Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

We have lost the old Mow­bray River Bridge, so should we now lose our coun­cil CEO.

As the Mayor pointed out in the Gazette (Fe­bru­ary 18) the CEO, un­der sec­tion 60 of the Lo­cal Govern­ment Act 2009, has the power to con­struct, im­prove and main­tain roads and bridges and that “there is no doubt that the CEO has the power to di­rect cer­tain work be done on cer­tain bridge struc­tures to ren­der it safe”.

So what hap­pened in June 2015? This re­port on the bridge recorded that the bridge was in “fair” con­di­tion, but failed on safety.

Should the bridge have been at­tended to then? And if so, would we still have it to­day?

Was there any at­ten­tion to ren­der­ing it safe at this time?

Did the CEO in­struct work to be car­ried out im­me­di­ately to make re­pairs?

Has the CEO failed in her duty of care to the com­mu­nity?

Is the CEO in breach of her con­tract by per­haps let­ting this iconic coun­cil as­set fall into dis­re­pair?

Was the CEO trans­par­ent or se­cre­tive in her ac­tions to de­mol­ish the bridge?

I be­lieve pub­lic safety was her main con­cern, but where was this con­cern in June 2015?

Did we not mat­ter then? I be­lieve that we may have had more than one “pos­si­ble cat­a­strophic fail­ure”. The ques­tion is now, do we re­ally want an­other?

Coun­cil­lors, you alone have the power to stop this from ever hap­pen­ing again. Please act re­spon­si­bly.

Michael John­ston, Port Dou­glas

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