Many people failed to vote in the GYmpie council election, and this letter writer thinks they should be fined.
Many people failed to vote in the GYmpie council election, and this letter writer thinks they should be fined.

Call for Gympie council election non-voters to be punished


High number of non-voters

ABOUT five years ago I wrote a letter to The Gympie Times regarding the number of voters in the Gympie electorate who did not vote.


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If you remember, it was a postal vote system which I thought was a good idea and still think so. Approximately 27 per cent did not vote and the council did not take any action against non-voters.

Elected by the few voters who turned out on the Cooloola Coast, Jess Milne.
Elected by the few voters who turned out on the Cooloola Coast, Jess Milne.

In this last council election approximately 21.56 per cent did not vote for councillors while 21.5 per cent did not cast a vote for the mayor. This does not include informal votes.

As I remember the council in 2015 did not pursue with fines on non-voters. My question is, will this council pursue non-voters from this election?

If not, please explain to me why I, or anybody else, should pay any fine imposed in the future by the Gympie Reginal Council?

Figures are from the Electoral Commission of Queensland. It shows Division 1 having the highest number of non-voters.

Colin Saunders, Araluen

The newly elected Gympie Regional Coucnil Bob Fredman, Dolly Jensen, Shane Waldock, Jess Milne, Bruce Devereaux, Mayor Glen Hartwig, Warren Polley, Deputy Mayor Hilary Smerdon and Dan Stewart
The newly elected Gympie Regional Coucnil Bob Fredman, Dolly Jensen, Shane Waldock, Jess Milne, Bruce Devereaux, Mayor Glen Hartwig, Warren Polley, Deputy Mayor Hilary Smerdon and Dan Stewart

Keep reading for more letters

Councillors’cars and council roads

THERE has been some interesting council-related reading in The Gympie Times in recent days.

Under the heading “Microscope on car perks”(Saturday, May 23) there were the reported on-line reactions to Councillors being supplied with vehicles, on top of their salaries.

Predictably, most were critical of the practice.

One at least partly supportive comment puzzled me. It was the one by Ms Gear Auer about Councillors “...attending meetings with their constituents.” She must have meant “to meet occasionally with persistent individual ratepayers”.

During the last four-year term, not one councillor called a meeting with his Divisional constituents. That is partly why most had an “identity crisis “when door-knocking for votes at the recent election.

When challenged to call two such meetings annually, all candidates in Divisions 2 to 7 committed to doing so if elected. We must hold them to that (perhaps we will have to settle for just one meeting this year) and ratepayers in Divisions 1 and 8 should expect the same from their representatives.

The drive to and from a local hall should not put too much strain on the $8000 car expense allowance.

Then (Tuesday, May 26) there was the report of the apparently recent discovery by Cr Stewart and, more surprisingly, Mayor Hartwig that the road maintenance program is dramatically in arrears.

Both were members of the previous council. So both should have realised it would not be news to ratepayers. Neglect of local roads was one of the most publicised complaints about the previous Council. And Mayor Hartwig drove upwards of 30,000km on council business last year, so he must have known how bad things were.

But I suppose that unawareness can creep in when councils engage and pay independent consultants to examine their roads, instead of doing it themselves. And what did we learn from that no doubt rather expensive consultancy exercise?

Well, we were assured that “...our roads are on par with those of other councils.” How good is that! Did we pay to have their roads examined too, I wonder?

And Cr Stewart’s “comparative statistical rating” of the council’s performance on road maintenance is, as usual, of little interest or relevance. And of no consolation at all to ratepayers on Flood Rd and elsewhere. They just want their roads appropriately maintained.

At least, despite the declared financial challenges, (just how severe are they?) there seems to be a refreshing awareness of the basic services that should be a council priority. Perhaps better roads ahead?

Merv Welch, The Palms

Election starting early?

REPLY Judy McKewen Tansey, regarding your letter to Michael Blaxland One Nation candidate for Gympie.

In answer to your statement that One Nation would drought proof Gympie region with the Bradfield Scheme please show me where that was written in our policies or in Michael’s ad he did.

If you read carefully it says that we wish to implement the Bradfield Scheme throughout inland Queensland to help drought proof.

In particular our crop farmers and our cattle farmers. Those farmers would have enough water to grow round bales and keep year round feed for their cattle. I don’t believe Gympie is classified as a high drought area with no close dams.

If you could show me where our local state member for Liberals (sic) Mr Tony Perrott (sic) has achieved any water on your property. I would be very interested or where he has helped save any dairy farms in the region or been instrumental in getting assistance from the state government for farmers in drought or fighting for higher prices for our dairy farmers milk. I think the answer is no and yet how many terms has he been our local member with the only time we see him or hear a word from him is when an election is nearly upon us.

Michael Blaxland is very interested in every issue in Gympie, particularly with our failing dairy industry in this region. One Nation is the only party ready to stand up and fight for every farmers plight. One Nation has fought for better milk prices for our dairy farmers, Liberals did nothing, Labor and Greens did nothing accept break and destroy the industry starting back when they deregulated the dairy industry.

One Nation has fought for the Bradfield Scheme and Liberals critised her coming out and fight for this, now Deb Frecklington is pushing it as her idea and she only wants a feasibility study done, not a commitment. One Nation stood shoulder to shoulder with farmers in Canberra to fight over the selling off of our water rights and the closing off of our farmers to use use their own water. The mainstream parties are to blame for that betrayal to our farmers.

Michael Blaxland is standing with the only party willing to fight for all Australians, One Nation. Whilst I focused on replying to your statements you put forward I would like to say Michael Blaxland is helping all of this region in particular much needed jobs and to help businesses survive and prosper in the region. We are aware of the effect of the Bypass road around Gympie and how this will impact on us. Michael will stay close to businesses to help if needed. Michael Blaxland is available to anyone who wishes to speak to him about their concerns.

Leigh Reilly, Mooloo

World Haemochromatosis Week

IS THE world pumping too much iron? June 1 marks the start of World Haemochromatosis Week. Haemochromatosis is the most common genetic disorder in Australia and causes your body to absorb too much iron from food. It is easy to test, simple to treat but tragic to ignore because the excess iron overloads body tissues, damages organs and can cause premature death. Many people suffer the effects of haemochromatosis without being diagnosed because early symptoms are common with other conditions and include tiredness and aching joints. When detected early haemochromatosis can be managed easily through blood donations and is no barrier to a normal life or life expectancy. Find out if this is you at

Dr Dianne Prince, President, Haemochromatosis Australia