TWO of the major concerns of Goondiwindi residents – taking into account comments and letters to the Argus – is the amount of crime, from the petty – breaking into cars – to home break-ins, car thefts and robberies and ram-raids.
A major problem is that many of the offenders come from across the border – from Toomelah and Boggabilla.
For clarification we don’t agree with a common view that ALL crime is perpetrated by young people from Toomelah and Boggabilla.
Adding confusion and frustration to the whole matter is the border – the Macintyre River – and how a unified working plan can be organised between Queensland and NSW.
The border causes a host of problems which we know has been brought to the government’s notice by the Goondiwindi Town Council and numerous other groups including the Border Rivers Chamber of Commerce.
How can you and LNP help? We know about border joint-initiatives but specifically what can be done for Goondiwindi to kerb the crime.
Secondly – Goondiwindi’s future. While agriculture – from sheep to cattle to broadacre farming and cotton has been the backbone of the region for generation after generation, there has been great debate about how Goondiwindi can thrive over the generations to come.
The latest discussion has been on transforming Goondiwindi into a medical hub, for communities west, north and south of Goondiwindi.
While a plan such as this will only work if private enterprise becomes involved, Government assistance is vital.
Can, and will, the LNP foster working partnerships between Queensland Health and private enterprise to attract doctors, specialists and business people willing to bring CT scanners, MRIs and other specialist equipment to town?
What else can the Queensland Government do to sustain Goondiwindi’s future? Are grants a possibility?
Thirdly. A connected issue. Goondiwindi is an ageing population. How does it attract younger people, younger professionals and families. One way, is by marketing itself a fit and vital community where sport plays an important part.
It has achieved much in this area already. The annual Hell of the West, a growing health and fitness culture that anyone who is up at 5.30a.m. can attest to. The riverbank and the fitness trail you ran along during your visit tells the story perfectly.
Riddles Oval, cricket, AFL, soccer
However, the heart of Goondiwindi recreation and sporting life, Riddles Oval, despite the efforts of the Council of late, has a number of inadequacies.
The AFL Club, which has existed for more than 30 years, trains under what is little more than street lighting.
Goondiwindi is quickly becoming the home of “bush” cricket in southern Queensland at a time when cricket is dying in the bush. Chinchilla, once a powerhouse, has wonderful facilities but struggles because players, due to work commitments in the new coal seam gas and mining boom, have been drawn away from cricket and sport in general.
Goondiwindi’s two turf wickets are its pride and joy, however, its major ground – which is also the AFL ground - would also benefit from better lighting.
An upgrade could assist in drawing touring sides, allow the invitation of Grade sides and help them apply for carnivals.
Soccer presently has no home at all.
It uses ovals at Redmond Park on the eastern fringe of Goondiwindi.
It’s equipment is housed in a container.
Hundreds of kids have no shade, no canteen, no toilets. An upgrade to facilities at Riddles Oval, or at least, at Redmond, would solve all that.
The Goondiwindi Transport Office has lost casual workers and has, at times, shut over lunch periods.
How does this fit in with the LNP policy of “no cuts to frontline services”.
Queensland Police in smaller communities used to once be able to conduct licence tests and other minor transport services.
This is no longer the case. Now transport officers travel two-hours from Toowoomba and then travel back. Is this really efficient use of public money?
Public service cuts
In general around 10,000 people were to be cut from the public service. Attrition rates, we believe, are between 6-8percent annually.
How long would it have taken to achieve the same result through natural attrition, by simply not filling vacancies when public servants retire or leave?
How much of the budgeted $800 million for redundancies would have been spent then?
When do you believe enough cuts will be made?
Have enough cuts been done for Queensland to get back its AAA rating?
Public servants whose positions have been made redundant have a choice of redundancy and an incentive package or go on a redeployment list.
We understand that the Public Sector Management Commission has chosen not to release information on the number of types of positions available for redeployment. Is that the case?
Do you think it is fair for people to make career choices based on little or no information about redeployment opportunities?
How will the Queensland Government pay for redundancies?
$800million has been budgeted but we also understand that Queensland departments have been told that in the next financial year, they should budget for their own redundancy expenses.
Is this because the budgeted $800 million won’t be enough?
Should 65 year-olds who were about to retire anyway have been eligible for redundancy packages?
Good luck to them, but isn’t it just a waste of money?
Did you jump in “all guns blazing” without giving the process enough thought?
In 2011 in relation to Labor’s Voluntary Separation Scheme which was to remove 3500 public servants. The Brisbane Times quoted you as saying that Labor was firing 3500 workers. In light of present-day cuts, is this still a fair comment?
The Costello report indicated the greatest growth in the public service was AO6 and above. How many of these positions have been made redundant?
Given the size of the reduction in staff, how many executive positions are no longer required? How many of these executives should bear some of the blame for Government overspending? Surely you can’t blame Labor for every sin?
A former Goondiwindi literacy trainer has just lost her job under the LNP cutbacks.
Additional support has, we understand, been offered to the schools. However the trainer’s concern is the large proportion of her classes who are over 15: An increasing number of migrant workers and aboriginal descent. What about those people who need help now, and who have left school?
Not everyone is comfortable with a class setting. They need one-on-one help.
A question from our Facebook Page.
Re) Truck drivers of heavy vehicles who must carry a log book/work diary. Why do no other states other than QLD penalise truck drivers by taking points off for log book mistakes?
If all drivers of motor vehicles were subject to the same rules then it would be fair. Only truck drivers are forced to carry work diaries. Why?
Those found guilty of a crime will have to pay an offender levy but it will not be regarded as a fine. Offenders will be notified at a later date. In light of pubic service cuts, what section of the justice department will handle the bureacracy? Why can’t they just be part of the fine structure?