Chris "Pineapple" Hooper

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Hi and welcome to my web page. Basically this page has taken some of my posts from my Facebook page and have put them here for the people who don't use Facebook.    https://www.facebook.com/pineapplehooper

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I would like to state that I will be nominating for Mayor of the Rockhampton Regional Council in the up and coming by-election.

If elected Mayor one thing I would like to do is to consult with the local Bouldercombe community to see if they would like RRC to buy the Royal Hotel from the liquidator and then lease it back to the Bouldercombe community at a nominal rent of $1 a year so they can use this building as some sort of meeting place and community hub. I don’t have any preconceived ideas and would love to hear back from the Bouldercombe community.

Photo Vanessa Jarrett,The Morning Bulletin

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Now a lot of people think Council buying the Bouldy Pub and leasing it back to the local Bouldercombe community for $1 a year is a good idea. However, the money has to come from somewhere and as a rate payer I don’t like rate increases. I have heard a rumour that a lot of working solar panels are ending up at the dump in Rockhampton and around Australia. I would like to get my hands on these solar panels and put them on blocks of land that council already owns so that council can either use or sell this electricity. I think this needs to be investigated further. The money saved and the money earned can then go to the purchase of the Bouldy Pub.

I also think a few more solar panels on council building to save a bit of money would be a good idea.

 

Photo Wikipeadia

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I reckon that Mayor Ireland of Livingstone Shire Council has done a great job in creating the community voice panels on a range of topics. In Rockhampton I would love to have the community have a bigger input into what happens in their local area. In particular I really hate the idea of South East Queensland telling us what’s best for our Rockhampton region. That is why I am asking the Bouldercombe community for input as to what they would like to see happen with the Bouldy Pub.

I would like the opportunity to work with Mayor Ireland for the best community outcomes. I think there is a lot of potential to have walking and bike tracks that run from Rockhampton to the Capricorn Coast. That sort of stuff that doesn’t have to cost a lot of money but can bring in tourism dollars and continue to make the area a good place to live, work, play and retire.

Incidentally if you are down that way the best pineapples come directly from the farmers at the markets or at the farm gate.

Photo LSC website

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Now I was talking to a bloke who works for RRC in their parks and gardens section. He reckons that RRC could save some time, effort, money and water if they focused more on planting local native trees and plants. He also raved on a lot about trees providing shade and what trees should be planted where. I found it pretty interesting and think it should be investigated further. I am sure that lots of good ideas can come from the council workers. I am talking about the ones who actually do the work.

There should really be some sort of forum where if a council worker has a good idea and their boss doesn’t want to implement it then there should be a way of getting the idea to the Councillors. Saving money and doing the job right the first time is important. Maybe the job should not be done at all. That could also be an option.

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In recent history, I have noticed a new trend in what some people call home and some new trends as to what people want to call home.

Some of these new trends are

Micro homes / small homes.

Converting shipping containers into homes.

Homes using a lot of recycled material during construction.

Converting tin sheds into homes.

Converting mine camp accommodation into homes.

Repurposing existing buildings. Example churches into homes.

Prefab housing.

Removal homes.

Kit homes.

Converting buses and train carriages into homes.

Off grid homes.

Growing substantial amounts of fruit and vegetables on suburban blocks.

What seems to be lacking in Central Queensland and around the world is a place where people, architects and building designers can have a go at putting these new trends into practice.

I think that Rockhampton City Council should consider making Mount Morgan the go to precinct for all these new trends all at the same time. Mount Morgan has an abundance of empty cheap blocks of land that could become a mecca for builders, homeowners, owner builders, inventors and architects to do something that is a bit more experimental than the standard home I see being built in Rockhampton and Australia today. All that would be required is a relaxation in some of the building codes and a change in attitude as to “what is a home”. RRC currently owns a lot of land in Mount Morgan that could be specifically sold with these types of houses in mind.

Why does RRC own so many blocks of land in Mount Morgan anyway? Seems silly that they bought them and silly that they don’t know what to do with them.

A lot of politicians have talked about affordable accommodation and have never delivered.

A lot of politicians have talked about environmental homes and have never delivered.

A lot of politicians would love to embrace architectural tourism if they knew what it was.

I have spent enough time in Mount Morgan to see that a lot of these “new trends” have already been embraced by the Mount Morgan community a long time ago.

I have a soft spot for Gypsy Cabins.      https://gypsycabins.com.au

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Now I have this Parkie mate who keeps on hanging around my office. He reckons that the Emu Park Community Bank (Bendigo) is the best thing to happen to Emu Park since it opened about twelve years ago. Over one million dollars has been put back into local community projects and the local shareholders have had a good feed as well. I think this should be investigated further. At the moment there seems to be various community banking models around and I would love to see the people of Rockhampton get behind a bank that can be a real asset to the local community. At the moment sending profits and bonuses to corrupt bankers who live in Sydney and Melbourne does not impress me. It should be noted that the Emu Park Community Bank got started without any assistance from the local, state or federal governments. It got started with grass roots community support. 

