Discouraging Unlawful Activity
TASMANIA Police discouraging organising of unlawful activity (Facebook post, Wednesday, July 17) is, at the very least, highly problematic for citizens and potentially seriously democratically disempowering for organisations that break the law as a show of civil disobedience, encourage whistleblowing or act in the interest of the public by disseminating information about, or organising resistance to, state policies.
Tasmania Police is a state law enforcement body that works under governing legislation and, hence, is mandated to uphold the law.
One would assume, then, that any indication is a direction that must be followed.
Is a discouragement a direction?
Is this now Tasmania Police policy on protest groups, such as Respect the Mountain - no cable car; organising groups, such as Bob Brown Foundation and Health and Community Services Union; political parties that support or encourage protest actions, such as the Tasmanian Greens; and individual citizens, such as Jenny Weber, Bob Brown, Rodney Croome, Peter Cundle and Michael Mansfield; that take a stand against what they deem to be unreasonable state policies?
Police should always allocate resources to public gatherings on the basis of their own threat assessments, both for the protection of citizens and protection of personnel, property and lawful process.
Calling out antisocial jokes that wastes state resources is one thing; discouraging people from being able to organise freely to engage in a show of opposition by committing an unlawful act is quite another.
Ali Alishah, Mount Nelson.
WHY don't umpires have a circular huddle cuddle before the start of a game?
They would rather remain inconspicuous.
Hugh Boyd, Prospect Vale.
ON the evening of July 17 I was the front seat passenger in a car involved in a minor motor vehicle accident - a prang.
We both walked away with no obvious injuries.
If it had not been for my seat belt, I would have gone hurtling into the windscreen and the consequences could have been very serious, so buckle up.
Such an experience makes you realise how precious life is and that it is good to be alive. It could have been so much worse.
Malcolm Scott, Newstead.
Public Sector Pay Dispute
GIVEN the disproportionate numbers and salaries of public sector employees in the southern electorates, it's a master stroke by the Liberal government to talk tough on public sector pay and conditions than send the matter to the industrial commission.
To complete the charade, all the Premier needs to do now is send a blunt stick to a gunfight.
The commission will be sure to give more than what the government is offering.
The Premier can crow "It was the umpire's decision", making voters in the southern seats content and voters in the northern seats just suck it up.
After all, it is the umpire's decision.
Mexicans rule, whilst northern lambs warm the Liberal seats of parliament.
Leigh Arnold, Lilydale.
IS it a war, or an earthquake that is about to destroy the tranquillity of the Cataract Gorge First Basin forever? Not exactly.
The Gorge is one of the most astonishing and beautiful wild features of Tasmania's second city. There is no natural amphitheatre like it in Australia.
People from all over the world come to admire this ancient geological masterpiece and to walk into it along pathways built by volunteer manual labour 150 years ago.
It is a place of wallabies and peacocks, a place of peace and meditation that is also sometimes a wild river.
Not for nothing is it called Cataract Gorge.
A place for bathers and babies engineered by citizens of the town, as it was 150 years ago, for future generations.
It is always a favoured place for local and interstate families to visit, enjoy, and admire.
But now, we are told by City of Launceston council that an application by Barry Larter to utterly destroy (and in the process profit from) the unique beauty of a vital part of our city is, wait for it, "open to comment and criticism by the people of Launceston".
Let's consider these words.
Have the mayor and councillors visited the Basin to find out whether its bathers and sun worshippers, and families with children, want to be peered at and photographed while they swim, or sunbake, or talk, or dream, or fall in love, by hordes of airborne camera-toting tourists?
I doubt it, but I'm prepared to ask them.
And is the application by Mr Larter, who owns and operates an existing and relatively modest cable car in the Gorge, and who wants to further extend his reach, already under consideration by the council?
The project has been under consideration by Mr Larter because he has spent the last four years procuring environmental impact and feasibility studies, structural plans and, presumably, the means of raising the $50 million he will need to build his cable car.
This is a lot of money for a small chair lift operator to raise on his own. If not, are we entitled to ask who his backers are, or is that "commercial in confidence"?
Because if it is, the people of Launceston are entitled to assert that they have no confidence in Mr Larter's project because the project is quite possibly not his at all.
Let's wake up to the reality that beauty is finite and fragile and can be destroyed.
If Mr Larter has had four years to perfect his plan then would it not be fair to ask the council to allow its people four years to think about its impact on them?
Let's make saving the Cataract Gorge a beacon for our future and for the future of our grandchildren.