Letter writer Tony Hallam.
Letter writer Tony Hallam.

Letter writers say no more bad language or blasphemy


I WRITE on behalf of the St Patrick's Catholic Parish Pastoral Council.

The issues raised by Ken Garner and The Gympie Times are both relevant and topical.

Firstly, thank you for apologising to those people who took offence at content in the two articles which were quoted in Mr Garner's letter.

Listening to "the people on the street”, people were offended by the content and expressed their disgust at the manner in which the content was reported.

A further issue emerges. It is the ability for organisations and leadership to be able to "listen” to what is occurring within the community and the consequences of not "listening”. Some recent examples come to mind.

The people of Britain voiced their opinion of not being listened to by their leadership and voted to Brexit.

As we know the American people's recent vote was an expression of their anger and frustration at not being "heard” by those elected as leaders and brought about a change which could be a turning point in world history.

How many people reacted in the polling booth when they were called "deplorable”?

The challenge issued through these recent events is for all leadership and those in positions of responsibility (government, society, religious and media), to begin listening to the voices of people and to take heed of this message.

The American election demonstrated that the "normal” process of gathering information (listening) exit polls, focus groups, did not work, and people voiced their anger and opinion in the one place where it counted - on election day.

The challenge is there for leadership to begin "truly” listening to people, otherwise there will be a backlash and consequences. We learn from the past.

Wishing the staff of The Gympie Times and its readers a happy and a holy Christmas, when the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated, and a prosperous New Year.




I WISH to express my support for Ken Garner's letter and express my disappointment in the format of last Thursday's issue - front page and story on lotto win.

I am proud of the paper and proud of Gympie and I felt it was a disservice to the city.

I feel the editor's response didn't logically address the issue that Ken Garner had raised.




FURTHER to the letter (GT, November 19), the content of the Ed's Note is almost as worrying as the concerns expressed by the writer, Ken Garner.

The comment, by the editor, that "in a world where the censorship line is becoming more and more blurred, the media have a responsibility to present the information we are faced with daily in a way that accurately conveys the truth of a story.”

That the censorship line is becoming more and more blurred surely can be levelled squarely at the media, both in the print and in the electronic version (e.g. television).

The media pushes the boundaries of acceptability, such that reporting of incidents as those referred to by the writer, reaches such a level that society is becoming desensitised.

The editor states that "we reserve the right to publish the news in a way that we see fit”. Respectfully, I suggest that the reader has the right to accept or reject buying a publication as they also see fit.

Further, the editor suggests that "we are also bound to accurately report direct quotes”.

Thank goodness, we were spared this, in the case where The Gympie Times did not report word for word the tirade expressed towards the magistrate as reported in the item "Mouth wins no friends, GT, November 16”.

No doubt, because it contained "f” and "c” words.

I fully support the comments made by your correspondent (GT 23/11/16).

If the person in your original story had used the name of Allah in his comments I am sure editorial prudence would have been used so as not to offend those of the Muslim faith. Should not the same prudence have been shown to the name of Jesus?

Surely readers would prefer to read "good news” stories. Stories that give us back hope, particularly, as we prepare for the greatest good news story in history.

At Christmas, we can joyfully acclaim the name of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, as he is born to bring, love, joy and peace to all people.

An early Christmas wish to you and your readers.




OVERTHROWN by the French Revolution and Napoleon, it was said the Bourbon Kings "have forgotten nothing and learnt nothing”.

After Brexit and within one day of the "tectonic plate shift” of the Trump victory, LNP leader Malcolm Turnbull and ALP leader Bill Shorten were extolling the virtues of marketism (free trade/deregulation/ globalisation).

Neither leader had "forgotten” who is the real enemy: the Lambies, the Xenophons, the Hansons, the Katters.

And as for "learning”, the NT election saw an annihilation. The NT population is in the port city of Darwin - a port sold to the Chinese.

The state by-election in Orange (NSW's heartland) was one of the "largest election swings ever recorded”.

Orange saw Australia's last whitegoods factory close two years before.

Messers Shorten and Turnbull should listen to the nearly two million city-based Australians who've lost their jobs to imported slave-labour products allowed in to overwhelm our market.

They should also listen to the dying rural towns.

Let us talk about North Queensland.

Tobacco allowed in from overseas (marketisation) - the industry closed down. Mareeba, 2000 jobs gone.

Dairy arbitration removed (marketisation); 1500 jobs gone.

Sugar arbitration removed and ethanol refused (marketisation). Babinda and Mourilyan sugar mills closed. 1000 jobs gone.

Mining and mineral processing - the electricity industry has been corporatised and deregulated (marketisation). There has been a 300% increase in electricity prices in just 11 years (prior to this just a 30% increase in 20 years).

Trump is elected. Within 19 hours PM Turnbull is extolling the most extreme of free trade proposals,the TPP, and Opposition Leader Shorten is moving in Parliament that we need to better sell free market policies. The Bourbon Kings were beheaded.



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