Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LOOKING BACK -

Once upon a time I lived in Dar­win, a nice trop­i­cal city with a good lifestyle. I sort of knew the name of the Mayor but was not re­ally aware much of the coun­cil­lors or other politi­cians, be­cause you never had to deal with them. You paid your rates and taxes and had good roads, play­grounds, pub­lic toi­lets, elec­tric­ity and ev­ery­thing just worked and was pro­vided at ad­e­quate lev­els and you never had to lobby or protest to keep or ob­tain a ba­sic ser­vice, or to protest against new laws be­ing sneaked in that would ruin your life. While here in the Dain­tree there is 15 years of Dain­tree Gate­way talk to pro­duce a cou­ple of toi­lets, car parks and land­scap­ing, in Dar­win all these things would just ap­pear with­out any­body even men­tion­ing it.

It’s a dif­fer­ent life liv­ing in the Dain­tree, where there is a never end­ing stream of is­sues that take your time each day, it is amaz­ing how you have to fight for the most ba­sic things, and even to keep the few things al­ready there, it is no won­der a grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple be­lieve that there is a con­spir­acy against the Dain­tree com­mu­nity that has only one ul­ti­mate goal and that is to drive us all off our land and out of here.

The new “draft” plan­ning scheme is full of pro-Port Dou­glas and anti-Dain­tree con­tent, but when you make com­ments you get told that it is only a draft and you can put in sub­mis­sions, of course most of us know that writ­ing sub­mis­sions is a waste of time and things will pro­ceed as planned.

The plan­ning scheme to­tally ig­nores the fact that the north­ern half of the shire is a third world coun­try with­out ba­sic in­fra­struc­ture where the hun­dreds of roar­ing diesel gen­er­a­tors burn up over three mil­lion litres of fuel per year keep­ing the com­mu­nity poor and in­stead of rec­om­mend­ing that a so­lu­tion should be sought ur­gently it in­stead de­clares the en­tire north of the Dain­tree river a con­ser­va­tion zone where elec­tric­ity in­fra­struc­ture and re­new­able en­ergy fa­cil­ity are an “in­con­sis­tent use”, in other words not per­mit­ted.

The new plan­ning scheme should be ac­tively pro­mot­ing a so­lu­tion in­stead of throw­ing up ob­sta­cles against a so­lu­tion to this cri­sis of pol­lu­tion and en­ergy poverty that throt­tles the Dain­tree econ­omy,

The new plan­ning scheme also no longer con­tains a para­graph from the old scheme which states that north of the Dain­tree river coun­cil should “pro­vide ad­e­quate ser­vices and fa­cil­i­ties for set­tle­ment ar­eas and an ap­pro­pri­ate level of eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal res­i­dents”.

While we all know that the cur­rent ferry ser­vice has many prob­lems and short­com­ings, the new scheme has no sug­ges­tions for im­prove­ment, and only men­tions the ferry as a traf­fic lim­iter to fur­ther sti­fle eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

I want to make it very clear that I am not a de­vel­oper who wants to see big re­sorts ev­ery­where but now that there al­ready is a com­mu­nity liv­ing and work­ing north of the river they should be pro­vided with ad­e­quate ser­vices so we don’t re­main Strug­gle Street for ever. How can a green coun­cil ac­cept that hun­dreds of gen­er­a­tors pump 7000 tonnes of CO2 in to this rain for­est ev­ery year?

The new plan­ning scheme in a nut shell; All progress, de­vel­op­ment and pros­per­ity will be in Port Dou­glas, the ferry will re­main as a traf­fic lim­iter to avoid eco­nomic progress in the Dain­tree and keep it as a sparsely pop­u­lated eco­nom­i­cally strug­gling Cen­tre­link City recre­ational area for PORT DOU­GLAS based tourism, ser­vices and in­fra­struc­ture will be de­nied to sab­o­tage the Dain­tree econ­omy and dis­cour­age set­tle­ment, and dirty ex­pen­sive diesel gen­er­a­tors are now of­fi­cially an ac­cept­able out­come to our coun­cil.

Rob La­paer, Cape Tribu­la­tion

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