LETTERS TO THE EDITOR


Public meeting: Cygnet Medical Centre
The public meeting on October 14 was well attended. It was a positive and constructive meeting, where members of the public were able to present their views, and Huon Valley councillors and the council staff present listened.  Liz Smith, from Cygnet, as lodger of the petition, had prepared an overview of the medical centre background.
Councillors were given a more complete history of the medical centre from Liz’s in-depth local knowledge and experience as a former councillor. She also referenced the September 26, 2018 Huon Valley Council meeting,
where the proposed sale of the Cygnet Medical Centre had first been introduced, prior to the election of the nine councillors in November 2018.
There were four motions submitted, each person presenting a motion had three minutes to speak. Other speakers followed – it was a very fast-paced event. The public voted in support or not for each motion by raising their hand. These votes were counted by a council staff member.
From Cygnet, two notable speakers were: former Huon Valley mayor, Robert Armstrong, who had engaged in negotiating the Commonwealth grant; and Amber Leighton, who spoke in affirmation of the medical centre to be successfully rented whilst still owned by the council.
The meeting ended half an hour earlier than the allowed two hours. More could have been said but it was better to end on a positive note, and let the new councillors leave with a greater understanding of the significance and value the Cygnet Medical Centre has to the local community.
Being held in Huonville rather than Cygnet, may have disadvantaged those without transport, but nonetheless, it was a successful night. A big thank-you to all who signed the petition to make this event possible.
Carol Murphy
Cygnet

Traffic
Thanks to John Fleming II for his piece on traffic congestion in Australian cities (The Kingston Classifieds, No. 1104, p. 12).
However, he mentions only in passing the crucial matter that makes it vital to improve public transport networks and get the cars causing the congestion off the roads.
Climate change is upon us and it is indeed literally an emergency. We simply must cut down our use of fossil fuels to have a liveable planet in the not too distant future.
Traffic congestion issues for Hobart commuters would be best addressed by a congestion tax and vastly improved public transport, not by building tunnels, extra road lanes and bypasses and commissioning endless reports by consultants.
Hobart can look for guidance to other cities which have introduced congestion taxes and to the recently released report by the Grattan Institute.
For example, a congestion tax to discourage commuters from driving into central London in the UK was introduced in 2003. Over the next few years traffic volume going into the centre was reduced by almost 40%.
Importantly, previous studies have shown that the great majority of Hobart commuters (approximately 75%) are headed for the CBD and are not travelling across the city.
Personally, I live in Kingston and commute to work and back in the Hobart CBD on Metro buses. The cost for a five day working week is $38.40. The many cars that clog the Southern Outlet during peak hours mostly contain only one person – the driver.
Jane Wilson
Kingston

Letters to the editor are the opinions of the writers, whose name and address appear with each letter, and do not necessarily express the opinions of this publication. Letters are published in part or full at the sole discretion of the editor and no correspondence will be entered into. Please keep letters short and to the point.

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