DOU­GLAS – CHAIN­SAW CAP­I­TAL?

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - THE GROOVE -

Many Port Dou­glas res­i­dents will be un­aware of Coun­cil’s in­ten­tion to re­move a large sec­tion of trop­i­cal vege­ta­tion along Port Dou­glas Road be­tween Atoll Close and the Four Mile Shops.

This so called “upgrade” of the ser­vice road is to­tally un­ac­cept­able as Coun­cil plans to re­moval ALL vege­ta­tion in front of seven prop­er­ties.

This will ex­pose the prop­er­ties and cre­ate a bare and un­tidy ap­pear­ance along that sec­tion of the road.

It cur­rently is an at­trac­tive, lush, trop­i­cal streetscape. There is no rea­son why any of the vege­ta­tion should be re­moved par­tic­u­larly the large trees and palms.

The plan shown on Coun­cil web­site in­di­cates some land­scap­ing might oc­cur af­ter the mass re­moval of trees and shrubs in front of th­ese prop­er­ties.

How­ever this is not pre­sented in any de­tail. This re­plant­ing would need to be con­sid­er­ably dense with tall trees to re­in­state the nat­u­ral land­scape.

“Com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion” is a farce with Shire res­i­dents be­ing given just four days to com­ment (in­clud­ing a week­end).

Many res­i­dents do not be­lieve Coun­cil take no­tice of com­mu­nity re­sponses. Coun­cil has a his­tory of pro­vid­ing du­bi­ous rea­son­ing and mis­in­for­ma­tion, then pro­ceed­ing with their pro­pos­als, re­gard­less of the feel­ing of the com­mu­nity.

This week two ma­ture co­conut palms were chopped down on the Es­planade.

Coun­cil sud­denly deemed them “dan­ger­ous” as they were near a wa­ter foun­tain. Why did Coun­cil in­stall the wa­ter foun­tain in that lo­ca­tion in the first place? Why not re­lo­cate the foun­tain in­stead of re­mov­ing iconic palm trees?

And Coun­cil boast we are the “co­conut cap­i­tal” of Aus­tralia.

Un­for­tu­nately, grad­ual re­moval of trop­i­cal vege­ta­tion has oc­curred too of­ten. The en­trances to Port Dou­glas and Moss­man have been de­nuded of large trees and re­placed with ce­ment.

The Shire, and par­tic­u­larly Port Dou­glas, is los­ing its unique trop­i­cal am­bi­ence with the con­tin­u­ing and stealthy re­moval of trees, co­conut palms, and other vege­ta­tion by Coun­cil.

It is be­com­ing a sani­tised and con­crete sub­ur­bia, ex­actly what most res­i­dents and vis­i­tors do not want.

What will be left if this Coun­cil con­tin­ues their chain­saw per­for­mances for another four years?

Barry O’Brien, Port Dou­glas

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