Crocs and cas­sowaries haunt DSC

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS @SCHOOL -

THE trou­ble with liv­ing in par­adise is shar­ing it with a lot of other things that lived here be­fore you did.

The en­vi­ron­men­tal cre­den­tials of the Dou­glas Shire has been ques­tioned from out­side and within. First on cas­sowaries and then on crocodi­less.

The DSC came un­der at­tack last week with the Queens­land Con­ser­va­tion Coun­cil burst­ing onto the scene (thanks to the state gov­ern­ment) as the de­fender of cas­sowaries against Mayor Ju­lia Leu, who hap­pens to be a Cas­sowary Am­bas­sador. The man­ner in which the coun­cil was re­vealed as an op­po­nent to an an­i­mal shel­ter at Yule Point smacks of in­de­ci­sive­ness on the state gov­ern­ment’s be­half or even a de­lay tac­tic. The coun­cil has yet to say yes or no.

Cas­sowaries or not, that the DSC would have to ex­plain it­self to an un­elected, non-gov­ern­ment en­vi­ron­men­tal body headed by a doc­tor of ur­ban so­ci­ol­ogy based in Bris­bane is con­fus­ing to say the least, es­pe­cially when they have so far done ev­ery­thing the state gov­ern­ment has asked. Then there are croc­o­diles. The es­tu­ar­ine rep­tiles frayed nerves at this week’s or­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing.

The sole dis­sent­ing vote on re­quest­ing changes to the shire’s zon­ing — Cr David Carey — spoke al­most as long as the other four coun­cil­lors com­bined and then went on to take a dig at the DSC’s en­vi­ron­men­tal for­ti­tude long af­ter he lost the vote. For Cr Carey the bat­tle was lost, but the war is far from over as we wait for the state gov­ern­ment’s re­sponse.

Croc­o­diles may well be­come a po­lit­i­cal point of dif­fer­ence in fu­ture lo­cal elec­tions. They are recog­nised as the apex preda­tor of the Far North. They are not go­ing to go away with­out hu­man as­sis­tance.

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