Why the youth camp had to close again in 2016
As a former councillor for nearly 30 years and most of this time working in the youth portfolio, I wanted to present the reality of the youth camp saga, with some significant points to your readers,so that they receive the true picture, and that the facts don't get overlooked as Tony McGrady chose to omit in his recent letter (North West Star Oct 1).
Over many decades Mount Isa City Council has had several attempts to reopen a camp clearly not sustainable financially and an endless burden on the rate payers. It was closed previously around 2009.
Without planning or forethought then Mayor McGrady "reopened" it in 2015 even though it was outdated, rundown, and in poor physical state and below the Australian standards for such a facility.
A huge risk for council, there was a refurbishment estimated cost approaching $1M urgently needed to bring it up to standard, and also the running cost rate payers would have to shoulder in the $100,000s every year.
All this for a facility that now has little youth demand and the data shows this.
The only option available was for council to close the facility again.
The council under Mayor Joyce McCulloch (to their credit), decided on a strategy in 2016 to examine the feasibility of broader tourist and community camping and nature park on the site, where an attractive range of camping and activity options including both "BYO tent" to higher end "glamping" units would be available for hire for recreational and tourism purposes.
Clearly any youth groups or any other groups, wanting to deliver programs or trainings could, through reasonable rental fees, avail themselves to the full suite of options under this plan for their short term requirements.
The study for this recreational camping facility is well in hand and has been a product of the Mount Isa City Council Tourism Strategy and will only go ahead if the facility is viable and sustainable.
It would be funded, not by the ratepayers, but in its construction from Sport and Recreation grants, and in its running costs from camping fees collected.
I personally would love to see this proposal go ahead, if it proves viable and sustainable, and as I indicated it will easily cater for all recreational camping needs including any youth bodies in the local community.
Jean Ferris, Mount Isa
Queensland's unemployment is too high
Queensland's unemployment rate of 7.5% is now worse than Victoria's, a state which is currently in Stage 4 lockdown.
The Palaszczuk Labor Government's own figures forecast that Queensland's unemployment rate will jump to 9% by the end of this year.
Queensland's unemployment crisis is alarming, but it is not new.
Thanks to Labor, Queensland had the nation's worst unemployment rate in the nation before the coronavirus began, as well as the highest number of bankruptcies and the lowest business confidence
In fact, during every year of this state government, Queensland has had the worst unemployment rate in the nation.
Because Labor can't manage the economy, nearly 200,000 Queenslanders are now out of work and others are giving up altogether, causing our job participation rate to fall - in sharp contrast with the national trend.
Queensland also continues to have the highest youth unemployment rate in the nation at 15.5%, as well as the most long-term unemployed workers.
Annastacia Palaszczuk's failure to deliver an economic plan or State Budget has left Queensland facing years of high unemployment and high taxes.
Only an LNP Government will provide the economic leadership that Queensland is desperate for.
Tim Mander MP
LNP Deputy Leader