Former Kilkivan mayor David Lahiff
Former Kilkivan mayor David Lahiff Troy Kippen

'Noisy minority in region's west are hijaking discussion'

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Noisy minority in our west are hijacking discussion

WHILE it's good to see Gympie council offering rural residents an opportunity to have their say on planning for our rural areas I fear that once again we'll face what seems to be hijacking of the discussion by the noisy minority who lurk in our more western areas.

Goomeri producer John Cotter is asking Gympie Council to scrap its divisional boundaries for the 2020 election.
Goomeri producer John Cotter is asking Gympie Council to scrap its divisional boundaries for the 2020 election. Contributed

We've seen much of that recently, in discussions about the removal of council divisions and where ratepayer funds are spent with 'identities' and ex-mayors from out that way joining the 'old school' of Gympie in their constant remembering the 'good ol days', which never really were that good, and pushing to regress into them.

This comes at a time when Gympie faces challenges of growth and more attachment to the southeast sprawl than ever before, something which will only increase with time.

Gympie Regional Council mayor Mick Curran
Gympie Regional Council mayor Mick Curran Philippe Coquerand

It also comes at a time when our state MP, from out west, seems almost totally disconnected from changing realities, or simply plays to his 'base' of yesterday's thinkers, being populist rather than leading, with his regular but pointless 'us' versus the southeast rhetoric.

While I personally will always believe that 'our' areas west, north and south of Kilkivan should be part of the South Burnett Council, where their needs, hearts, and souls belong, we're 'stuck with them' and they can't and shouldn't be ignored.

Nor should they be allowed to dominate as they seemingly wish to and are often allowed to.

John Cotter from Goomeri
John Cotter from Goomeri Tom Daunt

I can't work out if those in other areas, and of thinking more suited to the challenges we face, are too busy 'knitting their own yogurt', are simply relaxing in their role of being lords of their small acreage manors, or are just too disinterested to contribute to shaping our futures, but I hope they change their habits and don't allow those least affected by the growth we face to once again have the strongest voices.

The council survey isn't perfect but it does represent a too rare opportunity to have a say.

GYMPIE REGIONAL COUNCIL: Mark McDonald, Bob Fredman, Hilary Smerdon, Mal Gear, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Daryl Dodt and Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch
GYMPIE REGIONAL COUNCIL: Mark McDonald, Bob Fredman, Hilary Smerdon, Mal Gear, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Daryl Dodt and Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch Phil Coquerand

It doesn't take long to complete and I hope many take the chance to do so, or we may well, still, face a future serving the few, and the past, much more than it'll serve the needs and desires of not only many already here but many who will join us.

Dave Freeman,

Cedar Pocket

Gympie Times


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