Archive for the 'General News' Category

Going to the Dogs!

July 30th, 2011

It is very important to all our beach walkers, to have a quick look at the proposed changes for dog walking areas throughout the Fraser Coast. These areas are being updated and administered as part of the new Local Laws process and feedback is being requested up to Aug 15th. Here is the link to the information on the Council web site.

Annoyingly the area at Tooan Tooan Creek East of Main St and opposite Apex Park in Hervey Bay seems to have been missed out on remaining as an off lead area. Firstly my apologies as I didn’t realise this had been changed via staff processes prior to the recent Council Meeting or I would have enquired as to the need for change at that time. I understand many people do use this are as an off lead beach and it is well suited to that purpose. It is away from the more frequented bathing beaches and not the best place to swim seeing as the creek is more a drain than a creek these days! I will be asking that this small area be returned to off leash status. In other areas dogs are totally banned or allowed on leash and then we have some other areas where dogs are on leash during the day and allowed off leash from 4pm to 8am. I understand that it will be difficult to suit everyone but I hope that most of these changes do suit the majority of our beach users.

But it is also important to take the time to ask questions or read through the new drafts of these Local Laws as they are difficult to change once in place. I am still hopeful that the Fraser Coast will mandate cat desexing. Wouldn’t it be exciting to be the first Council in Queensland to do this? I suggest that cats are not allowed to change ownership (sold or given away) unless desexed or booked in to be desexed, with the only exception being breeders. Breeding would then have added value and we would greatly reduce the number of unwanted and gone feral cats and kittens in our region. Now is the time to be heard if you agree with me as there is nothing yet added to the Laws about this and only a very, very strong public voice will see it happen.

On a personal note we visited Mission Beach for a very short break last weekend. It was terrible to see the damage that Cyclone Yasi had wrought with hardly one tall old tree left standing for kilometres and kilometres. Instead of a green shady forest and foreshore that I remember so fondly, there is sunshine and palm trees. Yes palm trees survived the best which is another good reason why they should be included in all foreshore plantings. Graham and I took two lovely morning nature walks through the national Forest Parks and we were ever so lucky to come face to face with a juvenile Cassowary. It wouldn’t budge off the track and we didn’t want to go back the way we came so we bravely crept forward until ‘Cassie’ decided to detour off the track for us. It was an encounter I won’t forget and you can see photos on my facebook page. The other interesting thing is that human feeding of Cassowaries is causing the same problems for their survival and threat to human safety as is human feeding of dingoes on Fraser Island. Also I was pleased to note the big red signs that the Cassowary Council has erected to deter foreshore vandalism. Like our big blue sign at Pialba. We are ever so lucky to have survived the summer so well and the Fraser Coast is faring no worse than Nth Queensland in terms of a sad economy so let us be glad we live here and keep helping to make our region the best region in Queensland.

Yesterday I drove to Walkabout Creek at Mt Nebo to attend the 40th Birthday FIDO conference. The Save Fraser Island Defenders Organisation has been around for 40 years now and John Sinclair is still fighting to proect the island. Kate Jones made a quick apperance as this is her electorate, and she sounds as positive as ever and is also personally concerned about environmental protection as we mine more and grow more houses etc. The conference was worthwhile but the drive there and back tiring and frustrating. As readers may be aware I don’t tend to drive slowly and being made to travel at 90kmh for many kilometres with little chance to overtake can be frustrating when one is stuck behind someone doing 75kmh! Patience is something I am developing much more of as I age but it was sorely tested yesterday….. But now there are big flashing signs telling you YOU ARE TAILGATING – BACK OFF NOW (this just 500m from the first overtaking lane with me and another car waiting to get past the 75kmh traveller), and YOU ARE SPEEDING – SLOW DOWN!  (this when I just couldn’t stick to 90 and accidentally crept up a bit….oops). So watch out as there are many electronic eyes on that dangerous stretch of undivided highway…. But earlier we all crawled along for 5kms or so to pass an accident at the Bribie exit. It looked nasty with ambulances etc there and was an excellent reminder of how careful we have to be while driving.

