Letters to the editor

IN MEMORY: Attendees at the Mount Isa march against suicide release their balloons into the air. Photo: Derek Barry
IN MEMORY: Attendees at the Mount Isa march against suicide release their balloons into the air. Photo: Derek Barry

Sunday trading 

Re Tim Carberry’s letter (Star, Sep 7). I am a small business owner in Mount Isa.

Mr Carberry misunderstands the issue of extended trading hours. Major retail chains swallow up trade from small business owners and their aim is to drive out any small business competition. Fuelling the growth of the major supermarkets will reduce the presence of smaller operators. You assert that you support extended trading hours.  That’s fine to have that view but acknowledge you are against the small operators. 

Small business suburban owners provide a valuable service to the elderly and lower socio economic residents who cannot afford to travel into the city to shop at the major retailers. They offer convenience and service.

You can’t tell me that the local community doesn’t suffer when smaller players get forced out of the market, like the recent closure of Food for Less. The larger operators will always consolidate and rationalise their operations, particularly in a closed regional market.  This means when you allow the big guys in a smaller market you must reduce market participants and competition.  

Mr Carberry has ignored the fact the more small business owners we have in the region, the more business houses we have to donate to worthy local organisations and sporting groups. The larger supermarket chains are NOT champions of local sponsorship or community involvement, nor are their profits retained locally. 

Mr Carberry, are you on the side of massive businesses that post billion dollar profits, pay million dollar executive salaries, force out small operators in regional centres and who work to automate their shops to reduce employment opportunities for our community? Or the side of local business owners who employ local staff and spend their meagre profits locally?

I know which side Robbie Katter is on and he has continually fought against extending retail hours for major retailers as he recognises the importance of small business owners to regional centres. He has never changed his stance unlike the LNP whom you note he “snipes at.” Robbie sat through an endless line of LNP MPs who stood up prior to the vote and expressed they would vote against the Trading Allowable Hours Bill and boasted how they look after small business, then voted for the bill. 

I would rather a man who stands by his word than MPs who flip flop depending on how they can stay safe in their jobs. 

Bob Burow, Mount Isa

Airport charges

Re Star’s article (September 5) “Mount Isa Airport Cuts its Landing Charges.  I’m surprised airport owners Queensland Airports Limited are so non-committal.  Why doesn’t the CEO Chris Mills know what exact figures he’s referring to in landing charges?  I can run them off the top of my head.

It would have been great if Mr Mills could have said what charge the discount of 10% to 30% is being applied to?  They have left residents scratching their heads on where the $2 comes from. When the Qantas 12 month trial of a new discounted fares scheme is launched in November, it will operate on WA regional routes, Mount Isa and Cloncurry.  

Kalgoorlie Airport has agreed to a 100% waiver on airport charges for residents who purchase a fare via this scheme, this will provide increased discounts for residents.

Mount Isa Airport is one of the most expensive in Queensland in landing charges. I’m calling for QAL to waive the airport charges, excluding security costs, for residents who purchase a fare via the scheme.  We need QAL to review passenger fees and reduce them by 30% permanently.

On my candidate’s Facebook page, I have posted the passenger fees for Mount Isa, Townsville and Gold Coast, all owned by QAL.  Airlines pay passenger fees departing and arriving. The public pays for this.

QAL should explain why Mount Isa charges are astonishingly high compared to Townsville and Gold Coast.   

Danielle Slade, ALP candidate for Traeger