May­oral can­di­date

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

Photo by PAUL BUT­LER

Stand­ing for Mayor: Mar­garet Cochrane in Port Dou­glas on Mon­day to an­nounce her may­oral push

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