Tag Archives: st marys

The Say

By Cagerattler

You all know the esteem or lack thereof in which I hold most politicians these days and at the risk of offending a few                people it serves ourselves right for what we’ve finished up with after the most recent Federal election.

What a comment the PM made the other day suggesting that the Afghanistan war was ‘worth it’…

So it was worth it to see many of our diggers either killed or permanently injured, never to have families of their own or to live normal lives … so that not too long after the last of our blokes leave, this insurgent-infiltrated corrupt country will regress to not much better than it was before. Afghanistan is a place steeped in conflict, tribal warfare, warlords, Taliban, persecution of women and Islamic extremists with no concept of the value of life and if you think there will be any real semblance of lasting peace after our troops are gone you are either stupid, idealistic or plain naïve. The despots in that third world country will rule again in time and I wonder when that happens if our leaders will continue to say it was worth it … I think not.

There’s rumblings out there I’ve heard of late about the seeming curtailing of the Streetscape … many are not happy that the plan is not going on as quickly as it should and no-one in the know is giving a lot away on the subject.

The next couple of years – with the beginning of the new mining ventures and solid real estate tradings – would be the perfect time to really get St Marys and Fingal in particular going. Maybe the councillors representing the area can start jumping a few bones on the ‘bean counter’ ranks and free up a few bucks to get at least some progress in this area…the time is nigh!

What do you think? Rod McGiveron.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor

Re: Half of all Tasmanians are functionally illiterate and innumerate: VV 12 October 2013

Mr Jensen’s suggestion of moving students into better, larger schools “to afford specialist literacy and numeracy teachers that would benefit all students” does not address any of the root causes of this serious, complex and societal problem.

Firstly, education begins at home long before children commence school. Parents have a responsibility to help their children to learn and grow and function in the world they brought them into. You can have all the specialist

teachers in the world but if that child does not have a home where parents support and assist their learning, as I have seen first hand in my experience as a school executive officer, that child remains illiterate, innumerate and condemned to lifelong poverty, not only financially but mentally, spiritually and emotionally – condemned to a life of “low expectation” that they in turn pass on to their children and their children’s children.

That “the education system in Tasmania has a history of low expectations” is not only a condemnation of the system but a tragic reflection on Tasmanian society as a whole.  Where have these “low expectations” come from and what has created them?

Systems do not create themselves, they are created by people, so successive Tasmanian governments must share the blame as must we, the people who voted for them. Statistics show that Tasmania has the second highest teenage pregnancy rate in Australia – the first being the Northern Territory. Statistics also show that a high    number of children in this state are classified as being disadvantaged – is this a result of “low expectations?”

It is a sad fact that literacy and its teaching all over Australia has suffered from the so called “literacy wars” where states and academics have fought over how literacy

should be taught since the seventies. No national curriculum has meant that standards varied from state to state, impacting both teachers and children.

In 2008 when attending an orientation course at UTAS, I was asked not to answer the simple grammatical questions the facilitator put to the class because she was aware that I had been taught these things and that many of these young men and women who had just finished high school and were entering university did not know the difference between “its” and “it’s”.  A sad indictment indeed.

Literacy is more than learning to read or simply functioning in this world we inhabit – it is the key to learning,  growing, opportunity, understanding, tolerance and compassion, to a world of wonder, innovation, technology and many other things that enrich our lives as a person and a society. It is the key to the future.

Elizabeth Elliott, St Marys.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor

I reply to Councillor Johns’  answer to Frank Giles in the Valley Voice 11/9/2013.

I find that your broad consensus of the community was of little value as you did not consult the farming community as seen at the Council meeting farmers attended.

You stated that you wanted the farming sector to pay the same as the commercial sector  (9¢ in the rateable dollar), too bad this is an  untruth as the commercial rate was dropped from 7.5¢ in the dollar to 6.8¢ in the dollar.

The commercial rateable value is less than the farming rateable value by about $605,535.00 (amounts quoted from freedom of information request). By dropping the commercial rate to 6.8¢ in the dollar the Council dropped its revenue by nearly $38,000.00; by raising the farming rate to 12.6¢ in the dollar Council would have gained $309,699.00 extra revenue.

You seem to think that the commercial and residential ratepayers pay 85% of the bill towards Council spending, why don’t you quote the amounts that  Council gets from grants and assistance throughout the year – people may like to know that.  There are farming sectors still paying 12.5¢ in the dollar today – why is this so?

You should also know that DIER is not responsible for lighting, Council pays the bill for street lighting.

You have been in Council long enough to know that very seldom or never does a rate increase ever get reduced in following years.

The last paragraph in your letter is nothing more than pie in the sky, nothing to do with the matter being referred to and a slur on people’s intelligence.

Remember one thing, there is a limit to what people of all walks in life can pay. I was under the impression that the Council was trying to get people to come to this Municipality not drive them away.

Robert Legge   St Marys