Take care, keep safe and try to find the time to take a look at all things Council and Have Your Say. Cheers, Sue

Litigation gone mad, Tiaro and whales, and Big History.

June 26th, 2011

I can’t believe some of the decisions our legal system makes. Yesterday on the front page of the Courier Mail we read about a woman succeeding in having Telstra pay her medical and legal bills. At first glance I thought… just another story until I read that the woman fell down the stairs at her home, not once but twice, and that because she was ‘working from home’ Telstra is somehow responsible. Inside the newspaper I read of a similar case in the US of A! What is the world coming to? Does it mean that from now on if I am working from home, which I do a lot, Council will have to come to my home and check that it is safe? Honestly I just can’t believe this story and am hoping I wake up and find it was all a dream..

Recently I tripped up inside the Council Chamber and aggravated my ruptured achilles tendon prior to it being correctly diagnosed. While I briefly thought of claiming workers compensation once I realised I would need surgery and a considerable time of rehab I just as promptly dismissed the idea. Yes the electrical power lead should not have been laying across the floor but I should have been taking better care of where I was walking. Also the injury was already done via netball some weeks prior. I decided just to get on with my life and have done so, but now apparently if I trip over at home I could place a claim. I just find it all ridiculous. Surely it is up to us to ensure we live in safe houses and up to our private home and/or personal insurance if we injure ourselves at home?

Yesterday was a  busy day with the morning spent at Tiaro speaking to people about the introduction or not, of Council divisions. We all have till the end of tomorrow being Monday to Have Our Say on this important issue. Most people at Tiaro seemed to think a return to divisions would be beneficial. The day was superb. Good weather and wonderful stalls and great organisation by hard working volunteers. A credit to Tiaro. Then it was off to the Paddle Out For Whales event at Torquay. Another beautiful afternoon and a sensational event again put on with some hard working caring ‘volunteers’. Thanks to Vicki and Amanda for your dedication. Bob Irwin was inspirational and truthful and hard hitting. I squirmed when Bob described how turtles and dugongs are left to die slow deaths by way of ritual slaughter under Native entitlements. I wish all cultural groups would just simply reassess some of their habits and traditional practices. The slaughter of any animal should be done as quickly and humanely as possible. There is simply no excuse in my mind, why anyone would do anything different once one realises that animals suffer pain and have emotions similar to ours!

Lastly the weekend papers did also provide some good news. A seemingly totally sensible new approach to teaching subject matter is being launched at a couple of schools. The programme is called “Big History’which is a strange name I think but the content of this course is universally sensible. The aim is to teach the evolution of our planet and the human species in a thoroughly objective manner. It weaves science, history and geography etc into the content and aims to provide a much broader and hopefully bias free, method of educating students. Bill Gates is promoting the project and from the small amount of research I have done so far it seems very worthwhile. Imagine a course taught to all children across the world. A course that aims to unite all of us humans rather than divide us. I am encouraged by where this type of education could take us. Do have a look and see what you think

In closing just a reminder that Council is asking for feedback about divisions, about the Maryborough CBD and the Fraser Coast Airports Master Plans. If you don’t take the time to have a quick look and a quick say then it is difficult to complain after the plans are adopted. It is concerning to me to have to make decisions for this region when only 1-2% of you have responded to any given issue. I know we live in very busy times but……. please try and have your say. Take care and have fun, Sue

PS I have started a facebook page as Councillor Sue Brooks which I can update quickly and simply so feel free to join me there also..!/pages/Councillor-Sue-Brooks/171469812905823 or just do a search which works easily…

