Letters to the Editor

(51) Name Date Town/Suburb Comment
1. Roger 31.07.2017 14:08 Port Douglas Before jumping in the deep end with the new NBN network in town I wondered if anyone has as yet connected and if so how it is going? Any users out there?
2. Evelyn Nevett 06.07.2017 07:08 Cooya Beach No more local radio is certainly a bummer. It was my go to station every day. Thanks for your time and effort Mr and Mrs Gabour. Please be enjoying your days now.
3. Roger Randall 15.06.2017 10:41 Port Douglas I see the Ergon Tree Wreckers (aka Loppers) are in town. One only has to follow their trail of destruction to see that care and respect for the trees is not part of their activities. Of course any complaint to Ergon is a waste of time. To quote from Ergon's letter box drop "Our contractors follow the Australian Standard AS 4373 to protect trees from infection or disease and encourage future growth". Lopping off nearly ten years of growth is not exactly encouraging. It is a pity the workers do not appear to have any basic training in tree maintenance other than mutilation.
4. julian jones 06.06.2017 20:18 cooya beach I had the unfortunate pleasure of listening to someone speak this afternoon, for at the least a goodly five minutes. A pleasant voice on the whole, with an interesting subject matter.
The reason for this missive is to plead with people ... " do not say "um", or umm ", or even " arhmmm". Think of these non-words as unattractive swear words not fit for general human consumption, please. They make listening to you tedious, that much harder to even want to stay focused or even positive about your choice of topic.
That is all. Thankyou for your time.
5. Richard Lavender 02.06.2017 16:08 Oak Beach Regarding the article - http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/may/mowbray-bridge-fishing-platform-hits-a-snag/

The DSC CEO is a smart cookie – simply convince council that a budget of $100.000 would be sufficient for the platform replacement; everyone’s happy. Effort has been made.
Then, submit the application for approval to the appropriate governing bodies with the desire for a car park, etc. and sit back and watch how the project ‘hits a snag’. Naturally the costing will come in at a higher rate which restricts the council to rebuild the platform. Everyone, including the Mayor, and especially the CEO, are so very disappointed.

If one reviews the past articles on Newsport it’s easy to determine that there is/was an agenda to rid the shire of this fishing area. It was a method of reducing council overhead at the expense of local family fun.

Regarding the comment of ‘attracting large volumes of people’ what bull. This comment is a load of bureaucratic bum covering 'double speak' to insure that the project would draw attention by governing bodies which in turn raised costs to offset potential people and traffic flow issues. A ‘smart cookie’ would have the experience and know the end result. It is my opinion the poor costing analysis of replacing the platform is a ploy to restrict the flow of people and end the fishing platform discussion.

'Leu said irrespective of whether there is a fishing platform at the Mowbray Bridge or not, the area is currently extremely dangerous.' This speaks volumes of intent. If it is so dangerous than why isn't something being done to curtail the liability to ratepayers? I see no effort to restrict people from stopping, ignoring the signs, and walking on the overpass.
The barriers placed restricting access to the removed platform area are a joke and haven’t been attended to for quite some time. If the Mayor was truly concerned about the ‘dangers’ she’d restrict the entrance to the dirt road leading to the removed fishing platform. The side road is an open invitation to park and walk the overpass.

Spoon feeding the public on the dangers of the Mowbray overpass and allowing the balancing stone area to continue, which does bring on ‘volumes of people’ and traffic control issues, is bureaucratic hypocrisy. This is the same council that publically stated it supported the Haunting of Oak Beach and then filed a false and anonymous complaint with the Department of Justice against the Haunt. That complaint was overruled. Then, not satisfied, the council publicly and falsely claimed that the Haunt was ‘dangerous,’ defamed the organisers reputation, and imposed a penalty fee with a threat of reporting criminal action. It’s shameful that some matters are deemed dangerous and others are allowed to continue. Yes, there is an agenda. It stinks - but not of fish.

6. Trevor Elburn (www.sres.com.au) 29.05.2017 08:25 Port Douglas - Adelaide From article:

SA has the highest proportion of Baby Boomers (Seniors) on mainland Australia followed by QLD. Overwhelming evidence now shows us that seniors (55-75 years of age) DO NOT WANT TO LIVE IN RETIREMENT VILLAGES.

Some facts:
The average age of a retirement village resident is currently 79.
Less than 5% of retirees live in retirement villages (and falling fast as an overall demographic percentage.)

Seniors want to purchase and live in their own 'right sized' manageable property and not buy just a 'licence to occupy' dwelling where they actually own nothing other than the surrounding air and a right to remain in situ.

The Pt Douglas seniors housing project that quality project developer, Mr Thomas proposed, was very carefully researched , planned and put forward by him. He consulted widely with the retirement industry, including myself and my national and international colleagues.

This project ticked all the boxes as to what Seniors actually want. This carefully designed, seniors friendly housing development will also create dozens of new ongoing jobs for carers, maintenance workers, the trades and professions.

It seems that council are confused and seem somewhat naive about seniors housing needs and what council thinks they should have.

