Council pre-selection squad given a 'leg up' if they run
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
from Merv Welch
AFTER a disappointing abridgement of my most recent letter and some not-too-subtle discouragement from a friend I was thinking it was probably time to park the pen permanently.
But then I read Scott Kovacevic's recommendations for candidacy at the 2020 council election. And I thought better (or worse ) of it.
Anyway, congratulations to all who made the pre-election squad and to Mr Kovacevic on his fairly politically-correct selection.
Perhaps the more politically aggressive female readers would challenge the gender distribution - 17 males to 11 females.
But that ratio, after all, if translated to the ballot box, would be vastly superior to the gender imbalance on the government benches in Canberra. And an infinite improvement on the current council ratio of eight men to zero women.
And one should keep in mind that the list includes people nominated "...with the help of some feedback from the public.”
One of these is probably Anthony Lansky, who is nominated on the basis of the very criteria used to justify the suggestion that Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch should "walk away”. Namely, a demanding professional career, compounded in Mr Leitch's case by the responsibility of a major rugby league coaching position.
(Daryl) Dodt is included in the remarkably short list of those who should walk, mainly because of the demands of his work as a doctor.
If, indeed, Mr Lansky was a "public nomination” you can be sure it was not Jill Pat Dineen who put his name forward.
"A Listers”, should they decide to stand, have mostly been given a leg-up by Mr Kovacevic. They all have impressive credentials.
Dan Sullivan probably received an extra boost by the photographic confusion with his former mentor and much-loved Gympie Show fireworks sponsor, Tom Grady.
Dave Freeman, ironically, one of the very few squad members to have put his name to an opinion in what has been a somewhat controversial triennium of local government is the "faceless man” of the line-up. Surely by request?
Once again, hearty congratulations to all on your "pre-selection”.
Hopefully, come 2020, some of you will seriously consider putting your talents to the benefit of the community.
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Why are we using chip seal on our roads?
I FIND it a bit disturbing that the council has deemed fit to coat some of the city streets with "chip seal”.
A disgrace that pot holes and cracks in the old surface were not fixed first is bad enough, but "chip seal " went out of vogue in the mid-1950s.
Hot mix is much longer lasting and over its life, is cheaper if done correctly.
I am of the opinion that many sewers and water reticulation services are past their use buy dates.
These should be checked first, then the road profiled and then hot mix applied properly.
Queen St and Garrick St were chip sealed 12 months ago and cracks and pot holes are as bad as ever.
Country roads can be chip sealed but to do the job properly should be two coat seal.
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Livestream council meetings
GYMPIE residents and ratepayers would like to keep up with the Jones's.
Many councils, including neighbouring Fraser Coast Hervey Bay Council, now have video live streaming of ordinary council meetings.
This is not a difficult decision to make and will not cost millions.
Gympie Regional Council could get someone local to set it up, possibly a teenager. I have requested this before to a councillor last July. What is the problem?
There is a council election in just over 12 months. The public cannot get to daytime Ordinary Council meetings as most are at work.
If the meeting was videoed live stream it could be accessed at the time and after hours.
The minutes of the meetings are inadequate.
Everyone knows they are written out before the meeting, up on the screens they can be seen and they are just filled in as we watch, who moved and who seconded.
It has been filled in - sometimes before the event.
There is no record of debate or of each councillor's opinions.
This is robbing the public of knowledge of how the council makes a decision.
What was the debate? Was there a debate?
The people - they who pay for this whole council, the nearly 500 staff, mayor and councillors - want to see what they are paying for.
This is an opportunity for everyone to see how the current council works, what their voices sound like, and what debate does happen in a council meeting.
Can they all speak?
If we don't, it will be much easier to tell everyone do not vote for anyone in that council as they won't front the public when making decisions about our lives, our businesses, our homes, our rates.
If video live stream is not introduced, that would send a message that they do not want to be re-elected. It is up to those councillors to get this going ASAP.
The public wants to see what the councillors do.
Please contact The Gympie Times if you agree.
Enviro tech day
THIS event is, in my mind, a great initiative and a good way for our council to "dip its toe” into the area of sustainability.
After working in the area of sustainability for around 15 years now I find the word to have a broad range of (mis)interpretations and opinions.
At its core, sustainability is a lot like the farmer who wants to pass on the family farm in better condition than when he or she was charged to guide its future.
It is also very similar to the saying of our CWA grandmothers "waste not want not”.
It's about doing more with less which is rather like lean manufacturing. Note - Gympie is a lean manufacturing hub.
Achieving a balance between economic, social and environmental sustainability isn't now a technical problem. There are hundreds of proven technological solutions available at affordable prices. Worldwide proven digital solutions are now in great abundance.
Real sustainable development would make great business sense; maintain or improve the community's lifestyle and do no nett environmental harm (hopefully assist nature and not fight with it).
