DEAF TO VOICE OF REASON
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
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
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