Upper Mary street Gympie.
Upper Mary street Gympie. Renee Albrecht

OPINION: 'What does Gympie need saving from?'

A letter to the editor by Dave Freeman:

"NO ONE is coming to save Gympie” said this week's bit from the Gympie Chamber of Commerce in this paper.

"Save” Gympie from what? And why should they?

At the risk of again being accused of being "brutal” and "attacking the business community”, neither of which is my aim, I offer the following:

Led largely by regional Queensland with the rise, fall and resurrection of One Nation causing fear and division which the centre of our politics has been dragged into much of our country, and indeed the world with similar rises of populist politics, seems intent on "saving” itself from only one thing, change, and at any cost.

As one neither connected to or much caring about the chamber's goings on I can only assume that such divisions exist within and that the writer of this week's article recognises that they have both a problem, and opportunities.

At a time where big business fish are eating smaller ones in virtually every field, where economic divides leave many with little to spend on discretionary items and technology offers new methods in dealing with much of the day to day, attempting to "save” what are little but memories is futile.

The need to transition has coincided with the turn to the right, ultra conservatism, by definition self defeating in a fast changing world and an area where the prophets of "saving” people from modern realities are pulling a cruel hoax on those who buy into their short-term false promises.

Meanwhile, Gympie's allowed itself to be turned away from claiming a position as the northernmost centre of southeast Queensland. Our "leadership” turns us cringing away from fully grasping the opportunities coming from growth to our south. Like many I don't wish to become part of that sprawl but attempting to stop it's pointless and management of it, rather than fearful denial and hiding in the past, will be needed to avoid mistakes already obvious elsewhere.

If Gympie came up with a sensible long-term plan, which can't be simply deciding everything around a flood- prone and badly accessible old main drag, there'd be a good case to be made for assistance to make changes, with economic activity flowing as those changes are made. But it seems those who wish to "save” Gympie mainly want to prop up the past.

There's many live here now who have no emotional attachment to a CBD consisting of old mining tracks and stupid traffic flows for a town Gympie's size. We object to constantly spending public funds supporting those who made investment decisions which frankly is their problem to own. In short we question what it is that needs saving, and what needs to be changed? Personally I believe unless Gympie's vision turns around 180 degrees things will get a lot worse before they get better.

Dave Freeman,

Cedar Pocket

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