It's not about arguing for (or against) climate change although we all know that the weather is getting weirder.
Energy (power), water and waste efficiency is important to sustainable development and there is no one big fat solution e.g. a solar farm.
Sustainability isn't a thing or destination but rather a way of thinking. It has something to say about everything we do e.g. land planning; what we buy; how we design and build our houses; the vehicle we buy; how we light sporting fields or air condition our buildings.
My congrats to the Gympie Regional Council for their stewardship of this event on February 15.
O'Brien is doing a great job
IN REFERENCE to Col Morley's letter (The Gympie Times, January 29) regarding MP Llew O'Brien - I couldn't agree more.
I worked with Llew in Gympie back in the 1990s and found him to be a great bloke.
I voted for him the first time out of familiarity and a sense of loyalty, will be voting for him again because of the great job he is doing.
This is a personal email - unrelated to my employer.
From the mouths of babes...
MY NAME is Jonte and I am seven years old.
I spent a lot of my holidays picking up other people's rubbish.
At the beach, on farms when I went working with my dad, off the road-side at our own farm and off the jetty at Hervey Bay.
Our planet needs our care, not our rubbish.
IN THE paper there was an article about the driest January in 149 years.
It said that Gympie has recorded 6mm of rain.
I would like to know when and where that rain fell - as so far I haven't recorded any rain.
Have had some drizzles but not enough to measure.
Maybe some might fall today, although we do need it. I do not want anything like they are having up north.
Go Purple for people living with epilepsy
During March, join Epilepsy Queensland Patron Wally Lewis to support Purple Day for epilepsy.
Purple Day (March 26) is the highlight of the worldwide epilepsy awareness campaign throughout March.
It is an opportunity to show your support for Queenslanders living with epilepsy by going purple, the internationally recognised colour for epilepsy, and at the same time, help raise funds and increase understanding of one of the world's most common serious brain disorders.
In 2019 the lack of public awareness and stigma associated with epilepsy is still unfortunately very real.
Epilepsy Queensland is the only Queensland based information and support service for people living with epilepsy, their families and communities.
This year it is 10 years since Epilepsy Queensland introduced Purple Day to Australia and we are also celebrating 50 years of assisting Queenslanders.
Your support will help us make this the biggest Purple Day to date so that people living with epilepsy in your community do not feel like they are alone.
I would encourage your community to get involved in any of these three easy ways:
Host a Purple Day morning tea, sell a box of purple merchandise or make a donation. www.epilepsyqueensland.com.au
Wear purple on Purple Day, decorate your business or school and post on social media.
One in 10 people will have a seizure in their lifetime. Learn the facts about epilepsy and basic seizure first aid.
On behalf of the 1 in 50 Queenslanders living with epilepsy thank you for helping to bring epilepsy out of the shadows.
CEO, Epilepsy Queensland
Caravan park overlooked?
AS THE proprietor of the Gympie Caravan Park which is a council owned establishment, I have a 30-year lease to develop the caravan park.
I'm just publicly inquiring why the new head of tourism has not contacted me at all.
She has been appointed since last October so what's the hold up?
Seems odd that a council owned tourist establishment has been overlooked somehow by the new "head of tourism”.
Doesn't that seem strange? Maybe Ms Banford would like to stop by or perhaps even a phone call? We will see.
Gympie Caravan Park
I'VE GONE back to the old wooden model with the stone buttons.
I had hoped that it might still have the "cigarette lighter” and "pipe cleaner” apps , but these have now been replaced with the "spirit level”, "movie dock” and "sat nav” functions.
It's true, this one doesn't google or translate my emails into Scandinavian, but when I push the green stone, it's like magic, I can talk to someone.
Of course, the comb, bicycle pump and hair clippers come in handy at times and the water finding app is divine. I've not yet used the X-ray or the DNA photography functions, and the night shooting spotlight tends to flatten the battery fairly quickly but the voice recognition "come here” feature is invaluable when you've lost the phone.
Cost wise, they do you this "Licker 69” model at a laughable $100, whereas my last glass tablet model had to be purchased through a three-year $1000 plan, and after two years the only function that still worked was the vibrator.
I gave it to my wife who now claims she uses it as an emergency bedside night light.
The lie detector was one of the first functions that went on it after only three calls. Apart from that, it was a rather cumbersome lump of rubbish and I could never rid myself of a hideous sense of shame, stroking it gently with one finger every time it vibrated in my pocket, which they claimed would turn it on. All the same, as a dishwasher and rain gauge it stood up very well in my household until I took it outside once and it got wet, after which it kept switching itself on to the fish finder, depth gauge and currency converter modes of all things.
I did transfer the lie detector app to my new model when I discovered that if I turn it around and switch it to incoming, it actually works.
However, I found that the damn thing kept overheating so I've switched it back to outgoing, which is why I very rarely tell a lie.