THE unions again disrupted our government services with continued claims for a pay rise. We spend $300 million per year on public service retirees and the current public service is well-paid.
I have been pressured into joining the Tasmanians need a pay rise propaganda, and called a scab for benefiting from union actions.
The only scabs I can see are the public servants who want even more from tax payers and have no regard for reigning in public service spending in Tasmania or people who cannot put food on the table or have a job.
Aaron Franklin, West Moonah.
Removal of Trees on Bridport foreshore
PERIODICALLY, despite the good that is achieved by councils, issues remain which may potentially divide a community. The removal of fire hazards from the Bridport Esplanade is one such issue. In a 1998 report by engineers GHD, the area was described as 'the jewel in the crown of Bridport'. The wholesale destruction of vegetation, without the guidance of qualified personnel may be described as misguided.
A 2008 report from NRM North stated: keeping any natural vegetation in good condition is the highest priority of vegetation management in the heart of Bridport, extraordinary and highly valued by locals and visitors protecting Bridport from coastal winds, holding sand in place, providing shade.
Notably, the report also said any bushland (almost any vegetation) has the potential to burn. Here access and proximity to people increases the risk of accidental fire, arson, and intentional burning off.
Similarly,the Bridport Caravan Park master plan and report (2012), although only a draft plan, stresses the importance of remaining vegetation within the precinct, recommending screening and recovery measures for remnant clusters of scrub and ground-storey vegetation.
Naturally, protecting the Bridport township from the potential dangers of fire is of a high priority. Surely a compromise could have been negotiated, so avoiding the ill feeling which has been generated.
Trevor Priestley, Bridport.
Aged pension is still a welfare payment
Veronica Redburn (The Examiner, April 7) may not view the age pension to be a welfare payment but in reality it is and, as a federal government payment since 1909 - always has been.
There is an urban myth that in the 1940s, when the federal government took sole responsibility for all income tax, that the government created a 'pension pool' that made all taxpayers eligible for the Age Pension upon retirement age of 65 for males (and 60 for females).
The reality is that in 1945 the Commonwealth split the personal income tax into two components, of which one was social general revenue and it funded a number of social security payments, including the pension.
In 1950, the dual system was merged into one, the national welfare fund, and all 'social welfare' payments came out it. There never has been a link between personal income tax contributions and entitlements, and as such the age pension is a welfare payment paid to those who meet eligibility criteria.
Geoff McLean, Launceston.
I WISH the Dorset Council had read the comment by Nick Haddow about Tasmania's opportunity as "An island of difference in a sea of sameness" before they authorised the wholesale removal of all the understory vegetation on the Bridport foreshore last week. Using the excuse that the area was a fire hazard, they authorised tracked machinery to rip out vegetation, ground cover and soil from over 1km of the foreshore.
To do this they had to cut the fence built by the council only a few years ago to protect the very vegetation that has now gone.
Of course a large number of locals have praised the move saying now we can see the sea and it is good that the weeds have gone.
Yes the weeds have gone and so have the plants that provided habitat, shelter and shade for other plants, animals and humans.
It is true that the foreshore area has been neglected for many years and had become an eyesore and a potential fire hazard in some places, particularly the area near the surf club. However instead of a measured and carefully managed clean-up process we had an operation that was akin to clear felling forests. I just hope the weeds don't take the hint and grow back even more rigorously and that the few remaining trees can withstand our usual windy weather.
Jeff Jennings, Bridport.
FOLLOWING a denial of my Right to Information request to the George Town Council, an appeal to the Ombudsman has forced the council to reveal a significant loss to ratepayers. George Town council spent $87,000 commencing the build of a car-park on Regent Square, then destroyed same before spending $125,000 on legal fees to try and avoid disclosure. Those questioning this waste have been ignored. Can the council please explain how this has occurred?
Graeme Neilsen, George Town.
IS IT possible to design rubbish bins that are so conspicuous that the nuisance they are intended to abate is almost easier to look at? The formerly welcoming entrances to our much admired Princes Square are about to be supplied with pairs of bins in the aggressive style that we have learned to tolerate elsewhere as street furniture. The existing bins are inconspicuous, almost adequate, and fit in with the character of the square. Their replacements should be reconsidered before any further work is done.
Eric Ratcliff, Launceston.
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