Prejudice and this weeks Council Ord Meeting No 5

March 13th, 2011

I had a rotten day yesterday! Reading the Sat Chronicle was going well till I discovered someone taking a swipe at me via letters to the editor. A Mr Stuart Taylor, from Hervey Bay, believes I shouldn’t be allowed to express my opinion about my religous upbringing. He says my words are prejudiced and intolerant. Mr Taylor I believe you are badly mistaken. As a public official I thought I was supposed to fight for things I believe in. I thought public officials should use their heightened public profile to try and improve the world. I also believe that it is far, far easier to continue in public life if you have absolutely no publicly expressed opinion about anything at all. This is because having an opinion means someone will always disagree with that opinion. But what has my religous beliefs got to do with my role as a community representative? Have I failed you in some way? Have I not been open and communicative? Have I not represented you properly when making decisions in Council? Do you find me untruthful or dishonest? I find your accusations unfounded and somewhat defamatory. Please describe to me where you find my words (found under Meanderings and Musings on this web site) prejudiced and intolerant? My brother was molested by Christian Brothers when he was a very young and innocent child. The result of this total breach of trust has reverberated through my family for years and years and I will never know the man my brother might have been had he not experienced such pain during his childhood! This is my own experience and it is real. But what has it got to do with my role on Council? My private life is somewhat public these days but it is what has shaped me and made me the person I am. Maybe I should do like a lot of other politicians and simply keep quiet…?

Yesterday I also attended the Reptile Workshop put on by Fraser Coast Wildlife and assisted by BMRG and other enviro groups. There was a big crowd and we squashed tightly into the Aldershot Hall to see a 2 hour slide show of the hugely varied and numerous reptiles in and around our region. I honestly didn’t realise there were so many beautiful lizards of so many colours and sizes in our natural and urbanised areas. But afterwards I came under fire from a passionate bird watcher, for the apparently unkempt appearance of the Arkarra Lagoons and Tea Gardens. In defending Council, as is  my nature, I was then personally accused of not doing my job properly. Maybe I should simply smile pleasantly and agree with everyone all the time? Maybe I’m just too opinionated and driven? You see I want Council to be seen in a positive light. I truthfully believe that Council achieves much good and is using its resources to the best of its ability. I believe that Council can do better however and I continually try to ensure we improve. I nag our CEO and Mayor if customer service isn’t delivering good communication back to residents. I want to ensure our roads are well constructed and maintained, our parks kept attractive and our cities and towns cared for. I want our social services to provide opportunities for the young and the not so old. I want our finances to be managed fairly and responsibly and I certainly don’t want any of your money wasted. These are the things I continue to strive for. I’m sorry if at times I sound strident, self righteous or am simply wrong! I’m sure many people will find fault with me and disagree with me but I believe I work hard and will always try to effect positive change. I will also always try to represent this community in a fair and honest manner. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail! But I do keep trying.

So to this week at Council. The agenda contains 2 items relating to boundary changes between our Council and Gympie Council. This process is simply endeavouring to introduce common sense into the line on the map that divides the two regions and should provide better outcomes for the affected residents.  Council also is notifying the review of position of the Deputy Mayor which we do every year. Council will decide on the Deputy Mayor role at the April Council meeting. There is an item to call for expressions of interest to fill Environment Advisory committee vacancies and a report on the review of Parks and Reserves in relation to overnight camping. This is a contentious issue for some communities but Council does need to ensure we have consistent guidelines to oversee this type of use on public land. We have an item on Public Disclosure Management and one on the development of local community plans. Lastly there is a lease agreement for the Bauple Rec Grounds and an application to reconfigure one lot into two and one lot into 117 lots for Doolong South Rd, Wondunna. The agenda should be available for your perusal tomorrow afternoon.

Take care and fingers crossed that we receive some more sunshine soon… Sue

Floods causing so much grief

January 11th, 2011

It is one thing to lose your property and/or livelihood but my heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones. It makes our grumbles about being stranded and inconvenienced pale into absolute insignificance. Please take care, listen to advice, be patient and help each other when needed. I hope this weather ceases and that no more tragedies unfold. In the mean time I’m gathering together my disaster pack. It is obvious that having a few days supplies on hand is the sensible thing to do. It may not be needed but it is obviously sensible to ‘be prepared’. Words simply fail me at the moment. Take care and keep safe, Sue

Interesting times ahead.

