Let­ters to the ed­i­tor

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

On the fence

Have the coun­cil elec­tions been can­celled?

From the at­ti­tude of the cur­rent coun­cil­lors to­wards the vot­ers it would ap­pear so.

Maybe they think they are go­ing to be re-elected on their past per­for­mances. If so they are delu­sional.

The dif­fer­ence in di­vi­sions is amaz­ing. I had cause to con­tact Coun­cil­lor Dave Clark of Di­vi­sion 5, which is not my di­vi­sion. I rang him and left a voice mes­sage, he rang back within two hours and later on in the day in­formed me of the progress of my prob­lem.

I sent an email to the mayor and I re­ceived an au­to­mated re­sponse in­form­ing me that my email had been re­ceived. That was the end of any fur­ther com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the mayor’s of­fice to date.

The con­tents of my email to the mayor were a num­ber of ques­tions in re­la­tion to the fence that was erected on the coun­cil land that is for sale in Water­son Way.

They were: who paid for the fence? Ratepay­ers or the pro­posed pur­chaser?

If the pro­posed pur­chaser, did they ob­tain coun­cil ap­proval for this type of fence on land still owned by the coun­cil. The fence is not a suit­able per­ma­nent struc­ture for the pro­posed com­plex and it does not meet the re­quire­ments of a con­struc­tion site safety fence.

A fur­ther two ques­tions were, if the fence has not had coun­cil ap­proval, why is it still stand­ing? And should the deal not go ahead is the pro­posed pur­chaser go­ing to be com­pen­sated for the con­struc­tion of the fence.

We have very se­ri­ous prob­lems with this star cham­ber. Alan Bev­er­stock Air­lie Beach We get what we pay for

WHAT should be con­sid­ered and un­der­stood in the de­bate over the cur­rent coun­cil pay rise is­sue is that by lifting the rat­ing of coun­cil from a level 4 coun­cil to a level 5 coun­cil, there is the ex­pec­ta­tion that coun­cil­lors will be full-time coun­cil­lors rather than part-time coun­cil­lors.

From my ex­pe­ri­ence in coun­cil, be­ing elected as a part-time coun­cil­lor, it does in­volve a lot of time, but any glance at at­ten­dance records at meet­ings and brief­ing ses­sions, train­ing and com­mu­nity group meet­ings will show our re­gion really has one full-time coun­cil­lor and five part­time coun­cil­lors.

For an ex­tra $15,000 each a year, if it means our coun­cil­lors are in the of­fice, at work, ev­ery day, then I think it would be money very well spent.

We have some very bright minds in coun­cil, great skills across a range of in­dus­tries, and hav­ing th­ese peo­ple phys­i­cally on the job and ac­ces­si­ble ev­ery work day would serve the com­mu­nity well.

It may be the case that those vot­ing against the up­grade to the coun­cil’s rat­ing are do­ing so be­cause they do not want to be full-time coun­cil­lors, rather than just try­ing to save the ratepayer money.

It is as true in coun­cil as it is in busi­ness, “you get what you pay for”.

The full suite of pay rates, across the six coun­cil­lors and the mayor would be in the or­der of $4 per ratepayer per year, an amount I think most of us would hap­pily pay to know that our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives were on the job ev­ery day rather than treat­ing the po­si­tion as a sec­ond part-time job. Kevin Collins Air­lie Beach

Toxic coal

THE Sus­tain­able Ports Bill prom­ises to stop dump­ing "cap­i­tal" dredge spoils into the sea, but it does not stop the dump­ing at sea of "main­te­nance" dredg­ing.

En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Hunt's as­sur­ances that there are more con­di­tions on his re-ap­proval of the Adani op­er­a­tion fail to point out that his new ap­proval ac­tu­ally al­lows them to change the con­di­tions with­out need to have th­ese changes ex­am­ined by the min­is­ter.

The Palaszczuk gov­ern­ment is try­ing to avoid it's pre-elec­tion prom­ise not to use any pub­lic funds to sup­port the Adani pro­posal by at­tempt­ing to get Fed­eral money to pay for the au­to­mated rail line from the Galilee, and us­ing NQBP, a quasi gov­ern­ment op­er­a­tion, to as­sist in the ex­pan­sion of Ab­bot Point.

Tax pay­ers money is be­ing used to make pos­si­ble the un­likely prof­its of an off­shore cor­po­ra­tion, yet con­tribut­ing to Global Warm­ing, the big­gest threat to the reef, and us all.

Mex­ico ex­pe­ri­enced the most in­tense hur­ri­cane in history, sea lev­els are ris­ing, wild fires are out of con­trol, and global warm­ing con­tin­ues with un­re­lent­ing in­creases in CO2 lev­els.

Even the pro-min­ing IEA has said if we don't re­duce our car­bon out­put to zero by 2040, world tem­per­a­tures will in­crease 3.6 de­grees, well over the 2 de­gree limit most sci­en­tists be­lieve might avoid cli­mate catas­tro­phes.

Most peo­ple work­ing in coal or re­lated in­dus­tries con­tinue to ig­nore th­ese warn­ings; while see­ing the de­cline in coal oper­a­tions, job losses, and no gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance for re-train­ing or in­vest­ing in renewables that would pro­vide a grow­ing job mar­ket for the fu­ture.

De­nial is cer­tainly eas­ier, but it will not stop the in­evitable ma­jor dis­rup­tions that will re­sult from cli­mate change refugees and col­lapsed ecosys­tems if we don't re­duce burn­ing fos­sil fu­els as soon as pos­si­ble.

World­wide there are many or­gan­i­sa­tions that are tack­ling th­ese prob­lems, and Aus­tralia should join them in find­ing so­lu­tions, not bury­ing our heads in toxic coal. Jonathan Peter Air­lie Beach MORE let­ters to the ed­i­tor on page 40.

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