RATEPAY­ERS’ MONEY TO SUB­SIDISE COM­MER­CIAL FISH­ING IN­DUS­TRY?

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

It is as­ton­ish­ing that Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil is con­sid­er­ing a per­ma­nent sub­sidy of the com­mer­cial fish­ing in­dus­try.

Ac­quir­ing land for the com­mer­cial fish­ing in­dus­try us­ing an as-yet un­known amount of ratepay­ers’ money (and yes, us­ing the sev­eral mil­lions of $s pro­ceeds of wa­ter­front free-hold­ing is still ratepay­ers’ money), is an un­war­ranted sub­sidy of the pri­vate en­ter­prise-led Com­mer­cial Fish­ing In­dus­try busi­nesses.

Given the coun­cil’s well-known bud­getary con­straints, have ratepay­ers been asked or con­sulted whether or not the monies would be bet­ter spent on roads or other pri­or­i­ties? Surely it is un­prece­dented that a coun­cil would choose to ride rough-shod over the will of those they serve.

Has there been any stake­holder en­gage­ment on this im­por­tant is­sue, since the ratepay­ers, and wider com­mu­nity, are stake­hold­ers.

While it is im­por­tant to reach a sus­tain­able so­lu­tion for the Port Dou­glas com­mer­cial fish­ing in­dus­try, it needs to be care­fully planned, and led from a com­mer­cial en­ter­prise in­te­grated busi­ness plan.

Since that seems lack­ing, DSC in its wis­dom has pro­posed a so­lu­tion led by the lo­cal govern­ment sec­tor. I’m look­ing sky­wards for those pigs!

Gerry Ire­land, Port Dou­glas

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