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Letters to the editor: river dredging, rail funding, CCTV, election signs and more

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Your say: seawall plans, bus numbers and more

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name More

Highway mayhem following crashes in both lanes

The Bruce Highway was closed for more than three hours this morning following crashes both north and southbound. Twelve people were injured in the accidents, More

Cheers to a new generation bringing cane back to the farm

Sugarcane is being planted on a Sunshine Coast farm for the first time in 20 years as members of a local family pioneer a More

Childcare centre proposal sparks debate over location

Councillors have debated the need for new childcare centre that would deliver an “essential service” to a burgeoning business district. A development application was submitted More

Application seeks increased number of units on vacant block

The real estate trio behind a proposed unit complex at Caloundra hopes to almost double the number of units approved for the site. About M, More

Division by division: what your suburb gets in council budget

The newly-elected Sunshine Coast Council yesterday handed down its first budget, with mayor Rosanna Natoli saying it was focused on “improving transport, roads, pathways More

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb for accountability, credibility and transparency.

This is a laughable, tragic decision by incompetent councillors.

The sand plugs will be washed away within 12 months, costing ratepayers another bunch of money. I have photos of the last dredging fiasco, as would many others. Even enclosing the sand in geotextile bags is not a long-term solution. The only thing that Mother Nature understands is brute force.

The placement of hard rock or concrete modules, in sufficient quantities, is the only way to redirect a tidal stream.

David Heckendorf, Thirroul, NSW

One does not have to be a modern day soothsayer to realise that should Stage 1 of the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line will eventually stop at (or more likely near) Caloundra, and no other suburbs within Sunshine Coast will ever see a direct rail line to Brisbane.

The lack of the rail to Birtinya and Maroochydore is clearly and firmly the fault of both major political parties, Labor and the LNP, at both state and federal levels. We’ve seen a good decade and more of procrastination from both parties. So Labor is dangling, once again, this old and now withered carrot in front of the voters of the Sunshine Coast all in the name of, ‘remember us come the next general election’. Our memories go back to the decades of inaction and contempt from both Labor and the LNP towards the residents of the Sunshine Coast.

Both parties and their MPs do a lot of ‘hot air’ talking that mostly leads to a zero outcome for coastal residents. However, one thing that ministers and shadow ministers of both state and federal governments are expert at is instigating very expensive and ambiguous reports and dramatically inaccurate cost estimates. Of course, the powers that be have no intention of furthering stages of the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line, well not in this decade/lifetime. Maybe payment of the respective ministers’ pensions need to be directly tied to the successful completion of this project to Maroochydore and the airport.

Thanks Labor, thanks LNP, for a job not well done.

Phillip Adamson, Maroochydore

How can this be good news? Rail talked about since 1965? One third of the rail we need for twice the price – they must think we are mostly fools. The largest hospital in South-East Asia and we cannot even get the rail line to its door. Stop talking and grinning at the cameras and build the thing.

China would have built this in less than two years. The seventh richest nation in the world and we cannot agree and build 37km of railway line.

Pathetic. Whatever happened to the luckiest country on earth with a can-do attitude?

Darren M, Aroona

Let me guess: in about 12 months or so, the pollies will suddenly realise that no Olympic events are scheduled for Caloundra, so what’s the point in building an Olympic Games rail line to get no one to nowhere? They’ll cancel it once again.

Now that the line to Birtinya has been killed off (again) – where the Olympic events are scheduled – I imagine thousands of people will be walking from the train at Beerwah up Caloundra Road and Kawana Way Link Road. Should only take them three or four hours or so.

Does Steven Miles really think we are that stupid on the Sunshine Coast not to see through his duplicitous behaviour?

Ross Tester, Birtinya

The Sunshine Coast Business Council argues that the heavy rail development must be funded to enable the Maroochydore CBD to be completed.

As compelling as this argument is, reality is that the Maroochydore is a CBD in name only, a myth, created by centralising council jobs from Nambour and Caloundra. It has no central business function. Nor will it. The Coast’s geography, industry and reality make that clear. A more sensible conversation from this point is to discuss and develop public transport infrastructures that meet local communities’ current and future needs. The notion that these needs demand completion of heavy rail to Maroochydore is, like the CBD, a fiction.

The need for better services in Aura, Caloundra, Birtinya, Mountain Creek and Maroochydore exist now regardless of heavy rail.

Why not start now?

Andrew Moran, Battery Hill

Sunshine Coast News should be applauded for highlighting this issue. As we know there is a lot of misinformation out there and more concrete facts are needed to help residents understand nuclear power as well as why their power bills are going up markedly.

Ted O’Brien is right that it is time to remove Australia’s prohibition on nuclear power. The ban is an outdated quirk of past policy and does not serve our nation well in remaining competitive with electricity costs, reliability and energy security. Nuclear should be considered as a substantial part of the energy mix.

Nuclear is reliable, safe, has zero carbon emissions and is proven technology. Whilst new Small Modular Rectors (SMRs) are being researched and planned around the world, existing nuclear power technology would fit well in the locations of retiring coal plants. The 20 highest electricity consumption countries in the world all have nuclear power plants or are planning them, except for Australia. It doesn’t make sense for a modern, advanced, whole island continent, such as Australia, to not have nuclear power in its energy mix.

