Clear mes­sage

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

WHEN then-mayor Brunker en­abled the coun­cil pur­chase of the “Haven­grand” land for a du­bi­ous lo­ca­tion of a sports park, he lost the next elec­tion.

When Mayor Whit­ney tried to force ac­cep­tance of a Chi­na­town devel­op­ment and new higher build­ing heights on Air­lie, she lost the next elec­tion.

Hope­fully the mes­sage is get­ting through; ig­nor­ing what the com­mu­nity wants will en­dan­ger one’s po­lit­i­cal fu­ture.

We must re­visit the build­ing heights in Air­lie, and get the plan re­turned to the two storey lim­its above town and on the fore­shore and along the main street of Air­lie. No high rises in front of the town!

The close to 900 sub­mis­sions made on this is­sue, whether tech­ni­cally cor­rect or ‘ac­cept­able’, must be made pub­lic and taken on board by the new coun­cil.

Another pos­i­tive thing the coun­cil could do would be to look se­ri­ously at pur­chas­ing the de­ceased es­tate prop­erty on the east side of Air­lie Creek.

The house could be con­verted to a cafe and tourist of­fice or com­mer­cial op­er­a­tion, and the gar­dens opened up to the fore­shore for a more di­rect ex­po­sure to main street; now that we are los­ing the view to the sea on the west side of the creek to another ho­tel block­ing the fore­shore.

Maybe they should sell the “Haven­grand” sport park cane fields and put the money to­wards this much more ef­fec­tive use of pub­lic funds.

Fi­nally, to read that the ap­provals for the Adani coal mine was “a dream come true” (for our new mayor) was in­deed dis­heart­en­ing. As if peo­ple weren’t aware that the reef is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the most ex­treme co­ral bleach­ing event in his­tory, and if the wa­ter tem­per­a­tures don’t drop quickly, 50% of the co­ral could die within months!

Cli­mate change and it’s dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on our nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment is not all talk, it is fact: 97% of all cli­mate sci­en­tists say it is due to our dump­ing CO2 into the at­mos­phere in ever ex­pand­ing quan­ti­ties.

If you are ex­cited about the “pos­si­ble” 4000 short term coal jobs (down from 10,000, and much higher than the Adani ad­mit­ted 1500 jobs); how do you think the 65,000+ ex­ist­ing work­ers feel about the loss of the reef and their liveli­hoods?

While most of our coun­cil­lors come from a land-based back­ground, you have a great op­por­tu­nity to unite the var­i­ous in­ter­ests in a vi­sion that will pre­serve what is unique about our re­gion and take ac­tive steps to pro­tect our sea­ward as­sets and en­cour­age a long term sus­tain­able fu­ture. Good luck.

A cit­i­zens’ con­sul­ta­tive com­mit­tee could have plenty of ideas.

Jonathan Peter Air­lie Beach

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