'Mention environment around Gympie and you could be lynched'
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Let's hope Salt triggers a change
ON THURSDAY there's a breakfast in Gympie with well respected demographer and "futurist” Bernard Salt speaking.
This is the first time I recall Gympie hosting a speaker who's recognised as a futurist and I wish I was capable of sitting or standing long enough to attend.
That's despite anticipating it being like most "forums” in Gympie and likely be hijacked by one set of values, being co-hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce and the council.
The council's media release states:
"It's all about the economy".
I very much challenge that approach which can only rely on blind acceptance of historically flawed trickle down economic theory.
Obviously, the economy is an important part of any future but no future is all about the economy.
Particularly in an area facing growth and changes social and environmental issues must also be included.
There's not a lot of evidence those who'll attend, with their prime concern being their business interests, have a particularly good record in any of the above fields.
We constantly hear how business is struggling, our region is always at the wrong end of social measures and one's still likely to be verbally lynched if they dare mention the environment in many local circles.
It'll be a real pity if after discussing our collective futures, the only result is the status quo, that business dictates and the public is expected to blindly support them even though things such as public access and amenity rarely seem prime considerations.
I'd like to hear Mr Salt's ideas on how to make the unplanned mess that is Gympie an easy to access and pleasant environment but I also imagine that if he had any meaningful contributions in that regard he'll be talking on a different level to those who host his visit.
I hope I'm proved wrong about that.