The Gorge Hotel
Nobody seems to be raising the issue that everyone is talking about: the proposed Gorge Hotel development is way too tall for the intimate location it is planned for. Its approval would be a big mistake.
At 39 metres (nine storeys), it would be the tallest building in Launceston, far taller than the Grand Chancellor and the Mantra Charles which are both about 25-metres high.
The Gorge Hotel would be totally inappropriate and out of character for the low-key streetscape that currently extends along Paterson Street. The Hotel would block the views north up the Tamar from residents in West Launceston and would also block the historic view of Launceston if one were to look down the Tamar from the north.
The area is already a bottleneck for Launceston College and TAFE traffic and with 145 rooms, a 500-person conference centre, a 200-seat bar and restaurant, functions rooms, spa and gym it would add an unacceptable level of traffic snarl for any locals heading to Trevallyn or into town.
Do we really want Launceston to look like everywhere else and lose its sense of place? Do we want a mini Gold Coast on historic Paterson Street?
The simple truth, this skyscraper does not belong in this part of Launceston and its name would degrade the beauty and serenity of the nearby Cataract Gorge.
Don Defenderfer, Launceston.
WITH justification, we could proudly claim that Launceston is one of the most beautiful cities in Australia.
This is largely due to the number of beautiful old buildings which feature magnificent architecture.
Over recent times, however, we have witnessed a growth of ugly buildings that do not fit in with this splendid vista of beautiful architecture.
Why is there such a rush to see which new development can be regarded as the ugliest?
Is it attributable to the lack of desire to fit in with the splendour, lack of ability to do so, or a general feeling of "don't care" on the part of developers, architects, and local government approval authorities?
There is no need to name the ugly side of things because that is easily perceived from recent developments and those on the drawing boards.
At the current rate, it won't be long before Launceston will be just another collection of tall lego blocks.
Bill Carney, Riverside.
ABC's Ill Advice
LIKE many people across the country, I watched last week's ABC program Escape from the City. The episode featured houses in the Launceston area, including one near Paper Beach (Swan Point).
Shame the ABC didn't check the facts before allowing the presenter to state that Paper Beach is dog-friendly, and including footage showing dogs running off-lead.
A simple phone call to the West Tamar Council would have confirmed that this is completely illegal and fines apply.
Dogs must be on-lead in all public areas across Tasmania, including Paper Beach.
Only exceptions are designated off-lead areas, the nearest being at Gravelly Beach several kilometres away. Are the ABC going to pay the fines that dog owners will incur by following their ill-considered advice?
Kieran Brown, Swan Point.
St Helens' New Hospital
LAST week I had the good fortune to be cared for at the new hospital in St Helens.
The East Coast is privileged to have this facility. It is, of course, not so much the building but the content that matters.
I have nothing but praise for the care and professional treatment I received from every member of the staff and the two doctors who attended from the medical centre.
Thank you one and all.
Steve Hargreaves, Lottah.
Hate Speech Phrase
I HAVE noticed quite a few conservations around the subject of hate speech lately.
Hate is a very strong word that is not applicable to a lot of situations.
In reality, a much better and less emotive word is dislike and should in many instances be used. The phrase "hate speech" is used much too often, almost to the point that people are reluctant to disagree about anything, especially if they feel they may be quoted in public.
Ron Baines, Kings Meadows.
75 Years of Remembrance
ON June 24 it will be 75 years since the unfortunate loss of lives of brave prisoners of war on board four Japanese ships that sank in the East China Sea, transporting prisoners from Burma to Singapore.
On board one of the ships, Tamahoko Maru, was my uncle Mervyn Aikman aged just 23 years who was a member of 2/40 Australian Infantry Battalion and came from Scottsdale.
Some years ago, Rod Stone of Gravelly Beach and his group of supporters, were instrumental in having a memorial garden established at King's Park in Launceston in honour of those of the 2/40 Infantry Battalion. I recall the names of those I personally knew over many years, Ron Cassidy, Bill Jetson (formerly of Scottsdale), Ted Sweetenham (Burnie), George Lawson (Ulverstone) and Fred Brett (Shearwater).
I will have much pleasure in visiting the Australian War Memorial Canberra on June 24 this year to remember those brave men who lost their lives in 1944 and to lay a wreath in memory of my uncle and his extended family, and in the company of my son, Lt Col Craig Johnson of the ADF.
On a visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra a few years ago, I was fortunate to obtain copies of records outlining in detail the events of the tragedy on June 24, 1944.
This information is kept in honour of Uncle Mervyn and his departed mates.