“There’s no such thing as a free ride”, except on public transport on the Sunshine Coast! It is an epidemic that frustrates both paying passengers and bus drivers alike! Further south, Translink inspectors catch these fare evaders out. Where are our inspectors doing their job? The State Government’s Department of Public Transport, officially Translink, ignores the fact that the record number of fare evaders here, continues to grow, by word of mouth largely, due to negligence and silence from the powers that be in Translink’s bureaucracy.
The nonchalant attitude to paying your way in life, in our region, is a contributing factor, with many not taking responsibility. Is it too hard to resolve this theft with impunity? Many repeat offenders are frustrating drivers whose hands are tied, in control without authority to speak out against those boarding their buses. There appears to be a sense of entitlement among those who test the waters, pushing the boundaries. Who is ultimately accountable to taxpayers, is it Translink? – that is the State Government. But is this in the too-hard basket, while taxpayers are subsidising a government that is too interested in its own agenda, to confront the problem of ripping off honest hard-working people?
What is evident in our society, is a lack of conscience and sense of personal responsibility. One daring bus driver recently gave those who boarded the bus, one fare-evader with KFC, and some with no credit on their go-cards, excusing themselves, a lecture on taking responsibility to paying your way. Where do they think they are going, when boarding a bus without sufficient credit to pay? Do they expect free entry to amusement parks, or free burgers and chips at Maccas? Alternatively, paying commuters are not rewarded for doing the right thing.
It is our politicians who like to spend big, expecting taxpayers to contribute, without being accountable for how and where their taxes are spent. It is unconscionable to continuously allow fare evaders to exploit the system and taxpayers alike. The buck stops with the Premier. The demise of the practice of using money to pay for tickets on public transport, during Covid, and now extended, was the beginning of uncontested free public transport travel, with the State Government’s blessing. It is taxpayers who foot the bill.
I have decided that it is now safer to walk on the road rather than on the footpath. On Friday night I was walking on the footpath on David Low Way heading to the Surf Club with my seven-year-old granddaughter. Luckily, we were hand in hand, and I was able to pull her to safety to avoid a reckless inconsiderate E-Scooter rider who was approaching from the opposite direction at breakneck speed.
When leaving the Surf Club after conducting our raffles I was almost run over by another E-Scooter rider who was also travelling at high speed.
I have lived in Coolum Beach for many years and have had a long association with the Surf Lifesaving Club as a volunteer lifesaver. I cannot believe that we are now in such a dangerous situation just walking on the footpath in our beautiful town.
Once again, our reactive government has put more pressure on our overworked Police Service to contend with another serious problem. The youth crime situation is out of control and now we have another situation that is already causing death and injury and will only become worse.
This is another example of the lack of respect and consideration that exists in our society.
NEW YEAR IN POLIITCS
At last, we can look forward with hope; hope that the COVID pandemic will be over as vaccines help stop the spread and medical science learns better ways to treat the coronavirus; hope that at last the climate wars are over and our new government’s action of climate change will make the difference; hope there is peace in Ukraine and ease the pain for that nation but also around the world; and hope that the National Anti-Corruption Commission will help restore our trust in government and our elected representatives.
Without trust in our government, we will continue to be dubious of their motives and actions and that can lead to some believing some disturbing and dangerous conspiracies.
Prime Minister Albanese promises to govern for all Australians. There is a lot to do to repair the damage of COVID and the last decade of inaction, incompetence, and divisiveness but now there is hope for a better future for Australia.
May 2023 be peaceful, and we all come together in harmony.
Will 2023 actions of caring for forests, seas, unique animals, aquifers, rivers, and green spaces lead to a happy healthy population living in a healthy safe environment to produce a healthy, safe, and productive economy?
YOUTH OUT OF CONTROL
What sort of country have we become? A wave of anti-social and anti-establishment juveniles, roaming in packs, products of dysfunctional relationships, running amok, carrying weapons, and fearlessly threatening law-abiding citizens in their homes.
Many regions experience these gangs, which travel from other areas to hit specified targets swiftly, with car theft, burglary, and violence, and doing a runner to avoid capture. Putting fear in communities, these unsupervised juvenile thugs are without conscience. Craving attention, they film their criminal activities on social media, to get many “likes”, boasting to their adoring fans how they got away with breaking the law. Pushing the boundaries is a challenge they savour.
With the epidemic of breakdown in the family, many children are victims of a society in crisis, lacking resources to monitor child welfare adequately.
Governments repeatedly make excuses for children falling through the cracks, due to lack of funding, despite high spending and targeted focus on their own agendas. Youth crime isn’t their priority, until a tragedy occurs and then they pass the buck of responsibility to the courts.
When tragedy hits, governments acknowledge they should do better, but juvenile crime, especially involving repeat offenders, requires more than just good intentions. Innocent victims deserve many hardened criminals, regardless of age, be removed from society for a very long time. There is no simple cure for unrepentant criminals who flaunt the law. Consequences for them are of no consequence.
It began when discipline was ruled out of home and school. Now society is paying a high price. That a father must raise his two children alone, reflects on a government without solutions to youth crime, dismissive of their own responsibility. And they make the rules!
TROY ASCOTT THANKS
Recently we had some teenagers hanging out in the bush in front of our house doing what teenagers, hiding in the bush do. On returning home after a weekend away we discovered some alcohol, chairs and other items had been removed from our property to the bush.
Deciding to do something about this situation, we reported it to the relevant authorities, resulting in no action being taken.
Through a third party, Troy Ascott, Principal of Coolum State High School was made aware of the situation and within days of this happening and with his support everything totally changed. Troy is obviously an educator who wants to make a difference not only at Coolum State High but also within the community at large, so thank you Troy for taking the time and putting in the effort to make this community a better place.
Margaret & Greg Onions,