August 23rd, 2010

Well the weekend is done and dusted and we all now await the result of some more counting. I am sure all of us have our political leanings for whatever reasons. Maybe we prefer a party because of our family upbringing, our student experiences, or make up our own mind based on TV adverts etc. Maybe we like a candidate or maybe we actually take the time to peruse policies but whatever our reasons for voting as we do I think this past weekend has sounded a clear message or two.

The first message to the Labor Party is “we will follow where you lead as long as you deliver on your promises and don’t stuff thinks up.. including your leadership”  I thought that in 2007 Kevin Rudd was offering a chance for change and some real vision for our nation and it’s place on the International stage. I think he was daring and reacted well to the financial crisis that followed his win but the delivery of his promises left a lot to be desired. None of us wants to see our hard earned taxes squandered and we don’t want to see mates of mates profiting at the wider communities’ expense. Maybe programmes failed because of our political and bureacratic systems but at the end of the day, the politicians have to face the music. Sadly Kevin didn’t even get the chance to do that!

The Liberal party had a few goes at finding a leader but settled on Tony. Tony grates on my nerves for many reasons (as does Julia..) but he galvanised the country with his down to earth attitude and he did gather party support behind him. I think we need a Government very separated from religion and I want a National fast broadband scheme. I also worry about the Liberal preference for profit rather than environmental care and concern.

So for me the choice this weekend past was more difficult than at some previous elections. As a small business owner and Councillor and someone contemplating retirement without much of a Super saving, I am worried about how we finance both my personal future and the future of this region that I love so dearly.

 I wish we could do away with the adversarial (predominantly 2 party) political system that we have. Why is it a case of point scoring and who can criticise the other side the best rather than working positively to make our lives better?

So to our future. While I would like to think that the 4 non ALP/Lib reps will put our collective needs first, expereince tells me this may not be likely. I have heard Bob Katter already say ‘what’s in it for me’ or more correctly quoted, ‘my corner of the country’ rather than ‘what can I do to help the entire country’… and shouldn’t that equate to one and the same anyway?

Independants, like Bob Katter, hardly ever have to actually go to work and attend Parliament. You see, in the last term of Government, what Bob thought or voted made utterly no differnce and I’m interested to peruse attendance records and hope I’m proved wrong.

With a minority Government Independants will have to attend every session I believe. Now I can’t help but wonder if their own future workloads will influence what happens next. Will they all buckle down and work hard to Govern in the best interests of all of us and possibly this could see the country benefit enormously or will we all be trotting off to the polls again some time soon?

I hope that our political leaders can cease the bickering and the ‘she said he did’ rhetoric which I find so off putting, and concentrate on making decisions that they believe are in the best interests of the majority of us. In other words truly represent us and get on with governing us respnsibly, efficiently and effectively.

A Busy week

August 14th, 2010

Howard Progress Association – Monday evening saw us at the Howard Progress Association. A well conducted meeting and residents thankful for improved communication with and the activities of Council locally. Several questions were raised including queries about entrance signs, rating categories, mulch surviving the wet weather etc. Information was provided to the president in the following days in response and I wish to congratulate the residents on their progressive attitude and for their hard work in raising funds for their local community. Council is hoping to use community newsletters such as the highly successful Burrum River News to improve its communication with residents across the region. But don’t forget to subscribe to the Council enews also.

