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Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SHARI TAGLIABUE FOL­LOW SHARI ON TWIT­TER AT WWW.TWIT­TER.COM/SHARITAGS

Slug­ging pet- own­ing pen­sion­ers 10 bucks to reg­is­ter their dogs? Soft tar­get, pen­sion­ers, they’re not usu­ally the type to rant, rage or protest, the most we might ex­pect is a deep sigh, a shake of the head, and a ruf­fle of the ears of their trusty com­pan­ion.

THEY say that all pub­lic­ity is good pub­lic­ity, but does this al­ways ap­ply? Good PR is ev­ery­thing to an or­gan­i­sa­tion, es­pe­cially an en­tity that re­lies on the good­will of the peo­ple it serves to re­main in busi­ness.

De­spite this, our Townsville City Coun­cil seems to be do­ing a great job in alien­at­ing ratepay­ers with baf­fling moves that ei­ther in­fu­ri­ate, ir­ri­tate or both.

Slug­ging pet- own­ing pen­sion­ers 10 bucks to reg­is­ter their dogs? Soft tar­get, pen­sion­ers, they’re not usu­ally the type to rant, rage or protest, the most we might ex­pect is a deep sigh, a shake of the head, and a ruf­fle of the ears of their trusty com­pan­ion.

Just how badly does the coun­cil need the pif­fling amount of money this fee would gen­er­ate? Or a more per­ti­nent ques­tion – how low is the level in the bar­rel be­ing scraped for the coun­cil to need this rev­enue raiser?

It’s not the only ques­tion­able idea trot­ted out this week. Who else thought the only oc­ca­sion we would be re­vis­it­ing the bus in­ter­change is­sue would be to give a weary cheer when it was fi­nally com­pleted? This is not that oc­ca­sion. To any new­com­ers: an ex­pla­na­tion. Never has the con­cept “bus in­ter­change” been a bet­ter barom­e­ter for bu­reau­cracy.

We had one once, it was noth­ing flash, not much shel­ter to speak of, lo­cated in the cen­tre of town next to the stage ( yes, we had one of those) in the tree­shaded mall ( yep, we had one of those too).

Great minds de­cided it was far bet­ter to axe the stage, open the mall to traf­fic and move the bus in­ter­change a good cou­ple of blocks from the shops, in­tro­duc­ing ex­tra park­ing me­ters for good mea­sure.

Faced with ei­ther lug­ging shop­ping to the bus or to wher­ever they’d parked their car, peo­ple un­sur­pris­ingly chose their sub­ur­ban shop­ping cen­tre.

Af­ter end­less con­sul­ta­tions a new lo­ca­tion was sourced and in 2015 the State Gov­ern­ment com­mit­ted $ 4 mil­lion to build it, but the coun­cil wouldn’t agree on the lo­ca­tion, leav­ing the state to call for “com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion”.

Chair­man of the Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee Tony Par­sons said at the time that there’d al­ready been ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion on the Og­den Street site: “We did 12 weeks of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion for the City Plan, three months for the CBD Master­plan and four weeks for the Wa­ter­front project – the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion has been done to death …”. And yet this week, two years on, Cr Les Walker an­nounced more com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion on the same bus in­ter­change that has al­ready been put to the com­mu­nity for con­sul­ta­tion.

Add to this the ques­tion­able quick fix se­cond pipe­line, the pro­posed clo­sure of the waste trans­fer sta­tion with no hard rub­bish col­lec­tion in sight and photo op­por­tu­ni­ties with Jamie Durie, sent to help us clue­less re­gion­als man­age our wa­ter woes, and you would be for­given for los­ing faith.

I’ve ended count­less col­umns with the sen­ti­ment, “If they can’t get a bus shel­ter sorted, what hope is there for other projects?”

Help us out, TCC; the pub­lic will ap­plaud a good out­come.

All you have to do is ac­tu­ally de­liver one.

WE HAD ONE ONCE ... LO­CATED IN THE CEN­TRE OF TOWN NEXT TO THE STAGE ( YES, WE HAD ONE OF THOSE) IN THE TREE- SHADED MALL ( YEP, WE HAD ONE OF THOSE TOO)

Pic­ture: ZAK SIM­MONDS

NOT HELP­FUL: Things might move slowly where coun­cil is con­cerned but at least Jamie Durie and Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk had a good photo op­por­tu­nity at Rowes Bay Sus­tain­abil­ity Cen­tre.

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