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Edi­tor’s com­ment

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK -

HIGHLY im­pres­sive. That’s the word to de­scribe the first pub­lic per­for­mance of the shire’s new CEO, Linda Cardew. She was as­sured, pol­ished and ar­tic­u­late as she made an im­promptu ad­dress to the me­dia yes­ter­day which out­laid her very strong list of cre­den­tials which would seem to set up her enor­mously well for the job.

Find­ing this talent in our own back­yard, so to speak, is very sat­is­fy­ing and in­dica­tive of the pool of talent in the shire.

We wish her well and con­grat­u­late the coun­cil­lors, staff and re­cruit­ment con­sul­tants who have suc­cess­fully ticked an­other box on the DSC’s for­mi­da­ble to-do list.

If it hadn’t reg­is­tered too loudly be­fore, it has now – the dredg­ing is­sue is not just about Ab­bot Point. The ex­pan­sion of Cairns Port is a con­cern for many people closer to home as they pon­der the fact that the waste from the pro­posed port works will be far big­ger, al­most dou­ble, that of Ab­bot Point. If modelling de­liv­ered to GBRMPA holds much ac­cu­racy, then long-term ef­fects of sed­i­ment drift­ing north would be bad news for the health of the la­goon in our re­gion. An­other 800,000 cu­bic me­tres will be added to the pile ev­ery year . . .

Pro­tes­tors have ev­ery rea­son to ques­tion the dump­ing and prob­a­bly even the need for the ex­pan­sion of the port if it’s so costly in ex­pen­di­ture and in the ef­fect on the reef which af­ter all is the re­gion’s big­gest draw­card.

Per­haps the port ex­pan­sion will not pro­ceed, if the EIS due in May is too damn­ing, or per­haps the silt will be dumped on­shore.

What­ever the case, a protest is not a wasted ac­tion or merely sym­bolic it re­minds de­ci­sion mak­ers that all the stake­hold­ers must be lis­tened to, not just some, and they can not push the en­ve­lope of com­mu­nity ac­cep­tance with­out a back­lash.

And what of GBRMPA’s po­si­tion lately, be­tween the devil and the deep blue sea?

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