Mike Hartley addresses the crowd gathered in support of Widgee Engineering.
Mike Hartley addresses the crowd gathered in support of Widgee Engineering. Tom Daunt

Widgee business fight, Valley crash and more weekend news

MISSED the news on the weekend?

Never fear, we have got you covered. Here are five of the things which happened around the region over the past two days.

1. Ex-council planner says Widgee Engineering survival 'in public interest'

 

Di and Pete Saal with their Widgee Engineering family.
Di and Pete Saal with their Widgee Engineering family. Renee Albrecht

AS THE clock counts down on the fate of Widgee Engieering one town planning expert has questioned whether the timer should have even been switched on at all.

This is the belief of ex-council planner and Plansmart director Mike Hartley, who said at Saturday's public meeting in support of the beleagured business that "there is a very serious question whether the application is necessary".

"In any planning frame work there is a term called overriding community need in the public interest. That test is a really important one," Mr Hartley said.

"That test, effectively trumps all."

He was one of more than 250 who turned up in support of the business, which has been given marching orders by Gympie Regional Council to move or shut down in two years.

Read the full story here.

2. Lucky escape from Mary Valley crash

 

A vehicle similar to the one involved in Saturday's Mary Valley crash.
A vehicle similar to the one involved in Saturday's Mary Valley crash. Contributed

POLICE are investigating a truck rollover in the Mary Valley on Saturday night in which a 68-year-old man was lucky to escape serious injury.

Emergency services were called to the corner of the Mary Valley Hwy and Kandanga Creek Rd just before 8pm, when the man's Mitsubishi Canter left the road, collided with a road sign and then rolled.

He was taken to Gympie Hospital with minor injuries.

Police said alcohol may have played a role in the crash.

3. Majestic theatre faces final curtain call

 

Ron West and Cherry Bright at Pomona's Majestic Theatre.
Ron West and Cherry Bright at Pomona's Majestic Theatre. Renee Albrecht

FINANCIAL struggles have left Pomona's Majestic Theatre faced with a final curtain call, with volunteers hard-pressed to keep on top of the ever mounting pile of bills.

Opened in 1921 the combination community hall and silent film cinema may be the last of its kind in the world.

And without community support, it could very well go the way of the dinosaurs.

"The Majestic Theatre is not-for profit, owned by the community and operated entirely by volunteers," Majestic Theatre committee president Cherry bright said.

"It is the last authentic silent film theatre in the whole world.

"Monthly expenses to keep our doors open are too high.

Read the full story here.

4. Fight for Cochrane's council replacement heats up

 

Division 8 candidate Julie Walker.
Division 8 candidate Julie Walker.

THE by-election to replace former Gympie Region councillor James Cochrane has heated up, with former Division 8 member Julie Walker she will contest for the seat.

"I just miss it so terribly," Mrs Walker said of her former role representing the Mary Valley in councils "way back to Widgee Shire."

She will be opposed by former council engineer Bob Fredman, who has also announced his intention to run for Division 8.

And Mr Fredman has wasted no time hitting the campaign trail, highlighting his belief in the trinity of roads, rates and rubbish in a letter to The Gympie Times.

5. Wolvi stalwart turns 80

 

Henry Bath celebrates his 80th birthday.
Henry Bath celebrates his 80th birthday. Donna Jones

A DAIRY farmer, rural firey, sportsman and pillar of the community, Henry Bath has spent his life as a jack-of-all-trades.

So it was only natural that more than 120 guests turned out to celebrate the Wolvi Stalwart's 80th birthday, including his four children, eight grandchildren, five great grandchildren.

And with 80 years of life chalked up, anyone who thinks he may have a story or two chalked up would be right - like being the first baby delivered by a private doctor at the Gympie Hospital.

For more on Mr Bath's remarkable life, click here.

Gympie Times


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