Seniors DO NOT want retirement village housing resembling an 'aged care facility' which council are proposing.

Aged care facilities may be needed in Mossman but are a TOTALLY DIFFERENT proposition to Mr Thomas's proposed development.

Refer http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/baby-boomers-will-snub-retirement-villages-20160701-gpwews.html

There may still be time to convince the visionary Mr Thomas to stay in the Port to provide suitable, much needed seniors housing which will not only attract new quality residents to this region, but also meet the housing needs of those seniors who already live here . It will also attract enthusiastic new seniors to move here from intrastate and interstate who regularly holiday in Pt Douglas already.

In short, Mossman may need a new aged care facility, but Port Douglas urgently needs more suitable housing for those younger seniors who have absolutely no interest in living in Mossman at this time .

Mr Thomas's proposed development will attract a completely different type of senior purchaser; not better, not worse just different. Noosa Heads and Tewantin originally experienced the same demographic distinction 25 years ago.

Council should urgently reconsider Mr Thomas's much needed seniors development for Port Douglas and get right behind him before it's too late.
7. Trevor Hauff 25.05.2017 18:35 Port Douglas When the Fullshare Group purchased the Mirage Resort some years ago promising to spend $200m to refurbish the old girl we all applauded and welcomed the Chinese group hoping it would add some prosperity and jobs to the local community. However after 2 years it seems little of the $200m has been spent, the golf course is still in a less than first class state and most of the workers are Chinese many of whom cannot understand let alone speak English. Where are the jobs promised to our local community and why are Chinese workers taking these jobs. I understood that foreign worker visas where difficult to obtain but the Fullshare group seem to have no trouble employing Chinese workers how come??
8. Ken Dobbs 23.05.2017 14:57 Port Douglas It is very disappointing to see that Steve Thomas has abandoned his plans for the proposed retirement village at Port Douglas. Steve has been one of the most conscientious developers in Port Douglas over the last 20 years and has been responsible for a number of first class residential estates and unit complexes.
There were a substantial number of submissions to the planning scheme review with many supporting the proposed retirement village. Clearly the Council is not listening to the people and has tunnel vision about the future of the Shire. I note the wide range of views on this subject previously expressed on this forum from a broad representation of the community. Most residents and ratepayers want to see the fundamental values of the Shire preserved – no high rise , limited development and the preservation of our wonderful environment. This does not mean that we do nothing for the next 10 years which enhances the quality of life for residents and provides some economic development opportunities. Council will have no funds for the next 10 years to invest in any substantial projects for the Shire other than the provision of basic services and with this decision by Council which has resulted in the withdrawal of one of our best developers, it is likely that any other developers with good proposals will steer clear of this Shire.
It has been suggested that we need a co ordinated voice for the residents and ratepayers to more forcefully represent community views to the Council. This may be in the form of a Residents and Ratepayers Association or some other similar type of entity. Individuals may have no impact on the decision making process but groups may get better results. It is not just the planning scheme in which individuals are frustrated as there are a number of other areas where individuals feel we need to improve communication with the Council.
9. Richard 22.05.2017 09:47 Mt Molloy http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/may/its-not-the-wild-west-anymore-drunk-driver-caught-doing-141kmh-in-killaloe/

It may not be the wild, Wild West anymore (wherever that is) but it sure is the wild Far North so until the police prescence is stepped up and until nabbing speeding drivers is commonplace, nothing will change as moron drivers are being allowed to travel on that road, and others, daily without fear of being picked up by the boys (and girls) in blue.....
10. James Dormer 22.05.2017 09:12 Port Douglas http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/may/plug-pulled-on-multi-million-dollar-development/

It's very sad to see the very poor decision our so called council has made , we all knew these type of decisions would be made by voting in Julia and her merry bunch of misfits, it's a shame poor Michael Kerr was the only one in there with a brain and vision to move our region in the direction it so rightly deserves. This was the reason I ran for Mayor in the first round of elections, lets hope the majority of the community can see what they have now got and actually do the right thing in the next round of elections.
It's also funny to see some of the comments regarding the retirement village as a guise for a housing estate, how short sighted some people are, if the approval was granted don't you think there would have been a full submission showing what was to be included to fully justify the "retirement" branding for this development, but hey, your all making it very clear who's side of the fence your on.
11. Bruce CLARKE 22.05.2017 09:09 Cooya Beach http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/may/opinion-is-port-douglas-retirement-village-now-a-pipe-dream/

This is not the end of the road for this project. It is a development that is very much needed for Douglas Shire. The site is the best that there is for the development. Re-zoning is not the problem that the Council makes out. It is quite an involved process, and involves the State Govt. and a few of it's departments, but is easily done with time. When I say time, I don't mean 5 or more years, but it could be a mater of 18 months to 2 years.
The biggest problem will be the Council trying to slow the process with stupid reasons that we have already herd. All of which don't mean a thing.
Public support will get this up and running, and the end result will be we will have a new retirement village which is a state of the art development. This in itself will will enhance the prosperity of the shire.
12. julian jones 20.05.2017 18:30 cooya beach http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/may/cook-highway-fatalities-will-this-new-technology-save-lives/

Will Devlin says ... " Further, anecdotally at least, the most frequent abusers are female, between ages 18-35, including mothers with children IN THE CAR! "...

