EDI­TOR’S COMMENT

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

IT IS go­ing to be a very long eight months for Dou­glas ratepay­ers judg­ing by the at­ti­tude of Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor Bob Man­ning and some of his coun­cil­lor co­horts.

The ap­par­ent ea­ger­ness of coun­cil­lors to risk hun­dreds of thou­sands of dollars in State Govern­ment fund­ing to build a bridge over Woobadda Creek north of Cape Tribu­la­tion be­cause ‘‘it is not right for the peo­ple of Cairns to trump up money for projects in Dou­glas’’ signals a very bumpy road ahead.

The de­ci­sion to sup­port coun­cil’s con­tri­bu­tion of up to $470,000 for the bridge, ex­pected to cost in ex­cess of $2 mil­lion, was made at last week’s coun­cil meet­ing but it ap­pears now all bets are off the ta­ble with a rescis­sion mo­tion next week to re­verse the de­ci­sion likely to be sup­ported by the Mayor and his Unity team.

The stupid thing is, the coun­cil would likely for­feit the $430,000 al­ready spent on the bridge con­cept if it pulled the plug, so es­sen­tially the re­cal­ci­trant coun­cil­lors are pre­pared to risk $2 mil­lion in State Govern­ment fund­ing so it can get out of po­ten­tially spend­ing an ex­tra $40,000 for a vi­tal piece of in­fra­struc­ture which has al­ready been bud­geted for.

If this is the coun­cil’s ap­proach for an amount that is less than half of a coun­cil­lor’s salary, let alone a bud­get mea­sured in hun­dreds of mil­lions, then it ap­pears Lo­cal Govern­ment Min­is­ter David Crisa­fulli or his depart­ment may have to in­ter­vene to re­mind the coun­cil that by law it is re­quired to gov­ern and ad­e­quately fund projects in the Dou­glas re­gion up to Jan­uary 1.

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