TAMAR RIVER SEDIMENT DEBATE
IT was only a matter of time before the concerns of Seaport traders, rowing, sailing clubs and the community were again raised. Nine years ago with the new levees proceeding well, the Launceston Flood Authority investigated what action should be taken to mitigatethe city's flood risk. The engineering advice was to keep sediment at low levels and that not to act was not an option.
The remedies were limited: A $4 million dredging campaign in 2008-09 proved to be unsuitable for the wide expanse of the upper reaches which includes the Yacht Basin, Seaport and Home Reach, it was also unaffordable for any continuous work.
Tamar sediments resist scouring, so that natural flushing has limited effect, particularly as 97 per cent of the South Esk has been diverted away from the Gorge and upper reaches for power generation. Schemes such as a return canal and Tamar Lake were proposed, but would need significant funding and take a minimum 10 years for approval and construction. But the need is ongoing and won't wait. Prop washing at Seaport and raking the mudflats using occasional spills from the Trevallyn Dam as a transport system worked.
It made a natural process more efficient at very low cost and was continued for five years. Not every year had spills and sediment increased at those times, but when raking ceased in 2017, sediment levels were 146,000m3 less than when raking commenced. Unfortunately the LFA appeared to have trodden on a few toes and following a questionable review compiled with no opportunity for operator input, raking was officially discontinued. The public have consistently identified "clean up the Tamar" as their number one priority and in response the state government set up the Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce.
They are well funded, with a budget of $140m and over the past four years, there has been water quality improvement of the upper reaches from an awful F to not quite so awful D, but not a cent has been spent on sediment accretion. It is doubtful that the sole emphasis on water quality is what the public expect and the advice from NRM North, a major partner in TEMT - "learn to love the mud flats" is not helpful. Action on sediment must be included in any estuary plan and perhaps the City of Launceston council would agree as a public service to make available their bathymetric surveys?
These regular surveys show the gain or loss of sediment in the Yacht Basin, Seaport and Home Reach. A sharing of information on a matter of wide concern to the community could only be a good thing.
Alan Birchmore AO, Newnham.
TRUMP IS NOT TO BLAME...
LET me see if I understand this correctly.
Trump is not to blame for Trump telling organisations known for acts of violence to stand by. Trump is not to blame for Trump's efforts to undermine the election.
Trump is not to blame for Trump's claims the election was rigged.
Trump is not to blame for Trump's conspiracy theories against anyone not blindly loyal to Trump.
Trump is not to blame for Trump rallying supporters to march on the Capitol building.
Trump is not to blame for Trump's comments on social media that led to Trump being banned. While we're at it, Trump is not to blame for Trump's dealings with China, his quid pro quo with Ukraine and his ordering police attack protesters.
Do I have that right? Trump is not in control of Trump's actions?
Davis Seecamp, Trevallyn.
RAIL TRAIL JUST A WASTE
WHAT a waste of a perfectly good railway line. If a train was reinstated it would add another tourist attraction, along with the Blue Derby trail and give tourists/people and bike riders a unique experience. It would also add to the coffers of Scottsdale and surrounds as passengers would pay for a ride on a train, not depleting ratepayers pockets paying for the upkeep of a fad.
No-one is listening to what we want to see happen on this issue at all.
Destruction of our historic railway line is nothing short of criminal.
Lynette Giunta, Scottsdale.
FOOT IN MOUTH DISEASE
I SEE Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack has once more inserted a size 12 firmly into his sub nasal orifice with his remarks comparing the US Capitol riots with the Black Lives Matter movement.
How he can compare a protest movement seeking basic equalities regardless of skin colour with a raving lynch mob of loonies intent on destroying the democratic processes of a nation beggars the mind.
It also amazes me that he was voted into parliament and became the leader of a party that has lost touch with its principles since Tim Fischer's day. It doesn't say much for the standard of some of our pollies, does it?
Richard Hill, Newstead.
MOBILE PHONE USAGE IDEA
WITH all the fines handed out by Tasmania Police for motorists using mobile phones whilst driving recently, why not fit an electronic scanner into vehicles that blocks usage whilst being driven but allows it to be used when the car is stationary?
I know that this equipment works and is being used today by government agencies in buildings that don't allow mobile phone use.
Being made in volume would reduce the cost of the items, thus killing two birds with one stone.
Anthony Galvin, Launceston.
PAINE'S ACTIONS QUESTIONABLE
OUR Tassie boy Tim Paine and captain of the Australian men's cricket team should be sacked for his abusive verbal attack on Ravichandran Ashwin in the final hours of the exciting third Test in Sydney.
This is the way Aussies behave in a lot of international sport and I'd love it to stop.
Are abusive people like this our role models?
It ruined the wonderful five-day game.