Mobile phones and driving
DESPITE legislative bans, 59 per cent of people are using their mobile phone while driving, with 31 per cent of drivers reading and 14 per cent sending text messages.
We have all been at the traffic lights or driving and seen a driver typing away on their mobile phone (Don Davey, The Examiner, August 11).
As long as they are using a hands-free device you cannot eradicate people talking while driving.
However, the state government must evaluate several new enforcement technologies, following the roll-out of advanced artificial intelligence mobile phone detecting cameras in NSW. Heavy fines work and they could save lives.
Further awareness campaigns must also be used to alert drivers to the risk. Everyone in the community needs to understand that it is socially unacceptable to be physically using your mobile phone while also trying to drive a car and navigate our roads.
Elliott Bell, Launceston.
Responsibility for fire mitigation
WITH thousands of hectares of plantation and forestry regrowth reaching that 15-20 year highly flammable stage, adjacent farm property and native bushland are at great risk of destruction from fireball infernos as dramatically shown on Kangeroo Island and behind Eden last summer.
Is it time that farm forestry and plantation businesses took responsibility for wildfire mitigation, including developing adequate fire breaks on their production lands?
In the case of a catastrophic fire in Tasmania, what level of priority for protection will highly vulnerable local remnant rainforest in the Howell and Notley Fern Gorge have?
Helen Tait, West Launceston.
A unicameral parliament
IN response to the many recent letters and comments advocating a unicameral parliament in Tasmania, which, without irony, often cite the Queensland parliament as an example of how well it works. Wow – how quickly we forget the rampant unchecked corruption and gerrymandering of the Bjelke-Petersen years. Yes, the lower house needs to be expanded to ensure it functions properly, but the answer is not to abolish the Legislative Assembly. It is doing its job when it reviews, fixes or refuses to pass bad, ideological or politically driven legislation. Governments don’t always like that, but it’s there for a reason and the Bjelke-Petersen government would not have got away with half the shenanigans they did if there had been a parliamentary check on their power.
James Broad, North Hobart.
Council clean up congratulations
THE City of Launceston council are to be heartily congratulated for the very hard work their crews and gardeners do in keeping the City Park and the Gorge Reserve in magnificent condition. The clean-up from the snow event was a massive clean-up for them. We should all applaud their hard work.
Jack Geitz, Launceston.
Protecting women in sport
SENATOR Chandler is correct. No matter what the activists say, males are bigger and stronger than females. Testosterone, which starts from the womb, sees to that. Keep women’s sport for women and create a separate competition for males who live as females.
Frederick Brohier, Black Forest.
Share in a piece of history
WITH the Victoria Cross for Australia now on its way to Teddy Sheean, courtesy of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and ex-defence minister and Australian War Memorial head Dr Brendan Nelson, formerly of Launceston, it is important to return to a point I raised in The Examiner in June concerning the composition of the medal that will have the now acknowledged war hero’s name inscribed on the reverse side.
And that is to melt down a minuscule part of the City Park Russian gun captured at the Battle of Sevastapol during the Crimean War of 1854-56, a gift from Queen Victoria to the people of Launceston in recognition of their generosity in supporting the Patriotic Fund, and mould it into Teddy Sheean’s posthumous Victoria Cross. The 36-pound artillery piece stands on a plinth on the eastern slope of City Park and could easily shed some of its cascabel (eyelet at the rear of the barrel through which a rope was strung to control recoil during firing), a part similar to the captured Russian and Chinese guns used in the manufacture of the UK’s VCs.
Essentially it would be a gift from the people of Launceston to the bravest of the brave to don an Australian service uniform – past, (and why not?) present and future.
And it would also maintain an early tradition which believed all VCs of the UK, its Colonies, Empire and Commonwealth were exclusively from melted down parts of captured Russian guns.
If successfully prosecuted to fruition, there is no reason preventing the City Park gun being the source of all future Victoria Cross For Australia mouldings.
Unless, perish the thought, we sit on our hands and let Hobartians get the jump – there is a Russian Gun sitting idle down south crying out for the medal maker’s gouging of a few grams of its historically important bronze casting, to be melted and poured into a mould turning it into a Maltese Cross and worded For Valour.
Noel Christensen, Punchbowl.
A big thank you
A vote of thanks to the review committee led by Brendan Nelson, Teddy Sheean finally recognised for his heroic and selfless action onboard HMAS Armidale.
It is long overdue and acknowledges the bravery of all service personnel who served.