Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LETTERS -

IT is go­ing to take a huge ef­fort for the Dou­glas re­gion to come to­gether af­ter Satur­day’s de-amal­ga­ma­tion vote and en­sure the best out­come for ev­ery­one.

Ob­vi­ously there are a lot of dis­ap­pointed res­i­dents who did not get their cho­sen form of lo­cal government, but the fact is a sig­nif­i­cant ma­jor­ity did. While the yes vote was largely car­ried by Port Dou­glas vot­ers which out­num­ber the rest, the ma­jor­ity of Moss­man vot­ers also opted for dea­mal­ga­ma­tion as did Wonga Beach, the third-largest pool of vot­ers.

It will be par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant for the new coun­cil to open mean­ing­ful di­a­logue with res­i­dents north of the Dain­tree River and im­ple­ment pro­grams which de­liver pos­i­tive out­comes for res­i­dents and busi­nesses of the area. From most ac­counts, the Dain­tree was largely ne­glected by the old Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil and Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil was able to de­liver projects of sig­nif­i­cance such as the Cooper’s Creek cause­way up­grade.

It is also im­per­a­tive for the new coun­cil to em­brace the con­cerns of those who voted no and prove their in­ter­ests can be catered for un­der the new Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil.

Un­for­tu­nately, the process of un­tan­gling from Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil will not start for at least four weeks with the ap­point­ment of the tran­si­tion man­ager. Jan­uary 1 will come around very quickly and ev­ery moment mat­ters and the State Government should have taken mea­sures to en­sure the tran­si­tion man­ager started on Sun­day, not in at least one month’s time.

Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil is in the process of for­mu­lat­ing its bud­get for next fi­nan­cial year and part of the tran­si­tion man­ager’s role will be to en­sure the Dou­glas re­gion gets its fair cut of the cake. While this is not the great­est start to dea­mal­ga­ma­tion, the most im­por­tant as­pect is for the com­mu­nity to put our dif­fer­ences aside and present a united front. We’re all in this to­gether now, whether you voted for it or not.

Greg McLean Man­ag­ing ed­i­tor

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