Strait economics add up
I find it surprising that Saul Eslake and other economists do not focus on the high cost of the proposed European built new ships for Bass Strait.
Why is it that they are more expensive than other overnight ferries?
There are two principal reasons: 300 or more passenger cabins, plus social areas and extensive accommodation for the liveaboard crew is the first reason.
That accounts for the high cost and to this add the rest of the required power to drive the heavier than necessary ship.
The second reason for the high cost is the occasional need to drive the ship fast enough to achieve the day's sailings to supplement the night sailings in peak periods.
This can only be achieved by a large increase in power, which requires burning more fuel, a lot more fuel with the consequence of increasing daily operating costs.
There is another solution and one that will cost much less.
That is to provide a third ship dedicated to day sailing.
A ship capable of returning sailings in daylight, plus the smaller crew get to sleep in their home beds each night rather than in on board facilities.
Thirty years ago 50 per cent of Bass Strait travellers preferred the day sailing on the small experimental catamaran.
A much larger catamaran today could expect 60 per cent to 70 per cent market share of passengers to prefer a four-hour daylight crossing of Bass Strait.
If this is correct the new night sailing ships can be dedicated to freight with much less need for large numbers of passenger cabins and facilities, with a smaller crew number to service the cabins etc.
This smaller ship without the need for high speed will be much less expensive to build and maintain, and big savings in fuel burned.
The money saved will more than pay for the day sailing ship and increase the numbers carried each day across Bass Strait.
The big winner will be the Tasmanian economy as a new day sailing ship can be built and in service much sooner than any foreign-built ship.
The increased capacity of the combined three ships will make a substantial contribution to the economy and give passengers a choice.
The reported potential loss to the economy quoted by Mr Eslake ($350 million) could be turned to a profit of a similar amount.
Economists, please do your homework and you will concede that what I say is true.
Robert Clifford, Incat owner, Battery Point.
A fond farewell to pioneer
HAVING ridden in the penny farthing event for many years and met Di and Michael Sullivan on many occasions, always riding against Michael.
It is over three years since I last rode at Evandale but still riding and training locally at 74. It was a privilege to have met Di.
David Pell, Mt Eliza.
Discontent over Relbia plans
PLANS for Relbia, I can tell you now, I for one am not happy at all as the 60 acres is next door to my property. And the people that attended the meeting a year ago all agreed that Relbia should be left alone.
I hope the council will have some common sense and take into account that there is no sewerage. And septic tanks would have to be put in, and how would that affect Jigglers Creek for contamination.
Also so close to the airport, and traffic congestion would also become a problem.
I hope that money doesn't overpower what we living in Relbia have enjoyed a peaceful and lovely countryside, that's why we moved here.
Brenda Taylor, Relbia.
Fragrance Hotel - great decision
WHAT a fantastic decision by The Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal on behalf of the people of Launceston to approve this development. This decision goes to show that the very small vocal minority cannot get their way all the time. This is a triumph for common sense. I look forward to the jobs this will create.
Peter Wilson, Newstead.
Tasmanian football conundrum
THERE is no doubt about the economic benefits of Hawthorn and North Melbourne playing games in Tasmania; especially Hawthorn, but we all know while this has been happening that since 2010 our football has declined rapidly; male participation rates have plummeted by negative 8 per cent while the other heartland states have risen by 76 per cent. We have had three statewide league teams fold, clubs struggling throughout the state, grassroots have struggled.
The difference between Tasmania and the other heartland states is they have two AFL teams or more and we have nil.
We have AFL Tasmania run by AFL House with a directive from this body not to push for a Tasmanian team. The neglect of Tasmania by the AFL has gone on for 30 years and they have treated us with contempt, with platitudes, lies and outright discrimination.
Let's get our Tasmanian team as a united state sharing the games (six North and five South) and sharing the blockbusters but if the AFL continue to ignore us, remove the two Melbourne clubs and be creative in new sports or activities to replace the economic activity and let Gillon McLachlan's legacy be the one who lost a heartland state from our Australian game.
Russell Hanson, Lindisfarne.
VAD Bill must pass in full
HOPEFULLY the VAD Bill before parliament will be passed by a full majority.
In the meantime could all who are in favour lobby your local MPs and also those in other areas. Target all MPs who oppose this bill, remind them they were not elected for their religious beliefs. Make them aware they could lose their seat in parliament.
Ask them if it is worth their job to use religion as a basis to reject the views of thousands of voters.