Bay 'Tip Chick' won't leave
TWICE-evicted Tin Can Bay “Tip Chick” Jessica Milne has the support of the Cooloola Coast people she served, but not of the council that represents them and owns the dump.
And while one Bay resident contacted The Gympie Times yesterday to contest her claim that there had been no complaints about her work at the dump, well over 50 local people turned up yesterday to protest on Jessica’s behalf and to praise her efforts.
Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne and CEO Ken Mason walked into a hornets’ nest at Tin Can Bay tip yesterday, when they turned up to talk to evicted “Tip Chick” Jessica Milne.
With Ms Milne ensconced in a makeshift tree house at the dump and refusing to move, Cr Dyne walked in among the protesters and asked her, from ground level, if she was comfortable.
“Yes,” she said.
“That’s good,” the Mayor replied.
Cr Dyne said he was unaware of the claim that Ms Milne had been evicted from her home, as well as her livelihood, because of alleged council pressure on the lessee of the house she has been living in.
Protesters said council’s decision to hand the tip’s management to a tenderer, who offered to pay for dump rights rather than charge for dump management, had ignored Ms Milne’s contribution to the community, including help for individuals as well as financial and material support for a range of community organisations.
“When you call tenders, you normally award the tender to the cheaper one,” Cr Dyne told angry protesters.
“He’s lost a lot of votes around here,” one of Ms Milne’s supporters said.
“Politics is a dirty game,” said another, Elizabeth Kelbie, who said this was the opinion even of people who work with other people’s rubbish.
“I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and Jess has helped me and a lot of other people. She supports 10 charities in this town. The environment here is pristine. One of the reasons you can still throw in a crab pot in Snapper Creek is that Jess has put log retaining walls in to hold back and filter the garbage.
“We’ve had wedge tailed eagles nesting here and up to five bird’s nests. And it smells a lot better than tips elsewhere,” Ms Kelbie said. New tip managers, who offered to pay council rather than charge, were due to take over at midday.