Jump at the chance
I READ with interest Kerrie Butler's reasoned letter, (The Examiner, January 8). Many country towns that are dying would jump at the chance to have a facility such as the proposed prison in their town.
Towns die because of facilities like doctors, banks, post offices, chemist shops, schools and retail outlets etc close down. The extra population and workers in the town would help alleviate this problem. Westbury would be separated from the prison by two kilometres, a multi-lane highway and a railway line.
There will always be objections to any development like the cable car up Mt Wellington, the Gorge Hotel, the gondola in the Gorge and Errol Stewart's proposed apartments. That has now been abandoned thanks to a noisy minority.
Those in agreement, the silent majority, are happy and therefore don't complain. If it was going to help employment and alleviate the overcrowding at Risdon Prison I would be happy for it to be built two kilometres from our suburb.
Graeme Barwick, Riverside.
Some forward planning
WITH sympathies to all have lost in any way to the recent events, it is time we started to look at preventative measures before we start rebuilding. We can't change the weather, even if we are changing the planets climate. Maybe we have to use a lesson learned in the not too distant past, when rapid expansion into South Australian drylands resulted in the drawing of Goyders Line. Drawn 150 years ago, to show prospective farmers that climate conditions did not support crop farming in areas with less than 250 millimetres of annual rainfall.
Of course today, with our modern technology, we can bring water from somewhere else to augment what nature provides, or can we, without causing problems elsewhere?
Maybe today we need new lines to show why it is unwise to build too close to trees, coastlines that erode, or rivers that flood. When I was a local councillor, I spent many hours reading the Dorset Planning document with its intricate wording and carefully measured controls, for a sensible approach to sustainable development.
What amazed me was the ease with which these closely defined controls could be over ridden with a simple declaration of a "relaxation of boundary setback" or worse, a state government decree that all residential house can be built to a height of 8.5 metres, irrespective of where they are in the state.
Maybe the recent disasters will teach our leaders and planners some truths about how we should manage our existence on this planet, but I wouldn't hold your breath, as this has all happened many times before.
Jeff Jennings, Bridport.
The future of EVs
THE future of electric vehicles, like most countries is rosy. It'd be rosier if the Australian Government supported the transition to EV transport by subsidising it using fuel excise.
Chris Adams, West Launceston.
FOLLOWING the recent tragedy in central Launceston where a police car collided with another car and a pedestrian was killed, solutions could be implemented that involve modifying available technology.
When a police car is dispatched, the general direction of the problem (North, South, East or West) should be keyed into a console so that all the traffic lights the police car will encounter will be green.
Or, an automated system could monitor the police vehicle using its GPS to determine the direction of travel and the actual street it is in. The system could then activate any subsequent traffic lights to ensure they are green when the police car passes through.
An opponent might raise the high expense of modifying our traffic light system, but what price do we apply to a lost human life?
Also, the misery experienced by affected people including relatives and police personnel can extend for decades.
A. Frellek, Trevallyn.
Centrelink and bushfires
THE first lot of people in bushfire areas claiming assistance from Centrelink have had their pleas for monetary assistance rejected. Who didn't see this coming? Centrelink was using outdated maps and data to assess who was in or out of an area. Thankfully intervention and common sense from the federal minister has seen these claims now accepted.
Max Wells, Sorell.
THE major downside of the "information age" is the fact that misinformation often gets a similar platform to real information and people can easily be manipulated into believing untruths. This might seem like harmless fun to the trolls spreading misinformation, but it can have serious consequences. For example, families having to decide whether to accept advice to evacuate their house in the face of bushfires will base their decision on known facts.
If some well-credentialed person publicly states that concern about climate change is purely alarmism, then that family may well consider that they need not heed the warning of scientists and bushfire experts and so make a very bad decision that may put their family in serious harm, as well as those brave firefighters who may have to risk all to save them.
Similar trolls continue to refute the need to vaccinate our children against serious, but preventable, disease with silly claims that vaccination causes autism. The disastrous consequences of heeding that misinformation came to light recently in Samoa where 2 per cent of the population was infected by measles resulting in over 80 deaths, mostly children.
It seems we can't stop the trolls so I encourage everyone to carefully consider any information that may put themselves and family in harm, and to remember that we have an modern society now due to advanced knowledge in science, including in physics and medicine.
Bob Cohen, East Launceston.