Meet the candiates Tuesday evening saw a poor turnout to listen to all the Federal candidates for Hinkler at USQ. I was impressed and surprised with the Greens candidate who was articulate and down to earth sensible. I was upset with the Family First candidate whose grasp on what it means to be a ‘non  traditional family’ left me cold. He simply recited a series of beliefs with no evidence of how the Family First party would ever be able to implement any of their policies. I was a single mum for a time and have children who survived bumpy patches but are now living successful lives so I don’t enjoy hearing my own family being labelled as somehow insufficient or undesirable. Paul and Belinda recited party rhetoric mostly, but I was pleased to hear Belinda speak passionately about issues like abortion and the proposed Aldershot mine. Paul spoke more negatively as per party lines and promised more money for yet more studies….. but he doesn’t seem to be slowing down with age and sounds keen to carry on. I think by the time I reach 70 years of age I will be putting my feet up! Maybe I am slightly biased but I want to hear what politicians can actually do for my neighbours and I, rather than a repeated litany of  how everyone else is terrible and they are the best!

Council meeting and Aldershot Mine

On Wednesday Council did decide to reduce the footpath dining fees as a result of queries from Maryborough based businesses among other things. Council is undertaking drainage works on the Hervey Bay foreshore and a long list of resolutions to be discussed at the upcoming LGAQ Confernece were discussed. All the minutes are available on the Council web site so feel free to check them out for more details.

I attended the AADAM meeting in Aldershot on Wednesday evening and yet again was totally impressed with the hard work being undertaken by the residents to demonstrate the negative impacts of the proposed coal mine on their back doorstep. A very progfessional and sobering DVD has been made and I expect that the group will pop it up onto facebook for everyone to see. I can’t see enough economic benefit to our region to support this mine. Jobs will be few and far between for locals and at what cost? The proximity of the site to Aldershot and the RAMSAR listed Great Sandy Strait and the wonderful natural ecosystems found on the site combine to make one wonder if any corner of our planet will be preserved and saved from the hungry jaws of the mining machines and the need for more of us.

A night at the Opera

Graham and I attended The Merry Widow at the Brolga on Wednesday evening. This Opera Queensland performance with a live orchestra was superb. The Opera was in English which made it very easy to follow the story and the beautiful costumes and staging complimented an entirely talented cast. Well done to all the sponsors and our Governments for enabling regional dwellers to experience such a wonderful evening out.

Fishing Zones

Lastly I am receiving a hammering about a comment I made via email to a group of recreational fisher people. My comment was along the lines of the opposition to ‘no fishing zones’ generally speaking but primarily to the focus in this election of fisherpeople saying that they will only vote for the party that promises not to close any areas for fishing.

I tried to argue that I only support closures based on scientific evidence based research, but that I do believe the ocean should be treated like the land and have some areas preserved or kept free of fishing like we do on land by way of National Parks. My inbox lit up with an influx of passionate opinions against anything that stops recreational fisher people from fishing. This disappointed me and I do believe there are many fisher people out there that can see the benefit of protecting some areas of our waterways into the future.  This morning as I walked my beach I saw 18 boats out on the water. When I moved here 13 odd years ago there would probably have been less boats. If in another 10 years there are 40 odd boats and so on and so on, how will we ever find fish to catch? But some recreational fisher people tell me that there would be heaps of fish for them if the Commercial fishers were more restricted. I don’t agree with this argument entirely. I believe we all should take responsibility and demand our governments undertake proper research and listen to the locals about their experiences. Only then can we make informed and sensible decisions to ensure the ocean is full of fish for generations to come.

The sun is shining it is too nice to be stuck inside so enjoy your weekend and maybe I will see you at the Walk Against Warming tomorrow. Cheers, Sue

Community meetings, moving shop and babies.

July 4th, 2010

What a busy time of year this is turning out to be. On the personal front I  travelled to Melb 2 weekends ago to share Dad’s 84th Birthday with him. Even though direct flights would be good, using Qantas and connecting through Brissy is a breeze, the whole trip taking no more than 4 hours both ways. Melb was looking greenish which is a good sign and they had some rain while I was there which is badly needed still.

Last weekend and most of last week was taken up by moving our shop. We have relocated to Pialba Place so our shop ‘Mind Games’ now has a much bigger shop and we have all our fingers and toes crossed that existing customers come with us and that new ones find us. I’m not sure if moving a shop is better or worse than moving house but it sure is tiring and Graham is only just starting to look normal again after some very exhausting and stressful very long days. I’m also now back in my proper role as a visitor rather than a removalist and shelf stackerer.

