Council boundary changes
I SUGGEST the opposite of Doreen Bowen's proposal (The Examiner, July 26).
Launceston being split across multiple councils is precisely why the city has such legacy issues and for the past couple of decades has been playing catch up, the state of the upper Tamar being one of them.
After 40 years in Launceston, I now live in Port Fairy which is the seat of the Moyne Shire in Victoria. The area was settled from Launceston in 1835 or so. Moyne covers an area comparable to say half of Meander Valley, the northern part of Northern Midlands, West Tamar, George Town plus much of Dorset. It surrounds the city of Warrnambool and both municipalities have about the same population, about 35,000 each. Warrnambool flourishes as a retail, health and industry services hub for both areas with a range of 'big boxes', building and other suppliers, eateries comparable to if not better than Launceston, certainly on a per capita basis yet the local airport is smaller and less used than Wynyard.
The distinct separation of 'rural' and 'urban' municipalities works well and I can tell you that the Moyne shire villages look a lot better than many comparable Tasmanian ones. The focus on so-called 'grassroots contacts' is a dead end. We had that in Launceston and the legacy is poor. The focus becomes re-election of said grassroots representatives and not strategic vision let alone the economy of scale to implement such vision. Sadly, tactical manoeuvring becomes everything.
Mike Seward, Port Fairy.
Let's have a crack ourselves
IF Tasmania can get a foreign country to build replacements for 'our' ships - Spirit of Tasmania one and two - for $500,000,000 each, then the total cost is $1 billion - not a penny of which will remain anywhere in Australia.
If it costs $2 billion to build similar ships in South Australia then most of that money will go around (and around and around again) in Australia, creating work, not just in shipyards but in raw materials, groceries, clothing, takeaways and so on.
Even better, if Incat Tasmania can build a 200-plus metre catamaran (about three times the size of the original cat) then not just Incat but Comalco, Hydro Tasmania and more will benefit. Similarly with freight ships (SeaRoad, Toll and so on).
Other than livestock, I've yet to hear of freight getting seasick.
So instead of knocking, let's have a go at protecting what we already have and producing what we know we can.
Robert Clark, South Burnie.
Volunteers deserve tax help
I RECENTLY did my tax return and was very disappointed to see that I could not claim any expenses incurred in being a volunteer. In one of my roles, I had to buy extra items of uniform, pay a membership subscription and have washing expenses in cleaning my uniform, yet I could not claim any of these. One would think that the federal government and the Australian Tax Office would encourage people to be volunteers by allowing volunteer-related claims when it comes to tax return time but no.
Especially hard on a lot of volunteers nationally who are also pensioners.
Alan Leitch, Austins Ferry.
Gravelly Beach Road U-Turn
CONGRATULATIONS Michael Ferguson and Liberal candidate for Rosevears Jo Palmer on the government's decision to allow more time for public consultation on proposed works at the junction of West Tamar Highway and Gravelly Beach Road (The Examiner, July 27).
As one of the hundreds of residents of the Gravelly Beach, Blackwall and Deviot areas who regularly use this junction, I have long been concerned about its dangers, particularly for traffic turning right from Gravelly Beach Road towards Exeter. It was disappointing to find that initial steps towards consultation omitted these most affected areas from a letterbox drop advising that plans were available for inspection.
One of the downsides to the reduction in the number of members of parliament some years ago was that it resulted in a dearth of government backbenchers.
These are members who have both the time to listen to the concerns of the electorate and ready access to relevant ministers.
John Beswick, Deviot.
Tamar silt ponds shame
WHEN the silt ponds on West Tamar Highway at Riverside were built for the spoil from dredging, the idea was that when the water had dried away from the silt it could then be removed and sold for landscaping, lawns, top dressing and gardens.
When the ponds had been filled, tests were carried out on the spoil and it was found to contain highly toxic material and the plan to sell was scrapped. As the ponds were full and no more dredging of spoil could be discharged from the river into the ponds, thus the dredging had to cease.
If the toxins had not been found then the river area from the North Esk River to the Tailrace would have been a great waterway, to be used on all states of the tide, and the potential use of the spoil would have enhanced recreational areas, lawns and gardens. It was sad to see dredging stopped.
Bob Silberberg, Beauty Point.
Easing of border restrictions
I TOTALLY understand the easing of border restrictions and think it's the right thing to do (ease into it slowly and not open to Victoria just yet) but it impacts us greatly.
I'm meant to be at Peter MacCallum Cancer Clinic in Melbourne but can't go with the restrictions and need to quarantine on return and as I have daily medications I have to go to the chemist five days a week. Also, we have a dream trip planned to Queensland in October. We have already had to cancel our June trip and now may lose the holiday again, it's just shattering.
COVID-19 impacts everyone differently, but it's destroying our life that's for sure.