Letters to the ed­i­tor

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

Traf­fic con­cern

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

Rail line

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

Round­about de­ci­sion

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

Rate in­crease

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

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