SUNDAY'S editorial (The Sunday Examiner, December 6) asks "Are Tasmania's COVID-19 restrictions too harsh?" This question deserves serious consideration.
Any activity will involve both risks and opportunities. Different people, as a result of various psychological and social factors, will have different attitudes toward seeking opportunities in the face of risks.
Attitudes to risk range from risk appetite through to risk aversion. Any person may have a range of different appetites/aversions to risk across a range of different activities. One traditional way (but not the only way) of understanding the left/right distinction in politics is as follows.
The right values individual freedom and the attendant individual responsibility, while the left values social solidarity and a less individuated sense of responsibility.
This way of understanding the left/right distinction leads naturally to the corresponding distinction between big (more interventionist) and small (less interventionist) government, respectively.
Any elected government can be understood as a group of individuals, and those individuals will have a range of their risk appetites and risk aversions. But they are in parliament to represent their constituent's interests, not their own. So, if your elected member of parliament is not representing your attitude to the question "Are Tasmania's restrictions too harsh?" then contact them and let them know.
Dr Graham Wood, Philosophy UTAS, Launceston.
Fair council rates debate
THE President of the Local Government Association contends council rates are a form of fair and equitable taxation (The Examiner, December 5).
Taxes are based on real incomes or profits but rates are based on property values without regard to the financial situation or real equity of the titleholder. A resident of a home with a capital value of $1 million may have a mortgage of $900,000 and the property the sole asset of that owner.
A cottage with a value of $250,000 may be owned by someone with an extensive wealth portfolio yet local government in the main contends that the later example is indeed less able to contribute to the programs and services. It is long shot to call that fair and equitable as the value of your home does not correlate to the ability to pay. A flat rate system as adopted by some municipalities, including my own, is fair and equitable.
Graeme Neilsen, George Town.
VAD Bill all about choice
MICHAEL Ferguson's comment that this is a bad law and "an affront to our attempts to prevent suicide in Tasmania" has got it wrong. Giving people a choice will reduce suicides, not increase them.
My wife is in Regis Legana and the number of dementia residents whose quality of life is zero I'm sure would love to die if their mental capacity could be revived for a moment. My wife, when diagnosed with dementia in 2018 with a maximum life span of three years, repeatedly stated she wished to die rather than descend into a vegetated state that she now is in. Mr Ferguson and the other no voters should visit the dementia wards and see the misery for themselves.
Their religious beliefs and any other reasons should be kept to themselves and not inflict them on the rest of humanity.
This law is about choice.
John Edelsten, Legana.
Attempt to bully Australia
I AGREE with Malcolm McCulloch's summation of China's attempt to bully Australia through trade (The Examiner, December 5). Our Prime Minister has every right to challenge and question China.
It seems they want world dominance with an appalling record of human rights.
Tienanmen Square massacre, for instance, where they fired on and killed their citizens, in a peaceful demonstration, bringing in tanks to force their iron rule. Communist China must not impose its rule over the free world. For decades our federal government has allowed counties particularly Communist China to buy and enter 99-year leases in Australia, which has weakened our sovereignty. This is nonsense and our Prime Minister in fairness should attempt to argue for our sovereignty and cancel all leases and investigate agricultural and property purchases by China in Australia.
We owe China nothing and should return their bullying threats of disruption to trade agreements, (which frankly is unacceptable and without justification).
China is acting like they are untouchable.
China, the government and not the people, are a huge financial and powerful threat to the world and have no conscience or want conciliation. Through lying and deceit, they have inflicted the world with this COVID- 19 plaque and are now sitting smugly profiting and taking no responsibility for the deaths or financial ruin of many countries.
Stop them now before it is too late.
Peter Doddy, Trevallyn.
Economic reality of solutions
SOME The Examiner readers have expressed concern about extensive Chinese ownership of Australian property. The Morrison government could simply prohibit non-resident ownership (like NZ) and require non-residents to divest themselves of Australian property but they won't of course.
The result would be the collapse of the property market in Melbourne and Sydney at a huge cost to the economy and household confidence. That's the trouble when heartfelt principles rub up against economic reality. Foreign ownership of our land has been ever so. The English company Vestys once owned most of the NT (and paid no tax); American interests once owned most of Tasmania's Cape Portland; then the Japanese. They have long since gone but oddly enough the land is still there. Knee jerk solutions are rarely real and never effective. Like Prime Minister Scott Morrison's ill-considered outburst against an infantile Chinese official and an offensive caricature, it achieved nothing but further abuse and more damage.