Renewables are often costed using their short lifetime, which doesn’t fairly compare with the 60-plus years for nuclear. As well, most nuclear power generators include the cost of waste storage and disposal in their calculations. Renewables waste is uncosted, often toxic and substantial.

On a personal note, in my working life in the Australian uranium industry I have toured two nuclear plants overseas, in Canada and China. Both were impressive in terms of the extensive safety systems, cleanness, the skill and training of the operating staff and the commitment of the organisation to producing electricity in the safest possible competitive way. It’s more like visiting a modern ‘high tech’ hospital than a working industrial factory. For example, the operators at the Chinese plant at Daya Bay were consistently rated within the top 90 per cent of operating criteria by other operators of nuclear plants elsewhere in the world.

David Brunt, Minyama

The Federal MP for Fairfax Ted O’Brien has proved yet once again that he is totally out of touch with the nuclear power views of a large number of Queenslanders and also Australians as a whole.

And this person could be our next Minister for Climate Change and Energy.

Phillip Adamson, Maroochydore

No thanks on another instalment of Ted O’Brien’s phantasmagorical tale.

There are no magical mini-reactors now and if there ever are any affordable ones they will be redundant by the time our last coal-fired plant shuts down when it can no longer compete with the burgeoning renewables and storage that will have taken up the whole load across the country.

With Ted distracted by this desperate bid for relevance to a population that has moved on, it is no wonder the Teals are showing interest in relieving us of him.

Peter Baulch, North Arm

Here are some facts about nuclear.

The first is that the opinion from the Switkowski report of 2006 that it would take 10 to 15 years to build one nuclear plant in Australia – quoted in the article – is both out of date and factually wrong.

Since that report, a South Korean company has built four nuclear plants in the United Arab Emirates. They were APR 1400MW reactors. The first plant was commenced in 2012 and the fourth plant was finished and commissioned in 2023. The total cost was just over $US20 billion. Australia could buy plants like these off-the-shelf and have the South Koreans build them safely and efficiently. And build four of them within a decade.

The second is that the UK Government brought down a ‘Civil Nuclear: Roadmap to 2050’ in January. In launching this roadmap, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that “Nuclear is the perfect antidote to the energy challenges facing Britain – it’s green, cheaper in the long term and will secure the UK’s energy security for the long-term”. He committed the UK to complete the very large reactor at Hinkley Point C and announced the beginning of construction on a similar plant at Sizewell C which will have two 3.2GW reactors. Parliament is tasked with considering a third such mega-reactor in its current term.

The third fact is that President Macron of France stated in 2022 that nuclear “is the most expedient from the economic point of view and finally the least costly from a financial point of view”. Then late last year, he authorised building six new EPR2 reactors, each with a capacity of 1670MW, and committed France to analysing the business case for eight more such reactors.

France and England are committed to building more nuclear plants precisely because in the longer term they are economically viable and financially affordable and do not suffer from the inherent unreliability of solar and wind.

Australia desperately needs to follow the example of the UAE, England and France.

Denis J. Feeney, Warana

So, to summarise council’s position: breaking the law by vandalising council signs, signs which are in fact concerning dog laws, is a crime sufficient to justify CCTV surveillance, police notification and serious law enforcement.

But breaking the actual dog laws themselves is a far lesser law breach not justifying any CCTV. And dog groups think it unjust to use CCTV to enforce the dog laws but are going to be okay with it used for cracking down on vandalism of dog law signs.

Who does council imagine it is that is specifically targeting dog law signs rather than all other information signage? Bizarre.

Peter Hawkins, Buddina

My wife and I regularly jog through Point Cartwright and one morning this week noticed the CCTV unit for the first time.

We think it’s a good idea as it’s a rather isolated area and members of our community should not vandalise council property designed to enforce regulations. However, despite the new regulations and signage, we were passed today by two separate couples walking their dog here off-leash. These dog owners are senseless and selfish and don’t seem to want to consider other residents’ comfort and the potential incidents that dogs off-leash can promote. My wife was savaged by a dog when she was young and hence still harbors some fear about another attack when a dog suddenly races up to her when off a leash.

I am sure most dog owners have never considered this potential issue for people who may have a phobia towards dogs. It is inconsiderate for dog owners to simply ignore others in the community because they want to walk their own dog without restrictions. Point Cartwright and other beautiful areas are for the use of all residents.

I would support the installation of several more CCTV units to ward off this unlawful vandalism, provide an element of safety for walkers and to catch those walking their dogs off the leash.

Mark Stanley, Maroochydore

You are right about the overall exposure of election banners and the total waste.

The high-profile candidates certainly won’t get my vote. I feel bullying tactics are not needed. Genuine, down-to-earth candidates should be put first.

It’s all a total eyesore and such a waste, it makes me quite sad.

Graham Day, Buderim

Great to hear that you have escalated and highlighted this councillor-sanctioned loophole with regard to corflute election signs.

