AT a time when we are acknowledging our heroes in medicine and in services to the public during the coronavirus pandemic, our government is reluctant to award a Victoria Cross to Edward Sheean for his undoubted courage.
Despite a tribunal inquiry which found that Sheean's actions 'ticked all the boxes' for a posthumous VC, the government has denied this honour.
The irony is that this young ordinary seaman, who has been denied the top military decoration, has one of Australia's Collins Class submarines named after him.
In the pursuit of justice, Sheean's family and supporters have ensured that this Tasmanian will continue to be remembered for his bravery and valour which may one day be rightly celebrated with a VC.
Ed Sianski, West Moonah.
With great admiration I viewed the concept drawing in (The Examiner, May 12) of the Fragrance Hotel. What a great fit to the streetscape and the area.
Any building in Launceston built from brick or parts from brick fits very well with all the other heritage buildings around Launceston. including the Harrop building on the same corner.
One only has to look at recent construction on the corner of Tamar and Cimitire streets as well as Mill Edge Lane to see what we can do (well built and finished and timeless).
The new Fragrance Hotel concept would complete the area and complement the new Verge Hotel. What an outstanding addition to Launceston it would be. Glass and brick edifices - I don't think so - anymore than Mr Harrop would have thought when he built his building on the same corner all those years ago (brick and glass ) or Mr Murray with the DW Murray Building (now Quest Hotel).
They were visionaries, what will we be remembered for?
Lester Willoughby, Dilston.
ON Friday, April 25 federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley showed her true colours. Until April 17 this year, the government welcomed submissions into the independent review of the Environment Protection and Conservation Act 1999.
It pains me to note that yesterday Sussan Ley said that work is already underway to speed up environmental assessments of projects. The government is aiming to change Australia's environmental laws before the EPBC review is even finished.
This is evidence that current and previous reviews (such as the Hawke review in 2009) have been and will be ignored by the federal government. It seems the Environment Minister has a lot of discretion when it comes to giving the green light for developments that threaten our endangered species.
Our country has one of the worst species extinction rates on this planet. How can legislation be watered down at a time when the legislation's directives are not even being met?
It is a massive waste of money to create legislation and review processes and plans for protecting the environment when the legislation is not being followed and nobody is held accountable.
It smells a lot like greenwashing to me.
Felicity Holmes, Blackmans Bay.
Diminishing our freedom
IN the last few days we have seen how a totalitarian regime seeks to address a desire of our federal government to determine the origin of COVID-19.
The Chinese contrived to cover up the Wuhan virus which was allowed to spread with the socioeconomic effects we are now experiencing.
Criticism was quickly addressed by imposing an 80 per cent surcharge on our barley and meat exports to China. This virus has greatly diminished our freedom and our idealist democratic beliefs.
Francis Fukuyama, an American political scientist or politologist wrote in his book The End of History and the Last Man that totalitarianism could replicate itself as a virus throughout the whole world. On May 7 he wrote: "As if we didn't have enough diseases coming from China".
How true are those words.
Donald Boden, Launceston.
An unquestionable legend
WHAT kind of spineless box ticker cannot support the Victoria Cross to Teddy Sheean?
A young man straps himself to an anti-aircraft weapon and maintains effective defensive fire against attacking enemy aircraft strafing his fellow crew members as they abandon their sinking ship and ultimately goes down with her to his death.
He is a legend as a consequence, but someone on a committee decided he was not 'heroic' enough for a VC. The latest government committee to investigate the matter clearly recommends the award, but the minister and others say no on the basis that there is no new supporting evidence.
Who needs new evidence? Who spits in the face of his memory?
M Seward, Port Fairy.
No need for new evidence
IT is obvious to me that Prime Minister Mr Scott Morrison has experienced little or no military service service whatsoever.
If he had, then I am quite sure that there would have been a different outcome to the Sheean VC tribunal case. In my opinion, there was, and never should be, any further requirement for compelling new evidence to be submitted as A/B Sheean's bravery whilst serving on HMAS Armidale was never in question and in my opinion meets all the criteria for the award of the Victoria Cross.
In view of Prime Minister Morrison's statement I am quite sure that he, Morrison, will not win any seats in Tasmania at the next election. I and many other ex-ADF members will be actively campaigning against him. This would have to be one of the greatest acts of crass stupidity and bureaucratic bungling by the federal government that Australians have ever witnessed.
Gerry Kite, Legana.