From the edi­tors desk

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

WHEN Air­lie Beach Race Week fin­ished last Fri­day, the fo­cus of the yacht­ing world moved to Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week.

On the sec­ond day, spec­tac­u­lar footage was cap­tured of whales near the com­pet­ing boats.

This footage was picked up by na­tional me­dia and can be seen on YouTube.

This type of pub­lic­ity is fan­tas­tic for the area. It is spon­ta­neous and at­tracts the at­ten­tion of many peo­ple.

The ex­cel­lent weather would have cer­tainly been en­tic­ing to those peo­ple watch­ing it on na­tional TV in the south­ern states.

For those peo­ple who haven’t seen it, it’s worth a look on YouTube and there is a photo on page 6 of the Whit­sun­day

Times to­day. On an­other mat­ter... Whit­sun­day ratepay­ers re­ceived their rates no­tices this week and they are due on Septem­ber 8 for those peo­ple hop­ing to re­ceive the five per cent dis­count.

It should not have come as a big sur­prise that the rates have gone up.

It is no se­cret that the coun­cil is in fi­nan­cial trou­ble as this has been re­ported widely by the Whit­sun­day Times and other me­dia for more than a year.

How­ever, some ratepay­ers who have done com­par­isons over the past few years have re­alised that the in­crease was more sig­nif­i­cant than they had thought.

Coun­cil needs to get out of fi­nan­cial dif­fi­culty so they can get on with the busi­ness – but ratepay­ers can’t con­tinue to cop all the in­creases.

The next coun­cil elec­tion is due in March 2016 and that’s just over 18 months away so this coun­cil needs to con­cen­trate from now un­til then on get­ting their fi­nances in or­der.

If this doesn’t hap­pen, the cur­rent coun­cil­lors are not likely to be re-elected and then the next coun­cil will sim­ply in­herit a fi­nan­cial mess.

Leanne Aber­nethy

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