Anti-vaccination lobby's poster
Anti-vaccination lobby's poster

Gympie election day tolerance only blighted by anti-vaxers



I VOLUNTEERED to hand-out how-to-vote pamphlets at the recent election; a first-time experience.

I'm not a member of a political party, however, Llew O`Brien is my mate and I believe in him.

Over the four days of pre-polling that I worked, and on the election day itself, I was heartened by the interconnected spirit of the opposing volunteers that I stood beside for long hours and surprisingly, I enjoyed their company and their conversation.

Gympie election -
Gympie election - Troy Jegers

There was Tim Jerome, a man with a good heart that wears his ideal world-view on his shoulder; there was the stern and humourless union man who was surrounded by forever smiling Labor ladies, there was the big personality of the One Nation man, who cared not for the House of Representatives - his sole focus was on Malcom Roberts in the Senate; there was the interesting environmentalist who without trying had a conflicting view to me on most topics - not unlike my adult son; and there was the Fraser Anning lady who was quiet and nice enough, although I kept my distance because of my dislike for narrow-mindedness.

Gympie election -
Gympie election - Troy Jegers

The only exception to this was on a single day when without warning two Anti-Vaccine Party volunteers descended upon us for a short period and started to preach their single-issue stance to all that could not run away.

Gympie election -
Gympie election - Troy Jegers

This small gathering of people linked through political paraphernalia was a snapshot of contemporary Australian society.

We stood, we talked, but more importantly we listened to each other. There were no heated arguments even though there was little in the way of conformity; but there was a meshing of viewpoints; and on a rare occasion these would overlap and there was a synergy of mutual agreement.

It was a place of tolerance.

There were many comments promoted from those gathered, and from the public, that this polite exchange of political perspectives would be advantageous in Canberra; but for that to occur we would all have to jump onto Tim's utopia bus.

In this world I will always choose neapolitan over vanilla.

Col Morley

Pie Creek



GOODBYE "Cambridge Five”, we shall miss you not.

It's amazing what can be achieved when allies are purged of traitors.

Let's hope the LNP never allow the likes of Malcolm Philby to infiltrate again.

I thought old blood and guts Peter Patton might have led the attack, but I guess a more subdued Scott Bradley was required to deal with the public.

I have certainly warmed to ScoMo.

I wonder if he can make Truman decisions, putting herd emotion aside and applying hard mathematics for the common good.

Now that victory is in the bag, I think it is only fair that Scott thank the Clive-Cory-Pauline Maquis as well.

After all, many of their efforts bolstered the centre right arsenal and Lord knows they have certainly taken a lot of fire, sadly, much of it blue on blue.

Alan Dray,




THE election has been and gone for another three years, a missed opportunity for major reform to make the country fairer, people chose to believe the smears and lies from not only the government but almost every news outlet, we were bombarded at every polling station with material stating "The Bill the country can't afford”.

People were worried about a death tax which was never Labor's policy, the negativity came from everywhere, and a nation of frightened people fell for it.

We live in a working class area the natural home of the Labor party, the party was born in outback Queensland for goodness sake, values of fairness, equality, of backing workers and jobs are at the heart of all Labor policies.

We threw away a man who had great ideas for this country for a salesman, a man who is often depicted as a circus clown, a man with no policies and no vision, his only message was to stop Labor, and after less than a week we already have a backflip, how many more to come I wonder?

I know a lot of people are bored by even the mention of politics and know nothing about what each party stands for, but it's in our interests to at least learn a little bit about what we're voting for.

Labor had big plans for Queensland jobs of the future, the LNP only has coal which employs a very small percentage of Queenslanders, and what happens when countries no longer want our coal?

We can expect wages to keep on stagnating, and another round of penalty rate cuts on the 1st of July, the divide between the haves and the have nots will only widen in the next few years, the millionaires and billionaires will be slapping each other on the back for a job well done.

Once again they've fooled the workers of this country into voting against their own interests.

Joan Gillies,




SHELLEY Strachan, I read the editorial column in which, among other observations, you looked back on the criticism levelled at News Corp, for its biased coverage of the election campaign.

Thank you for the assurance that you "have never been instructed or leant on to...give any particular preference in political articles”.

I believe you, but I suspect that others might not.

You understandably attempted to establish that The Gympie Times had been balanced in its coverage. But I was not persuaded.

Our local newspaper punched right up to its weight in the concerted anti- Shorten, anti- Labor News Corp vendetta that passed for coverage of the campaign.

The "weekly local commentator” was never going to balance the savage bias expressed almost daily by the likes of Andrew Bolt.

Had it not been so, I suspect you would not have been able truthfully to declare your personal freedom from direction.

Your editorial, "The big picture is not pretty”, in the final week of the campaign, was a rare and refreshingly balanced take on the issues that mattered - the widening gap between rich and poor, growing numbers of homeless, increasing violence, the excessive salaries and bonuses paid to CEOs while the lowly paid go without penalty rates and the parlous state of the environment.

I thought it deserved applause. Sadly, you and I were very much in the minority.

Perhaps that is why there is so little euphoria about the election result. Or did I miss something?

As a nation we averted our eyes from the issues you raised and voted down the party that had policies to address at least some of them.

