Let­ters to the edi­tor

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

Thanks

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

Great ser­vice

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

Bud­get blow-out

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

Cash grab

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

Thank you

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

No con­fi­dence

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

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