Mayor Mick Curran and councillor James Cochrane with the Valley Rattler.
Mayor Mick Curran and councillor James Cochrane with the Valley Rattler. Renee Albrecht

Rattled by the Mary Valley Rattler


THE only time I have visited the swimming pool is when I have children staying.

It is only open half the year but is there for the community.

I will probably visit the new complex for the same reason; and the playgrounds around the town; the off-leash dog parksor enjoy the Miner's Walk (looking, not climbing) off Young St.

The meticulously cared for parks and gardens everywhere; the caravan parking facilities at each end of town near ponds and creek. Even the clean toilet facilities. All council useful and beautification projects are paid from rates income. Usually specific sums are not defined per project, and require ongoing maintenance.

And it is not only in Gympie but the wider shire where big and small things are done for general or specific enjoyment. Council projects are not Gympie insular, nor may be used by us personally, so sometimes we judge unfairly from our own small spot on earth.

I believe there are about 9000 children in the shire who will use at least two or more of these sporting facilities in any one year even into maturing adulthood. We walk through the parks, are sports players or spectators. Our rates are buried in every aspect of living in the shire.

There are many of us who welcome guests to our home, or host outsiders. I know I always included the Rattler as an option. We oldies may be familiar with steam trains, but my grandchildren were fascinated with both the ride and the mechanics, and a piece of coal seemed to find its way back to city schools for show and tell. Cars (and buses) are the 'normal' mode of transport taken for granted nowadays. You may be surprised how many people have never been in any form of train transport.

In all that I haven't even mentioned the bus loads of visitors who used to come specifically for the Rattler ride, the travellers who heard of it. The awareness of other attractions in the area because they came - markets, museums, parks, playgrounds, even the flowers. The flow-on may be subtle, a sandwich bought, a car filled, a motel bed, a shop visited. But it all adds up to Gympie's benefit.

Gympie was synonymous with the Rattler, like the Big Banana at Nambour. Have you checked the bottom of your power bills or insurance note in the fine print and seen what is tacked on there? $65 is less than the $100+ levied per garbage bin each year. I guess if an individual feels strongly enough they could cancel their wheelie bins ($200) and visit the tip instead, and make that $65 their community donation.

There is still a great deal of mediation to get back on track, but think about the big picture.

G. Penrose,


Gympie Times

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