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Journeys : Apr May 2011
Janet Dyment lives in Hobart. She works in the Faculty of Education at the University of Tasmania and has two small children, three years and one month old. Janet has been an RACT member since 2007. Why did you join the RACT? I joined when I bought my first car after moving here from Canada. Before that I didn’t need Roadside assistance as I rode my bike every where. I wanted the protection as I often travel alone or with my small kids. What’s the most memorable time you’ve been helped by being a member of the RACT? I actually have never needed to call RACT and I like it that way. I know as soon as I drop my membership, I’ll need them, so it’s cheap insurance! Tell me about your current car. I just bought a new 2004 Toyota Corolla Ascent wagon. It’s great because it handles the two kids and our gear. What is your biggest motoring gripe? I wish Hobart had more bicycle lanes – especially going up and down Macquar ie and Davey Street. I think it is a perfect spot for lanes. I love the new lanes on Argyle Street – we just need more of them to keep cyclists safe. After the family photos, what is your most precious material possession? Obviously my children aren’t a possession but after I get them to safety I’d probably get the quilts my Mom has made for the kids. They are beautiful and hand-made. I’d also get my folder with our passports and birth certificates and official documents, and I’d grab my computer. What is your most memorable holiday moment? I’ve been lucky enough to paddle many rivers in nor thern Canada, like the Nahanni and the Stikine. They are the most wonderful places – remote, beautiful and great white water! No people either, which I love. What about your favourite holiday destination? I’m not really a ‘destination’ person and generally try to avoid the crowds on my holidays. I guess here in Tasmania, my favourite destination would be somewhere with a backpack and a few good friends in the South West. Where do you plan to spend your next holiday? My next holiday will be to go home to Canada, visiting family in Ontar io and friends in Br itish Columbia. We’ll do some hiking, canoeing, fishing and enjoy a North American summer with long evenings, where the sun doesn’t set until 11 pm. Member in focus Quarantine inspection in Devonport Ever yone recognises the need for the quarantine inspections to attempt to keep Tasmania free from pests and diseases, however the process of getting to the search station takes a long time (90 minutes in my case) and seems to be inequitably implemented. There is no guidance as to which of the three initial lanes should be joined when leaving the boat and the right-hand lane appears to be processed considerably faster than the two left-hand lanes. The time taken after landing on Tasmanian soil and the perceived inequity of movement of the queues makes for a frustrating introduction to Tasmania (or return home). I would be interested to know if there is any increase in traffic accidents after the Spirit boats have docked. I suggest that: • Consideration be given to quarantine inspections, or a screening process being undertaken on the boat, or, failing that • The queuing system be reviewed so that all vehicles are seen to be treated equally and have a similar waiting time. Signage about this needs to be evident before the separate lanes are reached • Pre-screening in the queues could separate vehicles that need a detailed inspection from those that don’t. This could be done in such a way as to allow those that don’t require such an inspection to leave immediately, freeing up staff to undertake fuller inspections (after my 90 minutes in the queue I was passed through the station w ith no detailed inspection in less than a minute). I feel sure that if some consideration were given to these points, the sea journey and the arrival in Tasmania could be made a much more enjoyable and welcoming exper ience. What do you think? We’d like to hear about your experiences on the Spirit of Tasmania. Please add a brief comment to our Community blog posting – you’ll find it at www.ract.com.au Opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the RACT. In our community April / May 2011 11
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