Light­ing ‘at top of the list’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

DE­SIGNS are be­ing fi­nalised for street light­ing on Warner St and put on top of the list as part of the Port Dou­glas Mas­ter Plan.

A 19-year-old wo­man fought off an at­tacker be­tween Warner and Mow­bray Streets while walk­ing home af­ter work on De­cem­ber 8, when she was grabbed from be­hind. In Novem­ber 2010, two women were al­legedly sex­u­ally as­saulted in two sep­a­rate in­ci­dences in the same lo­ca­tion along Warner St, while walk­ing home from li­censed venues.

Po­lice have said more light­ing would help pre­vent crime and will as­sist the au­dit by pro­vid­ing any in­put re­quired, ac­cord­ing to Port Dou­glas Of­fi­cer-in-charge Se­nior Sergeant Damian Meadows.

“I know that peo­ple have to be mind­ful of their own safety given con­di­tions, if there is a poor-lit-area, if it can be avoided that would be safest thing to do,” he said. “I know the coun­cil is not a bot­tom­less pit but un­til coun­cil de­cide that ar­eas need to be up­graded, we are still go­ing to be deal­ing with these prob­lems.

Coun­cil’s re­gional man­ager for Dou­glas Liz Col­lyer said there were ini­tial plans al­ready de­signed for the street but are be­ing fi­nalised in ac­cor­dance to the Aus­tralian Road Light­ing Stan­dards.

“Warner Street is part of the Port Dou­glas Mas­ter Plan with a num­ber of in­fra­struc­ture works planned for the street,” she said.

“This sec­tion of Warner Street is an iconic streetscape for Port with the av­enue of In­dian Padauk trees, which is much loved by the com­mu­nity but has also pre­sented chal­lenges in light­ing de­signs.

“De­signs have been de­vel­oped to work around the trees to en­sure re­ten­tion of their iconic value.”

The ar­eas of Mudlo St and Owen St are just as bad as Warner and guests at the Port Dou­glas Queens­lan­der have re­ported to own­ers Gavin and Julie John­ston of in­juries from fall­ing in the dark.

“It’s not a good look for Port tourism and not a good look for lo­cal res­i­dents who work late and walk home,” Julie said.

“I rang the coun­cil ini­tially and they told me light­ing was an Er­gon En­ergy mat­ter, I rang them and ex­plained who we were and what the prob­lem was and was told, ’You’ll have to pay for that’.”

The John­stons re­ceived a works or­der in the mail, which stated to have some­one come out and in­ves­ti­gate it would cost them $250.

Er­gon en­ergy spokesper­son Mark Tim­mer­man ex­plained that it is Er­gon’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to in­stall and main­tain light­ing but or­gan­is­ing light­ing is up to the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil.

“Coun­cil de­cide where and how as a rule, if coun­cil deem there is a need for more light­ing it’s a mat­ter for them, if it’s an is­sue with lights not work­ing it needs to be re­ported t us,” he said.

Divi­sion 10 coun­cil­lor Ju­lia Leu said the whole area is part of the Mas­ter Plan, but agrees there is a need for more light­ing in the in­terim.

“I will be re­quest­ing as a mat­ter of ur­gency that we im­prove the light­ing in that par­tic­u­lar area and due to safety con­cerns I think we need to im­prove the light­ing as soon as pos­si­ble,” she said.

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