Cr Hilary Smerdon among the 200-plus crowd at Saturday's Widgee meeting.
Cr Hilary Smerdon among the 200-plus crowd at Saturday's Widgee meeting. Tom Daunt

Inquiry needed into planning dept after Widgee debacle


I ATTENDED the community meeting at Widgee on Saturday last.

It was gratifying to see so many people in attendance, about 200 despite the heavy rain.

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During the meeting I asked if there was anyone present who was in favour of Widgee Engineering having to close. No one came forward.

Later when a speaker asked for any councillor present who voted for the motion in council to come forward, two councillors made themselves known.

It looked as if that those two councillors did not have the strength of their convictions to publicly admit doing so.

It seems clear to me that the Planning Department did not fairly present the case to council. This is intolerable and demands an inquiry by an outside (of council) body.

To save enormous expense to the owners of Widgee Engineering, the council should either ask them to resubmit their application at no further cost or rezone the land to heavy commercial.

Anything less will, I am sure, see some councillors and the Mayor lose their seats at the next election.

It was telling that our State Member of Parliament did not vote at all on the final motion in favour of Widgee Engineering.

Gympie is fed up with their elected representatives, both state and local, not acting in the best interests of constituents.

Ian Gordon,



A stronger future

THE Gympie region is a beautiful oasis steeped in history and culture, with the township surrounded by stunning smaller country townships the likes of Imbil, Amamoor, Kilkivan, Gunalda and Bauple, just to name a few.

Together with the coastal communities of Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach, we definitely have the best location to live, play and raise a family.

It is well documented that in 1867 James Nash discovered gold in our region and saved Queensland from bankruptcy.

From this date, Gympie became known as the "Town that saved Queensland”.

Now 150 years later Gympie is in need of saving - saving from the lack of employment opportunities.

Walking around talking to people, it is only then do you realise the amount of residents that commute out of our region on a daily or weekly basis for their employment.

With a majority of them stating that they would opt to work in town if they had a choice.

We need to refrain from arrogant and argumentative pandering over empty buildings and be more pro-active in creating a stronger economic future.

As a region we need to consider greater diversification within industry, thus providing a wider range of options for our community and school leavers to gain full time employment.

We need to maintain all industries currently in our region.

It is essential that all of our elected representatives, local, state and federal, work together to promote the area for future industry and employment growth.

Stephen Meredith,