ON the face of it, the announcement of the extension of the state's GM moratorium comes as no surprise.
There is currently a limited range of GM products available; and there is little obvious market demand for GM products.
Pragmatically, there would thus seem to be little to gain in lifting the moratorium for the time being.
However, technology and markets are changing rapidly and 10 years is simply too long for this extension.
A clear trigger mechanism is needed to allow an industry to seek an exemption to the moratorium on the basis that, at the time of the implementation of the moratorium, the gene technology in question was not available.
Furthermore, the Tasmanian government needs to step up to the plate and commit to financially supporting the industry while it faces market interventions that impose constraints that do not apply to our competitors.
Tasmanian farmers should have a right to choose the best products and technologies available to maximise their productivity and competitiveness.
Over 15 years of evidence shows that the GMO moratorium has hurt the state's economy and has failed to give local growers an advantage in domestic and global markets.
However, if the government decides to intervene in market processes, it must be prepared to put its money where its mouth is and invest in activities that will go some way to redressing these constraints on trade.
Jan Davis, Perth.
WHEN is this parlous, out-of-touch federal government going to finally inject themselves with some common sense, kindness and, possibly, electoral foresight and fix the disaster they have persisted in ignoring?
People are crying in pain in our communities, Mr Morrison.
Not dole bludgers, but people with lives to live, struggling to survive. Trying hard to work within a system which is broken.
A system which sends them automated messages, which are frequently wrong, but cut off their money anyway.
A system which gives them no right of reply, no method of correction or complaint, offers incorrect times to contact offices and punishes them for failure, which is ultimately not their fault.
Some of these people have been driven to the brink of suicide.
The majority are middle-aged or older. Many are single parents desperately trying to feed and clothe their families.
All of them are striving to find work which, in spite of government rhetoric, is not there for them to find.
Shame on all MPs and government ministers who fail these people.
They are Australians.
They are our community.
They deserve better.
Sandy Healey, Wynyard.
I'M astounded to see the advertisement suggesting that those who have trouble staying in a lane while driving can now buy a car that alerts the driver if you drift into another lane.
If you need your car to tell you you're drifting, you shouldn't be behind the wheel or have a licence.
F. O'Sullivan, Riverside.
Tobacco industry and the black market
CONCEIVABLY Premier Will Hodgman is indeed wise to fear that a black market could be created by T21.
Possibly he has confidential advice from law enforcement sources that this is possible, given experience of tobacco industry involvement in smuggling overseas.
The tobacco industry and their partners are saying that there will be a black market and smuggling if T21, raising the sales age of tobacco to 21, is introduced.
The tobacco industry has been involved in smuggling in Asia, Europe and Canada.
This has been well documented in the research literature.
Rowell et al said, "Despite historical involvement in the illicit trade, and recent evidence of complicity, TTCs (Trans-national tobacco companies) continue to use the threat of illicit tobacco to argue against key tobacco control policies".
In 2013 CBC Canada reported that:
"A Reynolds subsidiary, Northern Brands International Inc, has been fined $75 million after pleading guilty under the criminal code to one count of conspiracy for helping others sell contraband cigarettes.
Canadian tobacco manufacturer JTI-Macdonald Corp has been fined $150 million after pleading guilty under the Excise Act to helping people sell and possess contraband tobacco.
The governments had previously reached deals with two other tobacco manufacturers, Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd and Rothmans Benson and Hedges cigarette makers have been hit with a total of $1.7 billion in fines and settlements."
However, it is unlikely that teenagers will get on a plane to Melbourne get cigarettes along with their Crispy Crème Donuts.
As there are 670 plus retail outlets in Tasmania and over 74,000 smokers, Tasmania will remain awash with available tobacco.
It will not be hard for smokers to obtain cigarettes after T21 is implemented, however, the US experience is that the uptake age of smoking increases considerably with these laws.
It will save lives.