Volunteers angry at Rattler Company decision to reject Dagun
DAGUN community workers are outraged at what seems to be a continuing war on their community by the Rattler Railway Company.
But they are even more outraged by official explanations which they say are not true.
The company initially tried to bar Dagun community volunteers from the Dagun station last year, even though it was built by a previous generation of community volunteers.
Claiming leasehold rights on the station buildings, the company announced it would change the locks, a move which has not eventuated.
Now it has decided the new Rattler will not stop at Dagun at all. Community workers say the reason given was irrational and the implied claim that the decision followed community consultation was false.
"They announced the outcome before the (consultation) meeting even started,” Dagun Community Group president Geoff Harvey said at Dagun station on Wednesday.
Group members rejected claims that wine and cheese events at the station were considered unsuitable for family events involving children.
Mr Harvey said the claim was ridiculous because the Rattler organisation had then offered Dagun community workers the right to host similar wine and cheese events at Amamoor.
"We also sell ice cream and soft drinks and they have a licensed club car on the Rattler.
"You can buy beer and wine at the Rattler Cafe (at Old Gympie Railway Station),” Mr Harvey said.
It was also wrong for Rattler Railway Company chairman Ian McNichol to claim that the move was partly in response to a shortage of volunteers at Dagun, or to imply that there had been prior consultation.
"They announced the decision before the (consultation) meeting even started,” he said.
Volunteer Elaine Bradley added that it was "disconcerting” to get home from the meeting and discover online that The Gympie Times had already reported on the outcome.
Ms Bradley said the claim that Dagun did not have enough volunteers to make it a regular stop ignored the fact that Amamoor did not have enough volunteers either.
"They say they want a uniform experience, but we suggest they have the Rattler stop at Amamoor on its Saturday morning run and here in the afternoons.”
"Or the other way around,” Mr Harvey said.
"The two communities can work together.”
"The intention is not to have a battle or to make it a competition,” Ms Bradley said.
"We've been the biggest supporters of the Rattler all along and we strongly support all the enterprises involved, including the Amamoor volunteers.
"Neither community can provide enough volunteers on its own, but between the two of us we can.”
Mr McNicol said on Tuesday the move was made "following on from discussion between RRC and the Dagun community, who were experiencing volunteer issues, as well as a feeling from some guests that the wine and cheese tasting wasn't suitable for families.”