Letters to the editor
Explanation is required
I FULLY endorse the letter by Anthony O’Rourke ( Whitsunday Times, July 18, 2013).
Who in the previous council was responsible for this spending spree and how did it occur?
We are talking millions of dollars of ratepayers’ money which has to be repaid, not a small overspend here and there.
We have read all the agony of the current council bringing down a tough budget but we still have not been provided with a “full and frank explanation as to what went on, how it was allowed to occur and what has been done to prevent any repeat” ( Anthony O'Rourke ).
Spending millions of dollars of someone else’s money (ours in this case) is a very serious matter, so the sooner a proper explanation is given, the better.
This matter will not go away.
Karina Shim CANNONVALE Pay cut suggested
I would like to state at the outset that I don’t know any of the councillors, so the following is nothing personal.
Regarding our mayor Jennifer Whitney responding to accusations of being involved with council mis-spending by the previous council – “It wasn’t me, I didn’t know what was happening.”
As a councillor in the former council with others, she should have known. It certainly doesn’t give one any confidence.
With the council financial crisis looming, Ms Whitney decided it was a good time to ask for a raise for herself and her fellow councillors. She basically said that if they didn’t get their raise, “you can hardly expect people to give 100%.”
I believe that being a councillor should be a full time job, but it seems it’s OK to run a business and be a part-time councillor. A nice little money-earner on the side. But it’s hardly giving 100%.
I believe they asked for the highest available pay rise under local council laws, but this was refused and I understand they received a lesser amount. But I think they did get a raise. In the public sector, they would have been fired for mis-managing company funds and non-performance.
Maybe some kind parent of a Proserpine High School child who is good at maths, could loan them to the council to assist with their accounts. With constant rubbery figures, it was obvious that there was a major financial problem.
Overspending caused borrowings to look like lottery prize figures. Panic! What to do? I know, we’ll charge the ratepayers a levy and raise the rates. It would seem that through council mismanagement of funds that we the ratepayers have to pay for their many mistakes.
Maybe the councillors could show a good example in these tough times by taking a pay cut. And pigs may fly, but don’t look out your window expecting to see any.
Doug Jarvis AIRLIE BEACH Shopfront wanted
(I would like) to thank the Whitsunday Times and everyone concerned in the wonderful coverage we had for our Airlie Reunion.
The response was magnificent to such an extent we will do it again next year, about the same time but over two days.
We are still looking for a good venue to display the wonderful memorabilia that was on show on June 29.
We were hoping for one of the empty shops in Airlie if an owner would come forward. We would probably need it until December so that everyone can have a great browse, especially the school children and the visitors from the cruise boats, which are coming in so regularly.
I think we are closely coming to the point where we need our own art and craft centre for things such as this. We have some very talented artists in our town who are currently showing their work in the “gallery” at the old post office.
We must not forget the wonderful craft work that many of our fine sewers produce all the time.
A special place for all this art and craft would be a wonderful boost for our local talents and another land based attraction for all our visitors.
Put your thinking caps on and see what we can devise.
Dale Hell AIRLIE BEACH Congratulations
I WOULD just like to congratulate Wendy Downes, president of the Whitsunday Running Club and organiser of the 2013 inaugural Airlie Beach Running Festival (ABRF) as well as her team behind the event.
The event was a massive success in terms of putting bums in beds and driving economic impact for this region. The ABRF was an excellent way to join in on the range of events that start the second half of 2013.
Wendy has been working closely with our team at WMDL and has set precedent for future events by bringing many people from not only within the region, but as far as Germany, New Zealand and Florida in the US.
It has been a pleasure for our team to work with someone who is so motivated and passionate to bring this event to fruition and spread that economic impact as far and wide as she could for the benefit of the whole region.
To have been oversubscribed with competitors in the first year of the event and to hear so many hotels were booked with competitors is a fantastic achievement and a credit to Wendy and her team. A true embodiment of our Events Innovation Strategy which aims for exactly those outcomes.
Bring on August, a huge month of events across the entire region!
Danial Rochford Chief Executive Officer Whitsundays Marketing and Development Ltd. Deep concern
I’M WRITING to express my deep concern for the proposed port expansion of Abbot Point. Dredging and dumping of three million cubic metres of spoil in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is an outrageous proposition, which completely ignores the environmental problems that have been linked to dredging in Gladstone.
The silt plume from dumping of dredge spoil will affect a much larger area than where it is initially dumped. Silt plumes smother sea grass, the primary food source for dugong and turtles, and shelter for juvenile reef fishes.
Approving Abbot Point means increased shipping through the reef, which increases the risk of collisions, groundings and largescale contamination. The reckless and irresponsible push to mine all of the coal in Queensland in the next 50 years will cause untold devastation for future generations.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It provides jobs, food, recreation, entertainment and cultural significance to millions of people. If we look after the reef it can sustain jobs for the long term, and will continue generating billions of dollars for the Queensland economy. The coal industry on the other hand, will provide short-term profits for foreign miners and a few jobs for the next 10 or 20 years until global climate concerns make it redundant, leaving Australia with massive environmental degradation and an impoverished population. The Great Barrier Reef needs protection from short-term greed-driven policies being pushed by foreign interests.
Eric Oliver BRANDY CREEK