LETTER: Dagun snubbed, insulted, not consulted, disrespected
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
SO THE Rattler Company has snubbed the tight knit community of Dagun who over decades have built up their unique station to present to the public a charming tourist destination complete with gardens, coffee shop, winery, market,museum and facilities provided and funded by an active group of volunteers.
They even built the platform. Now hard work and dedication has received the ultimate insult.
The train will not stop at Dagun any more.
Well I can't describe how disconsolate the friends of Dagun are.
Snubbed, insulted, not consulted, disrespected... shame!
Jennie Hawkes Wright,
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Modern farmer needs many skills
AS YOU may or may not be aware of the Queensland government's intention to close the Emerald and Longreach Agricultural Colleges.
Apart from attending the Emerald College, I now have a daughter attending the Access Ag program allowing students entering Years 11 and 12 the opportunity to get practical experience on a working property and still gain their OPs while also obtaining a Certificate 3 in Agriculture.
This is a very viable trade for these students that are not wishing to do university and want to live on the land.
The days of putting seed in the ground to grow a crop or sticking a bull in with a mob of cows in the paddock to produce an income has long been surpassed.
The skills involved cover a vast multitude of trades and university degrees.
The two main core units of farming are, cropping and animal production.
The modern farmer today also needs to have skills in areas such as carpentry, welding, fabrication, animal health, chemicals, horsemanship, heavy machinery operation, hydraulics, mechanics this is just for the day to day operations.
Then you need the skills to sort out the best of practices for soil, water conservation, weed and pest management, fire safety and animal welfare. Then if you include accounting, advertising, record keeping, computing, politics and legal issues the modern day farmer is much more then just a primary producer.
I would challenge anyone to find an industry that has the need for more skills to produce an income. They need to be taught as all other trades and degrees are - at a place of learning.
The Queensland Government has a very dim view of agriculture in this state and what they are doing is a criminal offence.
This goes against everything that the Queensland constitution stands for and that is looking after the people and the land that they are on.
This Labor Government is only looking after their own interest and are dictated to by their union and green colleagues.
They are shutting down most if not all government funding for agriculture in our schools, we are about to lose the best practical farming training colleges in Australia at the end of the year. What is next? Ban farming altogether and import our food from the other states or overseas?
NSW is now making agriculture a compulsory subject in there state curriculum.
What is different over the border? Educating the students the role of agriculture in our education system needs to be put at the most highest of priorities, for the sake of all our futures.
If we lose our training facilities to teach our young men and women, who will we get to grow our food?
How will we look after this precious land of ours?
How will we grow the best quality food?
How can we maintain having viable efficient produce in Queensland?
This skill set will be lost for many generations to come if we stop teaching it!
Who will you trust to put food on your table?
A very concerned father and Queenslander,
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Every flood is different
WITH north Queensland copping previously unseen weather and flooding there's a few things may be worth noting from watching from afar.
To me the most obvious has been a welcome lack of hyperbole as the people, civic leaders, and agencies kept a calm and business like approach to what clearly went past a little inconvenience.
As waters retreat blame games will doubtless start but during the main threat there's seemed to be an approach oddly calm in days where sensation is often the norm.
There seemed to be a lot of new and low set homes inundated in Townsville and one could question if the reasons there remained land available to build them on, and why homes in tropical areas were traditionally high set, have been ignored in the name of greed, and 'status'?
Climate change will bring more erratic and severe weather events and perhaps the current experience of Townsville could be taken as a timely warning that we'll need to change our approaches to growth?
Apart from the heavy emotional toll on those affected there'll no doubt be ever increasing insurance costs to all of us as events globally see claims increasing year after year. Ultimately this can only mean more people will face being uninsurable, unless legislation forces companies to offer them affordable cover, in effect writing into law a tax on those who don't take flood risks.
Coincidentally while the north flooded, The Gympie Times ran an anniversary report on Gympie's 1999 flood, a 20th century record in town, but about 2.5m lower than in 1992 in a dip in my road a few kms out.
