GUTTED: The remains of the house that burnt down at Wilson's Pocket last weekend.
GUTTED: The remains of the house that burnt down at Wilson's Pocket last weekend. PHILIPPE COQUERAND

OPINION: 7 passionate Gympie letters to the editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

WHAT is a MPI (material personal interest)? It amazes me that people in public office either don't know the law or are being ignorant of the law.

It amazes me that we have two ex-policeman in council who either don't know the law or are ignorant of the law.

We have laws in Australia for the protection of the public.

We have MPIs for the protection of the public. MPIs have been set up to stop corruption.

After working in a public school for 14 years and doing tasks in leadership, we are often given sessions on what is an MPI and how to avoid them.

So, it amazes me that I as a teacher know what an MPI is and yet two ex-policeman are playing games with the issue.

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

MPIs are not complicated. If you have gained a material personal interest in any shape or form, whether it be by way of money or gaining a possession for work or even a donation while in public office then you have an MPI accredited to you.

These MPIs don't just disappear while you are in public office. Again, they have been set up for the protection of the public.

I think it is time that the two ex-policeman (and their supporters) stop playing games for political gain and get back to doing what you have been paid to do by the public and that is serve the people. Part of that is living by the law and abiding by the decisions of the umpire.

Tim Jerome, Traveston, Mayoral candidate 2020

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'Crushing' sentence?

COMMENTS by Judge Glen Cash that a repeat child sex offender should not face a 'crushing sentence' will no doubt devastate his victims, who themselves were given a crushing sentence, when this paedophile sexually assaulted them.

Where's the justice for them?

Ross William Thompson of Calico Creek is lead from the Gympie Magistrates court by Senior Constable Daniel Poole on Wednesday October 9, 2019.
Ross William Thompson of Calico Creek is lead from the Gympie Magistrates court by Senior Constable Daniel Poole on Wednesday October 9, 2019. Donna Jones

JOHN ROBINSON, GYMPIE

Gympie District Court House, Channon Street, Gympie. August 11, 2015.Photo Patrick Woods / Gympie Times
Gympie District Court House, Channon Street, Gympie. August 11, 2015.Photo Patrick Woods / Gympie Times Patrick Woods

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RESPONSE TO FRENZIED TIRADE

SIR, I thank you for your unsolicited and somewhat disappointing appraisal of my intelligence and my regular contribution to what you ironically call the "people's page”.

I mistakenly thought that was what "Your Say” meant - that people could have their say.

I have no truck with "baseless theories and guesswork” but I make no apology for speaking out on matters of public concern. So I respectfully suggest you take up the matter of my "...clogging the people's page...” with the editorial staff at The Gympie Times.

Councillors Mark McDonald, Bob Fredman, Hilary Smerdon, Mal Gear, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Daryl Dodt and Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch at the council's budget meeting.
Councillors Mark McDonald, Bob Fredman, Hilary Smerdon, Mal Gear, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Daryl Dodt and Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch at the council's budget meeting. Phil Coquerand

I would have been offended by your insults if you hadn't mentioned your problem with the planets. And I noted that, after getting me off your chest (or was it your liver?) you turned your attack to the unfortunate councillor "...who writes incessantly about how poorly the council is run...”.

Then, finally, you directed a frenzied tirade to all councillors (with the exception of Mayor Curran) who "...need to hand back their money, with their cars, phones...”.

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

Good luck with that eminently practical proposal which , I suspect ,would have considerable community support.

You were obviously in an aggressive frame of mind ,and I realised that I was just one of multiple targets in what was a pretty comprehensive rant. The planets?

Nonetheless, I will respectfully address some of the issues you raise.

You say I started the letter which raised your ire "To the Mayor”. That is of course true- because the entire letter was addressed to the Mayor.

I submitted the letter with the caption: "The Cake... a hard act to swallow - an Open Letter to the Mayor.”

'PROOF': Proof that Bob Fredman retired from the council and was not sacked, Gympie region mayor Mick Curran said yesterday, is this photograph from Mr Fredman's retirement party.
'PROOF': Proof that Bob Fredman retired from the council and was not sacked, Gympie region mayor Mick Curran said yesterday, is this photograph from Mr Fredman's retirement party. Contributed

It encapsulated the purpose of the letter, which was respectfully to point out to the Mayor that his attempt to pass off the photo of Mr Fredman's "goodbye cake” as "proof " that the now Councillor had not been sacked was both ill- advised and embarrassingly inept.

The editorially substituted caption was less apposite to the content and purpose of the letter. When I saw it on Saturday morning I knew it would mislead the less-perceptive reader.

You also claim that Mr Fredman has publicly stated that he retired. I missed that announcement and so ,obviously, did the Mayor. Otherwise he would not have resorted to "photographic evidence” in his attempt to get the Fredman monkey off his back.

Gympie Council 2018 Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald.
Gympie Council 2018 Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald. Renee Albrecht

It would be helpful,of course, if Mr Fredman would publicly confirm your assertion.

Your letter invites much more comment, but I am sensitive to your chastisement about my "clogging the people's page...”.

One final observation though, apropos of your clear implication that Mayor Curran is the only councillor "working at his job”, and his previous declaration that the council has a lot of work to do before the election -he might appreciate your assistance up there on Capitol Hill.

MERV WELCH,

THE PALMS

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RUTHLESS COUNCIL

AN OLD Glenwood lady, 78, overcoming stroke/ heart failure undergoing treatment, falls two working days late (pension day) paying her little dogs Fraser Coast $33 fee. Ref 9381112.

Fine of $20 comes five weeks later for those two working days.