Oh but come on Will ! Everybody knows mothers with kids are expert multi-taskers. Right up until the time something horrible occurs. And then of course it is the fault of the other party for not realising mum had kids with her .
I'm amazed at how many drivers I've spoken with think that driving is a skill that doesn't require them to focus every ounce of their attention to the task. Personally, I can not claim to know what anyone else on the road is, or will be capable of doing when it comes to driving their vehicle or peddling their bike.
My little life is precious to me. The phone in my bag can ring to the cows come home or until I reach my destination, whichever comes first.

13. julian jones 20.05.2017 18:27 cooya beach Re: Opinion piece by Howard on Pipe Dreams and retirement village ...

" It took 10 painstaking years for Thomas to come to this decision, so you have to wonder if another developer/s would want to endure the same."

I can only assume Thomas decided that the profits were not enough to make him continue his plans. I am not at all impressed by his " 10 painstaking years ". not at all. I tell you those that impress me are the people who did not give up on the nursing home ( Mrs Norris is one name that comes to mind ). The number of years those people staid the course likely triples Thomas meagre ten years.

" The majority of the councillors argued that if the retirement village was approved, it would have opened a can of worms for more development from Craiglie to the IGA in Port Douglas, which would have gone against the traditional green values of the Shire.
This is a non-argument with no substance. Proposed developments need appropriate approvals so how can this “open a can of worms for more development”? "

I wonder at your assumed naiveté with the above statement Mr Salkow. Seriously. The mighty dollar always holds more sway than the humane caring gesture of for example, a nursing home. I'm sure your two ( so far ) articles on this subject are just another way for Thomas to keep his money making scheme alive.

And once again I am totally stumped by those that supposedly leave the big smoke for a tree change, trying to make their new home more citified . I just don't get it. Next thing is all the tourists that would have come here will go looking for a more natural experience somewhere else that hasn't been turned into outer suburbia. And then, with the tourists off to find greener pastures, there also goes the majority of the towns income for good.
14. Ron Verri 20.05.2017 14:08 Shannonvale I wish Dr Susan Roberts the best in her latest venture as an entrant for the Popular TV series. It is great to see someone young enough, credible enough and a growing popularity in this area being considered for this program. She has in my opinion, built up the business which she bought in this area and I haven't heard a word of discontent.
Dr Susan, all the best on your appointment, don't listen to the wingers, you have a lot to offer and your are a professional who speaks her mind.
You have my support.
Ron Verri.
15. Will Devlin 12.05.2017 10:18 Port Douglas RE: http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/may/cook-highway-fatalities-will-this-new-technology-save-lives/

Howard, the only thing that surprises me, to be honest, is that there are not MORE, serious crashes on the CC Highway or on any road in the Cairns/Douglas area. I drive the highway 15-20 times each way, every week, and the incidence of texting and calling is, if anything, increasing. Vehicle manufacturers have been aware for a number of years of the ability of 'blocking technology; so have phone makers, App designers, etc. it's time for legislation at a Federal level to stop the rot! Further, anecdotally at least, the most frequent abusers are female, between ages 18-35, including mothers with children IN THE CAR!
Sgt Meadows is right; the end user is responsible, ultimately, for their safety and that if others, and, until mobile phone use (which is variously judged as impairing one's driving in the same way as a drink driver in the .05 - .08 range) is treated and penalised like drink driving is, nothing will change.
16. Anita Everett 06.05.2017 12:29 Shannonvale I am disgusted that our government will be handing an Indian company 1 Billon dollars of tax payers money to fund a coal mine ,which will drain 9.5Billon litres of water per year from precious water source, The Gallilee Basin. To allow an overseas company such quanities of water at no cost when farmers and local residents have to pay for water usage seems outrageous. Wouldn't it be more beneficial to put 1 billon dollars into improving services such as hospitals and education rather than give a overseas Billionaire, 1Billon dollars to fund a coal mine which major banks wont even invest in. This mine will cause major damage to a thriving Tourism industry, which produce 70,000 jobs per year and yet Adani's mine will create only a mere 1400 jobs. Is it really worth destroying the World heritage Great Barrier Reef for a mining industry which will boom and bust.?
17. julian jones 18.04.2017 22:27 cooya beach I've come to the conclusion, that a croc culling of some nature will occur. It will just depend on how much money, and where the money comes from, as to the success of the venture. A pity really, but money always rules these days.

I'd say the predominate reason that folk that grew up in the Far North, having survived a happy and adventurous childhood swimming in the various waterways did so because of the massive culling that went on from the 1940's through to the early 1970's. Until it became embarrassing how inhumane we could be which caused a halt on proceedings. It's come to the time when humans feel threatened enough by the sightings and attacks, to show their superiority again and do some more massive culling.
I only hope that a much more controlled and sympathetic approach is taken this time . After all, it is us that have invaded their turf, not the other way round.

