by Michael J Bailey
GLADSTONE ... can you hear the rumble?
It's a low, understated noise but it's coming from a solid base and it may just become big blurt before we know it.
It is the noise coming from a few well-meaning folk in the town that are sick of the talkfests and committee meetings.
One of the vehicles, kicking up a bit of noise and dust, is a new group called the Gladstone Sustainable Industry Taskforce (GSIT).
We've got a few similar taskforces around the town but they get hundreds of thousands of dollars to sit around talking. The GSIT mob might just be a bit more pro-active and they don't have a budget from what I've heard, they're just doing it off their own backs.
One of the people behind GSIT is Graham McVean. You can see his letter on this page that was submitted to The Observer back in February.
Graham is no lightweight around town and I've got the feeling GSIT is going to start flexing a bit of muscle with some big calls for action.
I can't speak for this mob but I've got a few conspiracy theories I'd like to air about projects we could see in the future.
There's been plenty of talk about what's going to happen at the Showgrounds. Exactly what is the council's agenda as it tries to evict the Show Society and reclaim the land?
How's this for one to throw on the fire?
I wouldn't be surprised if council wants the Showground so they can move the netball courts there to make way for a new access road from the highway to the Port.
It would have to skim past the pump track but I'm sure that wouldn't stop any such grand plans.
I've had my investigative hat on for this one but have had much luck getting a call back from council.
Then, what about a move to get the Australian Maritime Safety Authority away from Canberra and relocate it here in Gladstone.
I'm pretty sure they don't get many ships dock in the ACT so why not move the 343 maritime staff here to Gladstone?
I've never seen an LPG tanker dock at one of Canberra's fake lakes.
Having the maritime safety authority in Canberra is like having the desert flower research board on Heron Island!
Imagine how much of a boost for Gladstone that would be if we got this department out of its land-locked location and actually next to some wet stuff and the best port in Australia.
There would be 343 government workers with their fat flexi-time pay packets, disposal cash and time to spend it around Gladdy.
We've just heard about 8300 unemployed here and 11,838 on benefits here in the Fitzroy region. 343 times by whatever these public servants earn could create a few extra spin-off jobs around the place.
It's a pity Malcy Turnbull couldn't find his way to come to Gladstone on Thursday instead of spending all his time lolling around in Rockhampton.
We've got the right to be a peeved at this snub, yet again, from our supreme leader.
After all, we're the mugs putting in all the hard yakka to produce all the royalties from our refineries, smelters and gas plants.
What does Rocky contribute? That's right, cow dung!
Even if he could have done a Bronwyn Bishop and flown a helicopter here for a cuppa and a few cucumber sangas, we could have asked him what he thought of the idea to move the maritime staff here.
We could have even shown him our harbour and explained how ships float and need water to berth.
To help get some of these things happening, Gladstone needs a bit of attention and love from Malcy. He sprouted on about his new regional plan (probably because of the pressure put on by this newspaper group's Fair Go campaign) but is Gladstone going to get a guernsey in this grand plan?
Does Malcy even know we're here? He should, he might not have been in his seat of power had Kenny not got over the line against a huge swing in Flynn at the last election.
Perhaps it's time to get young Billy Shorten up here again to stir things up, or maybe even that red-headed politician.
Just get somebody who is going to give a solid commitment to help out the industrial heart of central Queensland.
We're the ones pumping out all the stuff that gets exported or used domestically that earns the government taxes and royalties.
How about pumping some back in and maybe then the ideas of people like GSIT and every other taskforce in this town will start to see the light of day.
Michael J Bailey is the breakfast announcer on 4CC.