A game of words
I SENT questions to the Department of Natural Resources and Mines about the decision handed down to Douglas Shire Council last week, in which council’s application acquire land at Yule Point for Paws and Claws was rejected.
I asked if the decision was final, how did the department reach this position, what was the advice it had received about the environmental qualities of the site, and was the department aware this was last likely site for Paws and Claws and the rejection of the application had caused consternation in the community.
What I received back was a masterly dose of government departmental spin, worthy of the phalanxes of media liaisonpeople who toil in Brisbane.
No, the decision was not final, they said. This is disingenuous – their “preliminary position” is as good as a flat out no, and that’s how it was received by our council. It put the onus on council to change the department’s mind on the environmental matters. They said they were bound by some Act or other to make sure environmental matters were taken into consideration.
And they said, well, in any case, we are working Douglas Shire to turn up other sites that may be out there.
Fat chance of that. The state may hold land that has some potential, and which is not on the charts of Douglas Shire, but it’s pretty unlikely to provide a suitable site for an animal shelter.
And don’t forget the department had just spent 12 months working with Douglas Shire officers on the land transfer and had even had a valuation done. So, all in all, an excellent piece of departmental flummery which is not worth printing in full.
On radio this week the Mayor said there was “something fishy” about the departmental decision. It is easy to think so, and rumours abound.
I asked her to expand on this remark, but she was too diplomatic to add anything interesting.