Daintree residents put pressure on candidates
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
Cr David Carey addresses the forum at the Cow Bay Hotel