Ed­i­tor’s com­ment:

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK - Greg Mclean Man­ag­ing ed­i­tor

CAIRNS Re­gional Coun­cil has missed the point of what has up­set many peo­ple in the de­bate over the re­moval of al­most 50 co­conut palms from Four Mile Beach.

There is lit­tle doubt coun­cil went into the ex­er­cise with the right in­ten­tion to reveg­e­tate an area that cer­tainly re­quired at­ten­tion.

But the re­fusal to ac­knowl­edge even af­ter the co­conut stumps are star­ing up out of the ground that coun­cil could have quite eas­ily re­tained three rows of trees as part of the reve­g­ata­tion is noth­ing short of ar­ro­gant.

Coun­cil re­peat­edly claimed three rows would be re­tained along the whole sec­tion, yet now puts the re­moval of sev­eral trees in the fir­ing line down to “in­ter­pre­ta­tion”.

Coun­cil of­fi­cers can’t con­sult the com­mu­nity on ev­ery sin­gle project they carry out, but clearly this is one in­stance where a prob­lem was iden­ti­fied be­fore the trees were re­moved but no se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion was given to ap­pease those con­cerns.

This ap­proach leaves coun­cil ex­plosed to crit­i­cism of to­kenism when in­deed there has been con­sul­ta­tion.

The end re­sult is a scarred land­scape with­out the 3000 na­tive plants which were sched­uled to be in the ground un­der the prob­lem has been re­solved.

Let’s hope lessons can be learned so that in fu­ture is­sues which are clearly sen­si­tive can be dealt with prop­erly.

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