That report mistakenly referred to the 1999 flood "not quite reaching the 22m of the 1898 flood or the record 22.45m in 1893”. 1893 was much deeper at 25.45m, an almost unimaginable level but with every passing day we're closer to it possibly happening again.
Every flood is different depending on where the rain falls and changes in weather patterns will no doubt make predictions more difficult but surely both authorities and those investing in property need to use the best available information to minimise exposure to flooding. That information should be constantly reviewed in light of expected climate change effects.
Knowing state flood maps are often questioned, and a lot of islands are created in flood times, how about a council/government fleet of small, not too expensive, drones, perhaps based at fire stations with dedicated drone 'marshals' to record flood waters as they peak? Maybe to ferry light weights, such as needed medicines, across flooded road sections? Could also be useful in other emergencies, searches etc?
Events in and around Townsville should surely make those in flood prone areas wonder, what if? And what can be done to minimise the effects? Perhaps in some cases government subsidised moving is the only sensible option?
Greed and stupidity
HEARTENED to read about youngsters actually getting punished for drug abuse at Gosford court. And Stirling Homes getting hammered for (alleged) embezzlement is not a surprise. But just for info... I had a bloke at the dog park who was a roof installer up from Brisbane telling me about how to make thousands of dollars while claiming insurance payments from hail damage?
Told him flat out that I was ex veteran.... Being a crook isn't part of my DNA. But he kept arguing his point and obviously he is working and getting away with it.
Time to think big?
WE HAVE the Big Prawn, Big Pineapple, big everything - the list is endless.
Where is the Big Pipe Line to take all the excess water to arid areas of Australia?
Just a thought.
Public wants to see what councillors do
I WRITE in response to Kathy Walker's letter (The Gympie Times, Saturday, February 2) in which she asked readers who agreed with her views to contact The Gympie Times.
The main point of her letter was to urge the Gympie Regional Council to set up "... video live streaming of ordinary council meetings."
Other councils have apparently done so.
Ms Walker claims that the cost would not be prohibitive and the facility would enable the public to have greater access to the workings of council.
For those reasons in particular I strongly support her suggestion.
Ms Walker gives a scathing account of the way meetings are presently conducted - apparently a mere formalisation of pre-prepared minutes without any record of the debates which presumably generate decisions.
Transparency is clearly not a high priority on the council's policy agenda.
And the letter implied a serious problem for most councillors - their low visibility.
Ms Walker says, "The public wants to see what the councillors do."
She is right.
There is a growing group of "unbelievers" who would like to see if the councillors actually do anything.
Some believe that, in local government, democracy ends at the ballot box.
So, in terms of enhancing their public profiles (and justifying their generous salaries), video live streaming would have considerable benefits for diligent councillors.
Less choice in the regions
THE findings of the latest Queensland Competition Authority report highlight the need for retail competition in regional Queensland.
The report revealed regional Queenslanders are paying around $89 more per quarter than southeast Queensland households under the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
Southeast Queenslanders have up to 20 retailers to choose from, but regional Queenslanders have just one. This means they are missing out on hundreds of dollars of savings.
The benefits of having competition in the southeast corner are clear as customers can shop around for the most attractive offer.
The cheapest quarterly rate for a typical southeast household was $295 from Click Energy. In comparison, regional Queensland customers on a standard contract for an equivalent bill were charged $384.
Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to stop treating regional Queenslanders as second-class citizens and adopt the LNP's policy of introducing competition into the regional electricity market.
Based on the experience in the southeast, introducing choice for customers in regional Queensland will reduce electricity bills by hundreds of dollars a year.
If elected, the LNP will introduce retail competition into the regional electricity market and end Labor's divide between the southeast and the rest of Queensland.
Under our plan regional Queenslanders can shop around and save hundreds of dollars a year.
LNP Shadow Minister for Energy Michael Hart