Dain­tree res­i­dents put pres­sure on can­di­dates

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Madi­son Wil­liams

AS the lo­cal elec­tion cam­paign hit full swing this week, sen­ti­ment north of the Dain­tree was tested at a com­mu­nity fo­rum at Cow Bay.

Around 40 peo­ple turned up to ask ques­tions of the Mayor Ju­lia Leu, Roy Weavers and coun­cil can­di­dates at the fo­rum or­gan­ised by the Dain­tree Mar­ket­ing Co­op­er­a­tive.

All can­di­dates were given a list of ques­tions, that re­lated to: waste dis­posal north of the river/rub­bish re­moval rates; lack of for­ward plan­ning; the Bloom­field Track; life­style dif- fer­ences; and com­mit­ment to en­gage with the com­mu­nity over the next ferry con­tract.

All can­di­dates agreed that th­ese were is­sues unique to the Dain­tree that needed to be ad­dressed or re­viewed.

Ten­sions rose dur­ing ques­tion time when at­ten­dants pushed for more sup­port for the Dain­tree tourism in­dus­try.

“Of all the coun­cil­lors only Roy Zam­mataro said we need vis­i­tors to stay more than one night,” said one par­tic­i­pant.

“What’s good for Port Dou­glas is dif­fer­ent than what’s good for the Dain­tree. We need to give more money to the tourism board to mar­ket the Dain­tree.”

An­other lo­cal said that the Dain­tree had been un­der-rep­re­sented on the coun­cil in the past, play­ing se­cond fid­dle to Port Dou­glas and Moss­man.

“I go to th­ese fo­rums ev­ery elec­tion and they’re al­ways the same, just politi­cians telling you what you want to hear. No one knows what is go­ing on up here,” said the at­tendee, who wished to re­main anony­mous.

Other par­tic­i­pants said they felt more in­formed af­ter the fo­rum and had been able to form a bet­ter idea on who to vote for.

Paul Snel­grove and Vivi­enne Ruf­fles re­ceived the warm­est re­cep­tion from Dain­tree res­i­dents, with many claim­ing they felt the two can­di­dates had a clear han­dle on the is­sues that were im­por­tant across the river.

Of all the coun­cil­lors only Roy Zam­mataro said we need vis­i­tors to stay more than one night Fo­rum par­tic­i­pant

Pic­ture: MADI­SON WIL­LIAMS

Cr David Carey ad­dresses the fo­rum at the Cow Bay Ho­tel

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