GIVE THEM A FAIR GO: Letter Writer Dave Freeman believes candidates deserve a fair go, but he said last week, a young division 8 candidate copped flack before he could even say anything.
GIVE THEM A FAIR GO: Letter Writer Dave Freeman believes candidates deserve a fair go, but he said last week, a young division 8 candidate copped flack before he could even say anything. iStock

'Welcoming' citizens of Gympie at their hypocritical best

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

ALTHOUGH the next council election's still six months away, and there's no obligation for those who seek seats to declare so yet, some have already.

As I type we have three declared candidates running for various divisions, one a young fella who's standing in the Mary Valley, Division 8.

What a reception he got on social media, where, before he got to say anything of note, many who participate there were bagging him.

The "welcoming” citizenship of Gympie, the Aussie "fair go” at their hypocritical best.

Official opening of the Mary Valley Rail Trail by Mayor Mick Curran.
Gympie mayor Mick Curran earlier this year. Gympie Regional Council

It didn't take long before "anybody who runs for the council's only in it for the money”, from many.

Perhaps, if they spoke to councillors more they may find out how much effort some of the better ones put in, and how much effort and cost is involved in running a serious campaign for election?

I see it as just short of masochism to actually chase such a poison chalice, for those who'll take the job seriously.

Lately, I've read many comments which strongly indicate to me there's still, in 2019, a very unhealthy "closed shop” attitude about Gympie, essentially an old school who are closing their eyes and hoping the changes happening around them are only a bad dream.

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

If only life was so simple. It isn't and neither is a councillor's job, in all divisions other than possibly Division 6, having to balance the wishes of the old thinkers with the entry of so many newbies.

Reflections of all this took me, again, to electoral maps and I can't get past one unfortunate aspect of them.

I have nothing against the good folk of our western areas. They, and their needs, are just very different to me and mine.

That's a fact of life, not a value judgment, but the reality is that they have a greater shared interest with the South Burnett than they do now with an ever increasing number of the rest of us.

Gympie MP Tony Perrett
Gympie MP Tony Perrett. Cassandra Glover

I recently read a speech by our state MP, Tony Perrett, a westerner, to the Queensland Local Government Reform Association where he said "in hindsight” council mergers, such as resulted in Gympie encompassing our western areas, "have failed to deliver any value”.

I'm sure Gympie spreading past Goomeri hasn't presented value to most of us and we live in hope that Mr Perrett acts on his belief and our council boundaries on the western side will one day follow the state electorate line.

I believe such would make all councillors' jobs easier and would help our region grow in a better managed way.

Dave Freeman,

Cedar Pocket