Seen it be­fore

Central and North Burnett Times - - OPINION -

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

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