DEAF TO VOICE OF REA­SON

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - OPINION - TATE’S GIBE STIRS

AS the Gold Coast en­ters the fi­nal straight for these Com­mon­wealth Games, we can re­flect on the suc­cess of a sports event that pro­duced mag­nif­i­cent com­pe­ti­tion.

It has the world in­ter­ested in who and what we are, and host­ing it should prove a defin­ing mo­ment for the city.

But a cloud hangs over the event. The out­come for many small busi­nesses is not the suc­cess they be­lieved was com­ing.

Un­for­tu­nately the fright­en­ing rhetoric of Get Set for the Games that warned of mas­sive crowds and trans­port chaos drowned out the voices of rea­son.

A Grif­fith Univer­sity Busi­ness School re­port re­leased to the coun­cil and other stake­hold­ers in July last year warned that in­stead of a busi­ness bo­nanza off the back of huge crowds that traders were be­ing told would come – and there­fore they must plan to ac­com­mo­date that – the re­al­ity was likely to be some­thing else al­to­gether. It said the event might not gen­er­ate the em­ploy­ment and in­come ben­e­fits be­ing touted, and res­i­dents would be de­terred.

In­deed it flagged the po­ten­tial for non­tourism busi­nesses to suf­fer a 40 per cent de­crease in de­mand. Busi­nesses say they were not in­formed of the re­port.

Fear won out. Many lo­cals left town and, as wit­nessed, the warn­ings of a trans­port ar­maged­don were mas­sively overblown. And many vis­i­tors and lo­cals who were in the Games spirit and paid to watch world-class com­pe­ti­tion had lit­tle de­sire to go out din­ing and par­ty­ing af­ter­wards.

The sit­u­a­tion was not helped by bul­ly­ing as­so­ci­ated with the park-and-ride hubs. Peo­ple heed­ing of­fi­cial ad­vice to park there and catch pub­lic trans­port to the Games were hit with of­fi­cial threats that if they were not back at their cars within an hour of their event end­ing, their cars would be towed at their ex­pense.

Get Set for the Games viewed its KPI of a smoothly run event as be­ing far more im­por­tant than any eco­nomic div­i­dend for lo­cal busi­nesses. Such a shame. MAYOR Tom Tate has poorly han­dled a ques­tion put to him on Face­book by a Labrador woman about warn­ings cars will be towed un­less res­i­dents shift them from the marathon route or side streets.

At best it was in­sen­si­tive, and it has an­noyed many peo­ple who dip their toes into so­cial me­dia to see what he has to say. The com­ment has also served to high­light a set of prin­ci­ples raised last month as the coun­cil was joust­ing with the Save Surfers Par­adise lobby group over the pro­posed sale of the Bruce Bishop car park.

That de­bate brought into fo­cus Queens­land’s model lit­i­gant prin­ci­ples, man­dated by Cab­i­net and used by the courts. The prin­ci­ples are de­signed to en­sure the rules of fair play en­able cit­i­zens to seek in­for­ma­tion or lodge com­plaints with­out be­ing abused by those in power. At the time the Bul­letin re­minded coun­cil­lors and bu­reau­crats they are the peo­ple’s ser­vants.

The tone of the may­oral re­sponse to the Labrador res­i­dent, query­ing whether her “whinge­ing’’ lay in the fact she chose to live in that bat­tler sub­urb or had to park some­where else for a day, raises the ques­tion of whether Cr Tate has strayed from those prin­ci­ples or was aware they ex­isted.

PLEASE tell me I was dream­ing when I read the ar­ti­cle in the GCB (‘Cig­gies age may hit 21’, 12/4) re­lat­ing to our var­i­ous health min­is­ters con­sid­er­ing a pro­posal to make it il­le­gal to smoke till reach­ing the age of 21.

For the record I am 68 years old so I am safe from the nanny state gu­rus if I elect to take up smok­ing again which I gave away in 1972.

While our health min­is­ters gaze at their col­lec­tive navels on this pro­posal 17-year-olds are out there get­ting a driver’s li­cence so they can, if they so wish, hoon around the place and cre­ate may­hem in a mo­torised piece of steel and plas­tic.

If this pro­posal is ac­cepted it is say­ing that 17-year-olds have the re­quired amount of grey mat­ter to drive but will have to wait four years be­fore they can ex­er­cise that grey mat­ter in re­la­tion to smok­ing.

Also while the col­lec­tive navel gaz­ing is un­der­way 18-year-olds are rock­ing up to the polling booth and vot­ing at our var­i­ous lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

If this pro­posal is ac­cepted it is say­ing that our 18-year-olds have the re­quired amount of grey mat­ter to put a Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment in power that could for ex­am­ple send Aus­tralia to war but they will have to wait a fur­ther four years till age 21 so that they are more ma­ture and can ex­er­cise their grey mat­ter in re­la­tion to smok­ing.

