The Gympie Saleyards in action.
The Gympie Saleyards in action. Arthur Gorrie

Writers have a say on saleyards, council, hospital, pollies

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Christmas spirit at Mitre 10

I WOULD just like to ask if there is room in The Gympie Times some time to give Mitre 10 some credit for the extra effort they go to each Christmas in displaying their Christmas stock where other stores are to afraid to even mention the word Christmas.

This year is no exception. For what they are the process of creating, I congratulate them on their commitment to this time of giving and family.

LEN WADDINGTON,

GYMPIE

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WELL DONE ROTARY

WELL done to the Gympie Rotary Club for a most enjoyable evening at Gympie cinema last Monday night.

The nibbles were plentiful and delicious.

The movie was very entertaining for the large crowd present, with not a mobile phone to be seen except for a Rotary member taking photographs.

JILL DINNEEN,

SOUTHSIDE

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THANK YOU FOR GREAT CARE

THIS week, from October 14, I have been to three different hospitals: Noosa, Gympie and Sunshine coast Hospital.

Also in two ambulances. The paramedics were wonderful, friendly and helpful.

During this time I have encountered beautiful, dedicated and helpful staff.

Nurses and doctors who were willing to go above and beyond their duty at all three hospitals.

What a joy to meet and be treated with such attention, even saying sorry if they thought they had hurt me during the treatments, even when they hadn't, because of their gentle hands.

I would also like to thank my family and new neighbours for looking after my house and running me around during this time.

I thought I would like to share my positive experiences during this time, as there is so much negativity around at the moment.

I am home and have a clean bill of health, a big thank you to everybody who helped me over the last few days.

Thank you.

FLORENCE DENNIS,

MONKLAND

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SALEYARDS ARTICLE OFF THE MARK

TONY Perrett's article in last Saturday's The Gympie Times on No Future for Gympie's Saleyards to me was a bit off the mark.

Council's initiative in commissioning the report is a recognition of the importance the saleyards plays in our community and for the region's economy.

Council understands how important the saleyards are and a key facility like this is under continual review, this has not occurred to this level for a very long time.

It was prepared against a backdrop of significant investment across Australia in existing and new saleyards and some emerging trends in terms of how saleyards are managed.

Discontinuing the saleyards in any form was never an option.

This is clear to anyone who reads the report.

Mr Perrett stated that the report be made public immediately, but it was publicly available last week and the report was in an open workshop last week, available for anyone to attend.

The report will go to a council meeting for a resolution that the consultant's report go out for public comment.

This is the normal process and surely Mr Perrett understands this, being a former councillor.

The report outlines a number of scenarios, however it is difficult to see the saleyards remaining on the current site for an extended period of time and only makes sense that council starts looking for a new site.

I can assure Mr Perrett that council is handling this issue sensitively and expeditiously and council understands how important the saleyards are to our region's economy.

I have attended the Australian Saleyards Expo the last three years and every year we are told the same thing: how the cattle breeding stock continues to decline in Australia.

So maybe Mr Perrett can solve some of these issues at a state level so saleyards can continue to operate and still be an important economic driver in all regions.

Again I will assure Mr Perrett and all the community that council will handle this correctly and continue to consult with all stakeholders.

MAL GEAR,

COUNCILLOR DIVISION 3,

GYMPIE REGIONAL COUNCIL

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CANDIDATE'S CONCLUSIONS AMBIGUOUS

IN RESPONSE to Tim Jerome's letter "Have cake and eat it too” (The Gympie Times, October 12, 2019).

His comments "What is a MPI (material personal interest)? It amazes me that people in public office either don't know the law or are being ignorant of the law”.

He goes on to say "MPIs are not complicated. If you have gained a material personal interest in any shape or form, whether it be by way of money or gaining a possession for work or even a donation while in public office then you have an MPI accredited to you.”

His comments show he is uninformed of the laws defining an MPI yet he refers to others as ignorant.

The concept of material personal interest comes from corporations law.

However a material personal interest is not defined in the Corporations Act and few cases have considered the scope of the term.

Additionally, there is no legislative definition of the term material personal interest. The term MPI is so ambiguous that "the Queensland State Government Economic and Governance Committee (GEGC) has recommended changes to the terminology in a bill which will go before parliament in coming weeks”.

