No sugar coat­ing

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - OPINION -

IN the movies they call it “come to Je­sus” time.

I’m talk­ing about Mackay Sugar go­ing pub­lic with the state of its fi­nances and the rec­om­men­da­tions of its con­sul­tants to­wards fix­ing its very se­ri­ous debt prob­lems.

The pro­posed levy on the cane grow­ers is a bomb­shell. It hurts to say it but there seems to be a pretty grey cloud over the lo­cal mill and the sugar in­dus­try up here right now. We will have to wait to see how it plays out.

THE elec­toral re­dis­tri­bu­tion pro­posed last week left the seat of Cook pretty much un­changed. It added Wangetti, but that’s about it. A sur­prise given the po­ten­tial changes, which did in­deed play out in some neigh­bour­ing seats. There had been po­ten­tial for the huge seat of Cook to be­come even big­ger. The fact it didn’t means we dodged a bul­let. The Cairns Post ran a small list of pos­si­ble con­tenders for Cook: Ta­nia Ma­jor, Jack Wil­lkie-Jans, Greg Fen­nell and David Kemp­ton. David Kemp­ton has re­peat­edly said he won’t run, but lately he’s been a bit more ac­tive on face­book, hav­ing a word to say on this and that, and re­mind­ing peo­ple he’s still around and en­gaged. When in of­fice, David was a fre­quent com­mu­ni­ca­tor, is­su­ing press re­leases weekly and seemed to be across the broad range of is­sues in this huge seat. He had a sta­ble team that were easy to get in touch with. That flow – the sort of con­tact which jour­nal­ists value, for ob­vi­ous rea­sons – dried up af­ter the last elec­tion. Mr Gor­don has been around a bit more lately, as this looks more and more like an elec­tion year. An elec­tion no­table in more ways than one – it is the first for a four-year par­lia­ment. I was long in favour of these in the past but lately I’m not so sure. The abil­ity to change lead­ers is in­creas­ingly at­trac­tive.

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