THANKS must go to Booker Prize winning author Richard Flanagan for doing what the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to do, and that is to expose the farmed salmon industry for what it really is.
As Mr Flanagan has put it: "Tasmanian Atlantic salmon is just one big lie, it's not clean, it's not green and it's not even healthy".
Let me add, it is no secret that farmed salmon flesh is pale in colour and to make the flesh look pink a colourant is added to the feed. Now I don't know about you, but that in itself, is food for thought.
WITH an election just around the corner I am receiving many pictures of candidates in the mail.
The people presented don't know me. They represent their party who in turn represents their donors, mostly, but try to convince citizens to vote for them, or is it for the party? Why these individuals?
The party chooses them somehow, and we all know that says nothing much about their honesty, character, capability, reliability, or desire to help the citizens. It does say something about their willingness to toe the party line and often says something about their personal ambition.
The party is really, only concerned about presentability/name recognition and loyalty to the party. The citizens then vote for a party who they hope might represent their interests. Citizens choose parties on the basis of their own biases, prejudices, needs and wants, and parties talk about these, but always serve their donors first. Who is chosen as candidate is mostly irrelevant, except for name identification.
Of course, for those seeking re-election that name recognition best not stem from them having offended the citizenry with grand misdeeds. Likewise, the choice of party, or a change of choice of party, requires the party to really annoy the citizenry over the last year or less.
Who can remember further than that anyway? So, the power of our democracy is only to identify and remove those who have stuffed us around sufficiently to annoy us into rebellion, either at the individual or party level.
Perhaps, I now disagree with the Monty Pythons; and having a Lady of the Lake distributing swords to choose leaders, really isn't such a bad system after all.
INTERESTING listening to Premier Gutwien at the debate at the Country Club on April 22.
When it comes to council amalgamation he feels governments should consult communities and not force decisions on ratepayers yet when it comes to the Northern Regional Prison issue apparently it's OK to ignore the ratepayers and force a prison on them.
IF you want an example of what goes wrong when governments outsource basic services to private industry, then look no further than Tasmania's road infrastructure.
If you compare roads built by the "old fashioned" Department of Roads, with what is being built by present day private contractors, there is a vast difference in quality. One set of roads was built to a standard, the other built to a profit margin. The other publicly owned organisation that built roads that last, was Hydro Tasmania.
In roads that have recently been "upgraded" by private companies, it is common for the surface to deteriorate quickly, in some cases after a few months of use. The road between Scottsdale and Bridport is a good example of this, with surface break up appearing only weeks of use and despite repairs, it is still breaking up.
The road between Bridport and the George Town is more of a roller coaster than a highway. Part of this might be due to the huge increase in heavier, longer log trucks using the road but the main problem is lack of quality control.
If we can put a machine on Mars that produces oxygen and the Romans built roads that lasted for centuries, why can't we build decent roads today?
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