The Bill proposes to amend the Local Government Act to strengthen and clarify the process for councillors dealing with personal interests.

The amendments to "personal interest” being considered include "Prescribed conflicts of interest” and "Declarable conflicts of interest”.

Contrary to his comments MPIs are very complex which is obvious from the varying opinions regarding the changes to the definition of an MPI by the GEGC, LGAQ, the "umpire” to which he refers and other local council agencies.

How is it then that Mr Jerome is so resolute that his over simplification of the term MPI is cut and dried in law when most eminently informed people consider it to be a very complex matter? Is he better informed than those who adjudicate on matters dealing with what constitutes an MPI?

Whilst the general public may not be fully informed about the legislative implications regarding matters of contention within council it is incumbent on the public to be very mindful of comments they make in relation to a candidate once they have declared an intention to run.

However, if they are elected then the gloves can come off and provided comments are not defamatory their performance can be criticised.

On the other hand candidates must be open and honest with the public.

RAY GOLDFINCH,

GYMPIE

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CRISIS IN DAIRY

THE dairy industry is at crisis point and the government needs to step up and provide more help.

All farming has become progressively more difficult with the extended drought, rising water and electricity prices (which are both government costs, by the way) and general expenses increases in terms of fuel, farm supplies, machinery and maintenance, fodder, and other critical costs.

Dairy farmers also suffer from harsh contracts with milk processors and retailers that squeeze prices so low that it robs them of profit.

The fact that there has been little meaningful support from government only makes the battle even more hopeless and lonely for many farmers.

We cannot have farmers crushed by these factors to such desperate lows that they simply walk off the land or, worse still, resort to other drastic actions like suicide, which has occurred in an unacceptable number of cases.

If we don't support farmers and their families, we will eventually become dependent on imported milk, leaving us susceptible to unknown milk quality, unpredictable pricing, and without a farming sector that has been such an important part of our wonderful country.

We need the Government to implement its delayed code of conduct ASAP, to help set a minimum farm gate price for milk and initiatives that ensure the survival of Australian dairy farms.

Senator Pauline Hanson,

One Nation Leader

Be SunSmart

I AM writing to urge Queensland primary schools, outside school hours care and early childhood centres to register for our free National SunSmart Program or to review their membership to ensure it is current.

2019 is a very special year as we are celebrating 20 years of the program in Queensland.

Queensland has the unfavourable title of being the skin cancer capital of the world and childhood skin exposure is a contributing factor to skin cancers in later life.

The National SunSmart Program aims to protect children in the short-term and help shape long term SunSmart habits.

To find out more about the National SunSmart Program or to check your organisation's current status, please visit cancerqld.org.au/sunsmart/.

Chris McMillan,

CEO, Cancer Council Queensland

'Insights' give me a laugh

WHEN all else fails to create a laugh we can at least rely on our state MP, Tony Perrett, for a bit of light entertainment when he makes his contribution, his "insights”, to the pages of The Gympie Times.

This Tuesday was no exception with his claim that the idea of a very fast train from Bundy to the Gold Coast is "not pie in the sky” based on nothing except that his party has made a "commitment to a business case”.

While such a train would doubtless be a great thing in the bigger picture it's highly unlikely that it would rate as a priority for spending the huge amount of money it would require, even if Perrett's mob gets elected, and their business case can somehow be made to add up.

Many regional areas would benefit from a fast train, many with much larger populations and with greater interactions between them than Bundaberg has with anywhere between it and Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Most of Victoria to Melbourne, Sydney/Canberra/Albury/Melbourne, virtually the entire NSW coast and some places west would, simply by population, doubtless offer better cases for fast train funding than Bundy.

It took me back to last year when the State Government announced it was stumping up $10 million toward an agricultural export distribution hub and while I can find no reference to quote I recall Mr Perrett using words to the effect that if Gympie didn't get it it would be a snub and a politically motivated act of ignoring us. That distribution hub has now quite rightly been narrowed down to either Cairns or the new airport at Toowoomba, the latter being the most likely, most sensible and almost impossible to ignore as it's destined to be a major freight rail and road junction for produce.

We need and deserve better than the platitudes Perrett seems to get away with speaking and I'm at a complete loss as to why such an appalling waste of our seat in parliament is rewarded by re-election.

Dave Freeman,

Cedar Pocket