Fri 18 Apr

Letters to the Editor

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Richard Lavender, Oak Beach, 11-11-13 09:22:
I am so pleased that I ran for Council.

I've been introduced to wonderful people and shared ideas and dreams.

What a great experience. I'd do it all over again!
Thank you everyone for your trust and your vote.

Here's to the future success of the Shire!
Michael Kerr, Port Douglas, 10-11-13 21:48:
Congratulations to Julia Leu in her new position as Mayor of the newly formed Douglas Shire and also to Abigail, David, Bruce and Terry who will form our new council.

It was an immense pleasure over the past weeks hearing the varying points of view from not only yourselves, but the other nine mayoral and councillor candidates and the stories and tales from their respective representatives. Whilst the pre-poll was enduring at times, it was also most enjoyable.

Hopefully you have also gained knowledge from this and will remember the varying opinions that others in the shire have when making decisions which will effect them, in their particular region possibly more than yourself in yours.

I would like to thank each and every person who supported me during my campaign and especially my close friends, family and loving partner who not only supported my want to enter this realm, but also took the time out of their own busy schedules to assist me in the election process.

The next few years I am sure will be a trying time in some respects but I have the absolute confidence in this elected team to complete these tasks with the utmost professionalism.

For me I intend to rebuild, grow and learn more before facing you all again wiser and stronger in 2016.

Good luck to each and every one of you and the other unsuccessful candidates and wish you all the best for your future endeavours.

Warmest regards,
Michael Kerr
Deborah Favier, Daintree, 07-11-13 10:52:
I totally agree with Will's comments re democracy & voice. The expression of voice is important to me & it is disconcerting when there are those who attempt to stomp out expression of opinion, by bullying, propaganda or whatever other means. I'd just like to add that propaganda can do serious damage to a person's reputation in a small community. Since this election began I've never heard so many rumours floating around about the prospective councillors. George Pitt, for example, was never part of a gang of four. That term was mischievously coined by those who don’t believe in democracy at work, exploited by the media at the time & unfortunately believed by those with scant knowledge of actual Council meetings. George is a gentleman who shows respect for all. George, as mayor, is best equipped to bring heart to our shire & to our community. Re the tourism industry, a Council can pour mega-dollars into advertising our tourist façade, but it's the layers behind the façade, the reality of what is, that draws people back here. It’s happiness, not just the warm weather, which people seek out here. People who’ve worked with George describe him as a quiet achiever who resolves issues in a non-confrontational way. Behind his gentle, dignified reserve is a strong will. Since his time in Council, George has been proactively involved in community issues; and he hasn't let the slander of the DSC get in the way of his passion. George's positive ethos will ripple out into the community & his experience & expertise can move us forward as one. Are we on the cusp of having our first ever indigenous mayor? I hope so!
Andrew Mackay, Port Douglas, 07-11-13 08:48:
It is interesting reading the letters to the editor and the strong and definitive views of many. I am curious to know who "Simon Smithe, Port Douglas" actually is. That it is a pseudonym is obvious. The reasons why not so obvious.
I think it makes a healthier debate when people, with their strong views, who wish to advise people on how to vote do so in a manner that is upfront and open. Then they are much more likely to be taken at face value.
Andrew Mackay
Mick hart, mossman, 05-11-13 22:24:
Thanks for the lesson Andrea, I guess my dyslexia got the better of me.
The bottom line still remains, we are in a precarious situation financial because of our break from the CRC. I find it rich that Julia should use the fear of failure card.
Will DEVLIN, Port Douglas, 04-11-13 23:53:
Editor, I am unused to responding to the malcontents who would seek to silence comment which differs from their point of view. I'll be brief: Yes, I was asked to stand for Council, yes, to be honest, I thought it WAS a big deal to be approached and asked. To think otherwise would bespeak scorn and lack of respect for the opinions of others. So, yeah, I'll go out there and say it was a BIG DEAL. Sadly, it wasn't, apparently, for other correspondents.

The main problem with Elections and Referenda is that they necessarily pit opinion against opinion. But, that's what democracy IS! The sharing and debating of IDEAS. Not attacking the person expounding a view, but attacking the VIEW. Pretty simple really.

Before the De-Amalgamation referendum, there were people saying they 'had to leave Cairns' before a high rise was built next to The Peninsula on the Esplanade at Port Douglas! That rumour looks like it's doing the rounds again. Why? Doubtless because James Dormer's a Builder and that means high-rise for Port. Dear oh dear. A tenuous link if ever there was one.

I'll grant your correspondent who rails against 'misquoting' - it's unfair and necessarily changes the tenor of the argument. That said, if we don't get this election right, there could be some serious ramifications.

That's why I promote, favour and have cast my vote for James Dormer for Mayor; and for Councillors a decent spread of financial wisdom, conservative values and people whose interest in the whole of the Shire not just vested interests in the populous centres like Port and Mossman.

