De-amal­ga­ma­tion will cost

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

RATEPAY­ERS in the Dou­glas re­gion will wear the full cost of dea­mal­ga­ma­tion if it oc­curs, Mem­ber for Cook David Kemp­ton re­it­er­ated yes­ter­day.

The new LNP State Gov­ern­ment sat for the first time on Tues­day and Mr Kemp­ton was sworn in as As­sis­tant Min­is­ter for Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Af­fairs.

Mr Kemp­ton promised to be­gin the de-amal­ga­ma­tion process within 100 days of the LNP be­ing elected, leav­ing him 46 days to de­liver.

“We’re in the process of dis­cus­sions with the boundaries com­mis­sioner and the Port Dou­glas shire has been ac­cepted by David Crisa­fulli, the Min­is­ter for Lo­cal gov­ern­ment,” he said.

“We’ve pledge a ref­er­en­dum and that will hap­pen, the ob­vi­ous thing is peo­ple need to vote on sev­eral is­sues.

“One - do you want to de-amal­ga­mate from the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil?

“Two - are they aware they will wear the costs of that process.

“Three - they need to know the cost.

“Four - they need to know the long-term vi­a­bil­ity of the new shire and five - what hap­pens to their resid­ual shire, it’s im­por­tant to con­sider if Cairns is vi­able on its own.”

Premier Camp­bell New­man has made it clear the cost of de-amal­ga­mat­ing would be borne by the de-amal­ga­mat­ing shire, de­spite it be­ing the State Gov­ern­ment which de­cided to amal­ga­mate the re­gion.

For­mer premier Anna Bligh promised that all pro­ceeds raised by the State Gov­ern­ment from free-hold­ing the Meri­dien Ma­rina would be put back into the Port Dou­glas Mas­ter Plan, how­ever the same com­mit­ment from the new gov­ern­ment is yet to be made.

“Free­hold money in terms of the cost of the mas­ter plan is rea­son­ably in­signif­i­cant, we need to look at what can be achieved in the long term,” Mr Kemp­ton said.

“If they’re se­ri­ous about bring­ing a mas­ter plan about, we need to look at how it will be im­ple­mented and funded long-term.

“We’ve given con­sid­er­a­tion to the free­hold, it’s not a high pri­or­ity on the ta­ble.”

But Mr Kemp­ton has given his com­mit­ment to build­ing a round­about at the Cap­tain Cook High Way turn-off into Port Dou­glas - with com­mu­nity con­cen­sus.

“If that’s what the com­mu­nity wants, we could also turn it into a gate­way,” he said.

“This is an op­por­tu­nity to gain a gate­way to Dou­glas and the Dain­tree as well, but we’re not go­ing to im­pose a round­about if it’s not wanted.

“I’ve had some pri­mary dis­cus­sions with the re­gional di­vi­sion of main roads and need com­mu­nity con­sen­sus on what they want to see hap­pen.”

If you want to ex­press your opin­ion on a round­about at the in­ter­sec­tion email cook@par­lia­ment.qld.gov.au

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