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Rhona Eastment, Cooya Beach, 29-10-13 16:48:
Goodness Will, you have just described Julia in your second-last paragraph. Yes, you certainly were a strong campaigner against de-amalgamation, going to great lengths to try to persuade, we the people of the Douglas Shire, that Cairns was the better choice so why you were approached, defeats me Of course we knew better, and are determined to ensure our shire is successful.
Third-last paragraph "The new Shire is going to need a strong leader; a leader who can not only ‘lead’ but who can bring others along with him/her. It is in (his/her) ability to negotiate and close business deals, to broker agreement between conflicting parties, to garner the best outcomes for all (full stop here)" yes, you have described Julia again.
Therefore, as she ticks all these boxes, has had the experience, knows this shire inside-out, knows councils inside-out, etc etc, I think you have really put in a bid for Julia to once again lead us. Thanks.
Will Devlin, Port Douglas, 28-10-13 13:18:
During the recent de-amalgamation campaign, readers will be aware that I was firmly on the side of the ‘status quo’; that is, that I argued that the old Douglas Shire ought to remain amalgamated with Cairns Regional Council. I was a vocal and steadfast supporter of the People of Douglas, a group which had the right to be heard and which was unfortunately unsuccessful in its attempts to fully persuade residents to remain with Cairns Regional Council. That campaign proved somewhat divisive to many in the Community; we all now find ourselves in a position where we need to vote for both Councillors and Mayor.
It is fair to say that I have been approached by a number of residents asking me to consider standing for election to Council. For reasons including my current employment and my pending retirement and travel plans, I have obviously decided not to stand for Election. I think the new Council – whatever it’s finally called – needs a Mayor and Councillors with the right mix of business acumen, negotiating skills, lack of political allegiances, and life experience to make our future safe.
That is why I am backing James Dormer for Mayor of the new Shire. I call James ‘friend’, and do so proudly; more so, though, I know James Dormer as a businessman, who, with his business partner, has built a successful building company over many years, and who is responsible for the construction of many of the wonderful, architect-designed homes in the area. Indeed, I first met James in his capacity as a builder, and our friendship has grown from our meetings on a business-level.
The new Shire is going to need a strong leader; a leader who can not only ‘lead’ but who can bring others along with him/her. It is in his ability to negotiate and close business deals, to broker agreement between conflicting parties, to garner the best outcomes for all, that I think James Dormer will excel.
The Election of Councillors and Mayor will doubtless see a myriad of different personalities elected to Council; the need for a strong Mayor is manifest. A Mayor who will bring consensus to the table; who will negotiate strongly on behalf of ALL residents and rate payers of the Shire; a Mayor whose previous business experience has put him in touch with the common man as well as the higher echelons of Government, Planning and Finance.
That is why I will be backing, promoting and voting for James Dormer for Mayor, and why I hope you will consider him favourably, too.
23 Brolga St
Peter Wood, Mossman, 18-10-13 21:16:
The way things are done with these big ticket items these days is no consultation nor listening.
Malcolm McKellar, Port Douglas, 15-10-13 17:36:
Re: Mossman Mill, Mackay Sugar, and 700,000 Tonnes of Tablelands Cane in 2014 & Beyond
I am deafened by the silence of the Douglas community in general, of the Mossman and Cairns Northern Beaches communities in particular, of our elected representatives (Local and State Government), of the tourist industry, and of our media, regarding Mackay Sugar's intention to truck seven hundred thousand (700,000) tonnes of Tablelands sugar cane to the Mossman Mill next (2014) cane season, and for a possible four more years thereafter.
I am aware that the Tablelands communities of Mount Molloy and Julatten have been fighting a losing battle to influence this decision, with no apparent support from the Douglas or Cairns Northern Beaches communities nor from our elected representatives.
To put 700,000 tonnes of additional cane on our roads, through Mossman township, and through the Mill, into perspective, the Mill will crush this season, by Mackay Sugar's own estimate, 575,000 tonnes; most of that sourced from within the Douglas "Shire" and most of that transported by train. This extra tonnage will increase the 2014 crush to one million two hundred and seventy five thousand (1,275,000) tonnes - more than 2.2 times that of 2013, and will, I believe, result in the largest ever crush at Mossman Mill.
700,000 tonnes of additional cane from the Tablelands, on top of 'hoped for' natural growth locally, will simply 'crush' our road systems, Mossman's country-town atmosphere, our Coast-to-Tablelands tourism industry, our road-frontage restaurant and accommodation businesses, our environment and environmental image, and frankly the Mill itself, and severely impact both the tourist amenity of the coast road from Cairns to Port Douglas as well as that of the Cairns Northern Beaches - all for little to no financial benefit locally but simply for the benefit of out-of-district ownership that does not care one jot about the local living environment.
