MP’s re­ac­tions are ‘knee-jerk’

The Gympie Times - - YOUR SATURDAY OPINION -

LATELY our state mem­ber for Gympie has been rather neg­a­tive and mak­ing knee-jerk com­ments com­plain­ing about knee-jerk re­ac­tions from the coun­cil, in­clud­ing about waste man­age­ment. His im­age seems to be of coun­cil­lors in board meet­ings who do not get out to lis­ten.

As a coun­cil­lor I lis­tened in the mid­dle of last year to res­i­dents who com­plained about our waste man­age­ment charges. The coun­cil spent about a year de­bat­ing our waste man­age­ment fees and charges and how to en­sure our tips and trans­fer sta­tions are safe and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly.

It is fine for res­i­dents to dis­agree with the de­ci­sions the coun­cil made. But the de­ci­sions were not “knee-jerk re­ac­tions”.

Most res­i­dents will pay less for waste man­age­ment ser­vices. Those who cre­ate more waste, and there­fore cost the coun­cil and the com­mu­nity more, will pay more. Res­i­dents have told me that is fair.

Great things are hap­pen­ing in our com­mu­nity. It is a priv­i­lege to work with coun­cil staff, or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als to help build a bet­ter com­mu­nity.

On Wed­nes­day night it was fan­tas­tic to an­nounce which lo­cal artists, young, old and in be­tween, won awards in the Rush Art Fes­ti­val. This was pos­si­ble be­cause the coun­cil and com­mu­nity worked to­gether to help build a vi­brant arts com­mu­nity.

It is easy to spout lines about “knee-jerk re­ac­tions” and mak­ing un­in­formed com­plaints. It is far bet­ter to work co­op­er­a­tively across gov­ern­ments, busi­nesses, groups and in­di­vid­u­als to make Gympie an even bet­ter com­mu­nity. — Cr Dan Ste­wart East Deep Creek

De­ci­sion ‘very poor’

COUN­CIL­LORS who voted down a change of use ap­pli­ca­tion by Widgee En­gi­neer­ing need to have a long, hard look at them­selves and the peo­ple and re­gion they (claim to) rep­re­sent.

To im­pose huge re­lo­ca­tion costs on a vi­able lo­cal busi­ness (which ac­tu­ally has many em­ploy­ees – fancy that) lo­cated at arm’s length from just about every­thing or to force that busi­ness to close is a very poor de­ci­sion. — Dave Phillips, Gympie

Please ex­plain

THIS is a let­ter re­cently sent to my coun­cil­lor, Daryl Dodt, and Mayor Mick Cur­ran:

“I re­fer to re­cent charges levied upon ratepay­ers us­ing the Bon­nick Rd tip.

“Apart from ex­or­bi­tant rates that I cur­rently pay for a mod­est home in Gympie, rates which are much higher than my brother’s $1 mil­lion res­i­dence in Ter­ri­gal, NSW, I have now been slugged with tip fees, fees which I have read are for a ser­vice which was hav­ing no dif­fi­cul­ties fi­nan­cially prior to their im­ple­men­ta­tion.

“In other coun­cils that charge much less for rates per an­num, those ratepay­ers are given a green waste bin. This is some­thing Gympie does not have and now it seems an added tax will be im­posed upon ratepay­ers with­out a green waste bin.

“With the storm and growth sea­son com­ing I am sure the coun­cil CEO will be rub­bing his hands with glee with the fi­nan­cial windfall that will re­sult from res­i­dents with green waste lit­ter­ing their yards need­ing ac­cess to the tip. When will we be re­ceiv­ing our green waste bins?

“An­other is­sue is the new and un­nec­es­sary pool fa­cil­ity. On two 35-de­greeplus days in the last week of the school hol­i­days I took my three chil­dren to the pool. Can you ex­plain why the chil­dren’s wa­ter area was closed at 4.30pm, when the tem­per­a­ture was still above 35 de­grees and many par­ents were just ar­riv­ing af­ter work?

“Can you ex­plain why the slide, which I paid $18 for just un­der an hour’s use by my three chil­dren, was closed at just 4pm?

“Could you ex­plain why I can­not buy a yearly pass to the pool as I did at the old pool? Can you ex­plain why I can only buy weekly passes, which will cost me hun­dreds of dol­lars more to use than the old pool – not to men­tion that I as a ratepayer paid for the new fa­cil­ity and I get no ad­di­tional ben­e­fits over a user of the fa­cil­ity who is a non-res­i­dent?

“Can you also sup­ply me the cost to ratepay­ers of the two metal ‘sculp­tures’ in Smith­field St, which serve no pur­pose what­so­ever and are now rapidly tar­nish­ing?” — L Cook, Gympie

Libs can do bet­ter

AS WE spent $122 mil­lion on a bal­lot on mar­riage, can we af­ford an­other vote? Can we have a vote on Tony Abbott just shut­ting up?

Sure, he’s an ex-PM but one who only got there by loudly scream­ing slo­gans to make an­other PM un­electable?

It didn’t take long for the pub­lic to see through him once he got in a po­si­tion to fail to lead, the one thing he did well.

Yet, on the back of be­ing good at neg­a­tiv­ity and hope­less at lead­ing, we al­low him to speak his ut­ter rot on cli­mate change and so­cial is­sues, to a point be­yond laugh­able, which should em­bar­rass all but those to­tally blinded by ide­ol­ogy and id­iocy far be­yond that our cur­rent PM ac­cuses his op­po­nents of.

Worse may come now Abbott’s ra­bid right wing re­alises he won’t re­turn as PM. They’re groom­ing Peter Dut­ton for that role, on the back of base­less claims of a great job on im­mi­gra­tion.

In re­al­ity he’s achieved lit­tle but in­herit Mor­ri­son’s ploys but is of­ten seen as hav­ing done “well” sim­ply by be­ing nasty and bul­ly­ing be­yond prece­dent in Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment.

He did, qui­etly, agree out of court to pay $75 mil­lion in com­pen­sa­tion to the refugees he used as po­lit­i­cal trac­tion but other than recit­ing La­bor blame in in­creas­ingly bois­ter­ous bel­lows he’s far from hav­ing sorted out “La­bor’s mess” of four-plus years ago.

Dut­ton will never cap­tain any Team Aus­tralia I could play for. I refuse to ac­cept we’re a coun­try which so highly re­gards such pure nas­ti­ness as his.

If Turn­bull is too weak to lead against Abbott and his loonies on mar­riage or cli­mate or en­ergy and so wastes money on a vote Dut­ton cre­ated, could he please al­low the pub­lic a vote on if Abbott, Dut­ton and the few other 1970s kick­backs shouldn’t shut up so he can fi­nally to gov­ern?

If we don’t stop the pa­thetic in­ter­nal LNP power plays we may end up with Peter Dut­ton PM. If vot­ers want shrill non­sense they can vote for One Na­tion.

As a long-stand­ing party the Lib­er­als should be able to do bet­ter than lower them­selves to that, or Queens­land LNP, level. — Dave Free­man, Cedar Pocket

PHOTO: RE­NEE AL­BRECHT

SAY: Coun­cil­lor Dan Ste­wart.

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