Council conducted the first 3 community meetings also last week, The meetings are part of the consultation process to decide on our future for the next 20 or so years. Both the Community Plan and new Planning Scheme will evolve as a result so now is the time to contribute if you are keen to shape the future of this region. 

I attended the Maryborough and Hervey Bay sessions last week. Attendance in Maryborough was a small but very thoughtful and keen group of concerned residents more than willing to have their say on the future of their region and more specifically Maryborough. A larger group in Hervey Bay spoke about a range of issues with the usual topics getting a good going over. The themes in common included caring for our environment and not letting it degrade, managing growth carefully with associated traffic movement catered for. Alternative transport including public (possibly trains) and buses and cycle ways etc were high on the agenda. Both groups want to live in a region where our communities appreciate and embrace cultural activities and they want venues that can cater for this. Much more was discussed but I will await the results of the consultation phase before talking more about what people do want for their future.

There are more meetings scheduled this week at Tiaro, Boonoroo and Howard and I encourage anyone interested in our future to attend. If you can’t attend personally don’t forget that you can have your say online via the Council homepage.  

I missed the Brooweena meeting due to a combination of exhaustion and a knock on the door just as I was exiting the shower. A neighbour handed me two little balls of fluff! It seems our missing old lady Guinea Fowl hadn’t gone to the paddock in the sky but was in fact busily sitting on eggs somewhere. We now have a small total of 5 little fluff balls resident in our bathroom. They are growing and thriving and I hope we can find new homes for them when they are a bit older. If you want any do let me know.

5 baby guineas

5 baby guineas

Party politics at work

June 24th, 2010

We start today with a new PM elect. While there is much talk about the fact that Julia Gillard will be our first female PM I can’t help but think how fickle is the world of the politician. Do we all feel cheated that Kevin won’t be judged again by the Australian people? Will it really hit home that we vote for a party and not for a person when we vote for a member of any political party at election time?

I am becoming more and more jaded by the whole entire process and even more worried and concerned that our country is actually run by many, many people that we don’t actually elect. The spheres of influence run deep and I believe it is many many people, other than the politicians themselves, that actually influence the decisions that we all have to abide by. I personally experience this at the local level so I hate to think what occurs at the higher levels of government.

The media also plays a huge part by directly influencing public opinion. The personal beliefs and allegiances of our media owners and the business and corporate CEO’s and their board members as well as Union reps are all very powerful and pull many strings.  I worry that the general public are fed the stories that support the interests of everyone other than the general public.

So will the change in Labor leadership help the Labor Party to continue to lead our country? I doubt it. I think the change will make us all feel less secure about the political system itself. The challenge for all of us is how do we help to make our system of government more open and transparent and more representative of the majority of the people. Do the majority of the people properly understand how the country is run? I’m not sure I have an answer I’m sad to say.

Baby boomers still rock

May 31st, 2010

Sat night at Seafront Oval saw a large crowd enjoying some excellent live music. We arrived at about 6pm just in time to settle in and listen to Joe Camilleri minus his female backing singers. Joe was great and his music still excellent after over 30 years of entertaining us. Next we listened to Shannon Noll and although I didn’t know a lot of his material he was an energetic and charming performer. Next of course was the ever loud Jimmy Barnes. Jimmy can still belt out his songs and we listened to nearly an hour of newer material followed by his hits of course. I was glad it didn’t rain and also found it very enjoyable to hang out and rock along in a mosh pit with such a mix of people. Many grey beards mixed in with young school children. The concert was an enjoyable family affair. It was well organised, sounded great and I hope we see more acts here in the future.

Fraser Coast 2031. The future of our region is up to you!

