DSC STEPS UP PAWS BAT­TLE

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Scott Tib­balls

AT­TEMPTS by se­nior of­fi­cials of the Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Mines to sug­gest other sites for Paws and Claws were slapped down by Dou­glas Shire Mayor Ju­lia Leu dur­ing a meet­ing in Bris­bane.

“They cer­tainly were keen to let me know about their so­called al­ter­na­tive sites, one of them was Kil­laloe, which of course we have pre­vi­ously dis­counted many months ago,” said Cr Leu at this weeks or­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing.

“They cer­tainly ap­peared I think quite red-faced you could say when I clearly pointed out that there had been a very long time in terms of the pos­i­tive ne­go­ti­a­tions with our of­fi­cers and their of­fi­cers to even iden­ti­fy­ing a site in the first place.”

DSC has filed Right To In­for­ma­tion re­quests in re­sponse to a deaf­en­ing si­lence from the DNRM when asked why they have re­jected the site.

“Key thing is, we want to know what has trig­gered their change in sup­port. Once we know that, I think we’re in a much bet­ter po­si­tion to strengthen our ob­jec­tion.”

Both the DNRM and the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion have re­ceived RTI’s. They have 30 work­ing days to re­spond, putting their dead­line well be­yond the DSC’s own dead­line to ob­ject­ing which is December 20.

Se­nior DSC staff are meet­ing with the DNRM today to seek a so­lu­tion to the is­sue.

Cr Leu was in­sis­tent that more time be given. “We ex­pect be­ing granted an ex­ten­sion be­yond December 20.”

Cook MP Billy Gordon is bat­ting for Paws, ask­ing Min­is­ter Lyn­ham to set aside the DNRM ob­jec­tion in a let­ter. “I am con­cerned that the ad­vice pro­vided by the Depart­ment to you may not be en­tirely ac­cu­rate and ob­jec­tive. I urge you to in­ves­ti­gate this mat­ter and to al­low all in­ter­ested Par­ties more time to make their case.

“DNRM’s ap­proach in this mat­ter is dis­tress­ing to many in the com­mu­nity and I will con­tinue to stand for their rights to be heard,” he said in the let­ter.

Pic­ture: SHANE NICHOLS

Ju­lia Leu at the pro­posed Paws site at Yule Point

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