Helen Polley absence
So, where is Senator Helen Polley?
Having not put in an appearance for a month, "she has been allowed personal leave" is not really an explanation.
If she is collecting her wages, then those who pay her wage should surely have more explanation than that.
Jenny Bishop, Newnham.
Raising age to buy tobacco
I spent a great deal of my career in behavioural research studying adult and adolescent patterns and predictors of smoking in populations.
The proposal to set the age at which it would be legal to purchase tobacco has merit. Nobody, including me, can sure it will work to reduce the uptake of smoking, but it's a testable hypothesis. Ironically, Russell Zimmerman seems confident that it will work - otherwise, why would he fear its commercial impact on tobacco sales?
I disagree totally with his view that any such initiative should be left to a federal agreement for all states to proceed in concert. This is a classic tobacco industry strategy to delay progress. In the history of tobacco control, there are several examples of one state leading and others following.
It only takes two people to desist from smoking for one tobacco-related death to be averted in the long term. Anything that reduces tobacco use saves Tasmanian lives. The possible benefits far outweigh the risks of it being ineffective.
Professor David Hill, Longford.
George Street Festia
As a popular inner-city retailer, I am extremely disappointed hearing in a monthly email from CityProm about the postponing of the much loved and well patronized Festia on George on August 19.
This event is not only a major windfall for retailers on the boulevard and surrounding streets but has become paramount in attracting a new customer base for the ensuing trading year.
After hibernating during mid-winter thousands of cashed-up city residents and retail businesses hinge on this event as a much-needed revenue saviour. Isn't creating vibrancy the catalyst behind the new directions of the City of Launceston council and CityProm?
Economical waters along with the balance sheet aren't easy these days for any of us, so why are the people we entrust in city governance decided to axe such a popular event?
Bruce Webb, Launceston
Mansell's Treaty Talk
What an informative Launceston Town Hall talk given by Michael Mansell on August 7.
With a group of people, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, talking about what a treaty might look like to people today, how to frame the expectations for all involved in a treaty, and discussing the processes we might need to go through to head down that path, with a few what-if questions and sensible answers. Not so scary at all really.