DO YOU AGREE? Dave Freeman says in his letter today the issue of Gympie's struggling main street has no place in a federal election campaign, and wonders how many of the broader population actually gives a toss about the CBD?
DO YOU AGREE? Dave Freeman says in his letter today the issue of Gympie's struggling main street has no place in a federal election campaign, and wonders how many of the broader population actually gives a toss about the CBD?

Letter writer's brutal attack on Gympie business community


FIXING THE CBD - by Dave Freeman

RECENTLY Gympie Regional Council and the local Chamber of Commerce brought in well-known futurist and demographer Bernard Salt to speak at a breakfast.

I'm now unable to attend such events due to physical limitations in sitting or standing so I rely on media reports and limited local interactions to hear what happened.

The same applied when the Chamber of Commerce got candidates for the federal election to address voters, to discuss plans for Gympie.

Early in my now 30 years here I dipped a toe into local meetings a couple of times and quickly decided not to bother with the local "powers that be”. I saw them as too self-interested and small minded. All these years on reports of the recent meetings have only reinforced that belief.

Upper Mary street Gympie.
Upper Mary street Gympie. Renee Albrecht

Doubtless business is an important part of any community but I reject the apparently assumed relationship between business and the broader population as it stands today.

It seems that rather than business supplying goods and services to attract customers the accent is now on the population having an obligation to supply never ending support to business regardless of how mediocre their offerings and ideas for the overall good may be.

TONY GOODMAN I believe Gympie's CBD could have a central role in the whole region's tourism strategy, but it needs to smarten itself up.
Gympie Chamber of Commerce president Tony Goodman. Arthur Gorrie

The future will be very different, especially at a federal governance level.

There'll be a real need to lead during transitions in virtually everything from how we travel and how we power our appliances to world events and circumstances.

Yet when the Chamber of Commerce digested Mr Salt's efforts they came up with changing Gympie's name and laughable claims that this area can somehow become like a very different place with very different attitudes, the Adelaide Hills.

Similarly when candidates who seek to represent us and lead on federal, and world, issues meet the people, the Chamber, and this publication, first up reduce the subject to empty shops in the CBD.

That's very small thinking and demonstrates loudly why Gympie will never be like the Adelaide Hills, and is unlikely to shake its 'reputation' as a backward community. Again I wonder if anybody of influence around here has ever bothered to ask themselves how many of the broader population actually give a toss about the CBD?

Upper Mary street Gympie.
Upper Mary street Gympie. Renee Albrecht

It seems empty shops are a result of the collective voting with our feet and in my admittedly limited circles a consensus exists that business conditions in general matter but discussing empty shops in Gympie's main drag has no place in a federal election campaign.

I suggest there's little point in having discussions about the future as long as the local business lobby hijack such events as they have too little scope and vision to see past themselves.

Dave Freeman,

Cedar Pocket


Open letter to Llew O'Brien et al

JUST which political party do you represent please?

I always understood that you sat in Canberra as a member of The National Party yet at this election you and your Senate Colleagues are standing as LNP.

Llew O'Brien official election campaign launch at Gunabul Homestead on Saturday morning. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was there to endorse Mr O'Brien for the seat of Wide Bay, which he has held since 2016.
Llew O'Brien official election campaign launch at Gunabul Homestead on Saturday morning. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was there to endorse Mr O'Brien for the seat of Wide Bay, which he has held since 2016. Josh Preston

Now, to the best of my knowledge, there has never been an LNP member of the Federal parliament per se.

The LNP is a Queensland State Political group who are constitutionally a Branch of The NSW Liberal Party.

Now, I for one will never vote Liberal but could vote National Party so would you please enlighten us as to who you really are and why you are calling yourselves LNP?

Tony Jakeman,


I can do without watching a would-be PM cry

I WAS very nearly brought to tears myself recently when seeing the aspiring PM Bill Shorten, very teary, when telling of his mother having to become a school teacher as the bread winner in the family. A school teacher, good heavens!

I would have considered the Shorten family to be quite fortunate in that regard. There are many others, Mr Shorten could be reminded, who are not as fortunate and have many menial tasks to fall back on - but all having a place in our society.

I personally am not remotely interested in Mr Shorten's family, what his parents were or how they lived. It's now and the future which matters and I really can do without watching would-be PMs weep.

School teachers, Mr Shorten could also be reminded, play one of the most important roles in a child's life, helping in no small way to mould their thinking and general attitude, respect and good manners. Maybe I'm living in fantasy land, but it's nice.

Faith De Vere,


Conservative have heads buried in sand

I HAVE a brother that lives in Germany and he tells me they are losing birds at an alarming rate, also insects and other natural fauna.

