‘WE HAVE BEEN GIFTED A COUNCIL-CREATED DISASTER’
We all get that the ferry needs to be inspected and that the ferry operator has done the right thing. We now know that the Operator knew about the need for an out of water inspection back on 21 March 2013. Yes, five years ago.
When did Council know? Mayor Julia Leu now says she knew only on 18 December 2017.
Council, therefore, sat on the matter for at least six weeks before they unveiled their secret ferry closure “plan”.
The secrecy was malicious in its deliberateness, theatrical in its absurdity, and disastrous in its strategies.
How can Council develop a plan for the community without involving the community itself?
The plan also ignores Council’s recent Q Solutions Report that a replacement ferry should be “sourceable” within three days. Council was, however, eager to take up another aspect of the Report, that $4 million collected over the years by ferry travellers be kept aside as an Emergency Fund.
Council should act on the Q Solution report, especially concerning the conditions of ferry contract. They must spend a little of the $4 million Emergency Fund for the very purpose it was set up to resolve.
While we are now bracing for a possible natural disaster, we have been gifted a Council-Created Disaster, with arguably worse consequences.
A community meeting on Sunday night proposed a set of solutions, including that Council immediately join with the community in some longneeded joint planning. This process would look at the current crisis plus longer term needs, such as the second ferry and infrastructure development. We hope it would lead to a barge being available to take important vehicular traffic during the five days of closure.
In the longer term, culture change is needed. Change is difficult, but the first step is to accept that we must change. Our community is willing to work with Council to help bring about that change.
Mike and Trish D’Arcy, Daintree