Hilary Smerdon.
Hilary Smerdon. Renee Albrecht

Smerdon defends his right to vote the way he wants


"As far as I know this country is still a democracy and a councillor can vote how he likes”

I READ with interest Councillor Dodt's comments on his Facebook page and also in The Gympie Times.

READ MORE: Is this the worst Gympie council in history?

I, like Crs Hartwig and Fredman, also had points on the budget that I disagreed with. As far as I know this country is still a democracy and a councillor can vote how he likes on any motion presented to council, including the budget.

Meme posted by Cr Daryl Dodt after he criticised some Gympie councillors on social media.
Meme posted by Cr Daryl Dodt after he criticised some Gympie councillors on social media. Contributed

In my opinion, the major concern is the added burden to our already financially strained primary producers and the benefit they will get or perceive to get from an even bigger rates bill.

As I have said many times, if a rural resident can turn out of his drive on to a well maintained gravel road, they will at least think they are getting some return. But the condition of many of our rural roads aren't to this standard.

I agree with Cr Hartwig in that spending on other infrastructure has been excessive, the Rattler being the main drain of our reserves and the reason for our rate rise.

I have always said, how do you arrive at a budget without a thorough inspection of the infrastructure concerned?

Glen Hartwig.
Glen Hartwig. Tom Daunt

How can you safely estimate costs with only a visual assessment, an assessment found to be way out when work commenced?

If this was private enterprise those more detailed inspections would have been done before work commenced, as they would have a set budget and not kept throwing money at it for evermore.

Dan Stewart.
Dan Stewart. Renee Albrecht

For a council to function properly we need councillors who come from all walks of life and experience and are able to debate and disagree on matters and hopefully reach a decision of benefit to the Gympie region and not just Gympie City itself.

Hilary Smerdon,

Gympie Regional Councillor Division 6


Running a council is not about CONSENSUS (Ian Petersen)

CONGRATULATIONS to councillors Hartwig and Fredman for expressing the concerns of their community by voting against another mischievously misleading and potentially retrograde budget.

Darryl Dodt.
Darryl Dodt. Renee Albrecht

Cr Dodt's response is disappointing but not surprising. After all, his sarcastic and disrespectful meme indicates his intimate knowledge of the Dunning Kruger Effect.

Council is NOT about consensus. Council is about the presentation and debate of the diverse opinions held within a diverse community followed by a vote. The motion that wins the vote becomes the decision and the resolution of council. But it is not a consensus.

Cr Dodt must not have read the guidelines to the Local Government Act published by the Department of Local Government. This was a publication a few years ago which expressly warned against using council workshops or other closed meetings "to garner concensus”. The Smith /Curran regime relies on consensus to continue on their spending spree. If Cr Dodt is happy to sit around with Mick and his team of one-term wonders singing Kum Ba Yah and living in peace and harmony, he should not criticise councillors who are doing what councillors are supposed to do.

If he doesn't understand his role, he should refrain from criticising those who do. Such action is disrespectful not only to the councillors but also to the community they represent.

Ian Petersen,


Council gets the gold mine, we get the shaft

RECENTLY our Mayor spoke of how good our roads are.

He did not mention the amount of unmaintained roads which the council flatly refuses to grade. We have spent 30 years fighting successive councils, all with the same basic message: get lost.

You can imagine how vexed we were when we recently read how the council was pleased that the $245,000 spent of a footpath somewhere along Power Rd was on budget.

Now we see our rates are going up. So the council are getting the gold mine and we are getting the shaft... yet again.

Blue Flawn,

Laurel Road

Support voluntary assisted dying

TO WIDE Bay MP Llew O'Brien, it has come to my attention that Senator David Leyonhjelm will be presenting a Bill to remove restrictions on the ACT and NT's ability to pass vluntary assisted dying legislation.

Firstly, I wish to acknowledge your ability to put aside your personal beliefs when voting for Marriage Equality out of respect for the majority support in Wide Bay.

With even greater public support for voluntary assisted dying in Queensland, I request that you encourage National Party senators to support this Bill and for you to vote in favour of this Bill should it present to the Lower House.

Robin Bristow,


State inquiry needed

SEVERAL state MPs attended a forum on voluntary assisted dying held at Parliament House in Brisbane earlier this week. The event was organised by the Clem Jones Trust and Dying With Dignity Queensland with the support of Speaker Curtis Pitt and we thank him and those MPs present for their interest.

Our forum focused on the urgent need for a state parliamentary inquiry to assess expert evidence and sift fact from fiction to help draft new laws.

Queensland is the only state that has not examined VAD through its State Parliament.

The Queensland Government wants to wait and see how Victoria's VAD law operates after it takes effect.

That means nothing happens here until after mid-2019 despite the fact a meaningful inquiry would take 12 months at the bare minimum.

Evidence to Victoria's inquiry showed that at least one person a week took their own life in that state in sometimes horrible, tragic, and dreadfully lonely circumstances because of the absence of VAD as a legal and safe choice. The situation is likely to be the same in Queensland. The longer we delay an inquiry and new laws the more people suffer.

There is plenty an inquiry could do right now to examine how VAD laws overseas are working, and plenty of experts whose evidence an inquiry could consider right now. Sadly, there is also no shortage of challenging personal stories from Queenslanders that an inquiry could hear right now.

David Muir,

Clem Jones Trust

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