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Letter to the Editor calling for the Preservation of Tully’s Igloo

10/September/2021

The following Letter to the Editor was received by the Wet Tropic Times in response to the article that appeared in the Friday, September 3, 2021, edition of this newspaper calling for the Preservation of Tully’s Igloo.

Dear Editor

The Igloo post WWII remained at the original location opposite the Cardwell Shire offices.  That site is essentially now a car park for the RSL/Tully Tigers League club. 

It was used at the end of almost every week for dances and cabaret. It was also used for basketball as well as Debutante Balls. At one point it was actually used as part of the Council Works Depot area.

As the Cardwell and Johnstone Shire had State Forest areas placed under World Heritage Listing in the 1980s, the Federal Government had to provide what is known as a ‘Community Offset’ for the loss of areas. In the main the loss of forestry practices in our Shire that was up towards Cardstone / Kareeya Power Station.

From memory, for the Johnstone Shire, community-focussed Mayor, Ross Overton, brokered what became Warrina Lakes. 

This involved a set-in stone tripartite agreement between Federal Government, State, and local council. 

Interestingly, Warrina Lakes, on the election of the Krematsos Council, smashed up the pool there and filled it in with excavators to save the alleged $30,000/year operating costs. This was despite it being a benefit to not only the Warrina Aged home adjacent, but certainly the growing population of disabled and other in the Shire. 

The plans to destroy community infrastructure continued under the Krematsos appointed CEO Gott and the future of Warrina Lakes is still smoke and mirrors, despite the Tripartite Agreement. It was not the Unity Council’s role to destroy what was the entire community offset on the introduction of World Heritage.

My memory with regards to the Cardwell Shire of the deal put forward to Federal Minister Graham Richardson by then Labor Mayor Tip Byrne was to relocate the WW2 Igloo to the Tully Showgrounds and rename it as the Tip Byrne Memorial Centre.

Similarly, the Igloo, in my memory, was the result of the set-in stone Tripartite Agreement between Federal, State, and the Cardwell Shire as the repatriation package was a community offset for the impact that the World Heritage Listing would have on the Cardwell Shire.

I am happy to be corrected, but neither Warrina Lakes nor the Igloo were to be taken away from the community.  These Federal Government offsets are not rightfully the Council’s to be eliminated by ex-CEO Gott, particularly as the assets are earmarked to make up for the financial fallout of using in excess of three million dollars of ratepayers’ money to fund a private defamation case.

I would suggest that at no point was Federal or State approval sought to break the Tripartite Deal at Warrina Lakes or, indeed, to demolish the Igloo.

Bonny Bauer

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