Criticism for the real culprits
From the outset, let me say that I am opposed to the cashless welfare card initiative. But, I read with interest the many harsh comments in social media.
Comments that point to Bridget Archer as the villain of the recent vote to get this thing through the lower house. Surely this misses the point of politics?
Bridget is a member of a party that holds the strange view and to vote along party lines is expected i should think.
Sure, we can expect some independent thought and action from our representatives but this is rare in our society. If we are to be disappointed in our politics and politicians (I know I am), perhaps we should be directing our attention to the architects of these dopey initiatives.
The neocons in the leadership team perhaps?
Barry Hemmings, Karoola.
Inappropriate, but not ludicrous
I don't agree with Mr Gregson's comment (The Examiner, December 7) that Will Hodgman's diplomatic appointment to Singapore is ludicrous.
Firstly let's get the facts right. He has been appointed Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, not the High Commissioner of Singapore - that would be ludicrous. Some might say that such appointments are inappropriate, jobs for the boys. But that does not make them ludicrous.
Former premiers and federal and state ministers have much to offer in this space and have made significant contributions to the promotion of Australia's international interests. Retired WA Premier Richard Court has just returned home from a successful term as Australian Ambassador in Tokyo. Barry O' Farrell is currently High Commissioner in Delhi and Nick Greiner is Consul General in New York. Both of course are former NSW premiers.
Also former senior Liberal federal ministers are at present in London and Washington. Numerous Labor politicians have served overseas in similar roles. It is interesting to note, and sometimes overlooked that some appointments are made from the other side of the chamber.
The current government recently appointed former ALP Minister from WA, Gary Gray Ambassador to Ireland and Kevin Rudd appointed Tim Fischer as Australia's first resident Ambassador to the Holy See.
Adrian Wood, Newstead.
Determination and effort needed
IT'S no surprise swimming in the Tamar Estuary is "deemed unsafe due to a high level of pathogens in the water and could never be safe again for other reasons" (The Examiner, December 6). Reports and studies have shown for decades that faecal matter in the water exceeds recreational guidelines. The 2008 State of the Tamar Estuary report is one such report which stated recreational primary contact guidelines were exceeded on a significant number of occasions.
Calls have been made for over 100 years (1916) for the cessation of dumping sewage in to the Tamar. But despite this, and having funding, TasWater has only very recently (November 21) invited engineering consultancies to tender to provide advice necessary to upgrade the infrastructure necessary to reduce the frequency and volume of sewage discharged in to the Tamar Estuary by the Launceston combined drainage systems during heavy rain events.
Obviously nothing is going to happen in a hurry. Regarding the recommendations by the National Health and Medical Research Council that swimmers have firm ground on which to enter the water and should be able to see the bottom at safe swimming locations, both recommendations can easily be met with the provision of suitable infrastructure, such as jetties or pontoons, close to the shore and increased South Esk River flows through the Cataract Gorge
It was ably demonstrated in 2003 when Hydro Tasmania allowed all the natural South Esk River flows, which are normally diverted to Trevallyn Power station, to flow through the Cataract Gorge and in to the yacht basin resulting in not only being able to see the bottom in the beautiful blue crystal clear fresh water you could actually see fish swimming in it. To say "swimming in the upper Tamar may never be safe" is just a furphy. All it needs is the will, determination and effort from the right people to make it happen.
Jim Collier, Legana.
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