Letters to the Editor 27/03/24

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Dear editor, 

My praise goes out to Taylor Bunnag for his energetic and professional campaign in Division 8. Many weeks of grassroots campaigning which included his visits to more than 1800 residents’ homes plus those visited by his team, ensured most voters in the division knew about Taylor on polling day. It goes to prove that all the billboards, press, radio, TV, and social media advertising do not get the results of face-to-face engagement with residents.   

Rod Stringer, 

Coolum Beach.  



Dear editor,  

The usual Easter and public holiday fuel rip-off is with us again, exploiting the poor motorists finding no relief at the pump, due to the high cost of living and governments refusing to ease the lucrative taxes on retailing fuel. The only winners are wholesale fuel companies and our federal government. 

But by using “Petrol Spy”, an online site for your immediate area, you will discover that not all areas of the state raise the retail price for fuel in cycles, or during peak holiday periods. The maps on this internet site give a broad range of petrol stations in the area, with differing prices. Recently, the price of unleaded is dearer than diesel, which has not changed over the past month. However, the price of unleaded fuel has jumped 40 to 50 cents at some service stations in the past fortnight. Collusion of petrol companies is so obvious. 

It pays to check fuel prices and where it is cheaper. Vote with your feet. It appears to condemn the most populated areas to higher prices, while further afield, the prices have not changed at all, or are significantly lower than the more populated areas, towns and suburbs. It is the usual modus operandi of servos of  – “supply and demand”. The higher the demand at holiday time, the higher the prices, with historical profit margins also. 

Competition is rare in Queensland close to the coast, inner city or in high-density regions, while further out from the popular holiday regions, fuel seems not to go through the cycle we see regularly falling right on high-demand occasions such as Easter, Christmas, school holidays and public holidays. Travelling during these times, and paying for fuel, is now a luxury for most. With the cost of all goods and services factoring in the price of fuel, no- one can escape the exploitation merry-go-round. Silence and inaction from our government is unconscionable.  

E. Rowe, 




Dear editor, 
Thanks E. Rowe for raising the issue of public transport fare evasion (Coolum Advertiser, 13 March 2024), an issue that is rampant on the Sunshine Coast, yet from my observations, it is barely an issue in Brisbane or on the Gold Coast.   
Late in 2023 eight full-time ‘Network Officers’ were appointed to the Sunshine Coast region. With Translink bus services stretching from Cooran to Beerwah and the officers working in groups of three, that’s a lot of territory to cover. 
The issue may be one of driver safety? No driver likes being abused and threatened, and there have been instances of driver assault on the coast. However, in Brisbane bus drivers challenge those who attempt a free ride, and if the freeloader refuses to get off the bus, the driver calls for police assistance.  
Female drivers here on the Sunshine Coast used to stand up to this behaviour and tell intending fare evaders to get the next bus. One driver asked a youth his destination and he replied, “Coolum Beach”. The bus pulled up a stop before Coolum and the driver told the young man this was his stop and to get off.  
Not anymore. Those wonderful ladies are no longer driving in our area. The male drivers rarely challenge an intending passenger and now it’s open go for anyone who believes they don’t have to pay a fare. 
The new fare equipment being installed on buses has taken an inordinate amount  of time to come into use, and finding a GoCard retailer is difficult – that creates a problem for new arrivals, visitors and genuine passengers, but the situation has got so far out of hand that any action will be hard to implement.  
Why should you, E. Rowe, or me, or any other fare-paying passenger, subsidise those who believe it is their right to free transport around the Sunshine Coast? Maybe we should all adopt Tuesdays as “fare-free Tuesdays” and see if that prompts some action from Translink and the state government. I doubt it too. 
Pete Finch, 



Dear editor, 

Has the Love Nuclear Power cult trumpeted where the nuclear power plants will be built and in which electorate the nuclear waste will be buried or stored? Just asking for new clear details? 

Margaret Wilkie, 

Peregian Beach. 



Dear editor,  

The number of people over 80 is expected to triple over the next 40 years, yet there is already a desperate shortage of workers to look after seniors. 

While wage rises for aged-care workers are welcomed, this measure alone will not provide the level of care and choice desirable for loved ones who have contributed to the nation for decades. 

Indirect care workers such as laundry hands, cleaners, and food services assistants will also receive increases to support a lifting of aged care standards all around.  

Inevitably, the wage rises will boost the costs of aged care to existing and new clients and the commonwealth government is looking to shift more of the burden from the taxpayer to seniors in care centres or their own homes and with their families. 

Following the shocking revelations from the Royal Commission, in an effort to ensure quality and eliminate scams, enforceable standards for food and nursing provision need to be established and monitored tightly to weed out bad providers. 

Too many times it has been left to the distressed families of loved ones to go public and expose the shoddy practices in parts of the aged care industry driven more by profit than patient need. 

To lift standards and meet the challenges of the increasing number of seniors needing to be looked after – where will all the extra aged care workers come from? 

A greater proportion of school-leavers will need to be attracted to the aged-care sector as will workers displaced from industries in decline plus suitably skilled migrants and refugees with appropriate language skills. 

It will be up to seniors and their families to keep governments accountable and to meet the challenges of the ‘Silver Tsunami’. 

Garry Reynolds, 

Peregian Springs. 



Dear editor,  

With Easter approaching, The Salvation Army would like to extend an invitation to all and ask you to join us for one of our special upcoming Easter services. With more than 300 local Salvo churches throughout Australia, we welcome you to connect with your local Salvos and experience the community and hope that The Salvation Army offers. 

The Salvos are passionate about caring for people. Each year, across our services, we help over 250,000 people. As we serve our community, we help people in financial hardship, those experiencing homelessness or living in unsafe homes, people struggling with addiction and mental illness, and people feeling lonely, abandoned and hurt. 

Ultimately, we help people looking for hope and peace. Our passion for helping others comes from the heart of what Easter is all about – Jesus. 

On Good Friday, we commemorate the death of Jesus Christ. It was the most incredible sacrifice for all humankind. But the story didn’t end there. God had a wonderful plan: to bring salvation and hope to the world. On Easter Sunday, we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, and the new life he offers to those who believe in him. 

Let me encourage you to find peace, hope and an authentic faith community at the Salvos this Easter. 

To find your local Salvos, visit salvationarmy.org.au/easter   

Commissioner Miriam Gluyas, 

The Salvation Army, Australia.  

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