MA­REEBA AN­I­MAL REFUGE

Tablelands Advertiser - - NEWS -

IN re­sponse to the let­ter by Irene Shanks on the An­i­mal Refuge in last week’s pa­per. In 2007 the refuge had fallen into such a state of dis­re­pair and mis­man­age­ment that the then Tablelands Re­gional Coun­cil de­cided to call for ten­ders for a new manag­ing body. Friends of the An­i­mals Inc. had had a re­cent dis­ap­point­ment with the demise of its plans to build a refuge in the Wonga­bel State For­est so the group de­cided to ap­ply for the ten­der. FOTA Inc. won this ten­der and com­menced op­er­a­tion of the fa­cil­ity on Novem­ber 17, 2007. It was this 10th an­niver­sary that was cel­e­brated in Novem­ber this year and not the es­tab­lish­ment of the refuge in 1974. We are ex­tremely proud of our achieve­ments over the past 10 years and thank the Ma­reeba com­mu­nity for its won­der­ful sup­port. We hope that in an­other 10 years we will have much more to cel­e­brate. JEN­NIFER WALSH, Ma­reeba An­i­mal Refuge

CHHHS also made the poor de­ci­sion to hold the of­fi­cial open­ing of the most im­por­tant Dim­bu­lah fa­cil­ity in decades just 4 days af­ter an in­tense state gov­ern­ment elec­tion.

Ma­jor stake­hold­ers who had con­trib­uted so much over the past 2 years to en­sure the new Dim­bu­lah Health Fa­cil­ity was built – for ex­am­ple Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick and State MP Shane Knuth – couldn’t at­tend the Dim­bu­lah Health Clinic open­ing but the event went ahead re­gard­less.

Mayor Gil­more and Coun­cil­lors could not at­tend due to the late no­tice and prior com­mit­ments.

Of the 50 or so peo­ple who at­tended the open­ing, over half were ei­ther paid Queens­land Health ad­min­is­tra­tion staff or peo­ple from out­side Dim­bu­lah. Only a small num­ber of Dim­bu­lah lo­cals could at­tend this event sched­uled in the mid­dle of a work­ing week which showed very lit­tle re­gard for our ru­ral com­mu­nity, the ma­jor­ity of whom, are in the pad­dock or pack­ing sheds at this peak har­vest pe­riod. Some lo­cals ar­rived at 11am when the event was over.

Lo­cal in­dige­nous el­der Tom Con­goo was given the cour­tesy of wel­com­ing all to coun­try, while re­cent CHHHS CEO Clare Dou­glas car­ried out the in­tro­duc­tion.

Re­cent Chair­man of the CHHHS board Clive Skarott AM did the of­fi­cial open­ing and it’s worth not­ing that both of these peo­ple were ap­pointed to CHHHS af­ter all the hard work had been done by the com­mu­nity through pub­lic meet­ings and state gov­ern­ment pe­ti­tions which re­sulted in fund­ing of 4.6 mil­lion dol­lars an­nounced by the health min­is­ter last year. It was ap­par­ent by their ad­dresses that CEO Clare and Chair­man Clive had lim­ited knowl­edge of the process that had taken place and they failed to re­spect­fully ac­knowl­edge the ma­jor contributors of the project. Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick and State MP Shane Knuth, com­mu­nity vol­un­teers Mick Borzi AM OBE and Gaye Tay­lor.

Once again CHHHS demon­strated that they have very lit­tle un­der­stand­ing of com­mu­nity needs and ex­pec­ta­tions and worse, they are not even pre­pared to con­sult with lo­cals to pro­vide the best pos­si­ble so­lu­tion in the pro­vi­sion of es­sen­tial health ser­vices to re­gional com­mu­ni­ties like Dim­bu­lah.

The re­sult­ing event, which had been much an­tic­i­pated by Dim­bu­lah res­i­dents, was an ab­so­lute dis­ap­point­ment. PHIL QUAYLE, Dim­bu­lah

HEAVY VE­HI­CLE BY­PASS

IT will be very in­ter­est­ing to watch and hear the line that Ma­reeba Shire Coun­cil Mayor Tom Gil­more takes with fur­ther plan­ning and pres­sure on the new State Gov­ern­ment and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment for the nec­es­sary fund­ing to build the much needed heavy ve­hi­cle by­pass road to the west of Ma­reeba which has been in the plan­ning stage for over 50 years.

The heavy ve­hi­cle by­pass road to the west of Ma­reeba will re­move ninety per­cent of the huge trans­port ve­hi­cles now re­quired to tra­verse the main street Byrnes Street which is the gazetted High­way One to Cape York.

It is ab­so­lutely ab­surd to have all these mas­sive semi-trail­ers – b-dou­bles and foul pol­lut­ing side tip­pers of fer­mented rub­bish from Cairns com­ing through our busi­ness cen­tre seven days a week.

Mayor Tom Gil­more has pub­licly stated that he is not in the busi­ness of Health but I can as­sure our mayor that each and ev­ery day these mas­sive heavy ve­hi­cles tra­verse Byrnes Street it be­comes more a risk fac­tor to the gen­eral pub­lic and it is only a mat­ter of time when some ma­jor in­ci­dent will oc­cur in the cen­tral busi­ness area of Ma­reeba caus­ing a cat­a­strophic health and safety in­ci­dent in­volv­ing a mem­ber or mem­bers of our com­mu­nity.

There are so many pos­i­tives for a heavy ve­hi­cle by­pass for Ma­reeba in­clud­ing the devel­op­ment of a mas­sive road­house where long haulage truck driv­ers can fuel – have a meal – bath – sleep and have ad­e­quate room to leave trail­ers etc aligned to our new In­dus­trial Es­tate north west of Ma­reeba.

There may well be two high level bridges in­volved to span both Gran­ite Creek and Ather­ton Creek but this is no rea­son for our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers lo­cal and state to shy away from the costs in­volved when you look at the bil­lions of dol­lars be­ing spent each year on high­ways and by ways in the south east­ern cor­ner of our state.

The only way Ma­reeba will get the nec­es­sary fund­ing for the long planned heavy ve­hi­cle by­pass in Ma­reeba is for mayor Tom Gil­more and newly elected Mem­ber for Cook Cyn­thia Lui, along with the Ma­reeba Cham­ber of Com­merce, to unite as one loud voice in all facets of the me­dia and lobby hard to state and fed­eral trans­port and main roads min­is­ters re­lent­lessly. DE­NIS MCKIN­LEY, Ma­reeba

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