Will DEVLIN
Simon Smithe, Port Douglas, 04-11-13 11:59:
Filtering through the 3 mayoral candidates and 15 councillor candidates is a daunting task. So to save you the worry, here’s my take and why.
James Dormer for Mayor. A successful businessman with strong skills and a real leader. Represents the fresh new face we so desperately need. The other two candidates represent a return to the past, something to be avoided at all costs.
Ken Dobbs, Roy Weavers, Christine Price and Abigail Noli for Councillors. A totally new team with strong financial skills, community involvement, local knowledge and a balanced pro-growth / environmental outlook. Again, electing some of the old political and bureaucratic types who have dominated the public debate with extreme policies and false and divisive rhetoric over recent times would be a grave mistake.
When a candidate says they have “local government experience”, they are really advocating a “return to the past”, a painful and expensive failure. Let’s not go back there.
So I’m advocating a fresh all new team with no links to the old council, because as we all know, that just didn't work. If you elect the same people, you shouldn't expect a different result.
Andrea Collisson, Oak Beach, 04-11-13 01:33:
Mick Hart, if you are going to quote someone, you should make sure to take the sense of what they are saying when you decide where to start and finish the quote. That would be the second rule of quoting. The first rule of quoting is to use the exact words and grammar the speaker used. Picking the words you like and changing the meaning is misquoting, not quoting. When you misquote, you end up wasting people's time, as well as causing untold mischief, and your reputation for honesty will diminish.

So when you quote Julia leu from the newsport video as saying "we may be sunk". Its not actually what she said or meant at all. She said "If we don't get this right, we're sunk". Notice how different that is from what you said. She was of course putting the case for why she would be the best person for the job of mayor.

The second point i want to make, is that i am really concerned about the future development of the area and particularly the section between Craiglie and Mossman. I wrote something about this in the Gazette on September 26, but now i feel the potential threat may be even greater than i realised then. That letter to the Editor argued that voting for the candidates who prioritise economic growth, will result in urban expansion as surely as night follows day and to remind people that if they don't want an expansion of urban ugliness, then they should be careful about who they vote for. Since then, Campbell Newman has sent a message through the state suggesting that urban expansion should be upwards, ie sky wards. It is known that the Canberra pollies want to push the development of the northern regions. So Canberra and Campbell will be giving lots of help to our growth-advocating candidates for making that growth happen. You can bet on it.

I saw it happen to the Sunshine Coast. One day it was charming stretch of small coastal communities and a short time later, it was catching up with the Gold Coast. I saw it before - in the early 80s - and then again in the mid 90s and was shocked by the changes. It seemed to have happened suddenly and the development was huge in all directions - outwards and upwards and the social dynamics also changed radically.

Many people in Douglas are complacent and don't realise how easily the same thing is likely to happen here, given the right cocktail of politicians at all levels of government. All that's needed now to get a trifecta for rapid development is three pro-growth candidates on the local council.

People seem to have forgotten how quickly Port Douglas changed in the late 80s? And of course many people living here now, never saw what happened then. In four years Port Douglas was irrevocably changed from being a sleepy but charming holiday village with a population in the hundreds to a resort town with a population in the thousands and growing steadily. My father who, usually tends not to see things the way i do, makes an exception when he remembers Port as a delightful town back when the population was 300. That was in the early 70s when i wasn't even a teenager yet.

Roy Weavers wants more and more people to move in. So, it seems do the majority of the candidates. The residents and visitors like the place as it is but i don't think too many are seeing the future very well. Consider the Sunshine Coast. Its little different from the Gold Coast now. That's our future unless you avoid electing the people who want to grow everything except trees. They will tell you they want to grow the population, business opportunities, industry and employment.

This sort of growth brings inevitable social and environmental complexity and problems. Its not all good folks. A lot of it is bad. Its not just more jobs and more services. Its also more drunks, car accidents, crime, concrete, architectural ugliness, power lines, billboards and street signs (visual pollution), water restrictions, pollution, noise, violence, deforestation of the hills, damage to the reef, corruption, political arguments, restrictions on your freedoms, rules, council fees and on and on. You can't have the easy simple life in a bustling urban environment. You can't have it all. Why do you want more people to come and live here? What are they bringing that we can't live without? My answer to that question is nothing. They bring nothing we need at all.

Do you think i'm being paranoid? Do you think this scale of development can't happen in the moderately near future - say 10 years? Well there is already land pegged for development along the cook highway on the north side of Craiglie. It only takes a stroke of the pen for cane farmers to be able to sell their land for subdivision. It may already have happened. If you don't want this as your future, then vote for a few candidates who are not pro-growth. Its hard to know who they are. The only person i know for sure who holds conservative views on growth is Janet Goodall, a lifelong resident of Mossman. Question the candidates carefully before you cast your vote. Find out their underlying values with regards to the region. There's more at stake in this election than staying in the black.
Mick Hart, Mossman, 31-10-13 22:51:
Just watched Julia's interview on NP , and was a little disturbs to hear her prediction that we " may be sunk ".
I'm sure you are probably right Julia but it's a far cry from the optimistic view you spread during the de-amalgamation days . So let me get the story straight , we left the sheltered waters of the CRC and cast out open the savage sea .Where we must bail the water as one under the gaze of Captain Leu and her merry men . Or else it's Davey Jones locker for us all .I just hope there's enough life boats for everyone
Deborah Favier, Daintree, 30-10-13 17:56:
Rhona and Mandy, this is not the forum for personal attacks.

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