‘Rattler a drain’: Some ratepayers say
THE future of the Mary Valley Rattler has become hazy with the Rattler Railway Company recording an $849,000 loss.
There were strong opinions on The Gympie Times Facebook page as readers were asked to comment about whether the Rattler’s impact on the region outweighed its ongoing cost to the council.
Chris Smith: “the problem with these types of expenditures is there is little or no benefit to the majority of ratepayers. If council was running at a constant surplus then this type of expenditure could be excused”.
Matthew Kay: “It’s a drain on resources it’s not even the original train, half of it wasn’t even built locally and I would love to see who pays the wages for the cafe there and how much rent they’re paying back to council”.
Some readers thought the council should continue to keep the train running.
DM Griggs: “I don’t live in Gympie anymore but I would love to see it stay. It is something my Dad put a lot of years into making sure the track was always safe and helped to build the turntable at Imbil. It’s one of the few things in life I have to remember my Dad by so for me it holds sentimental memories”.
Chris Jasch: “Gympie needs this sort of attraction to get people off the highway. Ratepayers might not get direct benefits but I’ll bet many businesses benefit and therefore there are jobs for the ratepayers and an improved local economy”.
Jennifer Lindemann: “I quite like the Rattler and would love to see it stay but not the way it’s run now! I do not know what the answers are but there’s got to be a better, more financially viable way of running it”.
Joyanne Lake: “Perhaps get more happening at the station itself. Someone previously suggested a brewery, based on Copperhead brewery in Cooroy. Maybe cut the merchandising area to a small corner and use that space. Generate more income on the platform.”