A parent at Victory College is unhappy with traffic situation out front of the school but the principal says the situation has been fully assessed and the school is confident the steps taken will ensure the safety of the children.
A parent at Victory College is unhappy with traffic situation out front of the school but the principal says the situation has been fully assessed and the school is confident the steps taken will ensure the safety of the children. Jordan Philp

OPINION: Buses, horses create hazard at elite Gympie school


WE ARE parents at Victory College, Gympie.

We enrolled our daughter for the equestrian program. They have an amazing new set-up with a covered arena, but...

They also have new bus bays and eight buses. The buses turn around in the equestrian centre carpark.

The school buses come between the stables and the parked floats and many of them are driving through there when the children are coming off the arena after their lessons, or when the older students are going down to their lessons.

Many of us have complained to the school. The teacher in charge of the equestrian program has complained.

The principal called a meeting of the parents yesterday, with the head of the board, George Miller.

They told us it was all under control and the bus drivers were trained not to run over people. But I know it's not right. It's not safe. My daughter won't be going to that program - or that school much longer.

Concerned parent

(Name withheld on request)

Editor's Note: This is a response from Victory College school principal Brett Costin.

The College has looked into this matter and is very confident the processes that have been put into place ensure the complete safety and well being of our students which is our primary concern. We would advise any concerned parents to contact the College directly.



MY WIFE and I have worked most of our lives in remote areas of Australia and we were judicious with our spending.

We do not consider ourselves to be wealthy, but we do have a self-funded superannuation fund.

Some of our investments, pay tax on our behalf before they pay our dividends. This is known as franking.

Franking is tax paid before we get our dividends.

A bit like the PAYE where your tax is paid before you are.

At the end of the financial year, if we are due for a refund, we should be able to get it, just like the ordinary worker on their PAYE.

I wonder if Mr Shorten is thinking, "once I have the franking, I might move on to the PAYE.”

Just a thought.

L. A. Pethick,


Story of Woodlands an interesting read

I WAS saddened to read of the closure of Carter Holt Harvey particle board factory.

The factory, originally known as Woodlands, was a great advantage to the Gympie district from the 1970s.

Two family companies, one in Maryborough and one in Brisbane, who already had interests in the Mary Valley/Gympie region, were interested in working co-operatively by further developing ways of using plantation timber.

Prior to the factory being built, the Mary Valley Logging Company was formed.

This company was responsible for the purchase of plantation pine from the Forestry and the employment of cutters, sniggers and haulers for the removal of the timber.

Logs were milled in the Gympie/Mary Valley district and the thinnings sent to Sunshine in Brisbane for processing.

The purchase of the property in Monkland straddled the dividing line of two councils so decisions had to be made on the positioning of the factory.

Engineers and installers came from Germany and Denmark to install the processing equipment. Over the years this factory has been a good employer.

A booklet was written at the time which had a lot of interesting information.

When I attended an open day some time ago I was able to get one of these books which had been stored in a filing cabinet in the office.

If these booklets are still around, the story of Woodlands makes an interesting read.

Thyra Mallett,


Who should run for council?

THE recent listing of people who could be good candidates for Gympie Regional Council showed portraits of exciting and successful people in their prime.

But we need to know all aspects of candidates, including lifestyle and politics, as that will give a look into what to expect when they vote at a council meeting.

For example the Gympie Council was told if we didn't vote for amalgamation "they” would do it for us”. And the supporters of that government pushed hard for us all to agree.

The most important attributes for elected members in local government is common sense, a common touch that allows them to be able to talk to all types in the community, and an ability to make a quick decision on their feet.

Council work is nothing like working in an office, setting up a small business or being an activist with a grudge.

In the same breath it is a learning curve and anyone with a brain can negotiate the waters if they are there for the good of the community, they have the courage to speak up and they realise they are not a member of a secret group and so need to keep the public informed.

The State Government, which created local government in the first place as a statutory body, has overtaken some decision responsibility areas of local government, and often passing on to local government some areas that the State Government doesn't want if it makes it unpopular with the people.

We really need strong people who can start to reverse the power that the Local Government Association seems to have over the local councils in Queensland.

It acts like a union for the staff and not a supporter of the elected people too.

And the trouble with divisions is sometimes the quality of the elected person.

If there is no real opposition for the election we can get someone who would never make the grade in an undivided council.

At the moment local government has a bad name. I think the rot has to stop at the Local Government Association level and a rethink of its role and the changes that should be made.

Julia Lawrence OAM,


Road north from Noosa needs attention

THE latest, Gympie is having massive business closure, youth unemployment 24 per cent, adult 8.2 per cent.

Mr Mayor says businesses are coming.

The Mary Valley Rattler must not be doing its job.

The road north from Noosa can only save the situation, when developers come and go, you ask why?

Road infrastructure on the rates and our road has not been touched in over five years, the road to Tin Can Bay is breaking up.

