LET­TERS: Your opin­ion on the is­sues that mat­ter to you

The Gympie Times - - YOUR SAY -

Dam fig­ures amiss

I MUST con­grat­u­late the Gympie Times on a very good ar­ti­cle about the Trave­ston Cross­ing Dam. This of course is not the first time that we have heard that the last of the prop­er­ties taken by the Govern­ment have been sold.

It is very dif­fi­cult to put a three and a half year saga into one page of news print. Your re­porter did well.

How­ever he missed some rel­e­vant facts. The fig­ure quote, $320m, was the loss that we tax­pay­ers suf­fered in the pur­chase and sub­se­quent re­sale of the prop­er­ties.

No men­tion was made of the mas­sive in­fras­truc­ture used by the Govern­ment to ac­quire these prop­er­ties, and of the plan for the ill-fated dam. They main­tained an of­fice in Kan­danga, and an­other in Bris­bane; both manned by “suits”, no doubt on high salaries.

They or­gan­ised over 30 pub­lic meet­ings (con­sul­ta­tion) at which we asked hun­dreds of ques­tions. The suits said we would get an­swers, but they lost the ques­tions. These in­com­pe­tent, overzeal­ous Govern­ment em­ploy­ees were pro­moted to good jobs with the pub­lic ser­vice, af­ter the pro­posal was re­jected by Peter Garrett; one even popped up along­side the Queen.

Add to this the in­creased cost of build­ing the Bruce High­way above the in­tended dam wa­ter level, as well as all the cost of the pre­lim­i­nary work that they carried out, with­out ap­proval from the Fed­eral Govern­ment.

Then there was the cost of run­ning the Task Force, whose aim was to bring the lo­cals to the “ac­cep­tance of the in­evitabil­ity of the Dam pro­ceed­ing”.

The other as­pect of this saga was the cap­i­tal gains made by many who bought back their prop­er­ties. My chil­dren ad­vised me to take the money and run. By do­ing so I would have pock­eted over $1 mil­lion af­ter buy­ing it back. That is the price of prin­ci­ples. Many of those who sold out to the Govern­ment played no part in the fight, that even­tu­ally re­sulted in their ill­got­ten gains. Per­haps I am be­ing a lit­tle hard on them.

There may have been a clause in their sales con­tract with the Govern­ment, that pre­vented them do­ing so.

They made a good fi­nan­cial judg­ment and I made a poor one. I re­alise that short sell­ers do not get slugged with cap­i­tal gains tax, but per­haps there should have been a tax that could have been dis­trib­uted to those who did not sell; a rate re­duc­tion per­haps. Vic­tor Hill, Carters Ridge

Coun­cil di­vi­sions

I AM not in favour of di­vi­sions at all. I live in Gympie, not a divi­sion of Gympie. I want to vote for the best peo­ple out of the en­tire pool who nom­i­nate, be­cause there is a ma­jor fault with our cur­rent sys­tem of di­vi­sions.

Here’s a sce­nario we have faced in the past and no doubt will in the fu­ture. What if we have four high-qual­ity can­di­dates run for Divi­sion A, 2 very low qual­ity can­di­dates run for Divi­sion B and 1 run for Divi­sion C?

Divi­sion A ends up with a good coun­cil­lor hope­fully, Divi­sion B ends up with a dud and the can­di­date walks in to Divi­sion C un­con­tested. Three can­di­dates, who would/could have made good coun­cil­lors, are cast aside.

Fur­ther­more, there is no guar­an­tee what­so­ever those three coun­cil­lors in Div A, B or C are the best pick out of who nom­i­nated just be­cause they live in their divi­sion. We have cer­tainly seen this be­fore and those types don’t last long thank­fully.

Scrap di­vi­sions, elect the best from the en­tire can­di­dates who nom­i­nate and al­lo­cate them to a divi­sion, if we need to per­sist with di­vi­sions, like we have port­fo­lios. I think most vot­ers and can­di­dates in Gympie have a fair idea of the is­sues for the en­tire shire with­out hav­ing to live in their divi­sion.

Most res­i­dents may not have any con­fi­dence in their di­vi­sional coun­cil­lor, but know and re­spect an­other coun­cil­lor out­side their divi­sion and would rather speak with them about any con­cerns.

Unlike fed­eral and state govern­ment we don’t have po­lit­i­cal par­ties lob­by­ing for their elec­torates. We have a coun­cil that should be do­ing the right thing for the en­tire shire. If we don’t, it’s only be­cause the ma­jor­ity of coun­cil­lors vote against coun­cil­lors who come for­ward with is­sues in their divi­sion.

And there lies an­other is­sue with di­vi­sions. Re­gard­less of the divi­sion, all coun­cil­lors are in­volved in the de­ci­sion mak­ing any­way. On top of that, un­der our cur­rent coun­cil, more and more de­ci­sions be­ing taken away from coun­cil­lors.

We could then say scrap di­vi­sions, get rid of all coun­cil­lors and leave it all to the bu­reau­crats. That seems to be where we are head­ing. Ash Petersen, Gympie

Royal visit ap­proval

THE an­nounced visit in Oc­to­ber to Fraser Is­land by Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sus­sex is proof of the strength of the en­dur­ing bonds among coun­tries within the Com­mon­wealth of Na­tions.

It is a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion that repub­li­cans, like me, do not re­spect or ad­mire the Bri­tish Royal Fam­ily.

That is a red her­ring used by monar­chists to ar­gue against Aus­tralia’s nat­u­ral tran­si­tion to a repub­lic in the modern world of the 21st cen­tury.

Repub­li­cans, like all Aus­tralians, should re­spect and ad­mire the ser­vice given to our na­tion by Queen El­iz­a­beth II and mem­bers of her fam­ily past and present.

Sup­port­ers of the Real Repub­lic Aus­tralia sim­ply be­lieve the fu­ture of our na­tion is as a repub­lic with an Aus­tralian as our head of state — and one elected di­rectly by Aus­tralian vot­ers.

Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sus­sex Meghan Markle will in­spect a Queen’s Canopy project on Fraser Is­land. The Queen’s Canopy project is a Com­mon­wealth-wide drive to pro­tect rain­forests and com­bat global warm­ing.

Of the 53 na­tions in the Com­mon­wealth 32 are re­publics, so the project is liv­ing proof that any change Aus­tralia makes to be­come a repub­lic will not di­min­ish the re­spect we have for the Queen and her fam­ily. The royal cou­ple should be warmly wel­comed to the Fraser Coast re­gion next month, just as they and other mem­bers of the Queen’s fam­ily should be warmly wel­comed to our shores af­ter we vote to be­come a repub­lic. David Muir, Chair, the Real Repub­lic Aus­tralia

Rat­tler dis­ap­point­ment

I AM writ­ing this as a res­i­dent of Amamoor.

I was ex­tremely ex­cited to see the MVR fi­nally make its way out to Amamoor, but from a spec­ta­tor’s point of view and a stall holder I was very dis­ap­pointed. I was ex­pect­ing a fes­ti­val at­mos­phere but there wasn’t.

The high­light for me was the fab­u­lous ef­fort the Friends of Amamoor put into mak­ing their dis­play so vi­brant and full of en­ergy pro­mot­ing Mary Val­ley pro­duce.

The train just came, turned around and then left. It ap­pears this tourism project is all about Gympie. I. Mil­ful, Amamoor

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