Letters to the editor

TAFE just doesn’t get it

In reply to the TAFE chief executive‘s letter to the editor December 20, 2016.

It shows once again that the management of the Technical and Further Education Department in South Australia has some major flaws.

The Australian Maritime and Fisheries Academy was established by Industry some 20 years ago in Adelaide, Port Lincoln and recently in Darwin, predominantly because of the mediocre training provided by TAFE.

We congratulate the education organisation for providing good training for other industries but unfortunately, that is not the case in the maritime sector, where the waste of money, lack of knowledge and practical training is missing.

I speak from experience, being part of the Industry for over 55 years. It is of little value TAFE offering aquaculture courses, if jobs are not available, that doesn’t help my industry.

We require maritime orientated courses that provide students a career for their future.

I call on Premier Jay Weatherill and Minister Susan Close, to take the necessary steps to stop the utter waste of nebulous training, with no value for Industry.

The government’s TAFE enquiry, which is under way at present, will shine a light on a ship tossed about on the oceans, without direction, squandering time, effort and taxpayers’ funds.

A reassessment is long overdue.

(Dr) HAGEN H STEHR AO

Australian Tuna Fisheries Pty Ltd

More dump information wanted

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey’s latest newsletter (late 2016) had one conspicuous absence: the federal government’s planned nuclear waste dump and storage facility at Barndioota, 50 kilometres west of Hawker.

Why this omission? It is no secret that Mr Ramsey is a keen supporter of nuclear waste dumps in the electorate of Grey.

Official information about this dump, over the past 20 months or so, has been meagre and confused.

More often than not the dump proposal has been misrepresented as a repository for low-level radioactive waste, only.

There has been little reference to plans to store so-called intermediate-level waste at the same site, or nearby.

The failure to fully explain both the real nature of the intermediate-level waste and the long-term plans for this waste is a serious breach of trust.

Intermediate-level waste is as radioactive as high-level waste. Whether reprocessed or not, such wastes originate in nuclear reactors and consist of hundreds of fission products, many of which remain hazardous for thousands of years.

Fission products were unknown in nature until the dawn of the nuclear age 70 years ago. Our bodies have no way of dealing with these radioactive materials.

It is very likely that the federal government is hoping that a deep geological repository for international waste will eventually go ahead in South Australia.

The nuclear waste from Australia’s own reactor at Lucas Heights (NSW), after storage at Barndioota (or perhaps Kimba?) could then be buried together with the international waste.

Even if approval for an international waste dump in SA were to be built, the construction would take many decades, so just how long this waste would be stored above ground at Barndioota is anyone’s guess.

Maybe Mr Ramsey could throw some light on this contentious issue?

ALLY FRICKER & BOB LAMB

Brady Creek                                                                                                                                                                     

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