Whitsunday Times - - YOUR SAY -

Heal­ing hearts

I SUG­GESTED Heal the Heart as the name for the up com­ing mu­sic ben­e­fit.

As an SES mem­ber I have lis­tened to so many of the sad sto­ries from peo­ple who are still re­cov­er­ing from the psy­cho­log­i­cal trauma and loss of their homes, busi­nesses and pos­ses­sions.

Their homes and busi­nesses will one day be fixed and their spir­its are lift­ing, but it’s their hearts that need heal­ing to go on.

This con­cert will be a great event for our com­mu­nity to give us all a lift as mu­sic is def­i­nitely a healer.

To the won­der­ful artists and or­gan­is­ers, this will be a great time for all the com­mu­nity to come to­gether and heal our hearts.

It’s also won­der­ful that the re­gion’s SES will be sup­ported.

These great men and women who worked tire­lessly and gave up their time and emo­tional and phys­i­cal en­ergy help­ing out their great com­mu­nity will be very grate­ful for the won­der­ful recog­ni­tion and sup­port.

Preda­tory pric­ing?

THE other day I was shocked to find out that af­ter Cy­clone Deb­bie Some dis­placed vis­i­tors had been “helped out” by be­ing rented an apart­ment (via AirBNB) for $1500 a week (830% more than we rent our same type of unit per week).

Not all vis­i­tors can af­ford this type of rort­ing, and so they leave the Whit­sun­days with­out spend­ing a cent.

Ser­vices such as TV sig­nal or re­li­able cook­ing equip­ment were not even pro­vided.

With the tem­po­rary clo­sure of many of our lo­cal ho­tels and mo­tels, I find this type of preda­tory pric­ing de­spi­ca­ble and it scares away many needed vis­i­tors to the re­gion.

Home­less­ness is on the rise here and prac­tices like this need to be ad­dressed.

Shut it down

DE­SPITE what the tourist op­er­a­tors are spin­ning, there

is over­whelm­ing sci­en­tific ev­i­dence prov­ing the Great Bar­rier Reef is up to 95% dead and gone. This ev­i­dence goes way back to when Peter Beat­tie (the then Qld Premier) waved a fist full of sci­en­tific ev­i­dence on TV stat­ing he had the proof.

Tourist op­er­a­tors need to stop tak­ing peo­ple to the reef and show­ing them what must be plastic stick on (man-made) ar­ti­fi­cial reef that they have made, and in the process fur­ther dam­ag­ing and killing off what lit­tle of the nat­u­ral reef is left (sup­pos­edly less than 5%).

The reef should be shut down to all vis­i­tors un­til the sci­en­tists prove that it is well on the way to to­tal re­cov­ery.

I am sur­prised that the groups such as the Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety and other Green groups (and Tourism Whit­sun­days) are not strongly push­ing for this now. We do this to other in­dus­tries (eg. fish­ing) when we need to pro­tect the re­source.

So come on you groups – show some lead­er­ship.

Tough call

I AC­KNOWL­EDGE that coun­cil is in some ways be­tween a rock and a hard place when con­sid­er­ing the road­side rub­bish col­lec­tion is­sues and cer­tainly it can be as­sumed that some folk are not abid­ing within the spirit of what the

ser­vice is in­tended for, that is to as­sist with the re­moval of fur­ni­ture, fit­tings and ef­fects that have been di­rectly af­fected by Cy­clone Deb­bie.

How­ever, there are many busi­nesses and res­i­dences that have still not had an as­ses­sor call to in­spect and pro­vide re­ports to their re­spec­tive in­sur­ance com­pa­nies re­sult­ing in busi­nesses and res­i­dences be­ing un­able to meet the coun­cil dead­line for foot­path col­lec­tion.

Yes, it is a sig­nif­i­cant cost and con­cern to the coun­cil but more so to the thou­sands of busi­nesses and peo­ple af­fected so dras­ti­cally.

I would sug­gest to coun­cil that it is bet­ter to err on the

side of com­pas­sion, cost etc and to ex­tend the col­lec­tion dead­line for an ad­di­tional few weeks.

Hav­ing said that coun­cil is to be con­grat­u­lated on what they have achieved to date given the enor­mity of the prob­lem.

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