We voted, in fact, for "more of the same”.

In that context the election result was a victory for the Murdoch press, xenophobia, greed and the fear of change.

The rich will now hold on to what they have not earned (at the expense of the public purse) and the moguls will still outbid young marrieds to extend their portfolios of multiple negatively geared properties.

The big picture is not likely to get much prettier in the foreseeable future.

Merv Welch,

The Palms



WHILE I must say I admire Merv as a fashion commentator and a popular teacher, I must say his views on the left bias of every media outlet is totally wrong.

I don't agree that the Liberals were policy bankrupt and talent scarce as you claim.

Their policies were steady as we go that seems to be how the majority felt.

Labor had too many crazy irons in the fire and a total lack of costings which surely spooked the masses.

As usual, everybody but themselves is to blame and fancy claiming that the ABC were against Labor.

As for the use of the word unprecedented goes in the supposed attack on Shorten's character, surely the nasty activities of GetUp and the Turnbulls is unprecedented, the lies of which I have not seen in the last 60 years.

Jill Dinneen,




I WOULD like to call the Queensland Government to account on their appalling behaviour and disrespect of the Queensland rural sector over their last term of government.

In the past week we have seen the Labor Federal Party be squashed from losing the federal election, and are now in disarray as they now try to ponder what went wrong.

Here is what they didn't do: they did not listen.

Now the Queensland people, especially the rural sector, have been questioning Treasurer Jackie Trad and the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, about their unrelenting attack on the agricultural sector in this state.

A couple of points of interest:

1. The two practical training facilities, Emerald and Longreach Ag colleges, have been run down by red and green tape with the severe bungling of government departments have been now deemed unviable for the industry.

The government needs to be reminded that every single industry and job in this state has the ability to go to a place of training to be taught the best practice and safety of that future employee's chosen field. This is now to be taken away from the agricultural industry in Queensland with the imminent closure at the end of the year for these two training centres in our state.

2. The new legislation regarding the vegetation and on farm management under the disguise of environmental concern, has been very misleading, as it now puts the death nail into the family farm and the viability of many other agricultural industry ventures.

The government is taking out the farmers ability to manage their land effectively and make it environmentally safe. You cannot manage land from your armchair in Brisbane!

It doesn't take too long to figure out that with all the new management practices and new technology, and then include the morality issue of how to feed the population of Australia and the world, it become very apparent we need to be properly educated to become more efficient in our land usage to help protect our soils, rivers and reefs while still growing healthy safe protein, no matter what your persuasion is vegetarian, vegan or if you enjoy a good steak. As Dwight D Eisenhower once said, "Farming looks mighty easy when your plough is a pencil and you're a thousand mile from the cornfield".

With everything that has been going on in the past couple of days where Premier Palaszczuk has done a turnaround with the mining industry with the Adani mining venture, maybe the Premier should also reconsider her government's recent decisions in the agriculture industry instead of trying to look after Treasurer Jackie Trad's green leftist terrorist minority groups in the southeastern corner, and start doing what Queenslanders really need.

Educate the future farmers of Queensland so they have the best tools and management practices at their fingertips, so all Queenslanders can enjoy this wonderful country of ours for the many generations to come.

A quite Australian ,

Brian Kaddatz,


We are a very selfish lot

THE Australian people, and in particular, the swinging voters, have been conned yet again.

First by an advertising man and second by a greedy billionaire.

The big end of town will be very happy that the Conservatives are still in power, but for the underpaid, the homeless and the environment, the status quo will remain.

Clive Palmer will get the money he invested in the campaign back many times over in tax concessions.

The well-off retirees will not have to lose any more sleep over franking credits (tax breaks on shareholdings) and the multiple house owners can still get their precious negative gearing refunds, while young couples will have to struggle even harder to buy their first home.

This election was always about money - now - and future generations will suffer the consequences.

We are a very selfish lot.

Peter Easton,

Mothar Mountain

Palmer's election outcome

THE controversial and enigmatic Clive Palmer endlessly urged us to vote UAP and 'Make Austraya great again,” in our recent federal elections.

Through this process I began to wonder why he hadn't been arrested for aiding and abetting a known fugitive.

Clive Mensik the former manager of Queensland Nickel has been living in Bulgaria and enjoying his uncle Clive's financial support according to media reports. It is also alleged that he has two outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Mr Palmers' career intriguingly, displays many of the characteristics of a fairytale from the Brothers Grimm.

To his credit, who could forget his role as the fairy godmother showering co-operative employees with expensive holidays and luxury cars, then adopting an ogre stance later with these same people with respect to their termination payments at QNI.

The reported debacle at Coolum Resort more likely casts him in the role of the wicked witch, with some very unhappy people there.

His emergence as a member of the nouveau rich confirms he has the King Midas touch.

Mr Palmer has spent a real deal of money to produce an election outcome to his satisfaction, and very overtly. We can only hope he hasn't drawn a roadmap for covert foreign interference that may be to his detriment and all other Australians.

Clive's outburst "I've got $4000 million dollars, do you think I give a stuff,” etc etc, may have cost him a better election outcome.

Could it be that this was a subtle thump at the door of that elite and exclusive rich listers club, the one with the motto "He who dies with the most wins?”

Laurie Cronin,