England, which has a very conservative government, has declared a disaster for its disappearing native animals and birds.

If its conservative governments have suddenly lifted their heads and realised the world is gradually burning up around them due to climate change, I don't know why our very conservative LNP government in this country still bury its head in the sand. With this government it's all about the economy and wealthy people being able to make more and more money mostly at the expense of the working poor.

I am deeply ashamed of my generation. They've often said young people are selfish and only think of themselves, but I think it's the other way round.

They don't seem to care about what kind of world they leave to the next generation. For a lot of them it's all about tax from their franking credits, which quite frankly (excuse the pun) is a complete rip-off of tax- payers who actually do pay tax.

My generation, we'll leave it to the young ones to fix up our mess, if it's not already too late of course.

Joan Gillies,


One year on for councillor

I'VE been in office as the Division 8 (Mary Valley) councillor for one year now. It is timely to reflect on what has happened over that time.

Being a councillor you are just one of a team and have to work with others for the betterment of everyone. Hence I have supported many proposals that have a net common good. I have avoided being confrontational for the sake of winning a political point.

In relation to finances I have done my best to make my presence felt. I have debated strongly (but been on the losing side) on issues where I believe too much money is being spent without enough benefit for ratepayers. An example is the multi-million dollar Upper Mary St beautification.

I have been vocal in relation to matters about the management of the Rattler; suffice to say the Rattler is here to stay and all I can push for is better accountability for the ongoing costs to ratepayers.

I have been open with my thoughts, and have maintained regular posts on my public Facebook page.

But roads continue to be my passion and I am hoping that a new culture in that part of council will lead to better maintenance. I drive my own car for council business, and feel every pothole.

My duty as a liaison between the council and the people has brought me a lot of work in the past year. I never thought I could help so many individual ratepayers.

The Valley from The Dawn to Traveston is a vibrant place where things are happening. It's a privilege to be part of it, and I remain grateful for the opportunity.

So here I am one year on - please contact me if I can help you in some way.

Cr Bob Fredman,


Lives in hope

WITH the rise of toddler power worldwide, and so many adolescent doomsday preppers now enslaved to their climate change Pied Pipers, I have been thinking, somewhat ironically, of the many kiddie jokes I have heard over the years.

This one says it all.

"Ya know Dad, I am amazed at how much you have learnt in the last 10 years, when I was 15, you knew so little.”

The ability to count certainly demonstrates a level of intelligence, but what these doomsayers won't explain is that even if Australia ceased to exist, the world's carbon emissions would still increase at virtually the same rate.

Maybe they will defend their position by citing good example as a way to ingratiate themselves into the hearts of recalcitrant states.

Sounds logical, but shouldn't we first test the theory with a practice run?

How about checking the world happiness index after showcasing democracy to say, China or Saudi?

Seriously, to say these people live in a parallel universe is an insult to the likes of Captain Janeway and Jean-Luc Picard.

I have despaired over Australia's future, and briefly thought Nurse Ratched might be able to help, but then I quickly remembered the Cuckoo's Nest is not set to handle volume.

Perhaps a course in climate analytics, with instruction carefully tailored to attention span, will claw back sanity.

The young crusaders will first reinforce their decimal skills using the Chisanbop fingers method, gradually master the abacus, carefully combine logarithms with history by revisiting the slide rule, and then ease slowly into pertinent Excel computation to complete their therapy.

Finally, over a glass of avocado wine, the activists will be persuaded to the truth as they witness spreadsheet cells filling with raw, indisputable data showing them the error of their ways.

We live in hope.

Alan Dray,


It's OK to say no to the Nats

I KICKED my nicotine addiction many years ago.

One of my meetings with Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss before he retired, I asked why nicotine products are not banned if they kill us. He said that banning any product would cause a black market.

Just before Mr Truss retired in 2016, he replied to one of my emails.

The exact quote from his correspondence:

"Reports indicate that if Labor is elected again to government, they plan to raise taxes on cigarettes again with another round of three 12.5 per cent increases to raise $40 billion for education funding. The coalition government is consulting with the industry to examine the impact of previous increases in tobacco excise on consumption. The Government has concerns about the financial impact on increases on low income earners....”

In the May 2017 budget, The National party reinstated another three rounds of 12.5 per cent increases, and slapped another great big new tax on roll-your-own tobacco.

The ALP went to 2016 election with tobacco increases to fund #Gonski.

The National Party did not take tobacco increases to the 2016 election.

It appears successive federal governments are addicted to the addicted.

Tax collected by this government on the addicted in 18/19 budget is $17.4 billion.

Maybe it's time to ban cigarettes and force the feds to kick the habit.

This is a high taxing government.


Madonna Waugh,