The Case For Gladstone

In 1989, I was living in Brisbane with my sister before moving to the Gladstone area to live with my brother. My doctor told me to be careful of Gladstone girls. They might give me a disease.

Comment: “Please explain how you intend to make a dirty, polluted industrial town look like an appealing tourist destination?”

Do You Live Near Australia’s Most Polluted Cities? “3. Gladstone has a mix of industries that contributes to its air pollution: coal operations, aluminium smelting and chemical manufacturing. This accumulation of harmful dust particles, in addition to car emissions, has led to an increase in asthma, allergies and similar symptoms.”

Gladstone has a reputation akin to Bakersfield.

MJ posts on the Gladstone Observer:

IS it time to reinvent Gladstone and our ways of thinking about this amazing region?

When I tell the outsiders where I’m working you can hear the disdain in their reply of ‘really why are you there?’, yet these are the same Aussies who have never left the comfort of their own patch to go exploring.

And let me tell you, when you do take the time to explore this region you are rewarded with one of the great wonders of the world. For example where else in Australia can you say you have the unbelievable Great Southern Barrier Reef at your door step?

To our west we have the sandstone region to explore and let’s not forget 1770 and Agnes Water and all beaches in between.

We are blessed with an abundance of parks and walking tracks and the best play area. I’m talking about East Shores and it looks like another bucket of money is about to be spent extending this area for everyone.

Yet it’s that name that seems to make ordinary people cringe and that name is Gladstone.

Do we need to reinvent ourselves with a new image and stop showing the world the vast tracks of coal that is one of our main export drivers, or hide the LNG and coal ships that earn the Queensland Government a bucket of money?

It breaks my heart to think the rest of this state and country think we are living in the pits and why would you want to holiday here – you only come here to make money and then get the hell out.

I say it’s time to make a stand. What we need to do is start using the tools we have to show the rest of Australia and the world that GLADSTONE is a thriving city with amazing facilities.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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