Peo­ple of Port, where the bloody hell were you!

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK -

FI­NALLY. Port Dou­glas has been handed an hon­est and true as­sess­ment of its cur­rent eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion and a vi­sion for its fu­ture in a re­port pub­lished by the stu­dents from the Melbourne Busi­ness School pro­gram who were here for four days in Fe­bru­ary.

The re­port was pre­sented by project leader Pro­fes­sor Sel­wyn D’souza at the com­mu­nity hall where an in­vi­ta­tion was ex­tended to the en­tire com­mu­nity and pub­lished in the Gazette and 140 per­sonal in­vi­ta­tions were sent out to peo­ple who had closely par­tic­i­pated in the pro­gram.

But where were the peo­ple of Port Dou­glas? Where were you all?

Apart from mem­bers of the steer­ing com­mit­tee, Val Schier, Ju­lia Leu and a cou­ple of con­cerned tourists (yes, even tourists are show­ing con­cern) there was only a hand­ful of about 40 peo­ple who both­ered to turn up and who were ob­vi­ously the only ones to give a damn.

Peo­ple of Port Dou­glas - is that the best you can do?

If you are a busi­ness owner or selfem­ployed, you owed it to your­self and your busi­ness to have been there.

If you are an em­ployee of a small busi­ness, you owed it to your­self and your fam­ily to have been there.

If you are re­tired and sit­ting back en­joy­ing the life­style here in par­adise, then good on you, you de­serve it - but you owed it to your com­mu­nity to have been there.

And if you couldn’t get there your­self due to pre­vi­ous com­mit­ments, then you should have taken the time to ei­ther resched­ule or sent a rep­re­sen­ta­tive in your place. You missed out big time. You missed out on hear­ing what is re­ally hap­pen­ing to our town and why it is hap­pen­ing.

It should be noted that this project was un­der­taken by MBA stu­dents as part of their cur­ricu­lum and was not a com­mer­cially-funded re­port (stu­dents paid $3000 each) which meant, for once, there were no po­lit­i­cal or hid­den agen­das, just the hard, cold facts about a town in cri­sis and what we, as a com­mu­nity, need to do to get our town back on track.

With it came a sim­ple mes­sage, loud and clear.

We, the res­i­dents of Port Dou­glas must first ac­cept what is hap­pen­ing within our com­mu­nity and come to­gether as “one voice with one vi­sion” so that we can be­gin work­ing to­gether to­wards putting our town back on the tourism map.

If we can­not stand united, then we will fall far­ther and far­ther into de­cline as dif­fer­ent groups lobby for dif­fer­ent causes.

Al­ready I can hear peo­ple moan­ing and groan­ing about “work­ing to­gether” and to some de­gree I agree.

There is so much di­vi­sion in the town that it seems near on im­pos­si­ble that we can some­how all unite and be­come one big happy fam­ily.

I don’t be­lieve there is one per­son in Port who is sit­ting on the fence and who doesn’t give a fly­ing cock­a­too when it comes to is­sues such as amal­ga­ma­tion/ the la­goon/tourism/co­conut trees - need I go on?

We all have strong pas­sion­ate opin­ions on is­sues such as these and sadly, our opin­ions are all di­vided.

Sad­der still, we are all so eas­ily in­flu­enced by peo­ple who sit in so-called high po­si­tions but who ob­vi­ously live in Ga Ga land if they think Port Dou­glas is “do­ing okay”.

Port Dou­glas is def­i­nitely not do­ing okay.

Just ask any busi­ness owner in town and they will tell you that this is the tough­est time they have ever had to go through, be­lieve me, I know, I’m one of them.

We no longer have a high sea­son and a low sea­son.

Has any­one no­ticed that our “high sea­son” is shorter and more like a mod­er­ate sea­son and that our low sea­son is last­ing longer?

Those facts, cou­pled with high rents equals the in­evitable - Port Dou­glas is no longer a sus­tain­able en­vi­ron­ment to run a small busi­ness, let alone a prof­itable one.

We have to take con­trol and re­build our town.

Ev­ery sin­gle per­son in Port Dou­glas owes it to them­selves and the com­mu­nity to read this re­port and to try and find some small way to con­trib­ute to bring­ing us to­gether as “one voice with one vi­sion”. Our fu­ture and the fu­ture of our town de­pends upon it.

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