My condolences go to the family of the teen who died as a result of the shark attack in Esperance ( WA ). I would think it's way too early for the family to take comfort from the fact the teen was enjoying a much loved past time, never the less she was. And there will be many more teens who will continue to swim and surf those waters, simply for the sheer joy of doing so.
Esperance is a beautiful part of the world, and it's my opinion that shark attacks will not stop people going there. Just as people will continue to visit the Far north of Australia.
If humans are the superior race, why is it they continue in what some might call ' risky past-times' like climbing mountains and trekking through jungles and surfing in shark-prone waters, and swimming in stinger / croc prone waterways ?

We really need to stop blaming the sharks and the stingers and the crocs for our idiosyncrasies . It's not like we'll die if we can't swim in the ocean. It's a pleasure for us not an essential to our life support.
18. Rob Lapaer 18.04.2017 11:32 Cape Tribulation http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/april/daintree-power-a-top-priority-frydenberg/

It is great to see progress being made on this long running saga, but I have been amazed at the comments posted on the various media sites by people who have no understanding on the issue. I haven't seen any comments on this article as yet but I already know what they are going to say.
"You knew there was no power when you moved there."
No, I didn't, when I bought my place in Cape Trib in 1993 the whole Daintree was within the legal Distribution Area of the power provider at the time, phone lines had already been put in the ground all through the Daintree, the road was getting better all the time and power was talked of as when, not if, how could I have known at that time that the Daintree was going to be the only place in Australia, possibly the world, where a government would legislate against basic infrastructure? Power was promised by the Qld govt, ask Dennis Veris who built the Cow Bay Hotel.

"A grid will bring over development".
No, restrictive town planning and buy back have eliminnated that threat, a community of households and businesses has been established for decades, and the stubborn denial of a normal power supply only leads to pollution and energy poverty.

Right now three million litres of fuel per year is trucked across the Daintree river which converts in to 7000 tonnes of CO2 blowing in to the rain forest, while sumpoil and worn out lead acid batteries mx in water draining to the Great Barrier Reef, if the Daintree were to get a normal clean power supply it would be a great outcome for the environment and enable the community to reduce their carbon foot print.

I think the Federal Minister who has both the Environment and Energy portfolios was quite shocked with how the supposedly green Queensland government could have sustained such a third world situation for that long, and they did not even bother to come to the meeting. They may be busy with cyclone aftermath now but they had declined their invitations well before Debbie even formed.

We are very happy that there is a growing understanding amongst the top politicians now that this situation has to be dealt with, ignoring it like the Queensland government does is not an option in a civilzed country in the 21st century.
19. john 09.04.2017 13:34 Melbourne http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/april/port-douglas-opens-its-arms-to-stranded-holidaymakers/

The message does not get down south .
To the majority of Victorians and probably NSW, Cyclone in Queensland means the whole state has been wiped out. Definitely need some promotion to explain that this is not the case.
I have a holiday rental in Port Douglas and from the date of the cyclone all inquiries had ceased. There must be some way to get the message through. The Media beat up with every channel showing in the southern states the 24 hours of blow by blow destruction must also have some responsibility to show that most of Queensland still survives.
20. Karina Andersen 02.04.2017 21:35 Melbourne http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/march/crocodile-nest-on-farm-sparks-mossman-mum-into-action/

we visit Nth Queensland twice a year, we have had to be more careful where we go & visit because of the over abundance of crocodiles, too many, there needs to be a cull, & it's very personal when aggressive animals are left to run loose
21. Ian 31.03.2017 12:34 Mossman http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/march/council-calls-for-big-crocs-to-be-removed-in-tougher-stance/

I largely agree with David Carey's position. Before the meeting I submitted an email to the Mayor and all Councillors providing reasoned argument that rezoning has the potential to increase risk and cannot alter advice given to visitors entering the water. These arguments are acknowledged as having validity by those involved with crocodile management Neither the Mayor nor any Councillor has had the courtesy to acknowledge or respond to the correspondence.

Providing a false sense of security by rezoning is no substitute for education and promoting the croc wise message. Or for providing evidence that the current management regime is not or cannot work.

Council's position appears entrenched with only one view being listen to and is a 180 degree turn from correspondence I had with the Mayor 2 years ago. If Council wants a reputation for culling protected wildlife in a world heritage region that's their choice but the community will also have to carry it.

For my part I will be dealing with the State Government on this issue future, where empirical evidence may have a better chance of triumph over emotion and fear.
22. Tess Leach 31.03.2017 12:31 Cape Tribulation http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/march/council-calls-for-big-crocs-to-be-removed-in-tougher-stance/

