THE Friends of the Douglas Shire deserve plenty of recognition for their efforts in maintaining the de-amalgamation debate.
Whether you support the concept or not or are unsure, the fact of the matter is there are only two regions in the whole of Queensland which are considered viable propositions for de-amalgamation - here and Noosa.
This is based on the persistent efforts of these communities to raise their opposition to amalgamation.
There are many factors to consider in the pros and cons of de-amalgamation and these are yet to become crystal clear.
While every community would prefer more autonomy, the cost of this is a considerable factor.
Former Douglas Shire manager David Carey has done an admirable job in compiling the facts and figures he presented to Monday night’s meeting at the Mossman Shire Hall.
But the simple fact is he was unable to obtain all the data required to do a complete analysis.
What did emerge from Monday night’s meeting is that if you do consider de-amalgamation as an option, then the LNP presented a much stronger case than the Australian Party.
If de-amalgamation is to occur, then the community needs to be presented with a true cost of the process.
This is not something which can be done in a few months, but requires up to two years to fully understand.
While the Douglas region may get its independence back with de-amalgamation, what are the impacts of this on the Waterfront, the Daintree Gateway project or the $40 million upgrade of the Mossman sewerage treatment plant.
Would the region be sacrificing one or all of these important projects if we were not part of a larger council?
I don’t know that, and I’m not sure anyone truly does, but at least due to the commitment of the FODS and their supporters the affects of de-amalgamation may be properly processed.
It was a great turnout at Monday night’s meeting, but there were only a handful of people under the age of 40 there and these are the ones that need to get engaged in the issue most of all.