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This Christmas I will be buying a fair bit of mead from Folk Tale Meadowy.  

The mead is made in Rockhampton from Rockhampton honey. Should make great Christmas presents. Promoting “buy local” is one thing. I also like the idea of promoting goods that are locally made.

Some people have contacted me and worked it out that a community pub at Bouldercombe is not just about getting the community together, but it can also be a facility to showcase local produce. Mead, beer, gin, rum and who knows what else is already being made in the local area. Certainly farmers produce a lot of food in the local area that could be served up or sold at the pub. A place where the local live music scene could be revived. Maybe the Bouldy pub could specialise in displaying local art?

When I have been to the Pilbeam Theatre or to the Rockhampton Art Gallery when they are running a cash bar, I often wonder why they are not selling some of the locally made beverages. This opportunity seems overlooked by RRC.

gin and rum from                        https://saleyardsdistillery.com

and local beer from                    http://www.headrickslane.co

mead from.                                 https://www.folktalemeadery.com

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“No more people in suits and ties making decisions which only benefit people in suits and ties.”

I was a bit surprised to be quoted in Queensland Parliament House recently.

Some people still believe in the myth of trickle down economics. I prefer to believe in trickle up economics.

I feel that I have a high standard of living without spending a lot of money. New terms come to mind such as the sharing economy, barter economy, circular economy. Maybe it could be summed up as mates looking after mates. I tend to buy most of my food directly off local farmers at the weekend markets so I tend to eat very well. Before I buy something, I often ask myself,

Do I need it? Can I make it myself? Can I trade, barter, repair the one that I have? Can I negotiate to rent it, buy it second hand or borrow it?

I think Rockhampton Regional Councillors should have regular brain storming sessions to come up with ideas on how they can save rate payers money.

Photo The Morning Bulletin

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I know first hand what it is like to be miss-treated by the upper management of Rockhampton Regional Council. When I was Mayor Elect of RRC I was refused entry to council meetings. I was also mislead and deceived by the CEO. Anyone of the siting councillors could have put up a motion to rectify the situation but chose not to. If that is the way a Mayor Elect is treated, then I dread to think how the average council worker is treated.

Since I mentioned listening to the Council workers who actually do the work, quite a few council workers have come forward saying that this is a great idea but for obvious reasons don’t want to come out publicly about it. Fair enough. Anyway, please tell your work mates that I am happy to listen and think that some sort of forum is needed so your ideas can be heard. I am sure the council workers who actually do the work have a lot of ideas that should be implemented.

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Rockhampton Stop In For A Steak

All my life Rocky has been calling itself the “Beef Capital of Australia”. One thing that surprises me is Rockhampton is not renowned as a place to stop for a meat pie, roast beef roll or even a steak. Rockhampton seems more famous for American fast food franchises. This is something I want to rectify.

One of my favourites is a steak from the Oxford Hotel on East Street.

My mate made up these "Rockhampton stop in for a steak" stickers and I think think RRC should consider getting the ball rolling by putting them on their council cars.

Just a quick reminder that Beef Week 2021 put on by Beef Australia is just around the corner.

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East Street

Just bought this shirt from Rivers on East Street. I am told they have been selling fast and they have ordered in more. They also have some pineapple shorts as well. Jay Jays in Rockhampton has an excellent range of pineapple socks, shirts, shorts, hats and even stubbie coolers. 

I have lived on East Street for over eight years. I love East Street and the Rocky CBD. It pains me to see so many vacant shops. It also pains me that no one seems to have a plan on what to do about it.

I used to own shops on William Street. My basic strategy was to always keep the rent low enough so the shops were always rented out.

Here are some ideas for East Street

Form a Community Voice Panel consisting of business owners, landlords and concerned members of the community to come up with ideas to revitalise East Street and the CBD.

Don’t rely on the current councillors to do something about it. If they were going to do something, they would have done it by now.

Newcastle had a similar problem in recent history. They organised a campaign to rent the shops out to artists on nominal rent until the situation turned around. Seems to have worked well.

Along time ago Stones Corner in Brisbane was filled with vacant shops. Slowly it became a go to stop for fashion seconds and factory outlets for fashion brands. This seemed to work really well.

Margaret Strelow has often talked about utilising the upstairs sections of the shops and buildings in the CBD. Getting a bit of inspiration from the urban renewal in Brisbane might be a good idea. (Teneriffe in particular.)

Some people have said that East Street could specialise in selling fashion wear made from hemp.

Do a combination of the above.

Hemp

A lot of homes have been built out of hemp in Australia. Why isn’t this hemp grown in Central Queensland?

