Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Have We All Become Too Big to Care for Important Things?

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Have We All Become Too Big to Care for Important Things?

Article excerpt

THE sacking of Flower the Clown from the Woolworths-operated Kawana Waters Hotel last week may or may not be a metaphor for the world in which we now live, but it's as good a place as any to start to understand it.

Twenty years working in the one location in a little job with not too many hours but an enormous amount of pride in it all the same.

Hotels used to be de facto community meeting places. The publican in many country towns would cash the cheques of local tradesmen and football clubs, guaranteeing liquidity and ensuring people were paid in tight times.

Now they are corporate property, run by managers capable of dumping Flower in the car park, their value judged by the size of their poker machine licence.

They are about as in touch with their community as all levels of government appear to be.

Good things were expected of our regional council when it was elected, the mayor by overwhelming mandate.

Sustainability was the catchword and a shift back towards the sense of community to which most residents aspire was the goal.

Now three years into its term council is on the verge of killing off through indifference and conflicted interest the one strong sustainability initiative on which it could have hung the region's reputation.

By Friday it is not only in danger of losing a $4.6 million federal government grant for a sustainable water scheme at Peregian Springs but will also have exposed ratepayers to another $1 million in costs.

Is its cut from Unity Water really worth more than the principles to which it aspired?

While it has chased around for brave sustainability initiatives that would diversify the economy and help brand the region as C[pounds sterling]vibrant, diverse and greenC[yen] it has ignored the opportunity at its doorstep.

And it is about to give a commercial operator exclusive access to a community lake system over the bid of the Maroochy River Water Ski Association, with a 52-year history and a very healthy membership. …

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