Council is asking for your input now to help us decide the future footprint of our region. If you do or don’t want more high rise along the foreshore or you want development to grow in a certain direction or not at all or you want to see certain types of industry encouraged to come here this is the time to have your say. Decisions will be based on community input so I can’t emphasise the importance of taking the time to engage and be involved in the process. There is heaps of information on the Council web site and there will be hard copy forms and brochures available at Libraries etc. If you fill in the questionnaire online there is weekend away at Kingfisher to possibly win!

Also there are some sign boards up and about asking for your input about developments. The Maher development cnr Beach Rd and Esplanade is a multi storey building and submissions are open now. Many of you have received letters from the solicitors acting for the Braith Vidler, Anson’s Rd, Dundowran Beach decision. The developer is appealing the Council rejection of this application so Council will have to defend its decision in Court. Main Roads will also have to defend as they advised Council to say no to the development. I encourage you to all to be involved in what is occurring in relation to development. Your voices matter and it really is too late to complain once a building is starting construction or a telecommunications tower is being erected or a housing estate is going in down the road! If you require more information about how to become more involved don’t hesitate to ring Council, peruse the web site or ask a Councillor.

Jimmy rocks the Seafront Oval

Building fences, showtime and birdsong.

May 23rd, 2010

Firstly a huge thank you to Kristy Martin from the Chronicle. It was Christy that single handedly organised a group of small business owners and volunteers to build a fence. Craigs’ fencing, Dundowran Demolitions, Byrne Bros concreting, The Howard Sawmill, Dale and Meyers Hardware and Sunrise Rotary all combined their products and services to do a very good deed. They built a back fence for the lovely Marie. Marie lives adjacent our mobility corridor in Hervey Bay and while this corridor makes it easier for many of us to get around it also attracts the odd undesirable member of our community who thinks breaking into an elderly ladies home to steal her belongings while she is asleep in bed, is somehow an OK thing to do! I can’t express my gratitude to Kristy and to the workers who have helped build a new fence for Marie so she can now sleep much more securely and peacefully. Times are tough right now for any small business owner so I’m sure I’m not alone in appreciating the contribution that these business owners have made. We really do live live in a caring and happy community.

I spent 2 hours helping out on the Council stall at the Show yesterday. The sun was shining the weather was superb but the lack of crowds was disappointing. Maybe everyone that wanted to go to the show did so on Friday as there weren’t many people around yesterday. However everyone I spoke to was pleasant and positive and even the odd complaint was made in a cheerful and positive manner. It was such a relief to have happy chats with families and elderly folk who were out and about enjoying themselves. The day was a timely reminder that just because I read a daily paper that reports on a lot of bad news, blogs that are often a forum for complaints and personally receive many complaints about Council activities, that there are many, many other people living a quiet and contented life, They take the ups and downs of daily life in their stride and get on with things with a smile. My hat, if I wore won, is lifted and tilted in your direction.

But.. I would also like to support Maryborough State Member Chris Foley in his grumbles about QBuild and the cost to change a light globe in his office. In a previous life I worked for TAFE. The thought of having to use QBuild to get anything of a building nature done at Wide Bay TAFE used to send shivers of fear into all the staff. Quite simply the prices quoted to fix anything or paint anything etc were astronomical. There is definitely something wrong with this system. Either it is is bureacracy gone mad or some local suppliers are making a killing at the expense of their fellow community members who pay for their windfalls via taxes. I do believe every layer of Government needs to closely examine how they procure services and ensure that costs are competitive and not a rip off!

While the nights and mornings are turning chilly the prolific bird numbers in our neck of the woods are amazing. Lorikeets fill the air with their noisy chattering and feast on the blossom prevalent in our gum trees. My native bees are busy as ever as soon as the sun starts to shine and we have a new friend visiting. Bruce the butcherbird has decided to spend enough time on our pool fence or our BBQ to warrant a treat or two of minced turkey. The cats are already used to him and simply ignore him now but he has visited for the last 4 days  perching quite happily near us and letting us hand feed him.  I wonder if he will find a mate or if in fact he is a she! While I don’t usually feed the native wildlife he is so persistent that we simply can’t resist.

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