Harry Bruce’s take on Mackay's 'big' things. Today's Harry Bruce cartoon has been brought to you by Dawson MP George Christensen. George is a proud supporter of free speech and the ability of our cartoonists to take the mickey out of the political class.
Harry Bruce’s take on Mackay's 'big' things. Today's Harry Bruce cartoon has been brought to you by Dawson MP George Christensen. George is a proud supporter of free speech and the ability of our cartoonists to take the mickey out of the political class.

YOUR SAY: Big potatoes, Trump and tourism

IN WHAT is possibly the cutest story of the month and a strong contender of the year, I can't help but lament just how close Kyah Coles came to securing a world record.

I mean, the potato her dad grew in his backyard at Homebush is impressive and was accurately described as the size of a six-month-old baby.

Certainly a talking point for Kyah's class at Homebush State School but also for the Mercury's news team, and makes me wonder what else Mackay has that's big but perhaps not reported - perhaps even record-breaking.

Surely the schnitzels and pies at Pinnacle Pub are contenders, if not for their size then their taste and the friendly service.

But what about the extensive parmigianas at the Mount Pleasant Tavern? When I first moved to Mackay, I was (quite accurately) told deciding which protein and topping would be one of the hardest decisions I would have to make.

I still haven't worked my way through the menu, courtesy of COVID and lockdowns, but it's on the agenda.


Homebush State School student Kyah Coles with her spudtacular discovery – a whopping 4.5kg potato grown in her garden at home.
Homebush State School student Kyah Coles with her spudtacular discovery – a whopping 4.5kg potato grown in her garden at home.


Just like hearing more of your stories and finding out what's "big" but possibly unknown.

The more I learn about Mackay, its business and its innovators and community legends, the more I get the sense there are so many great stories of success yet to be shared.

And there's an easy way for them to be told.

If you head to this link - you can now add your story or results together with a photo and your contact details.

It will magically drop into our editorial system so we can easily load your article for everyone to read on the website.

A special thanks to Homebush State School for letting us know about Kyah's spudtacular find.

And here is more from you, our readers, in letters to the editor.

Keep in touch,

Tara Miko - deputy editor


Better marketing needed to draw tourists south of Cairns

TOURISM needs more help to be recognised statewide for all visitors.

Much attention has always been directed toward Cairns and its surroundings.

There are many other coastal locations that offer as much and even more variations and are still less commercial.

Tourists say when going to see the reef they are immediately booked for Cairns which although a great destination isn't the only place to view it.

Some pretty islands just offshore should be financially encouraged to open up again.

The offer of eco-tourism destinations may be an alternative, as finance is a big item for offshore buildings and construction.

Spread the word that outback places offer interesting locations and history and helps to open up the country to visitors who are unaware of places other than just Cairns and the Far North.

This plan would benefit all of Queensland when tourists really begin to arrive in numbers, hopefully, after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tourism leaders should apply themselves to the task ahead.

Patricia Russell, North Mackay


US election allegations

RECENTLY, former ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey said in a radio interview that fraud for sure occurred in their election.

Having had the privilege of representing Australia in this position for the last four years, Mr Hockey needs to spit out evidence of his allegations or keep his tongue firmly in his mouth.

Robert Richards, Walkerston



Dale Last, Burdekin MP.
Dale Last, Burdekin MP.


Thank you Burdekin

To the voters of the Burdekin electorate - thank you.

Thank you for placing your trust in me to continue representing you and our amazingly diverse electorate for another four years.

I am deeply humbled to remain in this role, doing what I love.

I'd like to thank the other candidates who ran for Burdekin.

Putting your hand up to represent your community takes a lot of time, effort and sacrifice.

I want to recognise the work they put in and wish them all the best in whatever comes next for them.

I would also like to thank the volunteers who helped with my campaign and the campaigns of other candidates.

Over the two weeks of pre-polling there were quite a few uncomfortable days due to the weather and they also gave up time away from their jobs, businesses and families so thank you.

Although the statewide result was not the one I would have preferred, I respect the will of voters no matter who they voted for.

What I can assure you of is that I will continue to fight hard each and every day for the electorate and I will hold the Labor government to account.

Being a Member of Parliament is an extraordinary privilege. I have never forgotten that, I have never taken it for granted and I will continue to serve you to the best of my ability.

As always, I will make myself accessible to anyone who needs assistance.

Whether it be via email, phone call or face-to-face, I am here to hear you and represent Burdekin in Parliament.

I will be a representative for all. It doesn't mater whether you voted for me or not, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any concerns or issues you might have that you feel I may be able to assist you with.

Again, thank you Burdekin. I look forward to the opportunity to get stuck into working for our communities once more.

Dale Last, Burdekin MP


Trumpism in Australia

THE American presidential election may be over.

Joe Biden has been declared the winner.

But Trumpism is not over.

It still lingers in America and it still lingers here in Australia.

After clearly losing the election, Trump remains the most divisive President in American history and continues that role by now making unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud.

Disappointingly, those same claims are being echoed by some of our more conservative Australian politicians, including our own Dawson MP George Christensen.

It is hard to believe anyone in Australia, much less a Federal MP, would support such an American politician as Donald Trump who is better known for ignoring the COVID-19 pandemic, ridiculing and ignoring science, encouraging far-right extremist groups and conspiracy theories and telling more lies than truths.

Are these the policies and values we want in Australia? Are these the values held by Mr Christensen?

Why is Mr Christensen, like Trump, making unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud in the American election? Why does Mr Christensen blindly support Trump?

After fours dark years of Trumpism, America is a broken and divided country, wracked by the pandemic and a widening racial divide. Australia is not America and we must work hard to keep it that way.

There is no room for Trumpism in Australia and there is no room for divisive politicians in Australia.

Tony Fontes, Airlie Beach


SMS the editor:

NC, Andergrove: Recent journey along some six of our so-called "highways". Journey left a lot to be desired.

Unless a major injection of funding is made available from all three levels of government, then most of these "roads" are in grave danger of becoming 'goat tracks', and motorists having to resort to horse and sulky.

The Bruce Highway is almost acceptable south of Rockhampton, but the Burnett Highway, and the Leichhardt Highway, are nothing short of being a disgrace.

There are sections where speed limits around those posted are not achievable.

In many places, signs warning of 'rough surface' do nothing to provide for safety of motorists.

Many of the local streets fall into the same category. Oak Street Andergrove is a prime example. It seems that we are always able to find funding for overseas aid, yet there is no money to make our roads safer. Fossil.

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