Tasmanian Times


Dear Editor: Dr David Leaman’s unpublished letters to Mercury

Dear Editor,

It is one thing to urge farmers to have a better understanding of climate change (Climate clots, Tas Country, Apr 30) but this needs to be wider than carbon and causes and include practical realities and implications.

Farm advisers, regulators and governments also need a bigger view.

For example, a 10% reduction in rainfall does not necessarily mean a 10% reduction in water availability. Depending on location or catchment, water availability could be reduced by up to 60% and 30% is common.

This localised amplifier has important consequences for water management, allocations and productivity or whether a property will be converted to desert.

Much information is available for eastern Tasmania but is almost never discussed nor applied. It needs to be in this real world where there is a spectre of land loss or bankruptcy.

Yours faithfully,

Dr D E Leaman

Dear Editor,

MLC Greg Hall (Tas Country March 26) viciously attacked Peter McGlone of TCT for his cautionary advice about the great round of water developments.

Mr Hall needs to get real and also be more temperate. Dams, storages and pipes all over the place do not necessarily translate into great economic or environmental benefit; they more often are a prelude to delusion, sailinisation or bankruptcy.

Just review the history of the Coal River project.

Anyone offered water from the South Esk, for example, is being sold a dud for that catchment is already over-allocated. How can any water be given away or sold, or traded without involving existing users?

TFGA needs to wake up on these rob Peter-pay Paul schemes.

McGlone was not in some distant ivory tower but trying to warn using the Meander as a good example of risk and stupidity.

Beware those offering plenty when there is no excess and where other big water users and water losses have not even been factored in.

The Meander and schemes like it are recipes for local disaster. We may not need to wait very long for the proof – perhaps only a single election cycle.

Yours faithfully

Dr D E Leaman

Dear Editor,

It is high time groups like the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry got real.

Yes, we do need investment, jobs and developments but, back genuine projects – not mish mash disasters like Ralphs Bay.

Any proposal to do lots of things with land (oops, water) proponents do not own but have been promised, with no great concern for long term maintenance and environmental factors, is hardly the type of approach most of us can support – and nor should TCCI.

Bleating about a loss in such a case does do damage, more damage than the decision itself.

Yours faithfully,

Dr D E Leaman

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. hugoagogo

    May 28, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Nice letters, Dave, but not all that compelling for a general local Murdoch paper.

    Good fodder for hereabouts but.

  2. Luca Vanzino

    May 25, 2010 at 2:28 am

    This would be the same Greg Hall who tried to get legislation up whereby people or groups who opposed particular resource developments through the planning review system, would be forced to pay the tribunal costs. Accessible community input..Greg Hall style!

  3. john hayward

    May 25, 2010 at 12:46 am

    John Dudley’s assessment of Greg Hall is considrably more charitable than anything I could manage.

    I best remember Hall, as then Meander Valley mayor, sneaking through an2 ambush amendment to the planning scheme to permit a PTR on a mostly forested riverside block in a rural residential zone where forestry was otherwise prohibited, and which bestrode the area’s only access to the Mersey River.

    Less than two years previously the RMPAT had declared the block unsuitable for forestry. The rationale offered by Greg for his gambit was that a plantation would provide weed control.

    All but one of the zone’s residents signed a petition opposing the amendment, but Greg’s devotion to PTRs, PAL, himself, and similar principles, got the nod.

    John Hayward

  4. John Dudley

    May 24, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Russell #8
    I didn’t believe that it was an accusation, but felt that I had to make it clear, I actually like Greg even though we are hardly ever on the same side and I’d never accuse him of wrong doing, but I do believe that his position on some issues is determined by a wish to please the farming and forestry lobbies with little regard for a more balanced opinion, his choice of course but it influences my voting intentions.

  5. Russell

    May 24, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Re #6
    Thanks John, but it was a question not an accusation. If you don’t ask, you’ll never find out. Somehow, even that doesn’t seem to work much of the time in Tasmania though.

  6. Philip Lowe

    May 24, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    It’s not so much what gets into the Mercury that is interesting,as is what is left out.

  7. John Dudley

    May 24, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Russell, no, to my knowledge Greg did not benefit from the water schemes current or proposed, I would not accuse him of corrupt practices.
    We agree that the TCCI should watch its own P’s & Q’s, their record is abysmal in the field of economic management, it distresses me to see Lara Giddings getting rather too cosy with them.

