Mar­garet Cochrane

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

One of the real is­sues with Coun­cil over the past term has been the per­ceived lack of “real” com­mu­ni­ca­tion. I will in­tro­duce Com­mu­nity Chat fo­rums whereby the com­mu­nity can en­gage di­rectly with the coun­cil­lors in an in­for­mal way and dis­cuss their is­sues and con­cerns. Coun­cil meet­ings do not give the com­mu­nity the op­por­tu­nity to have a say or dis­cuss their con­cerns. From the feed­back I am get­ting around this project there needs to be fur­ther dis­cus­sions and con­sul­ta­tion, par­tic­u­larly around the sit­ing of the la­goon/pool. I am fully sup­port­ive of the beau­ti­fi­ca­tion of the area to com­mence the project. I will seek fund­ing from both State and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ments as this project is nec­es­sary to kick-start Port Dou­glas. My pri­or­ity for the Dou­glas re­gion is to gain the con­fi­dence of the com­mu­nity, by lis­ten­ing and co-op­er­a­tion. Projects such as the Waterfront Mas­ter­plan, the Dain­tree Mas­ter­plan, the pro­vi­sion of a new Gym­na­sium for Moss­man are most im­por­tant. Up­grade of main­te­nance ser­vices by bas­ing ve­hi­cles and staff in Moss­man is so im­por­tant, thus hav­ing lo­cals caring for the lo­cals. This does not re­ally fall into the Core Busi­ness of Coun­cil, but cer­tainly Coun­cil’s Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Depart­ment can as­sist with pro­mo­tion of prod­ucts and busi­ness in the area, there are Grants avail­able through this depart­ment for new ini­tia­tives and pro­mo­tion to en­cour­age the ex­per­tise in this re­gion. Un­for­tu­nately lower val­u­a­tions do not al­ways mean lower rates. Coun­cil has to ac­quire suf­fi­cient funds to sus­tain the com­mu­nity and its em­ploy­ees. In the times of eco­nomic hard­ship there has to be re­spon­si­ble fis­cal man­age­ment and coun­cil needs to be aware of the com­mu­nity’s abil­ity to pay their rates. I give an un­der­tak­ingto keep the rates at a level which is as close to the CPI as pos­si­ble.

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