Think and vote! On November 9 we the people of Douglas Shire have to make the biggest decision of our time. All the candidates have the good of the Shire at heart. All good people! In my opinion we need to elect candidates that reflect business acumen on an executive level. The key to a strong shire is electing candidates who have top-level financial expertise, common sense and offer a balance between running a business while maintaining a reasonable nonextreme environmental attitude. While we have a wide choice of candidates there are only a select few that offer a strong executive background. I urge everyone to read about the candidates attend the coming forums and ask questions. This maybe the only chance we get. Think and vote! apparent support from the Douglas or Cairns Northern Beaches communities nor from our elected representatives. To put 700,000 tonnes of additional cane on our roads, through Mossman township, and through the mill, into perspective, the mill will crush this season, by Mackay Sugar’s own estimate, 575,000 tonnes; most of that sourced from within the Douglas "Shire" and most of that transported by train. This extra tonnage will increase the 2014 crush to 1,275,000 tonnes - more than 2.2 times that of 2013, and will, I believe, result in the largest ever crush at Mossman Mill. The 700,000 tonnes of additional cane from the Tablelands, on top of ‘‘hoped for’’ natural growth locally, will simply ‘‘crush’’ our road systems, Mossman’s country-town atmosphere, our Coast-to-Tablelands tourism industry, our road-frontage restaurant and accommodation businesses, our environment and environmental image, and frankly the mill itself, and severely impact both the tourist amenity of the coast road from Cairns to Port Douglas as well as that of the Cairns Northern Beaches - all for little to no financial benefit locally but simply for the benefit of out-of-district ownership that does not care one jot about the local living environment. Additionally, it will adversely impact our local farmers, who will have to endure 24/7 aroundthe-clock harvesting with both increased noise and lifestyle impact as well as consequent damage to headlands and ratoons, compromised priority for processing of their cane, enormously increased pressure on mill reliability (a disaster this year already, with just 440,000 tonnes in total processed to-date), and, if past history is any guide, reduced financial returns resulting from mill subsidisation of the Tablelands cane transport and processing. the 700,000 tonnes of additional cane from the Tablelands will mean an additional eight 40-tonne B-Ddouble truck movements every hour seven days a week for five months along the Mareeba-Mossman highway, though Mt Molloy and Julatten, down the Rex Range, on and off the Captain Cook Highway, and into and out off Mossman - that is one truck every eight minutes, 24/7 on average, plus hundreds of extra mill-mud distribution trucks back up, and down, the range or around the Shire, and hundreds more processed-sugar delivery trucks to the Cairns wharf and back as well. And with the possibility of adverse weather, poor mill reliability, and the inevitable road blockages due to accident and increased road maintenance, the local harvest could extend for as long as eight months, from May to December. Surely this plan is either plain stupidity or a sad joke being perpetrated against the residents of the Douglas and northern Mareeba "Shires" and of the Cairns Northern Beaches communities! If this plan proceeds, then the impact of the additional 17,500 round-trip (35,000 one-way) B-Double cane-delivery truck movements, not to mention mill-mud and sugar delivery truck movements, upon our roads, upon our living standards and life-style amenity, upon impacted businesses, and upon road safety, will lay squarely at Mackay Sugar’s doorstep, and they should not be allowed to proceed without legally enforceable multi-million dollar up-front provision for the inevitable direct and indirect costs that will ensue.