Well done Councillors for a measured and balanced approach and David Carey - you obviously haven't been a regular beach goer otherwise you would see the massive difference in crocodile activity in places they have previously never been an issue. I don't understand the hypocrisy of those opposed to management of crocodile numbers to protect both tourism businesses that rely on crocodiles and the Port-Daintree tourism industry that relies on beach and water activities. Anybody that lives in a house built on territory that once belonged to some other wildlife and purchases groceries farmed on land that was the territory of other wildlife is having an impact....humans are a part of the ecology..an apex predator...not separate to it. Nobody is proposing that we cull crocodiles to extinction just that we manage their numbers so we can still coexist with these magnificent creatures. It's getting to the point now that you need need to send your guests on a croc cruise on the Daintree River...you can just send them to the beach for a free viewing of a 4m crocodile and give them a google link to all the information and research they need to know... and as the croc population continues to grow unchecked (as one of it's predators is no longer predating) the croc cruise's will loose business to the free viewings on the beaches that become more and more frequent whilst the water based businesses and beach based accommodation businesses will also decline due to increased risk posed by the growing & maturing crocodile population.....is that really what we want for our species or do we want to find a balance??
23. OC 31.03.2017 12:21 Sydney http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/march/the-truth-is-our-beaches-are-crocodile-habitat-tour-guide/

I'm a Sydneysider so am not going to opine as to what Douglas shire residents do but thought it worthwhile to recount why the proliferation of large Crocs up your way means we no longer holiday in Far North Qld.

My family used to regularly spend a week over winter at Port Douglas. Neither my wife nor I are big on swimming in the ocean but it's always nice to be able to walk along the edge of a beach with the waves lapping at your feet, especially when its cold and miserable back home.

We have three young kids and ever since a friend of my wife posted a photo on facebook of a 3m+ croc on the beach my wife has vetoed coming back. She refuses to put our kids at risk when there are other warm places to holiday with safe beaches (that are also cheaper btw). We have since spent a winter vacation in Fiji and one in Vanuatu. This year we are going to New Caledonia.

We did one wildlife tour on our first visit to FNQ along with the obligatory reef cruise and visit to Kuranda (a couple days in Cairns). We never bothered when we holidayed at Port Douglas as frankly it isn't an experience that really needs to be done more than once.

Wildlife operators also need to think that without the tourists coming up for the sun and warmth airlines will start scaling back aggressively the air schedules to the Far North which will eventually impact on their business.
24. Terry 30.03.2017 16:01 Mossman Congratulations to the Mayor and a majority of Councillors who have recognised that true sustainability recognises and considers social, environmental and economic values. What they have done is truly and positively represent the issues effecting the whole community.

As with many people in the shire I have felt safe enjoying a swim at four mile beach for over fifty years ,and quite frankly under the management proposal promoted by Council I will be able to do this for the next 50 years.

It confounds me that some are suggesting either directly or indirectly, that the crocodile population should be allowed to expand to a point, which is fast approaching ,where we have to go to the Gold Coast for a surf and swim, and to walk along the waters edge.
25. Nivea 29.03.2017 21:18 Port Douglas http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/march/council-calls-for-big-crocs-to-be-removed-in-tougher-stance/

I grew up swimming on Port beaches. I spent the majority of my childhood n teens...swimming, beach walking, swimming, beach combing, climbing the hill, traipsing the rocks.....I had a cubby house in the trees in sand street and used to surf ski way waaaaay out and swim too! Off the rocks, off four mile beach.....not to mention the reef n low isles. I used to sun bake in the lee side of the lovely estuary out of the SE winds at oak beach, my toes in the water of the beautiful estuary there.....nude.....loved it...amazing....would I do that now? Hell no! Do I go to the beach anymore.....nooooo! I'm too frightened to take my very much loved pet dogs there and I and they are "beach lovers"....I've considered leaving too! Because it's "not the same"...,

Down south, well, they rant about sharks! But,....! A shark can't chase your dog on the beach...and there's no irikandji. 20 years ago this was never an issue!

This all stopped for me, and I'm a local, born n bred. I've seen some horror stories lately and spoken to other locals whose tales have gone untold!
I don't hate crocs. But they were never an issue during my childhood. The freedom of life up here has certainly evolved. I feel sad. It's an epic moment in time. God bless Mother Earth and all of her creatures trying to live their lives and interact harmoniously......it is no longer easy and I sincerely wish it were!

People who hang out in nature and see the changes across a spanse of many years will understand where I'm coming from.

I just wish it would be good for all concerned.

There's spaces for crocs n spaces for humans. Let's sort it out.
26. Harry 23.03.2017 17:19 Port Douglas When I read the 'Opinion Page' in the Gazette today I felt sure that Wendy Crossman's article must mean Wendy is a crocodile expert. Her black and white comment surely meant she is a scientist with in-depth knowledge of reptiles. Or perhaps her absolute commitment that the State Government did not need to do a research program surely, she must have a doctorate in Herpetoculture.
But alas she is just a local tourism owner talking about something of which she hasn't got a clue...
Wendy, leave it to the experts - you certainly have a right to an opinion but please try to have a little humility and at least acknowledge that experience and skill on such an important issue is worth listening to.
27. julian jones 20.03.2017 23:08 cooya beach I certainly hope our Premier and her cohorts are enjoying themselves on our dollar. Would be disastrous (not really) to think they were having a hard time convincing Adani and Co. to come plunder our State. Especially since conservation bodies have busted a gut or three trying to keep them out, but now that wages for mine workers here in Aus. have dropped considerably, it looks like the time has come for Adani's mega-mine to take shape. And meanwhile whilst our resources are sent overseas for someone else's gain we here will be left trying to get and pay for power.
28. From article 20.03.2017 20:42 n/a http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/march/man-saves-dog-from-jaws-of-crocodile-in-port-douglas/

