Letters to the editor
WE USED to have a green arrow at the left turn from Paluma Road going North towards Airlie Beach when Shute Harbour Road traffic was going south or turning right into Paluma Road.
Now we have to wait through almost a full change of lights ., resulting in a huge backlog of traffic that could, if allowed, actually flow into Shute Harbour Road without any disruption to any of the other lanes.
What is the reason for this? it makes for an unnecessary bottleneck of traffic, especially during morning and afternoon school drop off and pick up times.
Is this controlled by our local council, state government, Queensland Transport or National Highway authority?
Whoever is in charge - please sort this out soon. Thanks John Henderson WOODWARK
THE Carmichael coal rail line will have repercussions that will haunt this government’s reputation for generations.
The viability of the $1billion a year agriculture sector in the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region is seriously threatened.
Over a century agriculture there could be worth $100million.
The Alpha and Carmichael coal mines might produce $80billion in government revenues.
Agriculture would continue to give. The legacy of coal mining will be massive holes and a changed climate.
Agriculture for many will be made unviable by four thousand train trips transporting 25,000 tonnes each through properties.
Rail embankments up to 10m high will adversely impact the hydrology of major floodplains.
The noise carries for many kilometres. The frequency of dangerous large scale fires will increase as coal trains apply the brakes sending sparks into tinder dry grazing country in an area where the landowners have to run their own fire brigade service.
Adani’s air quality modelling for its EIS shows dust levels could exceed standards within 200 metres either side of the line.
Mackay Conservation Group measured hazardous visible coal dust near Collinsville 500 metres from the existing coal line to Abbot Point.
The Adani line would haul five times more coal.
People there face ninety years of chronic exposure to this dust.
Cattle do not eat grass covered with contaminated dust.
Forget being able to run an organic agriculture operation.
The line will go through a large area of high environmental values set aside for offsets for the damage from the Galilee coal mines. This makes the offsets’ objective of a net gain for the environment meaningless.
Other wildlife habitats will also be adversely affected. There are no under or over passes for wildlife.
Both Adani and GVK Hancock will have two large coal rail loops within the internationally significant Caley wetlands at Abbot Point. Jeff Seeney has yet to produce an Environmental Management Plan for these wetlands despite my requests, probably because the damage will be so great he cannot. At least the previous government produced a draft plan and rejected the rail loops in these wetlands.
Coal burned from the Galilee Basin coal mines will contribute to a future climate with more frequent costly widespread droughts and flood events that will affect Queensland.
The 2011 flood events in Queensland affected more than 200,000 people and cost some $2.39 billion in damage.
Long-term cost benefit analyses of such large projects would demonstrate good governance practices and determine if they truly are in the public interest far better than fast tracking ever will. Patricia Julien MACKAY CONSERVATION GROUP
I READ with interest the article in the Whitsunday Times (14th August 2014) regarding the Council's decision to fence off the round-a-bout in Island Drive. This appears to be bureaucracy gone mad.
Island Drive isn't a main road ( which is where the Transport Operations Act would need to apply) but a suburban street with all but one road on the round-about ending in a cul-de-sac. The round-a-bout is an urban park, possibly the parkland contribution from the Whitsunday Harbour Apartments development. Otherwise why would the rounda-bout be so large?
Having lived in Cannonvale for 34 years, 14 of which have been in Island Drive, there is plenty of visibility for both motorists and pedestrians and I know of no incidents caused by pedestrians using this park.
As for Councillors 'being held personally responsible in the event of litigation', should this be correct, we now have a very frightening aspect to being a Councillor, as this would not be limited to decisions relating to the Transport Operations Act. Any decision involving the public could leave Councillors personally responsible and once they are no longer a Councillor, can they still be held liable for their decisions as a Councillor? If so, for how long?
What an effective way to have a 'do nothing' Council. This is a very serious topic and could have very serious consequences both for the public as well as individual Councillors.
We are all entitled to a full explanation. Karina Shim CANNONVALE
Its not often that Whitsunday Regional Council can take the credit for being first, but with the issuing of this years rate notices they certainly can. They would be the only council in Australia to increase their total rates by 14%. Mackay only increased their basic rate by 4%. With all this pain over the last few years, has the base line on the council’s debt actually improved? Alan Beverstock AIRLIE BEACH