25 members happened, therefore the people of Tasmania would be expecting a 40 per cent pay cut should the parliament be increased to 35 members. Tasmanians also doesn’t need 29 councils, we are well over governed.

D. Porter, Prospect.

Gun Control

JACK Sonnemann hits the mark about American use and abuse of guns, but still can’t see it. Switzerland can have high gun ownership and low gun deaths because the Swiss are a law-abiding people with a healthy respect for firearms.

America’s gung-ho, self-serving approach results in too many of its citizens believing that every problem or grievance has a gun as its solution. You don’t have to ask where the phrase ‘trigger-happy’ originated. This is exemplified in the latest hare-brained scheme to arm schoolteachers.

Instead of taking measures to keep firearms out of the classroom, we have the scenario for a shootout. America’s gun control laws are a basket case of inconsistencies, easily subverted by those who want easy access to firearms.

In Australia, thankfully, we don’t believe that carrying a firearm should be as natural as wearing a wristwatch.

Ian and Elisabeth Williams, Kings Meadows.

Arrogance

AFTER the election result both Rebecca White and Cassy O'Connor blamed their parties loss on people being “bought” by the gaming lobby.

The arrogance of both these women to state that I, my family and every other Liberal voters don't have a minds of our own is breathtaking.

No, Ms White and Ms O'Connor, the reason I and I suspect, the majority of other people who didn't vote for either of your parties feel the same, is the total inept way you mismanaged the state when you were in government before the 2014 election.

It is time to stop blaming others and start proving to the Tasmanian people that you can be viable alternatives to the current government.

Peter Wilson, Launceston.

Speech

OPPOSITION Leader Rebecca White’s concession speech after their election loss, was the most disgracefully petulant, immature and ungracious speech from a political leader in living memory.   Regardless of one’s politics, or the rancour that naturally occurs through an election campaign, the leader of a party always congratulates, or commiserates their opponents, even if it is just paying lip service. Ms White’s excuse of being “caught up in the moment” for forgetting this long held tradition simply doesn’t pass the sniff test - she knew exactly what she was doing. Contrast Ms White’s speech to that of Premier Will Hodgman’s - his was all class, which was humble, paid respect to his opponents and the passing of a colleague and friend.  

Todd Hills, Mowbray.

Election

HERE we go again, more of the same.

It will be interesting to see if the many wondrous promises made by the Liberals during the boring election will bear fruit, but being the cynic that I am no doubt the tree of expectation will just wither and die through lack of motivation and sincerity.

What has disgusted the most of us was the total lack of indifference and integrity of the Premier Will Hodgman in regards to the banning of pokies in clubs and pubs.

These machines have destroyed families and added to the neglect of children, some have lost their homes and self-respect. While the charities pick up the pieces, those in power will look the other way. We must not forget that the government gets a hefty revenue from these machines.

Jo Ford, Legana.

Guns

I AGREE with Ron Baines (The Examiner, March 8). But apart from Christopher Pyne's idea of making fire arms and selling them abroad is disregarding John Howard's law.  One would think about Martin Bryant and what happened at Port Arthur. Even our own Tasmanian government wants to relax the gun laws. From what I have read and heard there are more guns in Australia now than before Port Arthur. I would like to know how it is going to be stopped

Cecil Neil Guy, Youngtown.