Le­gal ac­tion puts a halt to an­i­mal shel­ter plans

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Mark Mur­ray

LE­GAL pro­ceed­ings have brought plans for a new an­i­mal shel­ter to a grind­ing halt.

A hear­ing be­tween a group of Craiglie own­ers and Douglas Shire Coun­cil was ad­journed un­til Fri­day at the Moss­man Mag­is­trates Court on Mon­day.

The court is likely to set dates for me­di­a­tion and a po­ten­tial court case be­tween the in­volved par­ties to­mor­row, a process that could drag on well into 2019.

It comes less than three months af­ter the de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion for a new sound­should proof in­door pet retreat was given the all-clear by coun­cil.

“The fact that it’s go­ing to be an­other six months later, at least, be­cause of the courts is just a waste of time and a waste of money,” Paws and Claws pres­i­dent Michael Kerr said.

“We have our AGM and be dis­cussing pos­i­tive things and not the fact that we’re not go­ing any­where.

“That’s what’s go­ing to hap­pen be­cause we’re stuck in a stale­mate be­cause of this le­gal ac­tion. The whole pur­pose of this fa­cil­ity is to start sav­ing an­i­mals.”

The de­vel­op­ment, which is es­ti­mated to cost be­tween $350,000-$400,000, will be built on the for­mer Lotsa Print­ing site in the Team­sters Close in­dus­trial es­tate.

The group op­pos­ing the refuge are con­cerned the noise and smell of the fa­cil­ity could de­value their prop­er­ties.

Mr Kerr be­lieves they haven’t looked at the doc­u­ments cor­rectly.

He said the new shel­ter had “tech­ni­cally and sci­en­tif­i­cally” shown no neg­a­tive im­pacts on the busi­ness es­tate.

“It’s go­ing to be a com­pletely en­closed sound proof build­ing. When we open, you won’t even know we’re there,” he said.

“The first step is go­ing to be some sort of me­di­a­tion.

“I’m not sure what I’m sup­posed to me­di­ate as we’re al­ready an en­closed sound­proof fa­cil­ity.

“We went from hav­ing four open runs to three closed runs. There is not go­ing to be any noise and there is not go­ing to be any smell.”

Paws and Claws an­i­mal shel­ter has been closed since 2016 af­ter they were asked to va­cate the Cap­tain Cook High­way prop­erty. The site is now a BP ser­vice sta­tion.

They had plans to de­velop a new home at Yule Point but were de­nied by the State Gov­ern­ment who owned the re­serve land. The group’s AGM is to­mor­row at the Clink Theatre start­ing from 6pm.

There is not go­ing to be any noise and there is not go­ing to be any smell

Pic­ture: GIZELLE GHIDELLA

Dar­rell, Deb­bie and owner Noel Herbst at the open­ing of the prawn farm 10km north of Port Douglas

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