CRC axe co­conut man­age­ment plan

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

CAIRNS Re­gional Coun­cil has de­cided to axe any plans for man­ag­ing co­conuts in Dou­glas or ful­fil a prom­ise to re­plant the 49 co­conut trees chopped down 14 months ago.

Coun­cil halted works on a reveg­e­ta­tion site at Four Mile Park last year af­ter com­mu­nity out­rage over get­ting rid of the iconic co­conut trees.

Mayor Bob Man­ning promised in May last year to re­place the co­conut trees chopped down by coun­cil with ‘‘ma­ture spec­i­mens’’ and re­view coun­cil’s man­age­ment prac­tices.

How­ever, in a re­cent up­date, coun­cil de­cided to post­pone the res­o­lu­tion to in­te­grate the for­mer Dou­glas Shire co­conut pol­icy into its own pol­icy and be­gin com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion to fix the bare Four Mile site.

Coun­cil’s man­ager for parks and leisure Brett Spencer said there will be no fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of an in­te­grated plan­ning doc­u­ment.

‘‘De­ci­sions re­lat­ing to pol­icy and strate­gic plan­ning (and) reveg­e­ta­tion of the site at Four Mile will be ad­dressed by the in­com­ing Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil,’’ he said.

Di­vi­sion 10 coun­cil­lor Ju­lia Leu has la­belled coun­cil’s move a ‘‘cop-out’’ and said there has been enough time to de­velop and fi­nalise the plan, and even com­plete pro­ject.

‘‘ This is yet an­other ex­am­ple of a piece of work that coun­cil had pre­vi­ously com­mit­ted to, which has now not pro­gressed any­where near where it should have,’’ she said.

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately there are other ex­am­ples like this one, where all work has stopped and it is dif­fi­cult to work out who ex­actly has made the de­ci­sion for this to oc­cur.’’

Hor­tu­lus Aus­tralia owner John Sul­li­van, a mem­ber of coun­cil’s Ur­ban De­sign Ad­vi­sory Board said the ‘‘ de­struc­tive and short­sighted’’ reveg­e­ta­tion pro­ject on Four Mile should have never hap­pened in the first place.

‘‘Coun­cil pro­claimed this area of the Four Mile Beach Es­planade des­per­ate for reveg­e­ta­tion and have now shirked their re­spon­si­bil­ity to State Govern­ment in man­ag­ing the fore­shore.’’

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