LETTERS: Your opinion on the issues that matter to you
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
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
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