Carer checks $33 was paid that pension week for her in her absence, phones Fraser Coast Council to explain, but finds Fair Go Aussie a thing of the past. Just pay the fine.

"Have a nice day”.

Faster Glenwood becomes Gympie region the better. Praise the Lord.

Martin Rayner,

Glenwood

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Drought update from Tony Stewart

HELLO all, as again I bring you another drought update from New South Wales and Queensland.

Rainbow Beach Droughtrunners have just been to Stanthorpe with a big load of food and stockfeed. A week later we have travelled again into NSW to drop supplies to Baradine CWA. Baradine is midway between Coonamble and Coonabarabran and believe me these areas and most of NSW are in dire straights just like most of Queensland.

NSW has the added problem of towns running out of water.

Due to costs we will not be sending any more hay out west; we will just concentrate on food on the table and vouchers for these wonderful people who supply us with food in good times.

When the drought does break, and it will, the people we are now helping will repay our shire when they can afford holidays. After 25 years in the tourism businesses I can relate to where a lot of people visited from, but not at present.

Gympie Australia Day Awards, Citizen of the Year Tony Stewart.
Gympie Australia Day Awards, Citizen of the Year Tony Stewart. Renee Albrecht

A big thank you to donations from Cooloola Custom Stockfeeds, Bernard Petroleum, Tom Grady, Mooloo Mountain Produce, Graham Engeman (for his 2.5 tonne trailer), Drakes in Gympie, Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach IGA, Robyn Hanson, Betty Freeman, Coral Mullins, Eds & Tin Can Bay Bakery, Snak Shak, Barnacles Wayne Kerle, Tin Can Bay Signs, Marlene Owen and anonymous donors.

I am now in Victoria canvassing for funds and dropping another load to Baradine CWA (helping 140 farmers) on the way home .If anyone can help, please get in touch or see the Bank of Queensland in Mary St, Gympie.

There are no admin costs with our business. Receipts available.Thank you.

Tony Stewart,

Rainbow Beach

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Gympie town is a traffic joke

AN INTERESTING editorial this week discussed the prospect of southeast Queensland, holding the 2032 Olympics, and the possible benefits and threats that and tourism may present to Gympie and areas adjacent.

I'm not convinced hosting Olympics is the positive it once was and I'm not sold on our future in Chinese tourism given the current geopolitical environment, and our leader's approach to it. But let's look more locally. In simple terms one of the drivers of the Sunny Coast laying claim to our assets of the Mary Valley, the Cooloola Coast and the Rattler is that they, like many places before them, have plucked the goose that laid their golden egg and the poor thing's looking a bit ugly. It still lays eggs but not golden ones and so they look for geese elsewhere.

We're already suffering a lack of infrastructure investment to match the growth in residents and visitors, the Mary Valley Rd being a prime example.

The coast roads, and lack of, are likewise and surely some of the constant complaints about rural roads are the result of needing to spend limited money where increased traffic requires greater funding. Gympie town's a traffic joke.

It's already got to a point where many of us are restricting our movements.

What's new, exciting and not as bad as where they've left for newbies is often lost amenity and reduced joy of a quiet country life for longer term residents.

It's easy to look at this through the prism of ALP government in Qld for most of the last 30 years, and our area never being part of such governments but what if there's a change of government next October?

Assuming that our state MP, Tony Perrett, retained his role and became agriculture minister, it would be logical that, as now, he'd be too busy appeasing farmer lobby groups to notice what's happening around Gympie, except in very limited and dated circles.

All of that makes the council election in March more important than ever as without an effectual MP it may be our council which offers the only hope we have of managing our destiny.

Dave Freeman,

Cedar Pocket

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(Whose?) freedom of the press

YOU may have seen and read in Tuesdays Gympie Times of a house fire that totally destroyed the one-of-a-kind stone timber dwelling and all the memories, treasures and personal belongings of its occupants.

That was my home, the place that I helped to build and maintain, the place I raised my children and the place that witnessed some of the most important events of my life.

You would not be aware that those photographs taken from a drone supposedly hovering hundreds of metres above - "it has an excellent zoom lens", and the report written by one Scott Kovacevic and, I assume, approved by editor Shelly Strachan, was published without my approval or even knowledge.

I found out that my tragedy was front page news when I bumped into a friend on Tuesday morning who, when told of my circumstances, said "Oh was that your place in the paper?"

The "effort" to contact me before publication amounted to ringing my landline (how pointless was that!) and a Facebook message.

When I spoke to the editor she defended The Gympie Times actions by claiming that such an event was extremely newsworthy.

But whose news is it? Certainly not yours or The Gympie Times.

If the intent was to cause further distress and acute feelings of invasion of privacy and subsequent anger then The Gympie Times have succeeded totally. Of course, Shelley Strachan, when contacted, apologised for adding to my distress, but did not apologise for publishing without contacting me.

The lack of sensitivity, empathy and consideration for this victim of a life changing catastrophic event has simply boggled my mind.

Yes, a free press is vital for a democratic society but only when it is driven by an ethical, moral code of conduct, which, in this case at least, has been sadly lacking.

What say you Gympie Times?

Yours in anger and pain.

David Mottershead

Wilsons Pocket

Editor's Note: The Gympie Times is truly sorry that one of our local residents, friends and neighbours has had to go through this catastrophic event. But when something like this happens, the town is talking, and we have a duty to report what our firefighters, police etc are doing for this community. We tried to contact Mr Mottershead but could not reach him. The photos taken were done so from a public space. We try to be consistent in all we do so people know everyone is treated equally. But this is a tragedy and we are sorry for his loss.

Gympie Times


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