HOW could this happen?
That is the one question on everyone's lips as we, as a region, come to terms with the fact our beautiful harbour has been closed to fishing. We are a region built around our coastal environment. It sustains us - and we are supposed to protect its sustainability in return. But somehow, it seems we have failed.
This is a tragedy - the scale of which is unprecedented. Lives will be ruined. It is almost too devastating to comprehend - to put into words.
This is our harbour; our playground, our backyard - it makes living here great. How dare anyone mess with that.
Understandably, the government and associated bodies have lost a lot of credibility over this matter.
This community is demanding answers but there are many who have lost faith and trust in the expected gatekeepers.
The only way the truth of this matter can be brought out into the public arena, and that truth be trusted, is through an independent, open and public inquiry. And it has to happen in Gladstone - not in the hallowed halls of George St.
As a community we deserve to have access and be a part of this vitally important process.
This community has been let down by the government - which is supposed to represent a bastion of accountability, fairness and representation. As a community we need to stand up and demand some answers. We demand a full investigation and access to every last bit of evidence and information.
Something is horribly wrong - surely, by now, that much is obvious - and, maybe now, we will have this matter taken seriously.
This is a mess. And while there's probably nothing that will restore a desired level of faith in the powers that be after this incident, a bit of commonsense and some due care and attention will go a long way.
We cannot let this one go through to the keeper and someone needs to be made accountable. It's only fair. And surely by now, "fair" has to count for something.
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