If this pro­posal was be­ing tossed about in 1969 for ex­am­ple it would have im­pacted me. I ar­rived in South Viet­nam in April 1969 as a 19½-year-old sol­dier and left 12 months later in 1970 as a 20½-yearold sol­dier. Un­der this pro­posal I was old enough on oc­ca­sion to

Best let­ter com­pe­ti­tion runs un­till Jan­uary 19 next year. En­tries close each Thurs­day at 5pm. The win­ner is se­lected by 2pm each Fri­day. Book of the month val­ued up to $49. En­trants agree to the Com­pe­ti­tion Terms and Con­di­tions lo­cated at www.gold­coast­bul­letin.com.au/ en­ter­tain­ment/com­pe­ti­tions, and our pri­vacy pol­icy. En­trants con­sent to their in­for­ma­tion be­ing shared with HarperCollins for the ex­press pur­pose of de­liv­er­ing prizes. creep around the bush with a real gun and real bul­lets but not old enough to smoke and I would sug­gest that this still ap­plies to to­day’s Army. What was worse back then than smok­ing was that the drink­ing age was 21. So I could go to war but not to the pub!

I am nei­ther against or for smok­ing and I ac­cept that the over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence sug­gests that smok­ing is harm­ful so I am all for look­ing at pro­cesses that can pos­si­bly save smok­ers from them­selves.

How­ever it is lu­di­crous to sug­gest that you can drive a car at 17, vote and in­flu­ence the po­lit­i­cal di­rec­tion of the coun­try at 18 but you naughty young­sters will just have to wait a few years till you are a ma­ture 21 be­fore you drag out your packet of roll your owns.

Gough Whit­lam’s mob re­duced the vot­ing age to 18 over 40 years ago and whilst I thought that was silly it is never the less the law and a fact of life and if some­one is el­i­gi­ble to vote at 18 as they are con­sid­ered adult enough to do that then they should be con­sid­ered adult enough to make de­ci­sions about smok­ing. E.BEVANS, SOUTH­PORT

WITH 12 gold, three sil­ver and six bronze medals in track and road cy­cling, Aus­tralia has demon­strated its strength on the Com­mon­wealth stage.

The team’s ath­letic achieve­ments re­flect per­sonal dis­ci­pline and a level of ded­i­ca­tion that is un­der­pinned by com­mu­nity sup­port, in­clud­ing first-class lead­er­ship by Cy­cling Queens­land.

Our con­grat­u­la­tions to Queens­land’s home­town he­roes Jor­dan Kerby and Ka­trin Gar­foot – Jor­dan for his gold medal in the men’s 4000m team pur­suit, and Ka­trin for her gold medal in the women’s

in­di­vid­ual time trial. Jor­dan, 25, was born and raised in Her­vey Bay and has pro­gressed from be­ing a for­mer rugby league front-rower and mul­ti­ple-time ju­nior world cham­pion into a dom­i­nant force in both track and road cy­cling.

Ka­trin, 36, moved to the Gold Coast from Ger­many in 2008 and com­menced com­pet­i­tive road cy­cling in 2011, tak­ing a sab­bat­i­cal from her ca­reer as a teacher at South­port State High School.

Their suc­cess and love of cy­cling is a great re­flec­tion on re­gional life in Queens­land and the strong ap­peal of out­door sports.

Our hope is that the 2018 Gold Coast Com­mon­wealth Games will in­spire more young Queens­lan­ders to get on their bikes with the dream of rep­re­sent­ing Aus­tralia.

We com­mend and cel­e­brate all the ath­letes, coaches, vol­un­teers, sup­port­ers, spec­ta­tors, or­gan­is­ers, and of­fi­cials who have helped the Aus­tralian team to tri­umph.

Aussie cy­clists rule.

ANNE SAV­AGE, CHIEF EX­EC­U­TIVE OF­FI­CER, BI­CY­CLE QUEENS­LAND

IT was a mas­sive over­sight by the Com­mon­wealth Games gov­ern­ing body to choose for­mer premier and GOLDOC chair­man Peter Beat­tie to speak dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony over the Premier.

The news is that An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk will now speak dur­ing the clos­ing cer­e­mony.

I’m sure her “farewell” words will be much more mem­o­rable than the pa­thetic at­tempt at ora­tion that was Beat­tie’s speech. In his case, grin­ners weren’t win­ners! KEN JOHN­STON, ROCHEDALE SOUTH

Send your let­ters to Make sure to in­clude your name, ad­dress and phone num­ber to have a chance of be­ing se­lected as ‘let­ter of the week’. Please note the Bul­letin re­serves the right to edit let­ters for rea­sons such as clar­ity and length.

Our pri­vacy pol­icy www.ap­n­arm.com.au/pri­vacy in­cludes im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion about our col­lec­tion, use and dis­clo­sure of your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion (in­clud­ing to pro­vide you with tar­geted ad­ver­tis­ing based on your on­line ac­tiv­i­ties). It ex­plains that if you do not pro­vide us with in­for­ma­tion we have re­quested from you, we may not be able to pro­vide you with the goods and ser­vices you re­quire. It also ex­plains how you can ac­cess or seek cor­rec­tion of your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, how you can com­plain about a breach of the Aus­tralian Pri­vacy Prin­ci­ples and how we will deal with a com­plaint of that na­ture.

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