TOUGHER dog laws, jobs for locals and informal meetings for people to “vent their spleen” are key issues mayoral candidate Margaret Cochrane wants to implement if she wins in the upcoming elections.
Cr Cochrane, who is the Deputy Mayor of the Cairns Regional Council, said she would make sure there are Council meetings held in the Douglas region every three months where people can come and “vent their spleen” by speaking directly with councillors and letting their councillors know what really irks them.
“I think this Cochrane said.
“People can sit in on Council meetings now but they cannot speak to councillors unless they are there as a deputation.
“And if the de-amalgation does not go ahead, it is even more important we not only send councillors to the region every three months but the councillors have to listen to the people and then report back to the council officers and get any worthwhile and practical changes implemented.
“Bringing all of the councillors and the managers to Mossman like we do each November is just too costly, both in time and money.”
Cr Cochrane who is running under the Community Alliance ticket was in Port Douglas and Mossman, on Monday, outlining some of her policies and why people should elect her as Mayor of the CRC.
And the de-amalgamation issue that has had the community divided for the past four years has to be resolved and as quickly as possible Cr Cochrane said.
“The division within the community over the de-amalgamation debate has been very negative and has many people fighting each
is really important,” Cr other and that is not good for the community,” Cr Cochrane said.
“We have to concede, it’s not working or the people perceive it’s not working, and so I totally support de-amalgamation if that’s what the majority of people want but I will not support it if it’s going to cost many millions of dollars, or increase rates dramatically, to change back to the Douglas Shire Council. But like I said, it must be resolved one way or the other so we can all move forward.”
Hiring more local people and tendering out council works where more local firms, so long as they have the expertise, are chosen also has to be given more attention rather than hiring everyone “from down south” Cr Cochrane said.
“And the other issue that has polarised people is the chloride debate; and even though that is set out under legislation by the State Government if we can get it changed, again if that is what the people want, then I will try and get it changed.
“Also it costs over $1 million a year to chlorinate the Port Douglas and Mossman water supplies and that money could be better spent in so many more needy areas. But of course the system delivering the water has to be totally guaranteed to be pristine and kept clean or chlorination will need to stay in place.”
And as for the Port Douglas Waterfront Master Plan Cr Cochrane says that while initial consultation has been completed and some demolition works have commenced, beautification of the existing area and foreshore walkways will enhance the precinct, however, Community Alliance believes that further consultation is required before future works are undertaken, particularly in relation to the lagoon.
Community Alliance is standing candidates for Division 2, Division 3, Division 4, Division 5, Division 7, Division 8 and Division 9. They are not putting up a candidate to contest Division 10 which is presently held by Cr Julia Leu.
The local Council elections will be held on April 28 and eligible voters can cast their ballot in the same polling booths as they did for the State election held on March 24.
Standing for Mayor: Margaret Cochrane in Port Douglas on Monday to announce her mayoral push