Seen it before
THE recent Our Say by journalist Brandon Livesay and subsequent news item concerning the development of the North Burnett requires some comment.
I admire the enthusiasm of the writer, but one of the advantages of ageing is, in most cases, you have seen it all before.
Over the last 40-odd years various people have spent an awful lot of time developing proposals for investment in the old Monto Shire area.
Numerous public meetings were held and a lot of butcher’s paper was used up. The result: zilch. The population of our district has virtually halved in the last 60 years and since amalgamation we are now regional and no longer have any control over our destiny - not that we had much in the first place.
In recent times, it is RDA meetings, breakfasts and lunches, but all that seems to happen is everyone who turns up pro- vides a wish list that is beyond provision. I suppose it provides employment for some people.
Government policies have seen once-stable industries that provided productive employment disappear. Why would any young people and new industries want to move to Monto?
The roads in and out of the place are horrendous, there is almost no public transport, there is no dentist, no permanent doctor, mothers-to-be can’t have a baby locally and the rates are on par with more prosperous areas.
The condition of the streets and curbing throughout most of the town are in a shocking condition. Most of us live here because of the reasons espoused; low crime rate, friendliness and easy going lifestyle, but that is hardly likely to inspire industry.
You don’t have to be Einstein to realise the future of our area lies with the development of Gladstone, but the direct road to Gladstone from Monto is poor, just like the one to Bundaberg.
We do have a railway line to Gladstone, but it is not functional. We also have a very good airport, but it is not all-weather and not used commercially.
I would like to make the prediction that if Monto had decent highways to Gladstone and Bundaberg, an all-weather airport and an operating rail line, development would look after itself.
Throw in the jewel of Cania Gorge National Park and our future would be assured.
I expect, however, we will never find out as the prospect of State and Federal Governments funding this infrastructure in the foreseeable future ahead of highly populated areas has about as much chance as I have of flying to the moon. Jack Muller Monto