TOO MUCH: Cr Dan Stewart has suggested changes to signage.
TOO MUCH: Cr Dan Stewart has suggested changes to signage. Tom Daunt

Are these signs of our nanny state mentality?

DO PEOPLE need to be told to take care when walking around a cemetery, or is this common sense?

With concerns growing about the country becoming a nanny state, Gympie Region councillor Dan Stewart wants to make sure Gympie does not travel the same path.

To address this, CrStewart has asked the council to develop clear sign guidelines in an effort to stop the region being swamped in negativity.

With some signs in Gympie bearing more than 10 circles telling guests what they can't do, CrStewart suggested in his motion that we should assume "people are responsible and know the general rules".

For example, does the Cooloola Coast Cemetery sign really need to say "care should be taken when walking in the cemetery grounds"?

"Can we not assume that most people know that, or do we have such signs on our footpaths (and) in our parks?" he said.

"Surely when mowers and backhoes are operating, most people have the nous to take care."

Along with promoting positivity, he said it was also important that interpretive and name signs consider the region's Aboriginal culture.

Mayor Mick Curran agreed that too many signs buried in too much information made it too easy for guests to tune them out as white noise.

He was not even a fan of signs himself.

"I do take exception, as does Cr Stewart and most of the other councillors, when you pull up to one of our parks or reserves and you have council signs telling you more of what you can't do than what you can do."

He also questioned why there was a persistent need to say "no" so often.

"Some of it's basic common sense," he said.

"The last thing we want to be doing is telling people you can't litter, because everyone knows that you shouldn't litter.

"Rules are generally there for people who act outside the norm.

"Most people do not need to be told what to do and to act courteously and appropriately.

"People don't need almost a nanny state of being told exactly what to do every time they turn around, because the vast majority use common sense and act appropriately."

Gympie Times


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