I now reside and frequent the Maroochy Waters and surrounding area. I have had issues with council and the state over the proliferation and placement (particularly not pertaining to the area that councilor represents) of signs over the last 34 years or so. The acceptance that the councilors are and will be allowed to also leave and litter our beautiful coast once the election is over is unacceptable. They will always have the excuse that they are not sure how or why the sign got to where it is, however, we the public will just have to rectify the litter or phone someone to collect them. There doesn’t seem to be any requirement or penalty if directives are ignored for any councillor that does not clean up their mess.

The system is flawed in my opinion and discriminates against us the normal law abiders. You try to place a sign on any road and see how long it takes for some council staffer to phone you or come to your door suggesting you remove the offending sign ASAP or consequences will be imminent.

Nev Nark, Maroochy Waters

My youngest brother Walter Johnson is a candidate for Division 8 and he has announced that he has organised for all his signs to be recycled.

Walter has also arranged with several community gardens to take his timber stakes from the signs to be reused as garden vegetable stakes. We are also making inquiries about how we can best offset the carbon footprint of the printing of his letterbox leaflets, but a resolution is not yet determined.

I agree with the points raised in your article, hence why our family, including Walter, has worked to find an outcome to this dilemma.

Will Johnson, Marcoola

It is a pity this project was not thought about following the closure of the Moreton Sugar Mill.

The cane train line and numerous bridges between Nambour and Bli Bli were demolished. The Bli Bli area has significantly changed and if a new line is to mostly follow the original line then a lot of land owners would be affected. My ancestors were pioneers in cane farming in the Bli Bli district, especially along Petrie Creek. The history of Petrie Creek is very interesting and it would be great for the public to hear about it and at the same see the creek.

The project is a great one, however I do have reservations about the cost. Also I believe dealing with private land owners will be challenging and maybe costly as well.

I wish the council all the best in making this project happen.

Phil English, Bli Bli 

It’s always the same. Let’s get more money from the government to feather our nest. Let’s produce a document which proposes they provide support funding so that we can grow by  over 20 per cent. Justify it by claiming that there is a demand (uncertified) from all the lower socio-economic groups in the general community. They are a large group, as yet untouched, and ripe for harvesting.

No mention that it would justify a growing uni work force, growing facilities within universities, growing wages for current and future employees at the uni. Yes, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Has any serious research been done by the university sector on the percentage of the community which need a full university degree to do the work that they are currently doing? Do unis really truly think that 80 per cent of the population should have a tertiary degree?

I invite any and every uni administrator to look me in the eye and say “yes” without then breaking out in a good old belly laugh. I will tell them to get out of their ivory towers, go out into the real world of the transport industry, mining industry, tourist industry, aged care industry, agricultural industry, wholesale and retail industry, construction industry, and so on.

Maybe the research would justify the current 60 per cent, although I doubt even that.

Merv Elliott, Buderim

Anyone get tired of hearing how much money is forecast to spend when the new mayor is elected?

The reality is that immediate action is required in the Sunshine Coast, not just the Caloundra, Mooloolaba and Maroochydore areas. The outer urban areas require attention, not waiting for three to five years to be told it is their turn. There should only be one long-term plan to ensure completion, and the funding is available without putting other projects at risk of incompletion or short cuts. Residential population has increased immensely, so no doubt the pot of gold has spilled over.

So let’s spend big on something that will not benefit most – $40 million on an art gallery. Tourism is important, but let’s not forget the local communities, first and foremost. Economics is not about leaving your mark or other personal achievements. It’s about ensuring the financial decision is sound and a benefit for the immediate greater community, not for a minor populous.

Road surface repairs are more frequent, so expenditure on longer-lasting road base product should be sourced – stop the quick fix. Improvements on major roads and local streets should always be a priority. Isn’t a portion of vehicle registration meant to fund better roads?

Environmental issues, including waterways beyond the major inlets, need addressing; and genuine rubbish clean-up on a regular basis is required – not just mentioned to grab the vote.

Remember why you loved living along the Sunshine Coast? Was it the idea of a bustling suburban feel? I don’t think so.

Craig L Moody, Mooloolaba 

  • Traffic lights and footpaths 

I simply can’t understand the proliferation of traffic lights that we are subjected to.

For a starter, the Caloundra off-ramp was, and probably still is, capable of operating without any traffic lights whatsoever. Especially if the planned turnpike was built. Other traffic lights in the area have unnecessary functions that prevent a reasonable traffic flow.

If we look to the north, the Noosa Council area has no traffic lights at all: traffic flows quite well in that area.

Dare I mention footpaths? I have lived at the same address for 40 years and I see kids walking to school who often have to leave the verge and go onto the road, same for mums with babies in prams. Not good enough. Sunshine Coast Council, your priorities are all wrong, we need footpaths for pedestrian security. Locals should have priority over any other consideration.

What say you, candidates? We see your proliferation of pictures at roadsides, but where are you?

Patrick Davey, Moffat Beach

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb for accountability, credibility and transparency.

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