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 BELL TOLLS
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