Now we are having $500,000 put forward by Tony Perrett MP for a hydrotherapy pool and now has to go to consultation, how many times has that been said?

The road north from Noosa had $2million put to have 1.9km done for the rest to be sealed by Gympie Regional Council.

I have the letter from Llew O'Brien stating this.

Must have had consultation prior.

There have been many posts in The Gympie Times.

In the Cooloola Coast many, many homes are up for sale. Why? What age are those leaving and what are the reasons?

Les Cravigan,


What is right and what is wrong?

IN THE letter "School fight a symptom of home life” your correspondent referred to teaching children "right from wrong”.

How does one define right from wrong?

Sadly, we have evolution being taught in our schools and promoted by our media including the ABC as fact.

Evolution has no standard. It has no morals. It does not have a conscience. It presents no meaning or purpose for life.

Apart from the law, survival of the fittest, it has no law. It has no intelligence. The chance of the genetic make-up that constitutes what a human being is, coming together (in an instant for the first human being to exist) by chance is zero.

Everything that exists is governed by physical laws. For those laws to exist there has to be intelligence and for that intelligence to exist there has to an entity with that intelligence.

The short of it is, the theory of evolution is just another way that mankind justifies deciding for himself what is right and what is wrong. I submit to you that the underlying cause of all of mankind's problems is mankind's determination to decide for himself what is right and what is wrong. I also submit to you that this is the responsibility of our Creator God and not a responsibility for mankind to have.

A.L. Haack,

Pie Creek

Labor can't change our climate

WITH Australia's recent extreme weather events and bushfires, there have been calls from climate change alarmists and left-wing supporters to elect a Labor government to save the environment and our animals from "global warming”.

But Labor will never turn its back on coal as our biggest export earner at $67billion last year, to "save the climate and our animals”, despite their rhetoric when they want Greens' votes.

As for floods, droughts and bushfires, chasing the unrealistic Greens' pipe dream of a totally renewables energy future won't help either.

Closing base load coal-fired power stations as South Australia and Victoria have done, produced disastrous results - widespread blackouts and huge costs to consumers in the late January heatwave.

Instead we should build more dams to conserve excess floodwaters, clear more undergrowth, back-burn in national parks and allow farmers to construct effective fire breaks.

Electing a Labor government would have zero effect on climate but a major effect on our hip pockets, with rising power costs and planned big tax grabs from investors and retirees.

John Mikkelsen,


Club makes a difference

I READ with interest and gratitude, two articles in yesterday's The Gympie Times.

Firstly, let me congratulate Robyn Courtney on her article, "On the road to safer driving”, where she very aptly points out that there are many aspects to achieving safer drivers on our roads. Very accurately, she writes, "improving knowledge and skills does not necessarily lead to change in behaviour among drivers.”

Robyn goes on to say, "A mandatory traffic safety training course for all drivers that provided strategies to assist in managing behaviours in cars should be developed”.

I have great news for Robyn! Such a course has already been developed and we are delivering it right here in Gympie (and while it is not mandatory, it is my firm opinion that it should be). Gympie and the greater Gympie region, and now even Benaraby in Central Queensland, are so very fortunate though to have this course readily available to all locals at a reasonable price.

So how appropriate to see in the same Gympie Times edition, the Gympie Historic Auto Club president handing over a cheque to James Nash High's principal.

I am aware that these kind and generous donations are given to all local high schools to subsidise the cost of senior students attending Roadcraft's two-day student driver awareness courses (teaching exactly what Robyn Courtney is hoping for).

Moreover, the Gympie Historic Auto Club has been supporting local novice driver education in this manner for many years.

This is a fantastic gesture by this local club and so very much appreciated by the team at Roadcraft.

Thank you so much for your assistance in helping Roadcraft achieve the desired learning outcomes of safer, more aware and more attentive young, novice drivers.

They say, "It takes a village”. What a wonderful village we live in.

Sharlene Makin,

CEO Roadcraft Driver Education

Closing the gap

I WELCOME the government's changed approach to the Close The Gap targets.

The refresh mentioned by our Prime Minister is one that brings Aboriginal communities a step closer to self-determination.

Self-determination is an important part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and incorporating collaboration into the Close The Gap target setting is a step in the right direction. It is a move by the government that will empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to establish targets they can work towards.

Self-determination is a key value in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and it's this value that must dominate the Close The Gap refresh in order to truly help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

It's why at Youth Off The Streets we have an Aboriginal Services team that aims to equip young people and community with the right tools to affect change in their lives.

The support offered by our team isn't one of telling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people what to do, but one of guidance and collaboration that gives them the opportunity to succeed.

I'm constantly amazed at the strength and resilience displayed by the young people and communities we work with on a daily basis.

I know that they'll succeed if the right approach is taken. Self-determination and empowering communities is the way we move forward and finally close the gap.

Father Chris Riley,

CEO and Founder at Youth Off The Streets

Gympie Times

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