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Cost of living and uni frustration top Gympie poll

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Cost of living pressures, and law and order issues are biting hard and worrying local Gympie residents according to an electorate wide survey.  

Member for Gympie, Tony Perrett, said that almost 1,000 residents responded to his Biggest Community Survey which covered a wide range of issues including cost of living, jobs and the economy, roads, education, communities, health, and agriculture.  

“Out of a possible 40 responses residents identified their top ten concerns as cost of living, the impact of government policies and debt, law and order issues and the Government’s refusal to lease an empty and unused TAFE building to the University of the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Perrett said.  

“Specific concerns were: dissatisfaction with lifting the freeze in family car registration (86%); that government policies directly impact the cost of living (87%); concerns with ever increasing government debt (84%); and that the debt is affecting the cost of living (83%).  

“Law and order also came under the spotlight with 93% of respondents calling for tougher measures for both dangerous sex offenders and domestic violence offences; tougher penalties for anti-social and drunken violence (87%); and being tougher on juvenile offenders (85%).  

“84% of residents expressed support for the expansion of the University of the Sunshine Coast by leasing an empty and unused TAFE building at the site.  

“While there were no questions relating to local government more than 75% of respondents identified matters directly relating to Council.  

“Many residents said that they feel like the cost of living has increased beyond wage growth over the last five years (81%); that the high state debt is a problem (82%); and that increasing rates and government charges have meant that 68% of respondents said that they have had to cut items from their weekly budget to cover rising costs.  

“Tight budgets mean that residents and businesses have nowhere to go when fixed costs rise and when regulations and rules become more burdensome.  

“It does not matter which department is responsible many of the Government’s policies have a flow on effect to household budgets, the local economy, and the jobs market.

 “Every policy which does not equate to better employment outcomes, improved chances for finding jobs, such as securing better qualifications and access to employers, and providing support for our local industries are being keenly felt by residents.  

“Policies which can help these issues include supporting the expansion of the University of the Sunshine Coast at the Gympie Education Precinct are important for this region.  

“That is why reducing Queensland’s debt, prudent investment in targetted infrastructure, allowing business to do business by supporting our productive local industries, creating real long term local jobs and securing the region’s attractiveness as an affordable family friendly place to work, open or start a business, raise a family and retire are among the pressing issues facing Gympie this year.