Letters to the editor, August 12, 2018: Your say on wilderness, ghosts, and the North-East rail trail

Keith McCafferty, of Margate, writes on the North-East rail trail.
Keith McCafferty, of Margate, writes on the North-East rail trail.

Keep Tasmania Wild

I’M FROM Sydney and recently chose to leave due to the destruction of nature areas while growing up and the rapid growth of over development

As a new resident of Tasmania, it would pain me to witness the same outcome for Tasmania. I don't see a a real future in the over development of cities and the destruction of nature. 

It does not matter how hard we try to live illusionary lies - the truth will still be waiting on us to wake up.

Aaron Canini, Launceston.

Stopping the Boats

IT IS incomprehensible that the Australian Government remains committed to refugee settlement in Cambodia after the sham elections that have ensured that Prime Minister Hun Sen continues to take his country firmly down the path of repressive dictatorship.

After a $55 million program Australia has managed to entice a handful of refugees and asylum seekers  to settle in Cambodia. 

Tens of millions of taxpayer dollars are being used to prop up a government whose human rights record is questionable to say the least.

Our offshore detention centre policy has already punished people  who have done nothing more than to flee tyrannical regimes like Cambodia's. 

'Stopping the boats' at all costs has led the Australian Government to lose its moral compass where supporting a dictator takes precedence over the human rights of some of the world's most vulnerable people. 

Ed Sianski, West Moonah.

Haunting Situation

WHILE, for some readers, stories of haunting phenomena may lead to reactions of scepticism, Melissa Mobbs' comprehensive report of the Deloraine Police Station having a history of ghostly incidents should not be lightly dismissed (The Examiner, August 1).

It is noteworthy that a few police officers had their own stories of other-worldly happenings.

During the 30 years my wife and I led a team of ''ghost busters'' in various Tasmanian locations, we found ourselves in an extraordinary number of ghostly situations

Some of these have received a mention in our book Thirty Years of Spirit Rescues: Psychic guidance points the way to the Light. Unfortunately, in too many cases, experiments with ouija boards had led to serious problems.

John Legg, Latrobe.

ABC

THE ABC is supposed to be unbiased in its reporting, but listening to AM I wonder just how unbiased. 

Sabra Lane is on holiday and Kim Landers has taken over for a while.  I thought great, she will be more polite than Sabra but she is just as rude. 

They seem to allow most people to waffle on without interrupting, especially Labor politicians. 

Give them a Liberal, such as Scott Morrison this morning and it's a different matter. If you ask a question isn't it polite to let the other person answer? 

I don't especially care for the Treasurer, but I was taught manners and those two on the ABC are sadly lacking. 

A little less bias would be a nice change.

Glennis Sleurink, Launceston.

North-East rail trail

I REFER to Peter Gutwein’s recent announcement on his government’s decision to allocate the future use of the NE rail line between the heritage railway group, Launceston and North-East Railway and the rail trail fraternity backed by the Dorset Council.  

In short, Launceston and North-East Railway will have the section between Coldwater Creek Junction and Lilydale with future access given to the TasRail track between Launceston and Coldwater Creek. 

This same decision then gives approximately 70 kilometres of track between Lilydale Falls to Scottsdale to be converted (that is rails ripped up) into a bike trail. 

Any such action would amount to heritage vandalism and should be vigorously fought by all those who value our rail heritage and by those landowners who will be unduly affected by bike riders having access through their properties.

A much more acceptable outcome is to give the Launceston and North-East Railway full access to the rail track between Launceston and Scottsdale so that this group can, in stages, develop their heritage rail operation over a set time period. 

Ralph Berry, Chairman of the Launceston and North-East Railway, has suggested on its Facebook page a period of 10 years which is a reasonable period given the task.

To transgress slightly, on July 28,1978, Tasmania’s last mainline passenger train, the Tasman Limited, ran for the last time between Hobart and Wynyard. 

Last weekend the Don River Railway (NW heritage rail group) ran its version of the Tasman Limited in commemoration of that great train with the same English Electric Y Class locomotive in charge. Just imagine this same locomotive heading a passenger train from Launceston to Scottsdale and return with a capacity to deliver over 300 passengers to local market and tourist spots along the way in one trip. 

This capacity to take people, regardless of physical capability, to North-East Tasmania is something a bunch of bicycles will never achieve. 

If given the opportunity, heritage trains running along the North-East rail line will eventually reach the passenger numbers as mentioned, provided the Launceston and North-East Railway is fully supported by state government and local businesses, as is the case in mainland states and overseas.

Mr Gutwein, I urge you to reconsider your government’s position in this matter and give the Launceston and North-East Railway this opportunity to prove itself in delivering a first class heritage rail experience in North-East Tasmania.

Keith McCafferty, Margate.