Additionally, it will adversely impact our local farmers, who will have to endure 24/7 around-the-clock harvesting with both increased noise and life-style impact as well as consequent damage to headlands and ratoons, compromised priority for processing of their cane, enormously increased pressure on Mill reliability (a disaster this year already, with just 440,000 tonnes in total processed to-date), and, if past history is any guide, reduced financial returns resulting from Mill subsidisation of the Tablelands cane transport and processing.
700,000 tonnes of additional cane from the tablelands will mean an additional eight 40-tonne B-double truck movements every hour, seven days per week for five (or more) months along the Mareeba-Mossman highway, though Mount Molloy and Julatten, down the Rex Range, on and off the Captain Cook Highway, and into and out of Mossman - that is one truck every eight minutes 24/7 on average, plus hundreds of extra mill-mud distribution trucks back up, and down, the range or around the shire, and hundreds more processed-sugar delivery trucks to the Cairns wharf and back as well. And with the possibility of adverse weather, poor Mill reliability, and the inevitable road blockages due to accident and increased road maintenance, the local harvest could extend for as long as eight months from May to December.
Surely this plan is either plain stupidity or a sad joke being perpetrated against the residents of the Douglas and northern Mareeba "Shires" and of the Cairns Northern Beaches communities.
If this plan proceeds, then the impact of the additional 17,500 round-trip (35,000 one-way) B-Double cane-delivery truck movements, not to mention mill-mud and sugar delivery truck movements, upon our roads, upon our living standards and life-style amenity, upon impacted businesses, and upon road safety, will lay squarely at Mackay Sugar's doorstep, and they should not be allowed to proceed without legally enforceable multi-million dollar up-front provision for the inevitable direct and indirect costs that will ensue.
Where is the noise from our elected representatives, and where do our forthcoming new-DSC election candidates stand on this very important issue?
Will Devlin, Port Douglas, 27-09-13 17:41:
Editor, apropos of the roundabout, does no-one do anything but complain (excuse the double negative)? We can bang on forever about timing, we can bang on about signage (which I personally think is pretty comprehensive and easy to follow) or we can accept that WE are getting something we have been lobbying about for years! Don't worry, I've seen tourists and locals alike swanning down PD Road with the mind in neutral, miss the detour signs all the way, and end up doing a u-turn at IGA. Another reason that a roundabout is necessary - such traffic control devices ameliorate the deficiencies in drivers' attention spans.
byron kurth, port douglas, 23-09-13 16:31:
Can you believe they have decided to begin the most significant roadworks Port Douglas has seen for decades at the start of the 2 busiest weeks of the year. Does no one communicate these days!
Gillian Coe, Port Douglas, 23-09-13 15:09:
Hello - want a photo opportunity ?
Because of the lack of signage at Old Port Road / Cook Highway, traffic continued to north to the IGA corner to find there was no longer a right hand turn there. There was no choice but to continue towards Mossman. However a lot of vehicles were doing U turns in Ferrero Road in an attempt to get back to the intersection. What chaos. At the Old Port Road intersection, there is a small sign advising "detour ahead" and a yellow finger sign advising detour- but to where? I know it is only early days, however one decent electronic sign advising "All Port Douglas Traffic with an arrow to Old Port Road could have stopped a lot of confusion.
Rani Simons, Port Douglas, 21-09-13 11:30:
Dear Editor. Did I really read in the Gazette that the roundabout at the Port Douglas turnoff is to be a concrete island. Are we Detroit in the US or Port Douglas, slice of paradise? Please address!
Michael Ochs, Moruya, NSW, 12-09-13 17:36:
Just responding to Deb Favier's letter. Deb, unfortunately, due to the Queensland Local Government Act, and the Local Government Electoral Act, I am unable to stand for Council. I am not a resident of the electorate, and therefore ineligible.
It strikes me as being a bit on the nose when some-one of the ilk of Julian Assange, who is a resident of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, can stand for parliament. Or the ALP candidate for the NSW seat of Bennelong, A Mr Li I believe, who was a resident of Beijing (China) when nominated and who promised to move into the electorate upon being elected (he wasn't by the way, so I suppose he'll be back to Beijing). But I, despite being a rate-payer, as a non-resident, can't stand for a local government election!
I would submit that I have somewhat more of an interest in the area than those two examples!
Kerry Larsen, Port Douglas, 12-09-13 16:51:
On investigating your concerns re: house on the hill, we have contact Cairns Regional Council today to seek clarification on the building development approval given to this site just below Port Douglas Lookout.
They have confirmed that the site has been approved for a single story development and that a planner had checked the site last week and reported all looked above board.
However, if you have any further concerns about this or any other development, please contact Council directly so your enquiry can be actioned. Regards Kerry, Interim Editor