AN OLD Victorian probably shouldn't remind Tasmanians of the desirability of two (or more) levels assessing projects with significant impacts on our habitat. But, I beg indulgence to tell a story for the young folk.
In 2007, a large Tasmanian company, Gunns, wanted to build a pulp mill for native forest. Former Tasmanian premier, Robin Gray, was a board member. The premier, Paul Lennon, was having his home renovated by Gunns. The state's Resource Planning and Development Commission was supposed to assess the unpopular project. Gunns refused to cooperate. The premier rammed through legislation for a new "fast-track" process. The appointed consultant turned out to be a company close to the Finnish designer of the pulp mill.
The whole thing stank as much as the mill would have. Under the current system the federal Environment Minister could step in.
The changes proposed to the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act would mean that backstop is gone. I am very grateful to Tasmania's Senator Lambie for promising to orchestrate a senate inquiry into this watering down of protection for our habitat.
Lesley Walker, Northcoate.
Fighting Back against family violence:
ONE good thing that has come out of the COVID-19 lock down in Tasmania is that locals have finally realised that tourism and hospitality in their own backyard is of national and international standard. The Make Yourself At Home campaign has got people travelling and experiencing what has been under their noses for years and have realised what national and international visitors have known for a long time, that Tassie is Australia's jewel in the tourism crown.
Alan Leitch, Austins Ferry
RELEVANT authorities such as a Commonwealth Integrity Commission (if established) should investigate whether donations to political parties or politicians have corrupted the integrity of the political process and our democracy. Particularly worthy of examination is the question of whether party officials, politicians, etc. might have offered any policy or voting favour, commitment or quid pro quo in return for donations by corporations or other entities. If donations to political parties or politicians buy influence for the donors that may not be ethical or just.
Mark Webb, Launceston.
Thou shalt not kill
THE Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill" has nothing to do with voluntary assisted dying, where a person facing death with unbearable suffering requests and is given assistance to end that suffering as a final act of love and compassion (Letters to the editor, November 20). First, that Commandment correctly translated is "Thou shalt not murder" i.e. kill with malice. Second, the same Bible (OT) describes numerous mass killings, for example, the genocide of the Canaanite and Midianite nations by the Jews as they occupied their Promised Land. Third, the same Bible (OT) prescribes the death penalty (i.e. kill by stoning) for many offences including - for gathering sticks on the Sabbath, for children who overeat or answer back their parents, and for those who have sex with their mother-in-law.
Ian Wood, Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Assisted Dying, NSW.
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