Ig­nor­ing own ad­vice

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

HOW can it be that coun­cil­lors ig­nore the ad­vice of their own study which was com­mis­sioned and paid for by them, their engi­neers, the Far North Queens­land Re­gional Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Coun­cils and a huge ma­jor­ity of land­hold­ers in the area, and choose to put up a rescis­sion no­tice to re­view the ap­proval to build a bridge over the Woobadda Creek. Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil’s study un­der­taken in 2008 by RECS Con­sult­ing Engi­neers stated that ‘‘there is the po­ten­tial for se­ri­ous in­jury or death to re­sult from a ve­hi­cle be­ing swept off the cross­ing’’ and ‘‘wa­ter lev­els at the road cross­ing can rapidly in­crease to a depth of 2-3 me­tres fol­low­ing heavy rain’’. This is not some new pro­ject that just de­scended, coun­cil has al­ready been work­ing on this for months and has al­ready spent $430,000. The ap­pro­pri­ate ap­provals are in place and I un­der­stand de­signs are ready. Also, $2 mil­lion in State Govern­ment fund­ing is al­ready se­cured and the CRC con­tri­bu­tion has al­ready been bud­geted for. And let us not for­get that CRC has happily ac­cepted rates from the Dou­glas area for the last six years, and must con­tinue to gov­ern the area fairly un­til Jan­uary 1, 2014. Should CRC de­cide not to go ahead at this late stage, the work they have put in so far and the $430,000 will be for­feited and the com­mit­ment of $2 mil­lion from the State Govern­ment will be re­claimed - it can­not be trans­ferred to some other pro­ject within the Cairns re­gion. Are coun­cil­lors re­ally pre­pared to back out now and risk los­ing $2 mil­lion in State Govern­ment money just to get out of spend­ing an ex­tra $40,000 - much less than an aver­age an­nual take home pay. It has been recog­nised for years that this cross­ing is ur­gently re­quired for the safety of road users and it is un­fair and un­wise to play pol­i­tics with peo­ples’ lives.

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