Monique Johnson 20.03.2017 19:30 Port Douglas

I think there is a few things we need to define as we look at this topic:-
1/ croc management is not culling.....and management only comes when we identify crocs that have taken up a home range that is only a small area. Crocs are territorial and they grow from 2m to 8m!! Sharks such as tiger sharks have been satellite tagged to go over 2,000km, same with great whites they travel much greater distances. Home range that is in an area that humans use for water sports and daily life is a conflict. I am sure that you have all done some reading on the actual home range of a croc and their growth rates - all informations is readily available.

2/ I find it interesting that it is okay to fish and extract as many fish and mud crabs and rays as all the recreational, and tourist fisherman want to, but a top order predator that feeds on these things is not taken into the extraction equation. If you want to be green about this then all extraction would have to be stopped for a balanced ecosystem - no fishing no mud crabs no nothing.

3/ Top order or apex predators that have a great survival rate(also available of those into interesting reading) have to adapt to changing environments. So as many people that are marine biologists in this town - nothing is just due to one thing changing. It happens over time, food and temperature and population size are a good place to start. These things are however hard to quantify as there is no record of how many fish get extracted from the river ways in any one day let alone a year. How has the temperatures changes of the water effected the juveniles of many of the fish species? And what is the population size at present in the from Wangetti beach thru to say Newell? What sizes are these cocs and is their home range 2km or 4km.? And the questions are long and some can be found if you have the time to read scientific papers.

4/ Where does port douglas source its income - tourism in one word. There are not many things for family to do for free, so going to the beach is a popular thing. Are you willing, when something bad happens because a 4m croc grows to a 6m and a person is taken during the day, to say well I didn't see that coming?

Please do some reading and see how big these things grow, where they like to reside and what they consider a home range in which they are willing to travel for food. And what is food when they get used to humans being there every day......What is a top order predator and how can they diversify in what they like to eat?

Thanks Monique
29. Terry 20.03.2017 14:23 Mossman Surely there must be more consideration given to safety concerns which genuinely exist in the community about the increasing number of crocodiles presenting on our local beaches.
The users of Fourmile beach can be generally summarised as:-
The Sailing club
The Surf Life Saving club
The Outrigger canoe club
Kite Surfers
Wind Surfers
Local Residents
Tourists who support local accommodation houses and businesses

The users of other beaches like Wanghetti, Newell, Cooya and Wonga include local residents and some tourists.

While the community understands no system can deliver a zero risk scenario, it also knows that the removal of the few crocodiles that start to patrol our beaches each year reduces the risk of crocodile attack to a very low level. A level equal to or less than all of the other risks we face in life.

At least one Councillor seems to be indicating that the safety of Douglas Residents and visitors who want to undertake recreational activities and community services at the beach and on the water, like the Surf Life Saving Club which has many young members, just does not matter, and preserving and extra three or four crocodiles, in what is now quite a large population of Crocodiles, is the most important consideration.

Let’s hope the Mayor is genuine in her changed view on managing crocodiles at the beaches in a more proactive way, and that she and the Councillors with more balanced views can deliver a safer outcome for the community.

I for one do not want to have to give up walking or paddling along Fourmile beach throughout the year, or going for swim at the beach during the winter months.
30. From Article 19.03.2017 12:15 n/a http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/march/man-saves-dog-from-jaws-of-crocodile-in-port-douglas/

Lesley & Jefferson 19.03.2017 11:33 Townsville

What a brave guy ... nothing more beautiful that a walk late at night on the beach .... Just unlucky and those pets have a wonderful owner to put his life on the line . Our 4 legged friends what we wont do for them ... As for Crocodiles there part of our northan beaches like Uragangi stingers ... Good tip Craig ...lift up the crocs tail never new that .... hope dogs well soon ..

Mark Fletcher 19.03.2017 05:46 Port Douglas

NO, Craig isn't knew to the area!!! Quite the opposite actually, he is well known to the four mile beach area and extremely knowledgable of its surroundings. As stated by Craig, he was unable to sleep so decided to go for a walk with his dogs, he is normally seen at the beach at around 5.30-6 on a daily basis. The same question could and probably is asked about the lady whom sadly lost her life over in Daintree a couple of years ago whilst walking the beach after dark with her friend drinking a glass of wine ?? She wasn't a local and extremely unlucky. This is an isolated incident on four mile beach and the first I have heard since I started walking my dog down there 9 years ago.
It makes me laugh that when this or any type of incident or encounter occurs with any known predator in our area we hear the comment 'we told you so'!!!! Yes, let's look at it as a lesson learnt but let's still live our life. We don't want to cull sharks, snakes or spiders do we??? There are many more incidents involving these predators than crocodiles per capita per year??
I myself have been on the other end of a spiders bite which caused me medical issues for 12 months after, so I so talk from experience. I certainly don't kill every spider I come across!!!!!
I do understand both sides of the crocodile issue but certainly don't agree with the culling of them, moving them on would be my preferred action to take.
In closing, get well soon Jedda, we look forward to seeing you down the beach very soon and a BIG well done to Craig for having the knowledge and bravery to save his much loved dog and best friend.

