Tablelands Advertiser - - NEWS -

I read the ar­ti­cle about the Ma­reeba An­i­mal Refuge cel­e­brat­ing its 10th Birth­day in The Table­lands Advertiser on Novem­ber 24.

I im­me­di­ately knew the Refuge was much older. Jane Hick­ling be­gan the Refuge in 1974.

Jane was the mother of Dawn Tenni, she was also our babysit­ter.

She was a very gen­tle per­son and be­gan the Refuge with wooden crates which was all she had to house the an­i­mals. The site has not changed but the name of the Refuge has.

In Jane’s time it be­gan as Tableland’s So­ci­ety for the Pre­ven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals. The road lead­ing to the Refuge was named ‘Jane Hick­ling Drive’ in hon­our of Jane and the work she did to get the Refuge es­tab­lished.

The Refuge is not a young 10 years old, it has been at least 40 years since it be­gan op­er­a­tion and hun­dreds of vol­un­teers have helped over those years. IRENE SHANKS, Ma­reeba about the to­tally false and defam­a­tory ac­cu­sa­tions lev­elled at the Jon­s­son Fam­ily from Wom­bi­noo Sta­tion , Mt Gar­net. The Wilder­ness So­ci­ety on the 7pm news on ABC on Novem­ber 23 lev­elled to­tally false in­for­ma­tion about the Jon­s­son’s lack of tree clear­ing per­mits. This was done not for any other pur­pose other than po­lit­i­cal gain be­cause of the Queens­land Elec­tion, but in the process they trashed a per­fectly hon­est and law abid­ing fam­ily try­ing to make a liv­ing off the land.

It is crim­i­nal neg­li­gence of the worst kind for a po­lit­i­cal ad­van­tage.

It is a mater of pub­lic record through the De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Mines what per­mits have been is­sued and the Jon­s­son Fam­ily at­tained all the re­quired per­mits be­fore tree clear­ing com­menced.

For the ABC to run such a po­lit­i­cal hot potato of a story without first check­ing is both sloppy and very dam­ag­ing to the Jon­ssons’ fam­ily busi­ness which in­cludes a re­tail out­let in Cairns.

I fully sup­port the Jon­s­son fam­ily as a friend and agri­cul­tural op­er­a­tor in their en­deav­ors on Wom­bi­noo and their whole fam­ily busi­ness.

I have been work­ing at Wom­bi­noo for the past 5 months de­vel­op­ing some of the land cleared 2-3 years ago.

I used to own Glen Dhu Sta­tion to the south of Wom­bi­noo and have trav­elled the Gu­nawwarra Road for the past 28 years. With 40 years ex­pe­ri­ence in clear­ing land in Queens­land I see no prob­lem in the pru­dent clear­ing of rel­a­tively small ar­eas to make them more pro­duc­tive.

Some of their land was cleared 25 or so years ago and shows no sign of ero­sion from years of crop grow­ing and has cre­ated a greater level of pro­duc­tiv­ity and helped drought proof their cat­tle op­er­a­tion.

They have cleared 7 per cent of their to­tal land area and if granted their new per­mits that will rise to 15 per cent.

I think it is a to­tally rea­son­able propo­si­tion to de­vote 85 per cent to na­ture con­ser­va­tion and 15 per cent to in­creased pro­duc­tion.

Talk of silt­ing up the Great Bar­rier Reef is over­stated and na­tive an­i­mal de­struc­tion is a case of dis­place­ment to another area.

No an­i­mals have been killed or maimed to my knowl­edge.

Any­one who sup­ports eat­ing should sup­port agri­cul­ture be­cause that’s where all their food comes from.

All of the agri­cul­tural or­gan­i­sa­tions should adopt the slo­gan, “Those who do not sup­port agri­cul­ture stop eat­ing.” RICHARD HOLME, Ma­landa


The re­cent hor­ren­dous rate in­creases im­posed by the cur­rent TRC on groups of farm­ers caused such an up­roar that at a pub­lic meet­ing there was a over­whelm­ing vote of no con­fi­dence in this coun­cil.

This re­sulted in an ad­mit­tance by the TRC that they got it hor­ri­bly wrong and they quickly ar­rived at a com­pro­mise and low­ered the rates in the cat­e­gories in ques­tion.

A very large num­ber of ratepay­ers right across the Table­lands since then have come for­ward and ex­pressed their ob­jec­tion about rate in­creases across all cat­e­gories, and the ever di­min­ish­ing and poor ser­vices by coun­cil.

Cur­rent clear­ing and de­stroy­ing of trees be­low the toi­let block in Tolga, Ather­ton Show Grounds and to­tal an­ni­hi­la­tion of the beau­ti­ful trees in Ver­non Street are acts of van­dal­ism on the coun­cil’s part.

Hav­ing driven up Ver­non Street for 40 + years th­ese ma­ture trees have never caused a prob­lem and the bi­tu­men roads on ei­ther side have been and still are in pris­tine con­di­tion.

No con­sul­ta­tion oc­curred with the pub­lic what­so­ever.

Our con­cerned ratepay­ers com­mit­tee have en­deav­oured to meet with coun­cil to dis­cuss ratepay­ers’ con­cerns but the Coun­cil have not been co­op­er­a­tive.

I would have thought that in a democ­racy the TRC are ob­li­gated to lis­ten to their con­stituents’ con­cerns, take them aboard and try to come up with an­swers.

The last email for­warded to coun­cil where we de­manded an open meet­ing with a veiled threat that it would be a mis­take if once again the coun­cil ig­nored us, they used as an ex­cuse to once again not talk to their con­cerned con­stituents.

It shows a lack of ex­pe­ri­ence in the job they have un­der­taken.

They refuse to talk and seem to not have the con­fi­dence to come up with the an­swers we as ratepay­ers are seek­ing.

What is more con­cern­ing how­ever is, that un­der this present coun­cil and their ob­nox­ious con­tin­u­ing rate in­creases, lack of ser­vices and not will­ing to dis­cuss is­sues, is a di­rect threat to the eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity, beauty and gen­eral at­trac­tive­ness of the Table­lands as a place to live.

This area is on the de­cline at a rapid rate, par­tic­u­larly the town of Ather­ton. JERRY MICOLA, Tolga

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