A lot of farmers in Central Queensland have told me that they would like to grow hemp if the regulations changed to make it easier. I am willing to lobby State and Federal Governments to ease the restrictions. Australia and Central Queensland seem to be lagging behind some parts of the world in this area. In particular a lot of cotton farmers have expressed interest in converting from growing cotton to growing hemp for a variety of reasons such as needing less water to grow.

I would like to see Rockhampton become a value adding place to the hemp farming industry.

It seems that hemp can be made into paper, cardboard, hempcrete, fabric, rope etc quite easily. I would love to see Rockhampton as a hub for these new industries.

In recent history I have spoken to some people who think East Street could be a hub for the hemp fashion industry.

At the moment it seems that a lot of hemp medicine is being imported into Australia from overseas. I would prefer this hemp medicine to be made in Rockhampton from hemp grown in the Rockhampton Region. It could be ideal to have doctors who specialise in hemp medicine to operate from East Street or the Rockhampton CBD.

A lot of great research has come out of CQ University. I am sure they could be involved as well.

Photo Hemp Homes Australia

Consumer Price Index

The top of my wish list is no rate increases above CPI. (Consumer price index.) If given the chance I will not be voting for any rate increases above this. The people of the Rockhampton Region no doubt share my concern for how Councillors have passed resolution after resolution for record debts and record rate increases.

And yes, I have noticed that a lot of people overlook my cost savings ideas. I have republished some, modified some and added a couple more below.

I think Rockhampton Regional Councillors should have regular brain storming sessions to come up with ideas on how they can save rate payers money. This could be a part of every council meeting.

Create some sort of forum so the Council workers who actually do the work can put forward cost savings ideas on how to do the work.

Listen to the community as to what they actually want. I prefer “community driven projects” rather than “government is telling you this is what you want projects”.

There are other local councils which deliver services without the rate levels we pay. I think a lot of time, effort and money can be saved if you copy the ideas that have worked in other places and apply them in your local area. Use proven technology. Use proven ideas.

Ask a question, Does the work need doing?

Do the job right the first time.

When I am making purchasing decisions, I often ask myself, Do I need it? Can I make it myself? Can I find the one I already own? Can I trade, barter, repair the one that I have? Can I negotiate to rent it, buy it second hand or borrow it? This is how I have a high standard of living without spending a lot of money. I would be happy to apply this concept on a council scale.

Save money by not ripping up and resurfacing good roads. Build and fix roads properly the first time to reduce ongoing maintenance costs. People often ask for more road funding. Maybe this money just needs to be spent better.

Install solar panels on council building to save money/make money.

Grow more local native trees and plants in our parks and gardens. The local natives need less water, time and effort.

Ask the State Government to spend less money in South East Queensland and spend more money in Central Queensland.

A Bit of Background

I was born in Rockhampton in 1952 and I was educated here. Attending St Joseph’s Primary Wandal and later on Christian Brother’s Rockhampton ( CBC ). I was a member of the High School Cadets and I represented CBC in athletics, swimming and football. I later played Ruby League for Railways and Fitzroy Clubs. I completed grade 12 in 1969 and my first fulltime job was as a Bank Officer with the ANZ Bank East Street. I was transferred in this position to relieving staff at Monto, Baralaba, Kilkivan, Paddington, Redcliffe and Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. I then secured a position as a cleaner with Queensland Rail, Rockhampton and went on the be a fireman and engine driver. I began these positions in 1971 and departed this employment in 1988. I worked in these positions at Rockhampton, Alpha, Cloncurry and Blackwater/Bluff. 

 

During this time I was successful in gathering together a substantial property portfolio in a partnership. This included a number of residential homes in Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast as well as Commercial properties in the Rockhampton CBD.

 

 After leaving Queensland Rail I started the “Funny Farm” a 144 acre rural retreat on the Emu Park road where I was engaged in “Woofing” which involved hosting international back packers and tourists in conjunction with Cap Coast Backpackers  in experiencing Australian Bush Life in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. It was during this time I had sea change and started to question the rush and tumble of everyday life and the costs of that associated with demand on the environment and individuals.  I was resident at the Funny Farm for over 20 years. At this time I was also engaged in a campaign to save the Rockhampton to Cap Coast Rail line as a much needed community asset. Labor turned this into a White Elephant substantially unused “walking track. Future generations will not thank us for destroying existing rail infrastructure.

 

I was a foundation member of the Rockhampton Youth Shelter Committee starting around 1984 and I was instrumental in the setting up of 2 Community Gardens in Rockhampton. One at Wandal and  a second at Armstrong St North Side. I currently run “Haveachat” on East Street.

Authorised by

Chris Pineapple Hooper

20 East Street

Rockhampton 

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Feel free to use this image as you please. A lot of people seem to be posting this one on social media. 

Authorised by Chris Pineapple Hooper 20 East Street Rockhampton