The concept of considering restoring the House of Assembly to 35 members is on the agenda. To guide the discussion, Treasury clarifies that the increase will cost an extra $6.1 million per year (Adv., Oct. 26). Given that this equates to an increase of 20 per cent of the House of Assembly budget, and is minuscule in terms of the State Budget (that is, $6 billion), there is the argument of cost effective democratic representation. In terms of ministerial commitment, there is a breadth of knowledge associated with multiple portfolios. The proposed model could alleviate a minister's workload, and allow more time to be dedicated to the given ministerial concern. To determine how effective the proposed model would be, the state government has established a House of Assembly committee to examine the concept. One of the key aspects to be noted is the increase of backbenchers. This results in more representatives available for a possible increase in committees. The key here is improved development of community engagement, and, therefore, effective consultation. Those that have appeared before the committee have noted that the costs are inconsequential given the strengthened democratic representation. Paris Shacklock, Devonport It's time for the public to thank whistleblowers and journalists for their courage in bringing stories out in the open. The government and its agents want secrecy and to punish those for revealing issues. I support all whistleblowers and journalists. Pat Raisbeck, Latrobe Thanks must go to the state government for investing in X-ray glasses for our customs officers at the Devonport Airport. I have arrived many times in the past months at the airport with no biosecurity dog to check if food products are entering our island state that could devastate our agricultural industry. But we have noted two officers standing guard occasionally asking if you are carrying fruit or vegetables, but with their X-ray glasses that can see into our bags. I am confident nothing gets through here and our island will be secure. Good job everyone. Shane Davidson, Quoiba When is wilderness not wilderness? Apparently when the Hodgeman government decides it is acceptable for a commercial enterprise to fly a helicopter in and out numerous times as proposed for Lake Malbena in the heart of Walls of Jerusalem National Park. By definition wilderness is a place devoid of machines. Yet an opaque approval process has so far given the green light to this so-called development despite protests from the local council and all interest groups from the wilderness guides to the fishers and walkers. When will this myopic state government learn that the economy of this state is dependent on preserving our natural heritage, not this kind of crass exploitation? Wilderness takes time to appreciate; mainlanders flying in for a quick squiz is not the answer for our economy. Paul Duncum, South Launceston What do you think? You can have your say by sending us a Letter to the Editor using the form below.