Drought

Gatton Star - - YOUR SAY -

LIVE­STOCK and crop pro­duc­ers’ bores are run­ning dry, creek beds are dust bowls full of nox­ious weeds and wa­ter tanks are de­pleted. Poor farm­ers are queu­ing for hours to get a lit­tle wa­ter from coun­cil’s wa­ter out­lets.

There have been no drought re­lief funds al­lo­cated to lo­cal gra­ziers, crop farm­ers and ru­ral busi­nesses per se, de­spite govern­ment rhetoric. Mayor Mil­li­gan said in the

Gat­ton Star (13/2) she is go­ing to spend the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s Drought Com­mu­ni­ties Pro­gram – Ex­ten­sion on the old shire hall, foot­paths and a ceme­tery gazebo.

Ap­par­ently, coun­cil was al­lo­cated $1 mil­lion to be spent by June 30 to im­prove the plight of drought­stricken lo­cals.

On speak­ing to var­i­ous coun­cil­lors, I get con­flict­ing in­for­ma­tion and an “all too hard” at­ti­tude. Ad­vice from the Fed­eral Mem­ber for Wright’s of­fice is LVRC in­ap­pro­pri­ately ap­plied for this fund­ing, not re­ally giv­ing a damn about lo­cal cit­i­zens in de­spair.

In an edi­tion of the Gat­ton

Star last year, when it was an­nounced the Lock­yer Val­ley had been drought de­clared, Mayor Mil­li­gan was quoted as say­ing she was sur­prised to hear that the Val­ley had been drought de­clared. Re­ally?

Just re­cently, read­ers were told by Mayor Mil­li­gan that pro­vid­ing drought as­sis­tance is not their core coun­cil busi­ness. Then how come Mayor Mil­li­gan had a photo op­por­tu­nity in the

Gat­ton Star, at the Gat­ton Rail­way Sta­tion, in­cit­ing In­land Rail to in­clude a pas­sen­ger ser­vice from Toowoomba to Bris­bane?

While I think such a ser­vice has merit, is this med­dling in state and fed­eral pol­i­tics the core busi­ness of coun­cil? An­other red her­ring, Ms Mil­li­gan?

Ad­vis­ers to David Lit­tleproud, Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, in­formed me the pro­gram can be changed, mak­ing it more rel­e­vant to com­mu­nity needs.

Mayor Mil­li­gan and cronies, rat­tle the sabre, show some strate­gic lead­er­ship, or soon there will be no pri­mary in­dus­try in the Val­ley!

— G. Becker, Rope­ley

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