THE SHIRE TWO YEARS ON

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

Dou­glas res­i­dents were look­ing for­ward to pos­i­tive fu­ture after de-amal­ga­ma­tion and the dis­ap­point­ing reign of Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil. Un­for­tu­nately, the per­for­mance of Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil ohas turned out to be equally de­fi­cient.

A lack of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion, mis­man­age­ment and lack of con­trol of op­er­a­tions/per­son­nel seem com­mon­place. Coun­cil­lors are left in the dark on ma­jor de­ci­sions.

Res­i­dents may re­cently be aware of the pro­jected 5 per cent per year in­crease in rates for the next four years.

Traf­fic lights in­stalled in Moss­man, the first in the Shire, were un­wanted by res­i­dents. Coun­cil had prior ap­proval for a round­about, deeper set-back and screen­ing for Wool­worths. The re­sult is a con­crete eye­sore.

“Con­sul­ta­tion” was un­der­taken to en­sure an at­trac­tive and land­scaped en­trance would be cre­ated to Port Dou­glas. Main Roads did not stip­u­late the round­about should be con­crete. Coun­cil in­stalled a con­crete round­about and placed the blame with Main Roads. The en­trance is now a sea of con­crete and mass sig­nage.

We have a sani­tised, over-man­i­cured round­about at Four Mile with Coun­cil again throw­ing the blame on Main Roads.

In 2012 our cur­rent Mayor pledged to re­plant the iconic stand of co­conut palms re­moved from Four Mile Beach. The weed infested site is still wait­ing to be re­planted. DSC “Co­conut Man­age­ment Plan” sanc­tions the re­moval of ma­jor num­bers of co­conut palms. Res­i­dents who wish to re­tain a co­conut palm near their prop­erty will be re­quired to en­ter into a writ­ten agree­ment and pay de­nut­ting and main­te­nance costs. Coun­cil­lors have lit­tle con­trol, com­mu­ni­ca­tion or con­sul­ta­tion with DSC gar­den­ers. This plan au­tho­rises con­tin­ued re­moval of palms and trees at whim.

In 2014, Cy­clone Yasi de­mol­ished a large bush al­mond in Macrossan Street. Coun­cil ad­vised the pub­lic would be con­sulted on its re­place­ment. Many months later, a small na­tive tree was planted, leav­ing a large gap in the streetscape. No con­sul­ta­tion and the threat of re­place­ment of all the bush al­monds is the re­sult.

Coun­cil’s Op­er­a­tions Dept. re­moved the old Mow­bray bridge with­out the knowl­edge of some Coun­cil­lors or pub­lic be­ing no­ti­fied of the de­ci­sion.

We need to elect new Coun­cil­lors who will con­sult with and im­ple­ment the will of the res­i­dents, and pro­tect and en­hance the di­ver­sity and trop­i­cal ap­peal of our Shire.

Barry O’Brien, Port Dou­glas

We need to elect new Coun­cil­lors who will con­sult with and im­ple­ment the will of the res­i­dents, and pro­tect and en­hance the di­ver­sity and ap­peal of our trop­i­cal Shire. Barry O’Brien

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