The Silent Majority
I WOULD like to congratulate Will Badcock and Grace Rock (The Examiner, February 16) for speaking out on behalf of the silent majority of Westbury residents regarding the prison proposal.
It bothers me that readers of The Examiner may have formed a negative view of the people of this town because of the vitriolic rubbish that has been the basis of many of the published letters.
The latest to grab my attention were from Chris Donaldson (The Examiner, February 14) and Scott Grisman (The Examiner, February 15).
Mr Donaldson firstly writes about the quarter of a billion dollars it will cost in building the prison.
The sad fact is that Tasmania needs another prison and the government is naturally required to foot the bill for such infrastructure.
He then goes on (perhaps sarcastically) to say that supporters of the prison have a "wish-list" of other facilities in the town.
A bewildering list it is too.
Mr Grisman predicts financial woe for not only Westbury, but surrounding towns as well, if the project goes ahead.
He then states that "wherever you find a large prison in close proximity to a small town that the area is run down, neglected and riddled with crime".
I can find no example of this anywhere in Australia. If anything the opposite is true. Thank you again to Will and Grace for the rational and intelligent input.
Geoff Mooney, Westbury.
Climate Change, What Action Now?
IN The Examiner on February 18 were Peter Whish-Wilson's opinions on climate change, but, I don't think he has said anywhere near enough on this subject.
I can certainly agree that we appear to have a climate change problem, however, what Mr Whish-Wilson and the climate change activists seem to be missing is: What action do they want to be taken in Tasmania and Nationally, towards fixing the climate change issue? How much money will be required to be found to take the action they propose? Where will the money be sourced?
Who will prioritise the allocation of money from the budget, for example health, education, infrastructure and now climate change, if sourced from the government.
What time frame and what expectation of successful outcomes is envisaged by the activists. It is somewhat disappointing that action strategies, with costings, are not being put forward by the activists.
John Rich, Prospect.
SUBSEQUENT to the introduction of workplace health and safety legislation some years ago, more employers have focussed on prevention and safety.
Policies such as aiming for zero harm to employees performing work are more common and are promoted by employers.
What would it take for some of these partially enlightened employers to adopt a similar policy of aiming for zero harm to customers?
For some products and services which might be termed economic "bads" rather than "goods" this might mean cessation of supply.
Is it ethical to not harm employees, yet to harm customers?
Mark Webb, Launceston.
PAUL Richardson calls for a return to questionable expensive dredging to resolve Tamar (Kanamaluka) degradation and an Examiner editorial highlights that "despite releasing a list of priority projects that need to be completed to ensure the river's health does improve, there has been no tangible action to date on seeing those projects through" (The Examiner, February 23). Both have valid points, though there has been some improvement in Tamar water quality due to the excellent work led by NRM North in the catchments and TasWater on sewage infrastructure, the upper reaches are still visually a shameful mess.
With construction of Trevallyn Dam in 1955 South Esk water flows were reduced to nothing more than a trickle and, as has been proved, not only in Australia with the Murray-Darling but throughout the world, shut off or reduce natural river flows it is inevitable environmental degradation will occur immediately downstream and that is one of the most significant reasons why we have the ecological nightmare that we have in the Tamar Estuary.
The easiest and most obvious remedy to resolving the matter is a restoration of natural water flows through the Cataract Gorge as was proven beyond doubt in 2003 with the increased water flows when Trevallyn Power Station was shut down for upgrading resulting in, virtually within hours, water so clean and fresh in the Yacht Basin you could not only swim in it but see the bottom and fish swimming in the crystal clear waters.
Jim Collier, Legana.
I THINK Paul Richardson is slightly off target by suggesting that dredging or raking can provide a solution to the upper Tamar Estuary's issues but hits the bullseye pointing out the disconnect between spending $25 million to restore the natural ecology of Macquarie Island, and by comparison only a few bob to study the issues to do with the Tamar. A clean and amenable Yacht Basin and adjacent areas, able to be swum in and not collecting silt and excrement will have a huge material benefit. It will enable the city to have its waterfront restored as a clean and amenable recreational focus linking the spectacle of the First Basin and the Gorge with the open expanse of the Glebe-Vermont wetlands with a continuous, amenable waterway and greenbelt. Not the Derwent of Sydney Harbour for sure but featuring a compact, human-scale composition the elements of which can be easily explored and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
M Seward, Port Fairy.