Chris kurth 18.03.2017 18:01 Port Douglas

I spend a lot of time on 4mile beach and have done for 30 years and watched the changes and what we have now is a perfect storm! Every year there r more crocs and every year there are more dogs! Some people walk their dogs every day at a certain time and throw sticks in the water and they swim out and retrieve them! This is perfect for smaller crocs to recognise the pattern and start hanging around in the shallows waiting! This scenario will only become worse as the crocs realise there is food in the shallows bringing them closer to shore to the point where they could b hanging around in winter in peak season! This practise needs to b stopped right now !
31. From Article 19.03.2017 12:12 n/a http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/march/councillor-will-not-support-rezoning-to-remove-four-mile-beach-crocodiles/

Kevin Woods 18.03.2017 22:16 Four Mile end of the Beach.

Exactly.......as Wendy Morris said. Did you propose any of the following.
Maybe with a bit of positivity, like tracking 2 meter plus crocs, letting life guards and kids use their drones to sus the beach out every day for crocs, or the chopper and ultralight guys give some feed back about crocs locations. Maybe the council could ask for a grant from the state and feds into crocodile research in the area with locals and JCU. Numbers, sizes, locations, where they live, and movement in our area.

Remember when the earth was flat, knowledge is the key to every door.

Ann Ireland 18.03.2017 17:49 Port Douglas

No-one is suggesting we kill any crocs. only relocate the ones over a certain size. Yes I know it is likely another will take it's place so therefore that one gets moved along too. I fully support our mayor and the councilors who have the common sense to put kids before crocs in this sensible way. I would also like to see all the restaurants in the Shire who offer crocodile, kangaroo and other native wildlife as food take it off their menu!
32. From Article 15.03.2017 06:58 N/A http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/march/opinion-vested-interests-playing-down-life-denying-reef-event/

Susan Morgan 15.03.2017 06:45 UK
I was a paying passenger on Calypso ten last Thursday, I have no agenda! It was the most/best day of my life on the GB reef! As I finished downloading my shocking 41 videos of the three sites we visited onto our hard drive, I got an email from Greenpeace saying the reef off 'Port Douglas' had a catostrofic bleach for the second year and donate now to stop the mine down south! How did that happen overnight I wondered? Then the next day I get another email from another environment website! It was Vlasov cay that was 'catostrofic' and plugged David Attenborough who had filmed there several times! I love the Agincourt and Opal reef but stop dishing what is real! It was the best day! It was awesome! Three sites I'd never been to, much to my amazement! Phills backside, nobodies backside, and Advanced bommie! I saw so many fish and soft, hard corals, I'd never seen before! Trust your own eyes!

Glenn 15.03.2017 01:29 Gainesville, Florida
I have been diving since the late 80's and have witnessed first hand the degradation of reefs around the world. It is heartbreaking and hard to imagine that this has all happened so quickly. It is imperative to do everything in our power to save what we can, but the latest projections are not good. These types of articles are extremely important.

John White 15.03.2017 00:06 Port Douglas
Do I agree with Crispin Hull? Yes. However, it's not whether one agrees or not, the evidence is there for all to see. It's the denial of this evidence, and the truth, that has to be addressed.
If our tourism industry, and locally our greatest employer, is to survive this bleaching catastrophe there has to be some new thinking - outside the square.

Deborah P. 14.03.2017 23:36 Edmonton
Glad to see this article but distressed that the event continues. Been looking at the SST maps lately and they look like a nightmare.

It is yet another demonstration that the government is fake and cares nothing for the future of the planet, the ability of people to live on it, and the responsibility it has for protecting Australia's assets. Government engages in deception (smoke and mirrors) meant to fool the masses into thinking it is competent and caring when all it is really doing is following the instructions of corporates (esp. foreign ones) to maximise profits while the environment is sucked dry.

But government's lipservice could be turned around and that is when the voice of the people is louder than the voice of corporate lobbyists. There are over 20 million people here who could be hammering their representatives with demands that renewables be supported and coal phased out fast. If 70,000 GBR jobs are at stake, why aren't those 70K people banging on govt's doors demanding that proper action be taken (starting with booting Adani out of the country)? Are tour operators making it very clear to their guests what is going on and how they can help the reef by writing out a postcard or calling local reps or agencies? Pretending the problem isn't there won't save your jobs - they will bleach away with the corals.

For anyone who thinks that environmental activists are just a pain in the butt, you might want to remember that when we kill the ocean, we kill ourselves and every other wonderful and unique species on the planet.

julian jones 14.03.2017 23:26 cooya beach
Crikey ! Don't know what everyone is worried about. If I recall correctly, about 30million went into the State coffers to look after our reef system . This was announced around one of the media splurges on Adani Mines. It seems this 30 million is going to curtail the ills of farming and other run-off that enters the ocean and our Great Barrier Reef.

