Noisy mi­nor­ity in our west are hi­jack­ing dis­cus­sion

The Gympie Times - - YOUR SAY -

WHILE it’s good to see Gympie coun­cil of­fer­ing ru­ral res­i­dents an op­por­tu­nity to have their say on plan­ning for our ru­ral areas, I fear that once again we’ll face what seems to be hi­jack­ing of the dis­cus­sion by the noisy mi­nor­ity who lurk in our more west­ern areas.

We’ve seen much of that re­cently, in dis­cus­sions about the re­moval of coun­cil di­vi­sions and where ratepayer funds are spent, with “iden­ti­ties” and ex-may­ors from out that way join­ing the “old school” of Gympie in their con­stant re­mem­ber­ing the “good ’ol days”, which never re­ally were that good, and push­ing to regress into them.

This comes at a time when Gympie faces chal­lenges of growth and more at­tach­ment to the south-east sprawl than ever be­fore, some­thing which will only in­crease with time.

It also comes at a time when our state MP, from out west, seems al­most to­tally dis­con­nected from chang­ing re­al­i­ties, or sim­ply plays to his “base” of yes­ter­day’s thinkers, be­ing pop­ulist rather than lead­ing, with his reg­u­lar but point­less “us” ver­sus the south­east rhetoric.

While I per­son­ally will al­ways be­lieve that “our” areas west, north and south of Kilki­van should be part of South Bur­nett Coun­cil, where their needs, hearts, and souls be­long, we’re “stuck with them” and they can’t and shouldn’t be ig­nored.

Nor should they be al­lowed to dom­i­nate as they seem­ingly wish to and are of­ten al­lowed to.

I can’t work out if those in other areas, and of think­ing more suited to the chal­lenges we face, are too busy “knit­ting their own yo­gurt”, are sim­ply re­lax­ing in their role of be­ing lords of their small acreage manors, or are just too dis­in­ter­ested to con­trib­ute to shap­ing our fu­tures, but I hope they change their habits and don’t al­low those least af­fected by the growth we face to once again have the strong­est voices.

The coun­cil sur­vey isn’t per­fect but it does rep­re­sent a too rare op­por­tu­nity to have a say.

It doesn’t take long to com­plete and I hope many take the chance to do so, or we may well, still, face a fu­ture serv­ing the few, and the past, much more than it’ll serve the needs and de­sires of not only many al­ready here but many who will join us. Dave Free­man, Cedar Pocket

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