Potential Construction Industry Crisis
THE ability of private building surveyors to obtain professional indemnity (PI) insurance has reached a crisis point. Insurers are declining to provide professional indemnity insurance, offering it with unacceptable exclusions or asking for unaffordable premium increases for building certifier professional indemnity renewals.
Building surveyors have carried all the financial burden in performing their statutory obligations on behalf of the government.
This is no longer financially viable.
In August last year, Federal and State government ministers and bureaucrats were alerted, that without joint industry and government intervention, this outcome was predictable.
It is scandalous that to date no meaningful action has been taken. Government has failed to adequately consult with industry and therefore are unable to understand and intelligently deal with this crisis that has arisen in building regulatory systems.
The problem is already causing delays to building projects across the state and will only get worse as more insurers withdraw from the market. There is a real possibility that without urgent government intervention to address this crisis many building surveyors will be forced out of work and the construction industry in Tasmania will be significantly impacted.
Steve Bramich, Spreyton.
LIVING at Fingal I have on occasion the need to go to Launceston for certain essentials. For a long time, the run from Epping Forest to Perth was often a crawl and is now thankfully over. My gripe is while this was on was when the speed was indicated at 60kmh, or 40 or whatever that whenever I had to decelerate other drivers behind me seemed unable/unwilling to do so.
I'm no physicist nor a mathematician but it seems to me that if I slow down to whatever the speed demanded the drivers behind, assuming they too are slowing down, should be the same distance behind me.
They're not and I often find them from being a fair way back to almost on my tail.
Frustrating and at times infuriating.
I perhaps naively assume these signs on roadworks are for driver and road worker safety but they seem like so many road rules more honoured in the breach than the observance. Never have I seen any of these road thugs pulled over on that stretch or any other by what appears to be our part-time police force. I see them very rarely and I wonder what it will take to get this practice decreased. If for no other reason it would be a great revenue raiser for the cash strapped ruling conservatives in Hobart as road safety doesn't seem to be a priority.
Peter O'Malley, Fingal.
Murray Darling Ineptitude
THE truth about the Four Corners report on the Murray Darling.
For the past six years, we have had a Federal Government in full-blown climate denial. A pro-business government. A soul-destroying drought on the driest continent on earth. Water sucking enterprises growing cotton and hazelnuts.
And the death of a million fish at Menindee. This is not defensible. This is not the country v city. This is a disaster unfolding and our politicians appear incapable of addressing it.
Tony Newport, Hillwood.
A RECENT editorial correctly describes the Cataract Gorge as Launceston's number-one tourist attraction (The Examiner, July 7).
And that's correct. Multiple tourist polls, surveys and awards have confirmed it, consistently voting a visit to the Gorge as among the top three places to go in Tasmania.
Also consistent is why it rates so highly: the Gorge's relatively unspoiled and natural environment.
Yes, there has been some relatively low-key development in the Gorge since European settlement, so to describe it as 'pristine' isn't exactly true either.
But times change, and so do perceptions and values, and it's pretty clear from speaking with some of those Gorge visitors, that it's these all-too-rare unspoiled and natural features that are what people really appreciate and enjoy.
They're blown away that we have such a stunning and accessible natural public space that combines park, garden, wilderness, swimming area, Indigenous heritage, and playground, all together in the middle of a city. People value the fact the Gorge doesn't resemble an overcrowded theme park, and that it's not been over-developed.
We are incredibly fortunate to have such a unique point of difference, and it would be unwise to ignore it. Not all development is good, and the idea of multiple gondolas coming from every which way, that must inevitably intrude into the peace, privacy and serenity of the Gorge experience not only risks causing unnecessary social division, it also risks coming at an enormous economic cost for our community if all those tourists that currently come to experience that unique natural experience choose to bypass Launceston, and go elsewhere.
Anne Layton-Bennett, Swan Bay.
AS it is, the Gorge provides access and opportunity for all members of our community (and our visitors) to be social and active, while being in direct contact with the natural environment. These are fundamental human needs, and in times of increasing stress and community disconnect, it is critical that we retain spaces where these human dimensions are freely supported. The Gorge is a unique space that quietly but critically supports the social, physical, spiritual and mental health of our community, and gifts tourists with a natural experience also. By all means, shine a light on the Gorge, but as it is; as it was gifted to us and as the community have said we want it - a naturally-inspired parkland that is accessible to all.
Lu McGinniss, Launceston.