Letters to the editor
I WOULD like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Whitsunday Shopping Centre management and staff for their past and ongoing support of the Justice Of The Peace In The Community program. Since the program began, a venue has been provided including signage free of charge at the shopping centre for this valuable community service. The program is also supported by a small team of dedicated volunteers, Ria Gascoyne, Carol Bell, Rod Foale and myself. The service is available on Tuesdays from 11am to 2pm and Thursdays from 2:30pm to 5:30pm. The JP’s in the community program provides services such as certifying copies of original documents, witnessing Statutory Declarations, swearing and witnessing affidavits, witnessing wills, enduring and general powers of attorney, advanced health directives and issuing of search warrants and summonses, to mention a few.
However there are times when, due to unforseen medical or personal circumstances the JP’s may not be available at these times. Therefore I would like to invite any JP’s Commissioner for Declarations or JP’s qualified who are able to assist with the program to contact me so that we can continue to support our community with this service. Ivan Conway JP (Qual) PROGRAM ORGANISER
I WRITE to place on the public record my great regard for the wonderful service Dr Mike McFall has given our community. Mike with his wife Lisa, and daughter Jessica moved to Airlie Beach about ten years ago. He quickly established a reputation as a compassionate, professional doctor. I had the pleasure of working with him at The Doctors in Airlie Beach and at Cannonvale Medical Centre which he opened with Lisa in 2009.
Mike became a friend and mentor as a well as a colleague. His practice of medicine epitomised the best of the Hippocratic tradition. He opened his doors to all, bulk billed the rich and poor, came in on Sundays to see critically unwell patients and did home visits to provide palliative care.
He worked tirelessly six days a week to keep the doors open on a practice rendered barely viable by low Medicare rebates and government doctor recruitment policy.
The McFall family sought citizenship and became Aussies although his accent retained a comforting southern drawl. Jessica graduated form Proserpine State High and is now attending college in the States.
Unexpectedly, Mike became my patient and I watched him courageously battle the symptoms of a progressive debilitating disease that stubbornly defied early diagnosis.
One of the hardest professional decisions a doctor has to make is the call that he is too unwell to practice and it is time to turn in his licence and hang up his boots.
Mike has now made that decision. He will be a tremendous loss to the medical profession but a much greater loss to our community. Dr William Smith RIORDANVALE
THE Whitsundays Ratepayers Association have been unusually quiet, their silence is deafening, they must have mud on their faces and have a lot to answer for, after promoting Mayor Whitney and Councillor Clifford to be re-elected with the promise of lower rates and charges.
Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth with probably the biggest budget blowout ever, over two million dollars over budget in Council wages alone, the Airlie main street is millions over budget, the Mayor introduced a $140 levy, reduced the early rate payment discount by 5% greatly increased water and sewerage charges, all this since Mayor Whitney took office just over a year ago.
I understood that the multimillion dollar organizational review was undertaken to make the Council more efficient and effective, nothing could be further from the truth. Unfortunately the clean out of a highly skilled and competent senior structure was replaced by an inexperienced CEO with no management skills who isn’t aware that the Councillor Code of Conduct lapsed in September 2012 as well as the Standing Orders for Council Meetings Policy.
If a Councillor leaked confidential information, he or she shouldn’t worry, as Council’s Confidentiality Policy and Procedures for Councillors also lapsed in September 2012.
Policies and procedures are the lifeblood of any organization and as they have expired, it just proves what complete disarray and turmoil the current leaders are in. The CEO’s new staff are leaving the sinking ship on a regular basis and we don’t have to wonder why. Phil Horan JUBILEE POCKET
I CAN NOT believe the hide of former mayor Mike Brunker to criticize the increased water charges as a “huge cash grab” in last weeks Whitsunday Times August 29, 2013 when it was he and his supporting councillors who created the huge $71 million debt which the current council is now carrying.
It may be a “cash grab “but the council now has to create income from wherever it can just to service the errant financial practices of Mike Brunkers former council.
If Mr Brunker and his band of merry men had been allowed to continue running the council then by 2016 we could have been looking at a debt of over $100 million and for the council to be completely bankrupt.
Thank god the voters had the good sense to get rid of him and unfortunately we are going to have to suffer a lot of financial pain just to get the debt back under control. Dennis Mundle JUBILEE POCKET
ON BEHALF of my family I would like to say the sincerest thank you to all of Kieran's friends and the Whitsunday's community. Kieran's tragic death 9 weeks ago is without a doubt, the hardest thing we have ever had to experience.
Our appreciation and gratitude is hard to express with words alone. There are too many people to thank individually but we would like to thank everybody who travelled, took time off work, helped out and were with us sharing stories, laughs and tears about Kieran.
Nick, Dan and May, thank you for your help in coordinating and organising Kieran's send off.
Carnie, Emma, Rodney and Magnums Hotel and their staff, for organising and providing a great afternoon and night after Kieran's send off.
Cruise Whitsunday's and staff, for their hospitality and generosity. Alex, Laurie, Tony and the owner of Serendipity, who selflessly gave their time and resources to take us out to Pinnacle Point and Funnel Bay.
A special thank you to those who have supported us from the start and continued to closely support us over the last 9 weeks, particularly Ina, Mark, Sandy, Sonic, Kacey, Aimee, Johnny, and Mikey.
We would like to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. The way the town united and the camaraderie shown is beautiful and no doubt one of the many reasons why Kieran was happiest in Airlie Beach.
Kieran made the most out of life and had a positive effect on everyone he met. He was unbelievably caring, funny, generous, and always well-liked for those reasons and countless more. If he was here now, he'd be encouraging everyone to have a beer, laugh and re-tell stories. He would say it's ok to be sad every now and then, but to keep your head up! Kylie Browne BRISBANE
MY WIFE and I are looking to build our future house on a block of land we own in Bowen and we want to maximise the use of our back yard. To do so we are seeking, from the Whitsunday Regional Council, a Siting Relaxation that will allow us to build our house closer to some boundaries. Had we applied for this relaxation in June this year it would have cost us $200 but because we applied in July it is going to cost $852, an increase in excess of 325 per cent. To add to this, I also became aware that commercial development costs have not increased by percentages in the hundreds, but in some cases in the thousands. Are Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Jennifer Whitney, CEO Scott Waters and the Councillors hell bent on deterring any future development in the region? Such increases are unjustifiable in any instance, irrespective of the Council debt.
On 13 August last I wrote to the Mayor Whitney and CEO Waters asking for justification of the fee increase and to date I am yet to receive anything by way of a reply. Does this Council think they are above reproach and that they do not have to justify themselves? To be truthfully honest, I have no confidence in the operations of the Whitsunday Regional Council given they are treating the ratepayers with utter disdain. Daryl Dickson BOWEN