Cr Glen Hartwig
Cr Glen Hartwig Renee Albrecht

I'm not confused: Hartwig dumps on Curran explanation

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I am not confused - by Glen Hartwig

I READ with interest, statements by the Mayor that I have had some confusion over the waste levy.

READ HERE: Gympie council backflips on plan to increase dump gate fees

Firstly, for those with commercial waste, your increase is not just the levy.

Gympie Council 2018 Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald.
Gympie Council Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald. Renee Albrecht

This is not mentioned by Cr Curran. In 2108, those people dumping commercial waste paid $134 per ton according to council's fees and charges schedule 2018.

Currently, it is $219 per tonne.

When I went to school $219 minus $134 equalled $85.

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With the levy imposed by the State Government only being $75 dollars per tonne, it means council has added a $10 dollars per tonne to this fee. Council's increase on commercial dump fees is around 7.5 per cent, if my calculations are correct.

Mayor Mick Curran. Photo Renee Albrecht/Gympie Times
Mayor Mick Curran. Renee Albrecht

I am of the opinion that council was using the State Government waste levy introduction to bring this 7.5 per cent council increase and shows we are probably looking to make more money from commercial waste.

The system for domestic waste works this way; the State Government gives council $1.3 million. Council makes 12 monthly payments of around $100,000 to the State Government. Money in, money out, no effect to the rate payer for domestic waste.

People need to remember that the waste levy on household rubbish was designed to never impact the residential user. Council is being paid by the State Government 105 per cent of the levy for all household waste.

Council actually makes money from the State Government on domestic waste, 5 per cent of $75 equals $3.75 per tonne. So council pays the State Government. $75 per tonne and we receives $78.75 per tonne.

Locals line up at the Bonnick Rd rubbish dump this morning.
Locals line up at the Bonnick Rd rubbish dump Jacob Carson

Council was entrusted to use that money to offset the cost of the levy of $75. It's simple, no extra cost to the individual household for their domestic waste. (Wheelie bin or self haul to a dump).

For the rate payer who chose domestic self haul with their car, trailer or ute to Bonnick Rd or a transfer station, council intended to charge this person the levy amount (that's the double dip) even though we had received money from the State for this already.

Here is the interesting part, after targeting a certain group of rate payers with this extra fee, council intended to be the Robin Hood of the waste world and refund to rate payers at large an amount that included the levy amount collected at the gate.

So some rate payers were worse off under the proposed system. This was not the intention of the legislation. I am not confused, just informed.

This was not the intended application of the legislation as the households that took their waste to Bonnick Rd or a transfers station would bear the cost of the rebate to go back to rate payers. Council was in effect robbing from Peter to give to Paul.

The double dip would have occurred when council applied the levy to those that chose to take domestic waste to the dump with their car, ute or trailer.

The extra money to be collected was intended to be used to refund rate payers at large. How do you give money back if you first haven't taken it and why should one smaller group of rate payers be targeted to create a refund for others?

Do I sound confused? I don't think so. Did the Mayor mention the 7.5 per cent increase to commercial waste?

After raising these issues, fees have now been adjusted without the double dip, the motion in Wednesday's council meeting speaks for itself.

I am not confused.

Glen Hartwig,

Gympie Regional Councillor Division 2

KEEP READING FOR MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

He who has not sinned cast the first stone - by Alan Dray

IT WOULD appear that Bill Shorten could sit on a sixpence at the bottom of Challenger Deep given the depths to which he has sunk in his attempts to juxtapose Scott Morrison's religious views with the recent posts of Israel Folau.

A composite image created on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 of, Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks at a press conference in Perth on Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright) NO ARCHIVING****Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten speaks to the media during a visit to Holmesglen TAFE in Melbourne, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (AAP Image/Erik Anderson) NO ARCHIVING
Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten RICHARD WAINWRIGHT/ERIK ANDERSON

I far as I am aware, he is the only opposition leader in history to smear the Christianity of his prime ministerial opponent during a federal election.

Interestingly, Folau's biblical reference to homosexuals was the only issue canvassed by Shorten. The remainder are idolatry, atheism, thievery, fornication, lying, adultery and drunkenness.

It seems Bill has also demonstrated a proclivity for narrow mindedness as he is clearly bogged down with this single item in Corinthians.

Perhaps digesting the contents of John 8:7 will add a little balance to his world.

"He, who has not sinned, cast the first stone. To be sure, I won't be losing too much sleep over Israel's views as I am an atheist. (Capital "A” by design in this egalitarian world.)

Alan Dray,

Mooloo

KEEP READING FOR MORE LETTERS

Time to control council spending - by Ian Petersen

SHE'LL be right, says Mick. Nothing to see here. Everything is fine and we will be back in surplus in a couple of years. Wow!

A procession of deficits resulting from non-income producing "investments” can have only two outcomes. One is a massive increase in rates - and I do mean massive.

The other result of multiple deficits is an increase in debt, which leads to increased rates anyway.

Gympie Council CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran.
Gympie Council CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran. Renee Albrecht

He and his (CEO) must be very worried.

Otherwise, why would they have attempted to gouge the community with huge hikes in waste disposal fees and blame the State Government?

And making the organisation top heavy with directors and managers who are in charge of their budgets (which had never happened before) is a stroke of genius.

It's worked well for you hasn't it?

We now have massive and regular blow-outs (which has never happened before).

The community is not stupid. It is time to man up.

Control spending and show some respect for the community that pays you.

Ian Petersen,

Gympie

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Barbarians at the gates? - by Merv Welch

I HAD to laugh at the frothing-at-the-mouth, bug -eyed rant by Andrew Bolt (”Australia's most read columnist”) under the heading "Barbarians At The Gates” (The Gympie Times, Tuesday, May 14).

The irony of the heading, when the views of the author make Attila the Hun seem like a benevolent "leftie”, had me smiling from the start. But I thought, if anyone could recognise a barbarian....

The "barbarians”, it turns out, are all in some way guilty of criticising News Corp for its biased coverage of the election campaign.

andrew bolt
Andrew Bolt Mark Rogers

Probably the clincher for Bolt was the condemnation of his employer, News Corp, by Tony Koch (winner of multiple Walkley Awards in a distinguished 30-year career with The Courier Mail.) Koch had expressed his shame at the "bias "shown by The Australian in its coverage of the election campaign. And he was absolutely right to do so.

The fact is that, if Labor should win (today) it will not be the hollow victory it would have been against a policy-bankrupt and talent-scarce incumbent Coalition, which had set out to win on a scare campaign and a single-minded attack on Shorten's character.

Instead it will be a remarkable triumph over an antagonistic media (not exempting the ABC) that has run a vicious and relentless anti-Labor agenda that is almost certainly unprecedented.

Merv Welch,

The Palms