‘Cars should be treated as toys’
CARS need to be treated as industrial machinery, not toys. Motorists, racing lobbyists and politicians are sending the wrong signals, encouraging a sense of entitlement, self-centredness and competitiveness.
Roads and cars will never be safe enough while drivers’ minds are not up to the task.
Increasing post-crash penalties won’t improve a driver’s sense of responsibility.
Pre-emptive action is needed.
Soldiers wouldn’t be sent into a war zone without training and back-up. Leaving car wrecks beside the road might drive home the message. Before getting a licence, drivers should have to spend time with emergency services attending crashes and learning first aid. In the context of a global climate emergency and our vulnerability to foreign influences on fuel supply, fuel rationing should be introduced. This would reduce consumption and pollution, build up a strategic reserve and make people think before impulsively jumping into the car. The carnage on roads is not fair on emergency personnel, when there are solutions, regardless of how politically unpalatable.
Peter Needham, Bothwell.
Coercion is a real concern
I FEEL that Richard Hill (The Examiner, September 10) is glossing over the obstacles to legalising voluntary euthanasia.
The issue of possible coercion.
Even without legal euthanasia, there are numbers of cases where vulnerable people have been the victims of psychological coercion by people with something to gain, leading them to commit suicide.
Elder abuse on steroids, in other words.
I cannot conceive of any safeguards which would be proof against this kind of outcome given the kind of dog-eat-dog society we live in today. It is incumbent on proponents of assisted suicide to come up with foolproof safeguards. Don’t think it is just those with religious reasons who have reservations.
Bill Bartlett, Bracknell.
So-called Great Eastern Drive
IF the state government and Liberal Lyons MHA John Tucker intends to spruik the newly created marketing exercise of the Great Eastern Drive (Tasman Highway between Orford and St Helens), it may be prudent to substantially widen the aforementioned section of the highway (parts of which have been unaltered since the 1960s), instead of highlighting small, incremental junctional upgrades as monumental change.
Kenneth Gregson, Swansea.
Launceston’s serious flood Risk
BRUCE Cassidy’s list of environmental woes beguiling the Kanamaluka/Tamar River graphically highlighting the appalling degradation of the estuary is spot on (The Examiner, September 10).
However, two items missing from his list are the reduction in natural water flows brought about by construction of Trevallyn Dam in 1955, with the consequential loss of natural flushing, and the lack of river maintenance in the form of dredging and raking for many years.
As a result, the silt or sediment has increased in the upper reaches leading to an increased height in the river bed with the consequence that for every millimetre it has risen a corresponding amount of floodwater will inevitably threaten Launceston.
There are already serious community concerns as to the capability of Launceston’s flood defences; will they be found wanting when a significant flood occurs, and it is when not if.
Scientists advise with climate change the likelihood of serious flooding will increase in frequency and intensity consequently Launceston could suffer serious, and very expensive, penalties for the lack of river maintenance.
Is anybody listening out there?
Jim Collier, Legana.
Poker machine silence
I NOTE that Rebecca White (The Examiner, September 14) has not mentioned her last election promises of getting rid of poker machines in hotels. Has she been intimidated by the billionaire gambling industry’s campaign funding of the Liberal Party’s last election? There are many households bankrupted by poker machine losses, particularly in low socioeconomic districts. The problem is that while the state government collects the gambling taxes, it is the Commonwealth which has to pick up the damages bill.
Nell Carr, Dunorlan.
The role of humanity
HUMANS have been gifted with an intellect, unique to species on this planet which gives them the ability to question, wonder and care creatively for the life and wellbeing of planetary existence. Sadly, this intellect also offers the ability for developing cunning and personal greed, the results of which can now be seen escalating towards power monopolies which threaten all life on earth.
Humans have not been given this fabulous intellect to be exploiters: we have been given this gift of intelligence to be protectors of, and to be appreciative of the miracle of nature-life itself, which appreciation may find expressions in the aesthetic dimensions of music, dance, poetry and related visual arts.
We need to remember that, being part of humanity, we need to be humane.
We need to realise our creative duty as carers of all life on this planet.
Lucia Dale, Launceston.
Rio Tinto heritage debacle
THE Western Australian government has failed all Australians in allowing mining giant Rio Tinto destroy a culturally significant site to access iron ore. Juukan Gorge rock shelter is (or was) thousands of years old and an important site not only for aboriginal heritage but to world heritage as well, and yet somehow allowed to be blasted to smithereens, and now lost forever.
Why were the Indigenous Heritage Laws not sufficient in that state to stop this?
As for Rio Tinto the Anglo-Australian mining giant to know it was destroying such a site is despicable, barbaric and shows a total lack of respect to our first Australians, I say, hang your head in shame.