ABSOLUTE DISGUST: Council bureaucrats stonewall TCB project
I AM writing as a result of my absolute disgust in the attitude of the Gympie Regional Council regarding remembering community heroes in their region.
This has been an ongoing problem for over a quarter of a century to my knowledge.
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My parents Ron and Eve Jensen moved from North Richmond NSW to Tin Can Bay back in 1974.
Dad was a Commonwealth police officer and mum was a nurse. Mum and Dad came to Tin Can Bay initially to visit Dad's cousin who owned a general store there and loved it so much that he decided to move there and buy the store.
My younger siblings moved with them but initially I stayed behind as I had started working. Several months later I took a short break to come and visit my family and went back to North Richmond three years later to collect my gear.
Mum and Dad immediately became heavily involved with the community as well as expanding his business interests therefore creating employment in Tin Can Bay.
While running the store Dad saw a need for a transport service to Maryborough and started Cooloola Maryborough Coastal Transport.
He also started Cooloola cabs which eventually became Tin Can Bay Taxis and Rainbow Beach Taxis.
Dad formed the Tin Can Bay Lions Club becoming the charter president.
He was on the committee for the formation of the Tin Can Bay Ambulance and became an honorary ambulance officer.
Mum became the charter president of the Lioness Club of Tin Can Bay and headed the committee to start Meals on Wheels.
Mum and Dad also helped me to form the Tin Can Bay Youth Club which eventually became the scouts.
Dad was also responsible for organising a joint project with the Lions Club and Tin Can Bay Four Wheel Drive club to successfully install the channel 4 UHF repeater station at Double Island Point to be used as a 24 hour emergency communication from Fraser Island to the mainland.
Prior to the ambulance station being built Mum's experience as a nurse was regularly called upon when anyone was injured and needed experienced first aid assistance. Mum was a busy person but she was never too busy to help them. These examples only scratch the surface of the community involvement that they both held so dearly for the community of Tin Can Bay.
We lost Dad 23 years ago and we lost Mum three years ago. While going through Mum's paperwork we were surprised to find a mountain of correspondence with the old Gympie Council regarding a request from Mum to name a small park after Dad.
This surprise was quickly turned to disgust when we saw the constant delay tactics that council used seemingly to get Mum to give up. Mum kept writing but it was all to no avail. Toward the end of his life Dad loved walking regularly from their home to Crab Creek and back and I believe that the park was along that route that Dad regularly took.
Mum and Dad did an incredible amount of work for the community of Tin Can Bay because they appreciated the small community and the people who lived there.
Over 12 months ago I made initial phone calls to council to try and have a memorial seat erected at Crab Creek (at the exact spot where my parents' ashes are spread) and it came as no surprise to me that I received a very similar response from council.
I made it clear that my family would cover the cost of a simple park bench with a memorial plaque attached.
Council's reply was to ask who would be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance.
Maintenance to a simple all weather park bench? Seriously?
I rang the president of the Tin Can Bay Lions Club and asked if they could "maintain" it. It went to a meeting and was voted unanimously unopposed. I sent this information to council. Their reply was that they have no policy or guidelines to be able to act on such a memorial.
I now live in Hervey Bay and we have literally dozens of these memorial park benches here and in Maryborough. Again I contacted council complete with a photo of one such bench and asked if maybe they should contact the Fraser Coast Regional Council and adopt their policy and guidelines.
Their response was that they didn't think of that and that the only council that they had contacted was the Noosa Council.
My final correspondence reply from council was dated March 29. It says that the matter is still under consideration and they apologise for the extended delay. It then goes on to say that staff from across all directorates have been working collaboratively to develop a Memorial Policy. It then goes on to say that finalising this policy has been delayed considerably due to other more urgent priorities which have continued to arise.
Sorry council but this is just history repeating itself from 23 years ago.
I spent many years living in Tin Can Bay and even when I moved to Fraser Island I still used Tin Can Bay as a base.
I have lost many friends from Tin Can Bay over the years. Some of them now have parks named in their honour, which is very warming to see.
Every time I come to the Bay and see their names it brings back memories of the friendship I shared with them, but not to honour such a strong community involvement to my way of thinking is an absolute disgrace.
Steve (Bronco) Jensen,