Letters to the Editor 28/06/23

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Dear Editor, 

I have attended almost every day of the proceedings Development Watch v Sunshine Coast Council and Anon (the “Sekisui Court Case”), over three years, the most recent being the remittal to the P&E Court 1-2 August 2022. For that hearing, Council provided a submission (Court Document 99, submitted 5 July 2022, and signed by Council’s legal team 4 July 2022) which included 10 points justifying the approval of the development despite it not meeting reasonable community expectations. Although several of the points seemed questionable (including more open space for the public), one of these points particularly astonished me: (f). The proposed development would enhance the natural environment. Council used as justification for this assertion that the Court, in the original decision delivered 25 May 2020, considered the development would enhance the site as it was derelict (para [397]) and that it would provide an education program for turtles (para [389]).  

I am confused as to how plonking three massive seven-storey buildings onto a low coastal plain immediately surrounded by low-rise or no-rise development will enhance the natural environment. The “derelict site” in fact supports substantial areas of natural Melaleuca vegetation, and ponds, though artificially created, are now settled, and vegetated with natural water plants and inhabited by wildlife. All of this will be destroyed by this development. 

Please explain. 

Estelle Blair, 




Dear editor,  

I am sure your readers will have noticed the obvious contradiction between the two stories about marine turtles in your recent edition (14-27 June). We were invited to comment on the Marine Turtle Conservation Plan. As Councillor Cox said, “Every nest and every egg is critical to the ongoing survival and recovery of this critically endangered population”. But what was the main story in that edition? Our Council sided with the proponents of an irresponsible development by Sekisui House at Yaroomba to persuade the Planning and Environment Court to overrule local residents and permit a proposal that will clearly affect nesting turtles. The fine words in the draft Conservation Plan won’t protect the turtles from the consequences of inappropriate development. If the Council were serious about protecting turtles, it would not be encouraging the sort of development that is directly threatening them. 

Ian Lowe,  




Dear Editor,  

Sekisui has to be admired for their consistency and patience with the small band of noisy whingers of what is basically an excellent project. 

Why are seven storeys a problem? There is a whole row of buildings of that size at Marcoola! Some of them have been there for over 50 years. The difference is, those are very visible from the road, from the beach and beyond, whereas Sekisui surrounds their buildings with a buffer of vegetation which, by the way, also protects the turtles from excessive light. 

Our area also needs more superior hotel accommodation, and 740 dwellings will go some way towards the housing crisis. Building has to start soon as the Olympics are just around the corner. We don’t want to miss out on that opportunity, do we? Besides, the hotel will create a multitude of jobs of all sorts, as will the apartments, needing services like cleaning, ironing etc. 

What I fear is that, if this project gets knocked back again, a few years down the track, a new project will be launched but by then the proposal will be for real high-rise buildings, Gold Coast style… 

J Konrad,  




Dear editor, 

If a ‘Yes’ vote for the ‘Voice’, then it will mean No more deaths in custody or high infant mortality, poor housing, and poor health for our indigenous citizens. Who would vote for a continuation of that for anyone? Just asking for a friend. 

Margaret Wilkie,  

Peregian Beach. 



Dear Editor,  

Everyone knows the cost of living is rising due to the global headwinds from the impact of the Ukraine-Russian War, slow global economic growth, inflation, and rising energy costs. 

Energy costs are going up because the former Liberal National government did not formulate an effective plan for the energy industry after scrapping the carbon tax levy which was working by getting emissions under control and encouraging investment in renewable energy. 

Therefore, it was welcome news in the State Budget that there will be a $550 electricity rebate for all Queensland households. Seniors and other concession card holders will get an electricity rebate of $1,072. Labor governments work hard to help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in society. 

Both rebates are possible because of the strong economic management of the Palaszczuk government and because they kept our energy assets in public hands while delivering and planning for a better future with clean renewable energy. 

Robyn Deane, 

Bli Bli.  



Dear Editor,  

Winter is here. It’s tax time, and it’s that time of year when many of us seek to hit the reset button as the new financial year rolls around – a fresh start. 

But for The Salvation Army and the thousands of people we support, it means something very different, particularly this year. We are extremely worried about those who are most vulnerable in our community, who are presenting to our services across the country, some for the first time. 

Not only is it the coldest time of year in many parts, but we are also facing one of the most severe economic challenges we have seen in years; the cost-of-living crisis and soaring utility bills are leaving everyday Aussies facing devastating and impossible choices. 

One mother, 42, has told us: “I wear multiple layers of clothing to keep warm. I avoid turning on the heater and try not to waste or use excessive amounts of water.” 

With this in mind, we want to simply say thank you. Thank you to the Australian public, who has already given so generously to the Red Shield Appeal to make sure that families and individuals like the ones we help above can access our services wherever they are in Australia. 

Thank you for thinking of others when it would be so easy to just think of yourselves. One of the greatest traits of Australians is that when the going gets tough, Aussies reach into their pockets and help someone in need. I love that about Australia. 

But it isn’t over yet. The Salvos are hoping to raise $37 million by June 30 to ensure our services and programs across the nation can continue, so nobody struggles alone. 

This end of financial year, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal by visiting salvationarmy.org.au or calling 13 SALVOS. 

Major David Collinson, 

The Salvation Army.  



Dear Editor,  

I’m having a moment, reflecting on the Smiths Chips advertisement: “Having a moment”. In the Philippines, all snack food with no nutritional value is taxed with a ‘sin tax’, to deter purchasing.  

Australians are bombarded with snack food advertisements. Most products have no nutritional value, but companies continue to promote these, despite 60% of our population being overweight or obese. The nation’s dire health report and its pressure on our health system is a red light to promoting unhealthy lifestyles. 

This ad, showing a group of adults socialising, laughing at anti-social and unacceptable behaviours, has nothing to do with chips. Throwing water on someone and two adults cuddling and kissing on a hammock, send the wrong message to target audiences. 

It is not what we want our young, impressionable minds taking from such advertisements. Its anti-social behaviour, bullying and poor food choices are glaringly obvious. Sincere censorship of unhealthy lifestyles and snack food promotion is lacking in Australia, despite our poor health record. We are weighed down by such promotions, leading the country to a very unhealthy future. It’s all about profit. The promising future horse has bolted.  

Discretionary spending requires conscious investment in our overall national health status, the media leading the charge. Our promising future is not based on Maccas and chips promotions, which must be censored. 

E. Rowe, 


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