Letters to the Editor 03/07/2024

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Dear editor,  

We regard pets as members of our family with personalities. Charles Darwin was “pooh poohed” when he said there was no difference between humans and animals in feeling pleasure, pain, happiness, or misery – now science reveals that Darwin was right. 

There is compelling evidence that some animals feel a full range of emotions including sadness, joy, and love. We love our pets the more for it. 

Intriguingly, researchers found bees can keep score as they have fun rolling small wooden balls around. They recognise human faces including those of the King and David Beckham who relish their company through beekeeping. 

NASA uses fruit flies to determine the effects of long-duration space missions on an astronaut’s body and who knew that fruit flies have trouble sleeping when they feel lonely? 

Many lonely people in our community struggle to find a place to sleep. Pets sense our emotions through facial expressions and nuzzle up when they see we are sad. How often have we seen the homeless wandering the streets with their dog for company. 

Seniors find solace with a pet if they have lost a partner and are alone. 

If pets can care and share, what about us with lonely people and the homeless – let’s not just leave it to the animals. 

Garry Reynolds, 

Peregian Springs. 



Dear editor,  

Both State and Federal Governments received a historical GST bonus – perfect timing for a rise in fuel prices! 

Funny how it appears to coincide with significant public holidays and school holidays, yet again. The 50cents a litre sudden rise cannot be justified, with oil at $80 a barrel. 

Do we suspect collusion between our government and oil companies? As Shakespeare observed: “Something is rotten in the State of (Queensland).” Turning a blind eye to any exploitation by oil companies, there is total silence at the top of the price cycle, manipulated to coincide with holiday periods.  

We are all aware of the inaction of those who seem to prosper by the rising cost of living, with little or no action or explanation from those who supposedly represent us. After all, all goods and services are  hugely impacted by the cost of fuel, regardless. The cost is eventually, and pointedly passed onto the bottom rung of the consumer pyramid. 

With an enquiry into the supermarkets’ hold on both producer and consumer and how high they can go changing nothing and costing taxpayers a princely sum, we don’t expect any interest in the exploitation modus operandi of oil companies by our governments. 

The driving public is lulled into a sense of pointlessness, fighting a losing battle to change the status quo and forces which control the market. As governments appear to be less interested in making fuel companies and big business accountable, but continue to play along, we comprehend the adage: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” 

Australia is one of the most expensive nations to buy a house. As homelessness which is a direct result of government inaction to provide social housing for constituents, and the cost of living rises exponentially, hindering personal progress, big companies are thriving.  

There is no challenge to “make Australia great” for the majority. It is to a very select few that our governments and big business pay homage, as well as the almighty dollar. However, motorists vote with their wallets and voters still vote with their feet, in our democracy.  

E. Rowe, 




Dear editor, 

If family stories, DNA tests and TV shows reveal that everyone is the sum of all their ancestors, then isn’t every Australian an immigrant except for Australia’s first peoples? Is “Go back to where you come from” the answer? Just asking. 

Margaret Wilkie, 

Peregian Beach. 



Dear editor, 

Following the usual media release, Sunshine Coast Council’s website provides further details on capital expenditure for the 2024/25 budget, as well as several preceding years.  

The announced capital works budget for Division 8 this year ($4,144,700, including $2400 for free tree days) pales in comparison with Division 9’s allocation ($9,732,100, excluding an additional $9 million for the Nambour waste facility, a region-wide benefit). Division 10 is allocated over $14 million, Division 4 over $10 million.  

And $2,513,000 of Division 8’s budget is allocated to Maroochydore, leaving $1,631,700 for north of the river. In Division 9’s budget, $2,420,000 is allocated to Coolum Beach village alone – $1,743,000 of which is allocated to Lions and Norrie Job Park for an upgrade, including $345,000 for a “toilet block”. Power Memorial Park’s upgrade is allocated $335,000 ($323,000 the previous year).  

I’ve also noticed that sometimes allocated funds are carried over to the following year and announced again.  

Division 8 has as many residents as other divisions, about two-thirds of whom live north of the Maroochy River. Our rates have increased this year, like everyone else’s. We enjoy our parks, roads and footpaths, beaches and boat ramps. We take pride in our villages and their appearance. 

A review of several years of council capital works budgets reveals Division 8, particularly north of the Maroochy River, has a history of receiving generally less capital works funding than other divisions, for significant improvements to infrastructure supporting residents’ lives. I would like someone to ask council management – why? 

I note that Division 8’s new councillor is out and about talking to communities. This is commendable and I hope it lasts. Perhaps next year’s budget can deliver an equitable amount of maintenance and improvement to Division 8, particularly north of the river.  

Estelle Blair 




Dear editor, 

It was once said that “cash is king” but owing to  decreased  cash transactions from 35% in 2015 to the present day 16%, it seems the  dethroning of physical currency is on course for the digital alternative to reign supreme in our economy.  In fact, Angel Zhong, Associate Professor of Finance at RMIT University, believes that Australia will become a cashless society by 2030.        

Though this significant drop in cash usage shows a fundamental shift in consumer preference, with online spending accounting for a majority of credit and debit card expenditure, there remains a solid group probably from the Baby Boomer era, who  continue using cash for 40% of their transactions.  And 49% of transactions lower than $10.00 are paid with cash where card swiping incurs a fee. 

Whilst Millennials and Generation X’s have adopted the digital lifestyle, it may give them cause to reflect upon what a cashless society could bring.  An article I read explains exactly my take on this situation:  “Using CASH is like telling the government that what you buy is none of their business!  Not only the government but banks as well.  Cash is freedom.” 

In recent memory is the case of the registers at a large supermarket crashing, thus revealing that reliance on the technology ruling our world is not always a viable option.  

For myself, I love the touch of solid coins and those lovely paper notes and fortunately our local Commonwealth Bank allows me to  make a weekly withdrawal to spend on groceries and fuel.  Online payment is very convenient and secure for making flight and accommodations bookings, it has its place in our world, but it would be a blow to privacy and the pleasure of counting our solid currency should it be removed from us – to support cash, keep using it! 

Linese Norrish, 

Coolum Beach.  



Dear editor,  

We love our dogs in Australia and it’s compassionate that when getting a dog we choose from the shelter to save a life, which is admirable. But if you look at the dogs on offer you see large mixed breeds and working dogs, and while there are plenty of good companion dogs in there, small dogs of any type are snapped up before they hit the ground. People realise small dogs are easier to handle, cheaper to feed, are generally placid, adapt well to small living spaces and do not require lots of exercise. So if we generally prefer small dogs why are there so many of the other types abandoned?  

I suggest that farmers breed their working dogs and choose a puppy to train as a working dog and those that are not killed are sent to the shelter (many are transported to more populated areas to get them a home). It reeks of the greyhound industry to me. Shouldn’t they be regulated to limit breeding to avoid the puppy waste? Then there are the other types, large dogs of indiscriminate breeding. May I suggest that the owners of these dogs do not desex or register their dogs resulting in unwanted puppies? Is that naivety or deliberate (asserting themselves as macho or having a ‘guard dog’)? Perhaps some education is in order. 

Diana Korving,  

Mt Coolum.  


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