Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

High grass along the Cook High­way from Yule Point to Craiglie that the Dou­glas Shire usu­ally slashes for the Dept of Trans­port and Main Roads is grow­ing over the top of the guide posts.

The Cairns Iron­man Co­ral Reef Triathlon will have push­bikes trav­el­ling along the high­way to ar­rive in Port Dou­glas at the week­end.

Not only is safety com­pro­mised by long grass but it looks un­sightly for vis­i­tors and spec­ta­tors.

It seems the TMR does not have the funds to pay the coun­cil for slashing, oth­er­wise it would have been done ready for such a pres­ti­gious an­nual event.

Coun­cils have missed out on crit­i­cal road fund­ing be­cause the LNP was too fo­cused on play­ing pol­i­tics in Par­lia­ment dur­ing the last ses­sion.

The LNP moved a motion that the Gov­ern­ment adopt the LNP’s car reg­is­tra­tion pol­icy. Kat­ters Aus­tralian Party leader Rob­bie Kat­ter moved an amend­ment to the LNP’s motion, re­quest­ing that a greater por­tion from ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion rev­enue be quar­an­tined for North Queens­land roads.

Cross­benchers Rob Pyne, Billy Gor­don and Steve Dick­son sup­ported KAP’s motion but

the LNP and the ALP Gov­ern­ment joined to­gether to vote the motion down.

Get­ting funds for ur­gent road con­struc­tion and main­te­nance in the Cook elec­torate will now be harder.

As the Far North con­trib­utes much to the state’s econ­omy it is only fair we get re­warded for our work. I ask the peo­ple of Cook to get be­hind me to help Rob­bie Kat­ter and Shane Knuth keep fight­ing for the Far North.

Gor­don Ras­mussen, KAP Can­di­date for Cook, Ju­lat­ten

de­cline and busi­nesses were clos­ing their doors. Each visit was no­tice­ably worse than the last. Dur­ing that time we were forced to sell our prop­erty here, but our love for Port Dou­glas has never di­min­ished.

We also sym­pa­thised when there was a con­certed ef­fort to mar­ket the at­trac­tions of the area by means of na­tional TV break­fast shows, thereby at­tract­ing the tourist dol­lars needed for a town such as Port Dou­glas to sur­vive and pros­per.

Our cur­rent visit is dif­fer­ent – we are now re­tired and trav­el­ling in a self­con­tained mo­torhome.

What a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive we have now! We have out­laid in ex­cess of $150,000 to travel Aus­tralia in self­suf­fi­cient com­fort in­clud­ing so­lar pan­els (thereby keep­ing the tourist dol­lars in the coun­try), but it seems the Dou­glas Shire is not pre­pared to pro­vide even an RV friendly car park, let alone low-cost ba­sic fa­cil­i­ties for the dis­cern­ing cashed-up road trav­ellers who are be­com­ing more and more preva­lent in Aus­tralia.

We quote, as ex­am­ples, places such as Rocky Creek, Babinda, Bal­gal Beach, Blue­wa­ter, Home Hill and Sap­phire where the ba­sics of what the grow­ing army of grey no­mads re­quire to ex­ist on the road are pro­vided.

In re­turn we sup­port those com­mu­ni­ties by spend­ing much needed dol­lars within the town. Quite a ba­sic con­cept re­ally and a win-win sit­u­a­tion all round.

We don’t need car­a­van parks that charge ex­or­bi­tant fees ($50-$60) just to stay one night. We al­ready have the self­suf­fi­cient fa­cil­i­ties we need.

That equates to over $18,000 per year, per site for ac­com­mo­da­tion alone – quite a sub­stan­tial sum in any­one’s lan­guage.

Af­ter com­mit­ting that amount of money there is pre­cious lit­tle left to spend in the com­mu­nity.

So, while the car­a­van parks may pros­per, it is at the ex­pense of other lo­cal busi­nesses. Rest as­sured we are not the only ones who feel this way.

Trav­ellers such as us are by­pass­ing towns that do not have em­pa­thy to our ba­sic needs. Those com­mu­ni­ties that are savvy enough to re­spond are the ones reap­ing the fi­nan­cial ben­e­fit of in­creased custom.

On prin­ci­ple and de­spite our love of Port Dou­glas we have de­cided to move on sooner than we would have liked. It’s sad that lo­cal gov­ern­ment bu­reau­cra­cies in Aus­tralia can­not come up with a uni­fied and con­sis­tent ap­proach to this is­sue.

It is a prob­lem that won’t go away and it needs some­one with a com­mon sense, “think-out­side-the-box”, vi­sion­ary ap­proach to ad­dress it. It’s no use be­ing com­pla­cent now and re­gret­ting it when the hard eco­nomic times come again.

Alan and In­grid Tay­lor

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