A B-Dou­ble prob­lem

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

Re­gard­ing Mr Hilde­brand’s let­ter (Let­ters, Novem­ber 1) it is thought­ful of him to men­tion he will ‘‘not’’ be haul­ing cane by B-Dou­ble trans­port through Moss­man. He sim­ply does not have Main Roads ap­proval to do so. Has he con­sid­ered the bank­ing up ef­fect on traf­fic at the South Moss­man and Mt Mol­loy/ Cap­tain Cook High­way in­ter­sec­tion rail cross­ings and at the one-way bridge at Ri­fle Creek, Mt Mol­loy? Has he con­sid­ered what ef­fect an ex­tra 42,000 truck move­ments per sea­son will have on daily com­muters to Ma­reeba and Moss­man and chil­dren on school buses? I think he should be well aware of the fact that the Moss­man-Mt Mol­loy road is likely ‘‘not’’ to meet the nec­es­sary Dept of Main Roads and Trans­port cri­te­ria for B-Dou­bles once an in­de­pepen­dent B-Dou­ble route as­sess­ment is car­ried out. the new coun­cil as a dump­ing ground for staff...’’ You as­sert that ‘‘they (CRC) are work­ing within that range’’. I re­spect­fully chal­lenge you on this mat­ter. I have read and heard many me­dia re­ports, in­clud­ing in the Cairns Post and ra­dio in­ter­views, where it is clear that: A) DSC can­not phys­i­cally ac­com­mo­date 31 ex­tra staff; B) DSC does not re­quire the 31 ex­tra staff as there only 14 po­si­tions avail­able; C) DSC can­not af­ford to pay the ex­tra staff or pro­vide work for them; D) DSC will be fi­nan­cially re­spon­si­ble for any re­dun­dan­cies ac­cepted by th­ese ex­tra staff; E) DSC may have to pay a travel al­lowance to th­ese staff to ac­com­mo­date the im­pact of travel costs on them from the Cairns area and sur­rounds; F) The ma­jor­ity of th­ese staff are un­happy about their forced re­lo­ca­tion to work in the Dou­glas Shire when they, in good faith, pre­vi­ously ac­cepted em­ploy­ment specif­i­cally in the Cairns lo­cale. Based on the above points, your as­ser­tion that CRC are work­ing in a bal­anced man­ner is in­cor­rect as the ‘‘bal­ance’’ is clearly tipped in CRC’s favour and DSC is in fact be­ing ‘‘used as a dump­ing ground for staff’’. With re­spect, as Min­is­ter for Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, you rep­re­sent us in the Dou­glas Shire, as well as those in the CRC elec­torate. I see from your pro­file that you orig­i­nate from Ing­ham, a rel­a­tively small re­gional area. I would have hoped that this alone would have as­sisted you in per­spec­tive and I re­spect­fully re­mind you that a mas­sive num­ber of votes re­ceived by the LNP at the last elec­tion was, in this area, pri­mar­ily based on your party’s prom­ise of dea­mal­ga­ma­tion. I ac­knowl­edge that your party has de­liv­ered on that prom­ise and thank you for that. I, and many peo­ple of DSC, feel an­gry, frus­trated and eth­i­cally cheated in re­la­tion to de­ci­sion mak­ing re­gard­ing staff to date. I am aware that the newly formed coun­cil on the Table­lands is be­ing sim­i­larly af­fected by your reg­u­la­tions. Ap­par­ently you are the only one who can do any­thing to re­verse things. I have lived in Port Dou­glas for 33 years and in­tend to re­main here for the rest of my life. I care deeply and pas­sion­ately about our Shire and I ask that you un­der­stand this is­sue not only as a politi­cian, but also as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive who was voted in some­what on our backs. Many peo­ple up here voted LNP for the first time ever, purely be­cause they felt so strongly about de-amal­ga­ma­tion. As you are hope­fully aware, the old DSC was in very good fi­nan­cial state. We there­fore should be mind­ful that we give the new DSC the op­por­tu­nity to work. Per­haps it is timely to re­mind you that when we were amal­ga­mated many lo­cal staff lost their jobs up here. Dur­ing amal­ga­ma­tion coun­cil jobs up in Dou­glas were pri­mar­ily done by peo­ple from Cairns. It was sadly laugh­able to watch the truck with three men (two of whom did pretty much noth­ing but have the free ride) come to pick up the few palm fronds etc on a daily ba­sis. No won­der CRC has ex­cess staff to dump on to us. You would be pru­dent to un­der­stand that dur­ing amal­ga­ma­tion job losses and fi­nan­cial hard­ships were im­me­di­ately felt in Dou­glas. On a per­sonal note, my rates dou­bled from just over $3000 a year un­der the old DSC to well over $6000 a year. There was no in­crease in ser­vices, from my per­spec­tive. Wa­ter rates were also in­tro­duced (which I do not have a prob­lem with) but the truth of the mat­ter is we have al­ready been ripped off un­der the amal­ga­mated CRC man­age­ment and now you are ef­fec­tively al­low­ing it to con­tinue be­cause you ap­pear un­able to re­spect the fact that we in Dou­glas pas­sion­ately want our new DSC to work eco­nom­i­cally, po­lit­i­cally and eth­i­cally. We have only just voted and are al­ready go­ing un­heard in a sit­u­a­tion where there is a clear lack of eth­i­cal, un­bi­ased and pro­fes­sion­ally ap­pro­pri­ate de­ci­sion mak­ing oc­cur­ring. Mr Tab­ulo, who is privy to all de­ci­sion mak­ing re­gard­ing the new coun­cil struc­tur­ing, sim­ply tosses the ball to you us­ing ‘‘the reg­u­la­tions’’ as his ex­cuse when asked about this mat­ter. There­fore I must ask, what are you go­ing to do about it, Min­is­ter?

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