Am I an extreme tree hugger?

March 29th, 2012

Max Atkinson (Indy 29/3/12) believes that I am a conservationist through and through and that I neglect other areas of community concern. I often wonder why some individuals attack Councillors so quickly, publicly and so personally without ever calling us or writing to us. During my time as your Councillor, (because I do represent everyone even those of you that didn’t vote for me), I held the Environment portfolios. Yes I care about the environment and am passionate about conserving it, but during my time as portfolio chair my responsibility was to articulate Council policy. Quite simply I was, and still am, required to always represent Council policy. The Fraser Coast Council has a good record of environmental protection and I hope to see this continually improved as we develop a brand new Planning Scheme. You see I believe we can do better.

But I also believe we can build better roads, drains and footpaths. I recently voted against the new Council Development Manual as it removed the requirement for Developers to include a footpath in every street of new developments. I believe we can preserve neighbourhoods so as to not allow everyone to subdivide housing blocks into unit blocks etc, I believe that population growth has to be better managed to preserve road networks and sewerage infrastructure and water supply. I think we can fit some more people here as long as we are very careful where and how we place them. I believe that business must be respected and that we need a planning scheme that permits the right developments to go into the right areas with much less red tape. I believe that business is our lifeblood just as nature is and we can’t have one without the other. After all we are not about to go back and live as subsistence hunter gatherers but if we don’t protect our environment where on earth will we grow our food? I am not green, red or blue in my political leanings but rather I despair at any political party doing what is right for all of us all of the time!

Max I am sad that you believe I am an extreme tree hugger. I recently supported changes to our regulations which permit residents to have tree removed when they could fall onto their houses. Something some of our elderly neighbours absolutely fear. I have just been speaking to senior staff about our new Hervey Bay Pound as I want that to be of a modern animal and people friendly design. I am also dealing with numerous compliance and related issues directly on behalf of residents just like you. I don’t have time to hug trees.. Take care and I wish you all the best for the future.

6 Responses to “Am I an extreme tree hugger?”

  1. Paulon 29 Mar 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Well said Sue. It isn’t easy being a councillor and trying to keep everyone happy. Few people realise the complexity of the job and I imagine there will some newbies in council after the election who will be in for quite a surprise.
    Environment portfolios are particularly difficult and you have handled them well. I honestly believe the Fraser Coast is better off for your efforts, not only environmentally but across the board.
    Perhaps Max should walk a mile in your shoes to find out what it is to be a councillor, but I doubt he’d have the stamina.

  2. Colin Burton 29 Mar 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Sue – it is important that we give our relatively few remaining trees a bit of a hug from time to time. If only to keep the chain saw fanatics away. I see Max’s coments as an accolade – which he probably did not intend !

    Far too many politicians at all levels are in the pockets of the developer and the mining tycoon. Figuratively and sometimes literally. I am only sorry that the crazy new ‘division ‘ system means I can no longer vote for you.

    At the risk of being thought a conspiracy theorist, I suspect that it was brought about to minimise the widely spread , not localised by wards, support for conservative values . True conservatism in the sense of keeping more things less changed – and give more chance of electoral success to the ‘if it moves ,shoot it ; if it doesn’t, chop it down’ faction. Standing in the way of ‘progress by concrete’ and the throwing up of houses all built out of ticky-tacky and all looking just the same is a worthy intent.

  3. Jane Hansonon 29 Mar 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Trouble is Sue, you have done too much, meaning your profile has been quite visible and hence you are subject to attack. There are so many more Councilors whose names we don’t even know and the reason for that is because they have plodded through their tasks. I am not saying they haven’t done their job it just that they have kept a lower profile. You on the other hand haven’t been afraid to stand up and be counted. Keep up the good work and good luck for the election. As Paul said “there will some newbies in council after the election who will be in for quite a surprise”.

  4. Dingosimonon 29 Mar 2012 at 9:41 pm

    You cant please everyone all of the time, but you know in your heart what is the right thing to do, and you do your best to do it. It is so easy to be a critic, I know cos I am one, but I always recognise good people doing good things. I don’t always agree with you, but I know you to be a good person, and at the end of the day, that is all that matters.
    I hugged a tree once in the middle of a rain forest and felt quite silly. I ended up with bark and ants all over me, ahhahaah

  5. Patriciaon 14 Apr 2012 at 10:47 am

    Extreme tree hugger? I’m not sure. But I’m pretty confident that if I asked you what were the 10 things you are most proud of as an achievement over your term on the ratepayers purse, I bet you’d struggle, but they would be ALL about voting against development. But I may be wrong. You were instrumental in having the Akarra Tea gardens shut down (and then tried to buy it at a fire sale price). You must be proud of that achievement. You also had that ridiculously large eyesore of a sign put up on the private property on Ansons Road – the same block of land that you helped arrange a public protest meeting to again block a proposed development for a much needed shopping centre and sporting facilities. You must be proud of that too. And NOW, I open today’s newspaper and see that your house is for sale. So what’s the plan Sue? Are you being honest about Hervey Bay being paradise? Or are you getting ready to run away once you lose? Or maybe you’re hoping that your failed small businessman partner will win in his division? Won’t that be great for the Fraser Coast? What we desperately need is another person who can’t make a living in the real world, so they try living on the ratepayers purse. But extreme tree hugger? No, I don’t think you are. I think you are in it for the money, but you have convinced yourself otherwise for so long that you are starting to believe it. That’s why you are selling up. Let’s be honest for once. You know I’m right.

  6. Sue Brookson 14 Apr 2012 at 12:02 pm

    One thing that I am proud of is my ability to treat people with respect Patricia and to not fire of unfounded accusations at people. I would include many things in my achievement list and even maybe I would include all the development that I have voted for including the new structure plan for the Eli Waters, Dundowran land. You see Patricia if a development complies with our Planning Scheme I always vote in favour of it as I have absolutely no grounds to vote against it. But if a development is higher than it should be, not setback properly according to the rules, on land not appropriately zoned for it, short on car parking etc well then sometimes I vote against it!
    I had absolutely nothing to do with Arkarra Tea Gardens shutting down. This is totally a false accusation. I voted in favour of the redevelopment of Arkarra Tea Gardens. Maybe that business went broke, hurting several investors in the process, because of the commercial decisions made by the owner at that time! Years afterwards I did try to buy it to return a much loved facility to our community. I still want Council to buy it!
    I had no signs put up on any private land at all. The signs placed on the land at Anson’s Road were put there by the land owner who was appalled at the illegal trespassing occurring there. Why do you think I would want to pay for and erect permanent signs on private property?
    This land you describe, has not had a development proposal to develop it during my timein Council, so this Council has never voted on anything to do with this land. However the land next door is land now included in the Structure Plan and can be appropriately developed in such a way that I will support it. I also believe the development will be much better in keeping with what our community at Dundowran Beach and Craignish etc would like to see there.
    I also would like to see sporting facilities developed on the other side of the Palba Burrum Rd and have supported this concept and helped support the development of the new tennis courts. I also assisted and supported the Craignish shop developed. I will not support other new commercial development that would jeopardise the profitability of this shopping centre either.
    Now lastly our house has been on the market for several months since shortly after we purchased a block of land down the road in Dundowran Beach Esplanade last year. We hope to build and retire there. The new block is approx 300-400m walk away from our existing home.
    I didn’t miss your negativity Patricia when you stopped blogging and am sad that you are so nasty and untruthful. But hey I still represent you and will continue to represent you if I am honoured with re-election.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply