Letters to the editor | August 13, 2018

Parking Meters

WENT into the Launceston CBD on Thursday for a spot of shopping to discover that our parking fees would exceed $12 once we had moved the car carrying a legal disabled sticker to make our parking possible.

Answer, we did not stay in the city but did our shopping in the outer centres. Total spend for the day $363.47 meaning that the city shops lots this revenue from just one customer. It seems obvious why there are empty shops in the city. 

Len Langan, Longford.

Rates Snapshot Caution

THE recently released rates snapshot developed by state government needs to be read with some caution as it presents a simple overview of a complex matter.

The snapshot does not differentiate rates across even the broadest types of property, residential versus commercial.

It is not surprising that those councils with high value commercial CBD properties would show a higher level of rates per property, for example.

While the snapshot is useful in that can trigger a council to undertake further analysis and have a strong understanding of why there is variation between one council and a similar other council, it must be considered in that high-level context only.  

Councils set rates in the context of their strategic plan - developed in consultation with their community, long-term financial and asset management plans that consider service level expectations and annual budgets with consideration of planned activity.

Legislation recognises that rates are a tax and therefore require a number of considerations in setting rates including equity, for this generation and the next.

Dr Katrena Stephenson, Local Government Association of Tasmania chief executive officer.

Homelessness Week

MOST don’t know what it is like to sleep out in the cold, to not know where they will get their next meal, to be forced to sleep with their shoes on just so they can make a quick escape if someone comes to harm them.  

August 6 to 13 was Homelessness week, a week where we thrust the issue of homelessness into the spotlight for all Australians.

Everybody needs a home and no one deserves to be left out on the streets.

I started Youth Off The Streets in Kings Cross by feeding the local homeless kids and that was just the beginning, I started to recognise the dire need for something more.  

Now my organisation has many housing options available for young people, but homelessness remains a significant issue.

In New South Wales alone, homelessness rates have risen by 27 per cent since 2011, and the numbers aren’t much better in other states and territories. We as a country need to stop ignoring homelessness and begin to take positive steps to help Australians in need. So much can be done to prevent this issue; we need to give struggling families a boost before homeless becomes an unfortunate reality.

I am dedicated to breaking the cycle of disadvantage and giving Australians the chance to achieve greatness. The reality is that homelessness is an ongoing battle for some and it’s a battle that is hard to win by yourself. I implore you to take the time to look into the issue of homelessness, read about how it affects our nation and most importantly our people.  

Father Chris Riley, chief executive officer and Founder at Youth Off The Streets.

Night Driving

AS A professional driver with more than 40 years of driving experience, I am appalled by the lack of enforceable laws in relation to both the correct use and safe lighting on motor vehicles of all types.

We have at least 50 per cent of vehicles with fog lights turned on, even when they are not necessary.

This is both illegal and very thoughtless.

Of more concern, however, is the increasing number of vehicles using extremely bright and unnecessary LED spotlights/light bars and badly adjusted white halogen/LED headlights.

This also applies to some cyclists when their head torches or fitted LED lights are not directed down onto the road.

Obviously, the government only pay lip service to safety on the roads, especially vehicle lighting.

While legislation to control the use, fitting and type of permitted lighting on vehicles is long overdue, unless enforceable, this would be a waste of time.

I am an older driver; however, I do not need spot lights to see the road or fog lamps.

If drivers need these to see then they should not be driving.

I have been regularly dazzled by drivers with light bars/spot lights and it is recorded fact (internet) that many accidents have been due to drivers being dazzled.

Crashes that occur at night, with a lone driver where the result is a fatality, authorities will never know if that driver crashed due to being dazzled as the perpetuator has long gone and probably unaware of the accident they have caused.

Finally, there is evidence that LED lighting and other forms of ultra-bright white headlights can damage eyesight.

If you are in government and reading this - don’t just ignore it as you will be part responsible for the potential death or serious injury of road users.

There really is no excuse but to act on this insidious and growing problem - it may mean regular vehicle inspections, another thing that is long overdue.

Paul Grigg, White Hills.

Road Conditions

HAS anone noticed lately the condition of our roads and streets?

Sooner than later we will have to drive four-wheel drives to be able to drive on our roads and streets.

K. Nunn, Newnham.

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