  8. William Boeder

    May 24, 2010 at 3:47 am

    Speaking of our Tasmanian media operators, I am trying to understand why there is such a to-do and so much attention currently being directed toward the various avenues around Hobart that seek to ban smoking, or in fact have banned smoking?

    Now fair go I say, is this sort of dull monotonous palaver really of merit as a State wide-issue?

    Yet the magnitude of harms, including the continual wildlife slaughters, the regions of Tasmania destroyed by clear-felling, the huge (but unnecessary) burn-offs that the State government freely allows open slather by the various Forestry interests, yet this government and its inept authorities would take ‘the man on the street’ to court if he has a smokey incinerator?

    The media chiefs themselves have become oblivious to these so frequently occurring atrocious practices happening daily or even weekly.

    The ever ongoing dangers, threats and stupidities from the un-regulated mayhem of the forestry overlords, are no longer of sensational outcry or headline blasting major event, so for them the enormity of this ever ongoing senseless killing and destruction is forgotten by these tamed media-pumping characters, simply because of the want by theses editor needs, need for something, something else, anything, no matter if it is dull or peurile, please anything??????

    Yet should these same atrocious and mindless activities occur outside of Australia, t’will will quickly become a featured news headline?

    Not one of the dailies in this State ‘has the balls to launch itself full-on in telling the people of Tasmania the entirety facts, or to deplore this ongoing shocking onslaught upon our forest creatures and forested lands right across our State?

    Why, simply because of its villainous frequency in occurrence, thus it is therefore considered by these editors to be a dull no-account no-interest matter by those of themselves?

    This retarded thinking has become paramount to the constantly perpetrated evils committed against the best interests of this State and all its citizens.
    To many people this silent treatment is actually seen to be quietly but openly supportive toward such revolting, reviling and abhorrent forestry practices and activities.

    Again I ask the question why?

    The only answer we can presume here is, that to Tasmania’s media interests, this aint helping their industry in selling more newspapers?

    So for what and for why in hell’s name, do we need such ineffective mass communication instruments, if it is to blatantly ignore the immensity in the ever ongoing yearly tolls of slaughters, dangers and corruptions so inherent in this State?

    No! Not at all, it is to tell everyone in Tasmania that there be sensational State-wide news of some local council which has placed a ‘no go zone’ to apply to cigarette smokers up or down some bloody street in Hobart.

    To ye Newspaper Editors get yourselves back to your insulated and ignorance-aplenty dungeons to create more sales by telling us these smokers stories and of your soft and cuddly dog stories!

    Meanwhile, we can only sit and wonder why this media collective keeps so shtum about the bastard ravages ongoing to our diminishing wildlife and our Ancient Forests?

    Now what was that comment we heard about blatant corruptions inherent?

  9. Russell

    May 23, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Greg Hall MLC’s family farming business didn’t benefit from the Meander Valley Dam, did it? Or, maybe some other currently proposed or initiated State water scheme?

    And I don’t think the TCCI should judge or give advice on the economics or sustainability of projects when it just made a huge loss itself last year.

  10. Pete Godfrey

    May 23, 2010 at 11:44 am

    David isn’t it such a shame that the media are trying so hard to dictate our viewpoints.
    It was probably always so.
    If I could knit I would make you a Tassie Tiger striped jumper.
    Good on you David

  11. John Dudley

    May 23, 2010 at 10:53 am

    At the time when planning for the Meander dam was in its median stage I tried to raise some of these issues with Greg Hall, I got the impression that he clearly understood the potential difficulties, Greg is not a stupid man, but it was clear to me that he felt that his continued occupation of his seat in the Legislative council depended on unquestioning support for the proposal. There were then and indeed are now some powerful local and not so local forces lined up to benefit substantially from the implementation of the scheme to oppose them at that time would have brought Greg down.
    Now having declared himself it is practically impossible to retract even to acknowledge the validity of the cautionary principle.

  12. phill Parsons

    May 23, 2010 at 10:43 am

    The above shows how useless newspapers have become. Leaman ahould be among many asked to write opinion pieces [selected bloggers in print] otherwise reahshes of yesterdays TV news with a dose of local color and an add will be out the iPad clone door.

    Yes they are coming in more versions by more companies with more features.

    It is the strewngth of TT that opinion pieces betond the predicatble diatribe of the Editor and almost all responses are published.

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