Gympie Council CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran.
Gympie Council CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran.

Cash splash improves Smith’s CV, Curran’s election chances

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I AM a ratepayer and... I’ve also announced my candidacy to run in Division 7 at next year’s local election. So, when I read the revised Council Financial Statement in The Gympie Times, I was stunned by how many previous forecasts were being reworked so soon, and none of it to our collective benefit.

I then listened intently as the phrase ”cost containment” was used while defending the same reports during Wednesday’s council meeting; voiced by both the Chief Executive Officer and the Mayor.

Bob Leitch, Mal Gear, Dan Stewart, Mick Curran Mark McDonald, Daryl Dodt and Bernard Smith.
Bob Leitch, Mal Gear, Dan Stewart, Mick Curran Mark McDonald, Daryl Dodt and Bernard Smith.

As an ardent wordsmith, the use or placement of words into a sentence matters a great deal to me, especially when communicating a formal correction in a public message. This is in the same vein as negative body language nullifies the spoken word when giving a public speech.

Both Bernard and Mick trotted out the phrase “cost containment” more than once, as if it was the answer to all our budgeting dilemmas.

Councillor Glen hartwig is challenging Mayor Mick Curran at the next election.
Councillor Glen hartwig is challenging Mayor Mick Curran at the next election.

However, that word “containment” falls far short of installing hope as it is not a word that indicates to me that the two key managers of our rate money have control.

The word containment means to keep something harmful within limits. Why aren’t we eliminating this identified threat to our local economy, rather than resorting to building a stronger fence to house it?

Llew OBrien, Mick Curran, Tony Perrett
Llew OBrien, Mick Curran, Tony Perrett

Maybe it’s because there is a managerial desire to push for more infrastructure spending now, rather than to consolidate and strengthen.

Splashing cash is fantastic resume building stuff for the CEO and great re-election fodder for the Mayor.

Mary Valley Rattler: Amamoor Station.
Mary Valley Rattler: Amamoor Station.

This council has installed a lot of fiscal faith in their current CEO; they raised his discretional spending more than two-fold to half-a-million dollars recently; and are currently discussing if they should allow him

Aerial view of the Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre (ARC) with solar panels visible from the roofs.
Aerial view of the Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre (ARC) with solar panels visible from the roofs.

the ability to vary budgeted contracts by 20 per cent without coming back to council.

Our councillors get paid handsomely to make good decisions as the voice of their ratepayer constituents. How is this erosion of representative responsibility good for monetary governance, especially noting that once Bernard Smith’s tenure as CEO in Gympie is completed, he’ll point his car south and drive away – being an imported manager, he has no long-term affinity with this region.

Col Morley, Pie Creek

CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran.
CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran.

KEEP READING FOR MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Not sure more tax is the solution

I HAVE heard that our government will fine mobile phone users with a hit of over $1000.

Sounds good but it also disturbs me.

Overseas in Greece, Italy and Spain most folks just take no notice of fines or taxes. Fining and taxing folks might get to where people who are broke just say to hell with it. And here in Australia we do have a lot of folks broke.

A carton of beer
A carton of beer

Hey, I bought a carton of beer yesterday and the tax on it amazed me.

Honestly, it might be time our governments stopped spending money and taxing us more and stopped supporting the latest fad.

(And hearing that traffic controllers in Brisbane getting $180,000 salary thanks to unions tells me our folks running the show are in la la land.)

Cameron Cudahy, Gympie region

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Dear Editor,

Many readers will be aware that another Queensland mining family and another mine workforce are grieving the loss of a loved one and a colleague. This is a tragic loss of life and my thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of the miner who died at Carborough mine this week. Sadly, this is seven workers on Queensland mines and quarries in the past 18 months and is seven too many.

Mine death tribute that circulates on Facebook.
Mine death tribute that circulates on Facebook.

This loss of life in our mining industry is unacceptable. Our government, industry leaders, companies and unions have committed to working together on reforms to improve safety and protect our mine and quarry workers.

Brad Duxbury was killed at Carborough Downs mine site on November 25, 2019.
Brad Duxbury was killed at Carborough Downs mine site on November 25, 2019.

Queensland already has the toughest mine safety and health laws in the world. However, when it comes to protecting life and limb, there is no end point. That is why next year I will introduce legislation that will create the offence of industrial manslaughter in mining and quarrying workplaces. That offence already exists in other Queensland workplaces, and our mine and quarry workers will have the same protections.

Carborough Downs Mine Carborough Downs Mine
Carborough Downs Mine Carborough Downs Mine

The Palaszczuk government is committed to protecting mine workers. We have made sweeping reforms to better prevent and detect black lung disease among coal mine workers and provide a safety net for affected workers. Two independent reviews are underway into mine safety and health and will report back before the end of the year. Every day is another opportunity to improve, because the most important thing to come off a work site is a worker.

Dr Anthony Lynham

Minister for Mines

Gemma Buxton

Government Media Unit

Office of the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP

Premier and Minister for Trade

KEEP READING FOR MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

The overarching consideration for any decisions made by One Nation in Parliament is this: is it good for Australia?

It was exactly this that guided our decision on the Ensuring Integrity Bill.

As I have said countless times, One Nation’s decision does not absolve the union movement of its responsibility to take genuine steps now to stamp out thuggery, corruption, standover actions, and unreasonable demands from employers. But I also have made clear that business groups also need to work with government to stamp out white collar crime and make sure they deliver fair wages and conditions for their employees.

It is only fair that all sides of the work and employment sector all improve their behaviour.

The Government has made a number of allegations about me since the vote last Thursday, and all of them are false.

They suggested I had given a guarantee that I would support the bill. I never did that. This lie was also picked up by the media, which kept repeating it to the point that some people believed it.

Headlines that suggest that One Nation “flip flopped” are also not true. And to suggest that we “blind-sided the Government” is actually an issue for the Government, which apparently has believed its own hype and the media’s desperation for a scoop.

There have also been allegations that my vote was directly related to the Westpac money laundering fiasco, which revealed that Westpac had allowed around 23-million international cash transactions that may have aided child exploitation crimes; that it was somehow connected to the Government’s cash ban bill, which proposes to limit any cash payments by consumers to a maximum $10,000; and another allegation was that I had made a deal over the Bill with the CFMMEU. All these claims are false.

And, most recently, the Government also suggested I had given a written guarantee and had even texted Ministers that I would support the Bill. I never did that, and I’ve followed up that with a request for the recipients of those so-called texts to prove their allegations by releasing them publicly.

No doubt they will find any excuse as to why they won’t reveal those texts, but the truth is they don’t exist.

As I said at the outset, One Nation’s vote against the bill was based on the belief that it is a poor law and it was not in the interests of Australia.

One Nation is a mature and growing party. It operates only for what is best for Australia and the Australian people. Any suggestion that we function any differently is false.

Senator Pauline Hanson

Senator for Queensland

National One Nation Leader

Gympie Times


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