Letters to the editor

A storm in a tea cup? Well, cartoonist Bret Currie can feel something in the water that doesn't rate well. Welcome back for 2017, Bret!
A storm in a tea cup? Well, cartoonist Bret Currie can feel something in the water that doesn't rate well. Welcome back for 2017, Bret!

Michael Chamberlain’s links to the North West Star

With the recent death of Michael Chamberlain, it may be of interest to your younger readers that he wrote a weekly column for the Star in the period prior to the death of his and wife Lindy’s baby Azaria Chamberlain (August 1980).

Michael Chamberlain was a Seventh Day Adventist and his column for the Star denigrated the use of coffee and other stimulants such as alcohol.

It also promoted a healthy lifestyle.

When I worked at the North West Star I received his copy at the front desk and he always appeared to be friendly, affable and incapable of anything sinister.

He was just misguided by his religious beliefs, was my crass opinion.

After the Ayers Rock incident, the Chamberlains returned to Mount Isa and Lindy came to the North West Star office with Azaria's basinette, which was duly photographed.

It is now more than 36 years ago but I recollect it was the basinette from which the child was taken.

You'd think the Northern Territory police would have kept it as evidence - possible dingo DNA - but it now appears they had their own agenda.

That photo was published and was in the photo library.

Whether it still exists, I know not.

The Azaria case followed the unsolved 1978 Spear Creek murders which had the town on tenterhooks for a while.

Dick Hanlon

Mount Isa

Editor’s note. The photo Mr Hanlon is referring to does exist and we have located it. See the photo on the cover of our Weekender magazine (page 13 of this edition) and see the story of the Chamberlain’s links to Mount Isa on page 3 of the weekender (page 15 of this edition).

Daylight Savings Referendum should not be a priority for Queenslanders

There are more important issues facing Queensland than daylight saving at the moment.

The basis of daylight saving is how distance from the equator affects sunrise and sunset. 

So it is most useful for Tasmanians and has little practical application for northern Australians.

The Bureau of Meteorology has maps of Australia at 6 am and 6 pm on the longest and shortest days of the year.

A diagonal line runs across the continent from the northwest coast to the southeast coast.

One side is still in daylight and one side is already in the dark.

The further east you live from that line, the less you benefit from Eastern Summer Time – day light saving.

The electorate of Gregory falls firmly in that category. 

Not only that, it turns out that we in the north of the country don’t actually need to “save” daylight.

In fact our doctors tell us to reduce our risk of melanoma by avoiding the hottest part of the day.

So for us daylight saving could be downright harmful to our health.

And we have a much greater part of our workforce working outdoors, compared to those living in the southeast corner of Queensland

It would certainly have a major impact on our quality of life.

With Queensland in debt by some $80 billion, a referendum on daylight saving should not be our priority. 

We need to focus on regional jobs and regional infrastructure.

And, we need to start doing something about them, now.

Lachlan Millar MP

Member for Gregory