UPPER MARY STREET: The council has been urged to listen to those affected.
UPPER MARY STREET: The council has been urged to listen to those affected.

Consult us all council - or get the blame

SOMETIMES whatever you do is wrong. The Mick Curran council should be well aware of that by now.

The Rattler was a great idea until it wasn't.

Beautifying Smithfield St was a great idea until businesses started to suffer crippling damage from lack of patronage.

Other examples are expensive welcoming statements, the meaningless timber pile artwork at a certain CBD roundabout and the statue of Mary, a woman who never came here, never did anything for the area and is famous only for being famous.

Her fame came about only because she was rich and privileged enough to have a river, several streets and a town named after her already.

Now we have the council split over the Upper Mary St renovation (there she is again).

The common theme in all these ideas, good or bad as the case may be, is that they have been implemented with far too little public consultation.

The people of Tin Can Bay, Kilkivan, Kandanga and other centres around the region were consulted about council streetscaping plans.

But the people of Gympie have not always been treated with this sort of respect.

Realistically, it is too late to send back the $1.5 million Canberra has given for Upper Mary St. But the council needs to do a better job of cushioning the business impact than it seemed to in Smithfield St.

The project may bring long term benefits, but if the customers can't get in and you go broke, there is not much of a point in long term benefits.

These are the concerns councillors need to heed. Going through the motions of public consultation is not enough. Councillors must really listen and act reasonably on what they learn by doing so.

Consult the people, council, involve us all, or get the blame.

Gympie Times


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