Dain­tree grid shock

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Shane Ni­chols CON­TIN­UED PAGE 3

PRO­PO­NENTS of a retic­u­lated power sys­tem north of the Dain­tree River were sur­prised and pleased to see the state govern­ment back­flip on the is­sue, in a note buried in the state bud­get doc­u­ments.

An item in the bud­get said the govern­ment would seek to work with the fed­eral Aus­tralian Re­new­able En­ergy Agency on a power so­lu­tion for the Dain­tree. Russell O’Do­herty, one the key fig­ures in the Dain­tree Power Com­mit­tee, which is in favour of a power grid over the river, hailed the bud­get men­tion as “out of the blue”.

“It’s quite ground­break­ing for us,” Mr O’Do­herty said. “To have it in the bud­get, that’s pretty big.”

He said the is­sue was at last mak­ing progress and “I’m pretty sure in the not too dis­tant fu­ture we’ll be able to say some­thing is def­i­nitely go­ing to hap­pen”.

The power com­mit­tee had been work­ing with ARENA, the fed­eral Dept for En­ergy and Wa­ter and Sun­verge since the Dain­tree en­ergy sum­mit in Fe­bru­ary last year and “we’ve been putting a lot of ideas for­ward to try to get some sup­port from the state govern­ment.”

Pic­ture: GIZELLE GHIDELLA

Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil has brought down a 3.9 per cent rate rise in its bud­get re­leased this week, a rise in keep­ing with pre­vi­ous years since de-amalaga­ma­tion. One per­son def­i­nitely happy with the bud­get was Colby Tay­lor of Cooya (pic­tured with Mayor Ju­lia Leu), who last year pe­ti­tioned coun­cil for an ex­ten­sion of his favourite place – the Moss­man Skate Park. That’s in the bud­get too. BUD­GET ROUND UP, PAGES 4-5

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