LETTER: The old Rattler was never self sustaining and it is hard to see this new business doing any better.
LETTER: The old Rattler was never self sustaining and it is hard to see this new business doing any better. Craig Warhurst

'The Rattler plan won't work. Don't do it!'

ON SATURDAY (March 11) your paper ran an article detailing the job description for a person to run a business for a company which as far as I am aware doesn't exist.

The State Government and Gympie Regional Council have come up with $10 million to resurrect the Rattler.

In my opinion we are entering two different worlds: the business world and the "icon” world.

1997: The Valley Rattler makes a trial run in preparation for the launch of the Mary Valley Heritage Railway on August 22. Pictured are volunteer driver Pat Daly and guard Kevin Power.
1997: The Valley Rattler makes a trial run in preparation for the launch of the Mary Valley Heritage Railway on August 22. Pictured are volunteer driver Pat Daly and guard Kevin Power.

In the real world before investing in a business that has failed once I would need to see a detailed business plan with costed projections on future profits and liabilities; I would expect some equity such as shares or a seat on the board.

In the "icon” world you give people $10 million and say "develop a tourist attraction that will bring visitors and money to Gympie business”.

The $10 million is public money from taxpayers and ratepayers so I would like the answers to the following questions:

What is going to be the structure of this company and who is going to oversee its operations?

Who is going to decide how many people are employed and how much are they going to be paid?

Who are the beneficial owners of this company, since the ratepayers put up 33% of the capital we should have some say?

Who will own the physical assets?

Gympie Mayor Mick Curran and CEO Bernard Smith.
Gympie Mayor Mick Curran and CEO Bernard Smith. Greg Miller

To get the best people to run this operation the council will have to offer a good "package”.

This will mean an, as yet, unknown number of people on a good salary whilst the "workers” are volunteers who will receive nothing. The best of luck with that one.

I have been told the carriages will need expensive and time consuming repairs, for example all the windows will have to be replaced with safety glass.

The plan is to repaint the Gympie station using some sort of "work for the dole” labour.

I wonder how professional painting companies will feel about that.

Amateur painters: good luck with that one.

These problems mean there will be long delays before a train leaves the station. During this time wages and bills will have to be paid.

How long does the council estimate this no income period will be, and how much have they put aside to cover it?

The old Rattler was never self sustaining and it is hard to see this new business doing any better.

In my opinion the council is throwing good money, our money, after bad.

Don't do it.

Rae Webb,

Gympie.

Gympie Times


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