The small Queensland Township of Neerdie, have a park on land donated to the community by a local resident. Since then local residents have maintained it with minimal support from the council. A local action group was formed which organized working bees in order to turn the place into a showpiece.
Then the Gympie Regional Council decided that these people were getting a bit too independent for the councils own good and ordered them to stop. Community volunteers attempting to beautify their locality have to get permission from the council:
… tiny but venerable ex-mining town of Neerdie on Gympie’s eastern side, an unpretentious but highly successful example of community spirit and environmental sustainability. That was the case until recently, when a crushing Gympie Regional Council ruling banned spontaneous community working bees in the park, under principles, which technically may also ban householders from mowing their footpaths.They have been told that this illegal but they are allowed to pick up sticks and weeds.
Residents told The Gympie Times yesterday that they had advised the council of their park clean-up efforts, only to be told that in future “approval from council will be required for you or a contractor to undertake works on the trees on council land.”
The defiant residents of Neerdie broke the rules a few weeks ago when they held a community working bee in their town’s park, safely felling a dangerous dead tree, trimming the bushes, mowing the lawn, mulching and removing weeds.
Now the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, not to be outdone has approved a two-storey supermarket, retail and office complex in Nambour, conditional to its use at least 50 per cent renewable energy. Council is claiming its an opportunity for Coles to show they're a terrific corporate citizen and care about the Sunshine Coast region.
Coles have refused and demanded a renegotiation:
In statements to the council, Coles said it would be forced to renegotiate its electricity contracts on behalf of a single store. Even if that was possible, the Nambour store's power bills would jump by $100,000 a year.50% renewable energy exceeds the amounts that the state and federal governments demand by 250%, only the extremist Greens are pursuing this amount. It is extremely arrogant for the council to be demanding that this company meet standards far in excess of those required of the only other major supermarket in the town, its major competitor.
If a compromise is accepted by the council, Coles will be required to cut its power use to 20% below that of any basic shopping centre. …
While the supermarket and the council haggle over the fine print, Nambour businesses grow frustrated. Nambour Alliance board member Greg Biggs said the area wanted to see action. "From a town's point of view, we can't wait for the day for them to break ground up there and have construction happening," Mr Biggs said.
Council elections are due in March, and its not unreasonable to wonder if some dirty backroom deal has been done in exchange for electoral donations.