CO­CONUT POL­ICY

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS LOOKING BACK -

IN LIGHT of re­cent Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil de­bates about co­conut de-nut­ting vs co­conut tree re­moval, I’d like to make a few sug­ges­tions.

1) I pro­pose that the tree de-nut­ting sched­ule be changed from 6 months to 8 months. This will save the Dou­glas Shire money, as well as con­tinue to pro­tect the public from fall­ing co­conuts (co­conuts fall at ma­tu­rity, ap­prox 9-10 months old).

At 8 months old, our busi­ness, Beach Har­vest, will be able to use some of the de-nut­ted co­conuts for our busi­ness, and will pur­chase ALL us­able co­conuts back from the Coun­cil.

2) There is ur­gent need to re-plant co­conut palms. All of the co­conut trees in highly pop­u­lated tourist ar­eas are full of shoe-spike holes from tree climbers, and this weak­ens the tree. If/when we have high speed cy­clonic winds, th­ese old weak­ened trees may not live. The public agrees our Shire is beau­ti­ful with the co­conut trees – why not re­plant co­conut trees now to en­sure this beauty will con­tinue? There are Dwarf co­conut tree va­ri­eties that are cheaper to main­tain and grow well in our cli­mate.

There is also an emerg­ing mar­ket for co­conut tim­ber for houses. With a re­plant­ing sched­ule, the coun­cil could re­plant with Dwarf va­ri­ety trees, erad­i­cate old trees and sell the tim­ber.

3) Turn un-us­able sug­ar­cane land into co­conut plan­ta­tions. The co­conut in­dus­try is boom­ing and Dou­glas Shire landown­ers and farm­ers have a great op­por­tu­nity to turn sandy farm land into co­conut plan­ta­tions.

Casey Wil­letts, owner, Beach Har­vest

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