Letters to the editor

Sunrise colours on the bay. Picture: Karen Faccio.
Sunrise colours on the bay. Picture: Karen Faccio.

Raby Bay canals

WHILE I am pleased this issue has fired up quite a few letters and opinions (because it really needs opening up), I regret that most have expressed wrong facts on council’s role, responsibilities and performance.

On May 15 I addressed council about four unexploded ordnances in Raby Bay canals. The first impending explosion is that council has never acknowledged it has a statutory, that is, legislative, responsibility to maintain the Raby Bay canals. The second was that council was violating levy regulations by not having a plan, budget and end-date for levy-funded canal works. The third was council’s misguided attempt to justify an exit from canal works with a wacky expensive consultation process which went wrong. And the fourth impending explosion, the biggest, will come when council opens up the black box with data it has on the canals but never let any of us who fund it look inside. It will shock.

I congratulate council on taking action on explosions number two and three. The council simply noted and shelved the wacky consultation report. Then it announced in the budget that it was abolishing the canal levy and replacing it with increased Raby Bay rates, thus avoiding sanctions from the state for not fulfilling levy regulations.

We just got our rates notice showing $45.60 reduction in rates compared to our previous rates and levy. I wonder if this reduction is a response to my late April letter pointing out that we pay far more in rates and levy than what it costs council to fix our canals. We resent council’s move to diverge from formal accountability rules but not change its inefficient works program. We still ask for a plan, budget and end-date for the canal works program.

In my address I offered to put some of my ideas to council on how this can be done, but have heard nothing so far.

Council has still not addressed impending explosions one and four. If council acknowledges its statutory obligations we can begin the discussion about whether and how much private property owners are responsible for under the Coastal Protection and Management Act where council carries the major responsibility.

It is simply mischievous of council to pretend it’s doing us a favour by continuing the canal works program with rates funding. It has the CPMA Act setting out what it has to do.

In March I asked for data on my own wall, its location (inside or outside my property boundary), its dimensions, its stability and whether it has ever been fixed. No response.

A large barge and other engineering vehicles and machines have been going up and down our canal for months working on the canal edge opposite us. We don’t know what they’re doing. On July 3 I asked council what was happening. No response.

I’ve also asked for a map and data on the whole canal system.

- Z. Johnston, Raby Bay

Fabulous Dunwich teacher

CONGRATULATIONS, Dunwich State School prep teacher Marie Goebel for winning the Elder of the Year Award.

Your dedication, enthusiasm and unconditional love of children shines out. After volunteering with you I have learnt so much. 

The children that have been taught by you for the past three decades are so lucky.

In six months the children are reading with confidence and enjoy learning. The team work in class is terrific.

Thanks again Marie for your skill and talent. Dunwich really appreciates it.

- C. Ford, via website

Boundary Road upgrade

AFTER months of inconvenience, dust, noise and reduced speed limits, the “upgrade” to Boundary Road between the Avalon Road and Taylor Road roundabouts appears to be finished.

Eighteen months ago, this was an 80km/h speed zone. The speed limit was reduced to 70km/h prior to works commencing and the 80km/h limit has not been reinstated. Nor have any additional lanes been added. Nor has the eastbound turning lane at Mount Cotton Road, which routinely fills during the morning peak, blocking the road, been extended.

While sections of the road have been widened, they are not wide enough for through traffic to pass turning vehicles. A refuge island has been added near the Greenfield Road bus stop but no means of safely crossing the carriageways has been provided.

This “upgrade” has achieved absolutely nothing for users of this road. Reduced speed limit. No increase in carrying capacity. No remedy for snarls. No safe crossing for pedestrians.

The funding would have been better spent creating a pedestrian/bike overpass somewhere near the Greenfield Road bus stop.

- N. West, Sheldon

Trees on Straddie

MY QUESTION as to why the casuarinas were felled on Flinders Beach (RCB, July 4) still has not been answered. Areas mapped as remnant and not mapped as remnant does not explain anything to me.

Flinders Beach has never been mined so the frontal dunes are as nature intended. If culturally significant species such as Cypress pines and banksias were to grow on frontal dunes they would be growing there now. These trees are not frontal dune trees. Coastal casuarina are native to Straddie and the whole Queensland east coast.

This ideological vision (photo) from 60 years ago (or even 20,000 years) is not workable in this current global era. As for the suppression of understorey beach spinifex grasses (from the casuarina tree) – this grass is now lying buried under the dead and rotting branches of the felled casuarina - which now have also come a fire hazard. 

My question still remains: why?

- M. Pollard, Flinders Beach

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