In the wake of the Treveston Dam debacle the State Government says it will waive stamp duty charges and pay for legal fees under a buy back scheme for Mary Valley landowners. The normal rules had been waived so that tenant farmers and other former Mary Valley landowners could buy their land back at the same price they sold it for.
The affected former owners, or at least those who are in a position to take up the offer will greet this with some enthusiasm. I am however disgusted at the attitude of some who feel that they have been amply rewarded by the state with the purchase of their properties and don’t deserve any consideration with the new circumstances. These are people whose lives have been turned upside down since discovering that their property rights and security of tenure meant nothing if the state government had an idea.
The purchase of their land and homes was only “voluntary” from the point of view that they had the option of selling out or being forced off, by armed police if necessary.
One thorn in the side of this offer is the statement by Cr Engeman that he wants “a master plan for the Mary Valley that will benefit the whole of the Gympie region and will in turn create a jewel in the crown of southeast Queensland.” He wants the state government, Gympie Regional Council and the community to decide the future of the area, - you just can’t allow the residents and landowners do their own thing.
The Mary Valley will no doubt evolve in its own way in the future in its own time as the people of the area do their own thing without the need for “master plans” for turning it into some councilors image of what it should be. They have just suffered three and a half years of agony from Peter Beattie and Anna Bligh’s master plan for the area and I am sure they don’t need another one right now.
The local authority should get out of the way and let the people of the valley get on with their lives without the uncertainty of what some committee is likely to come up with.
What is it about elective positions that give people delusions of relevance?