Deal in Facts
RECENT opinion pieces in The Examiner show not only that ignorance is alive and well but that there can be serious consequences from enunciating same, affecting community spirit and cohesion. The state government's preferred site for a Northern prison is one kilometre from the edge of Westbury township, not two and that a growing part of the residential area of Westbury is on the same side of the railway line as the said site.
See ignorance of Mr Barwick peddled opinion (The Examiner, January 14).
The opinion piece of Ms Butler, of Deloraine, (The Examiner, January 8) under heading of "Informed opinion better than fear and bias" in fact mixed little fact with substantive fiction, the result of which was to denigrate a town, its residents and businesses and question its attractiveness as a place to visit, or indeed reside permanently.
I'd refer the reader to the rebuttal, Meander Valley Council has posted on its Facebook page. Given the significant cost of the Northern prison as proposed, it, in all likelihood will be in situ wherever, for generations to come and therefore it's incumbent on everyone, including the community, to work together to get the best outcome possible regarding its location.
As a related matter of getting to the truth, it's been stated in various forums that councillors who may in the future be required to act as members of a Planning Authority, assessing the suitability of rezoning land for a prison, need to keep an open mind and not prejudge any such application.
That is true, however, an open mind doesn't equate to an empty mind.
Part of the preferred land site is not only zoned industrial at present but has a specific area plan applied to that area. Council has already determined the use for this land and is required under Local Government Act 1993, to accurately represent such a decision.
So in reality, the council would be being asked to change its mind about the future use of this land, by initiating and supporting a change to the planning scheme.
For my part, in assessing whether a prison ought be sited at the preferred site, there would likely be a myriad relevant matters to consider, not least of which would be any possible positive or negative impacts upon Westbury, or the remainder of the Industrial precinct, or for that matter of those two areas impacting upon the effective running of a prison and the health and wellbeing of staff and those incarcerated therein. In closing let's all try and stick to the truth when sharing our opinions.
The views expressed are entirely mine.
Rodney Synfield, Meander Valley Councillor.
Lack of Leadership
I KNOW who won't be Australian of the Year to be announced on January 25.
Scott Morrison or any of his colleagues.
These people are in positions of power and responsibility but they have not shown any leadership leading up to the current bushfire crisis and shamefully reject any ongoing responsibility.
Existential threats like climate change are not addressed by throwing money at it after the event or as it suits the electoral cycle.
Will this money be allocated favouring government-held electorates as it has been proven to be with sports money allocated leading up to the last election.
Rod Fenner, East Launceston.
Quad Bikes Tragedies
AFTER seeing the terrible amount of people that have been killed recently on quad bikes, it is rather disturbing.
The government needs to make it a law that all bikes should have roll bars fitted, and also force everyone who rides them to wear helmets. This would be most likely hard to police. All so, no children should be allowed near them. There should be some way of making a bike that can't be used unlawfully.
A kill switch maybe? Several years ago I was in England, MG built a car which if the seat belts weren't connected the car wouldn't start. I may be living in La-La land.
One can only hope.
Cecil Guy, Youngtown.
Metro Bus Service
I DRAW attention to the planned changes to Metro bus services in Launceston.
Previous correspondents have noted detrimental changes by Metro in Trevallyn and Riverside. Few residents of South Launceston appear to realise there are significant cuts in our suburb as well. Metro buses will no longer service Heather, Thistle and Glen Dhu Streets, a service operating for 45 years.
This means most of South Launceston will no longer be served by our government business enterprise.
I estimate servicing that area adds no more than five minutes to the route time.
Metro signs have appeared on the bus stops along the existing route advising of their forthcoming removal, however, there is no mention of the fact that services will cease altogether.
This is very misleading, Metro should be ashamed of themselves. They have no regard for the high proportion of elderly citizens who reside in South Launceston.
Paul Murphy, South Launceston.
TASMANIA would do well to incorporate Indigenous fire practices into its TFS structure. The ancient mosaic burns, so-called "cool burns" that don't reach canopies and allow native animals to escape can be obtained from interstate parks and wildlife Indigenous rangers. Their knowledge of when and where to burn is invaluable.
We are witnessing the horrors of human lives and property, wildlife and habitat.
We may not have to face such disasters if this knowledge is utilised.