A zero risk pol­icy

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - REAL ESTATE -

BUSI­NESS peo­ple in Port Dou­glas are still di­gest­ing the ad­mis­sion by EHP at the croc­o­dile fo­rum that in their view tourism op­er­a­tors should not ad­vise their guests to swim at Four Mile Beach.

Among ev­ery­thing else tak­ing up the air­waves at the fo­rum, it took a par­tic­u­larly pa­tient and adroit bit of ques­tion­ing by one par­tic­i­pant well into the pro­ceed­ings to get it to the point where the EHP bloke made a stun­ning state­ment that re­vealed the de­fault po­si­tion of the de­part­ment — it’s croc­o­diles be­fore peo­ple.

The EHP’s em­pha­sis on “ed­u­ca­tion” and sig­nage ex­poses their po­si­tion that the crocs, ba­si­cally, will be left alone and it’s up to hu­mans to stay out of their way. If there is any risk, then peo­ple should not be in or near the water.

Ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple about croc­o­diles is one thing, but it can only do so much. It does noth­ing to en­able ac­cess to swim­ming beaches that tourists quite rightly per­ceive as part of the deal when they buy a hol­i­day in Port Dou­glas.

HATS off to the state gov­ern­ment for leg­is­lat­ing against peo­ple writ­ing lewd and ob­scene sig­nage on ve­hi­cles. It’s a re­sponse to the ap­par­ent re­fusal by the op­er­a­tors of the Wicked hire van com­pany to change their ways, in what had been un­til now a sup­pos­edly sel­f­reg­u­lat­ing ad­ver­tis­ing code. The gov­ern­ment took um­brage at the of­ten sex­ist sig­nage, say­ing it was den­i­gra­tory of fe­males and that should not stand. Fair enough, but it’s more than that. The crack­down should be in the name of pro­tect­ing the pub­lic com­mons, which should not be trashed by any­one who sim­ply feels like it.

SOME­THING about the US pres­i­den­tial re­sult yes­ter­day brought to mind the first line of a poem by Wil­liam S Bur­roughs: “The pure prod­ucts of Amer­ica go crazy.” It’s been such an Amer­i­can jour­ney to yes­ter­day’s re­sult.

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