[ please read the above as a huge dose of sarcasm. thankyou ]

Good read Mr Hull, thanks once again.

Rosie Wang 13.03.2017 18:28 Port Douglas
Crispin - well said!

It's tragic that this is going on and nobody seems to want to take any action. As long as the canary is dead and can't tweet anymore! With this government pushing forward with the Adani coal mine and still much vested interest in fossil fuels the government doesn't care about preserving just in bleeding earth's resources dry and let the next generation sort it out.

GK 13.03.2017 14:14 Sydney
I've only snorkelled at the Reef twice, once in the 1980s and again a few years ago. It was a very different experience. In the 80s I felt like I'd dived into a coral garden. It didn't look so much like a garden, and there was no vivid colours.

I wondered if it was my imagination but a tour operator confirmed my impressions. Later I mentioned it on Facebook and a fellow who lived near the reef sprayed me with abuse, insisting that the reef in his area was still perfect. I suspect he worked for a local mining company.

Apparently in some circles it's not politically correct to mention this.

Ian 13.03.2017 13:36 Mossman
This opinion piece hits the nail on the head. The damage to date has occurred with global warming of 0.8 degrees C, most forecasts suggest that a 2.0 degree rise is already locked in. In addition ocean pH is forecast to fall to 7.8 by 2060 at which point most calcifiers will be unable to grow. I agree, do not expect politicians or vested interests to be listening but do expect plenty of spin.

Helen 13.03.2017 13:44 Mossman
What a terrific article - excellent work...
Most people cannot see further than their own back yard - so I suppose most locals are just keeping their heads in the sand. But to be honest there is little they can do about the GBR dying, so I think you will find those people keeping silent are very sad but feel helpless.
I will forward your article to David Attenborough and anyone else I know who cares deeply and are in a position to be heard.
This is one great wonder of the world that UNESCO will have to identify as threatened, no politician or self-serving individual can hide this truth...

Paul 13.03.2017 12:52 Port
I dive all the time at tne reef, and the coast. The damage is widespread, al. The reefs out of port douglas have been badly affected, coral ks either u der stress where it has taken bizarre colourrs, or turned white and died and or covered in algae. The reef tourism i dustry is trying to play it down as is related tourist businesses, but the fact re ai s the reef is in dire stress. Being overseas many have asked me what about the reef i have neard its dead. As much as the tourist i dustry denies the rest of the world knows whats going on and denying reflects poorly on us all
33. William 08.03.2017 15:09 Mossman Invisible Transparency

Many good people join a group or association based on the positive premise of what the organisation seems to stand for. That’s fair – it’s human nature to want to belong and participate in things we hold dear. Rarely do we read the documents affiliated with membership. Blindly, we accept that the board is acting on our behalf; doing the right thing.

Personally, it would bother me if a board acted in a questionable manner: I would be guilty by association. I know of three local groups where members have been banned from meetings due to personal issues with board members. Based on this questionable manner of control I would never be a member of these organisations. Nor would I support them.

Recently a friend was asked to become a member of a local organisation. He told me that he requested to review their constitution prior to joining. He also asked if the board minutes are available to members for review. The President answered with the following: ‘I am happy to forward you the Constitution & Code of Conduct for members. Minutes of Board meetings according to the Constitution are released to members at the Board’s discretion based on each request’. Almost a month has past and the documents have never been received.

I can’t imagine belonging to an organisation that takes my membership fee, then, based on the constitution, refuses to allow me to review the workings of the board.

The above response motivated me to contact four other groups in the region. I asked two friends to send the same request to the same four groups. That was over a week ago - Not one group has responded.

Did you know that when you join an association:
* You’re required to agree to their constitution and member code of conduct
* Board minutes cannot be viewed without board approval

Is transparency or, the lack of, an ongoing issue within the region?
Why agree to a constitution if it isn’t made available upon request?
What are these board members hiding? Probably nothing – then, why the secrecy?

The next time your membership comes up for renewal you might consider asking two questions 1) can I review the constitution? & 2) can I review past board minutes?
If the answer is ‘no’ or you don’t receive a response you might reconsider the renewal of your membership.
34. Steve 08.03.2017 08:51 Cooya Beach http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/march/victorian-tourist-watches-in-awe-as-four-metre-crocodile-swims-down-four-mile-beach/

A general reply to the panic merchants.
The Douglas Shire has had 3 crocodile fatalities in the last 30 years. In 2 cases the victims were swimming at night in known crocodile habitats. The third was on a boardwalk in the mangroves in a well known crocodile habitat at a spring high tide (ie virtually in the water).
Every year in summer particularly in calm weather at high tide crocs will swim from one estuary to another along the coast in water deep enough to be comfortable. Crocodiles do not run up the beach and grab food. They take food in the water or on deep edges. They are travelling not hunting. Fourmile beach is shallow all the way along with no deep water close in (except the headland). We do not swim on the beaches in summer. I have seen many crocs doing this over the years and when approached they actually move away so they can continue in peace.
Now in this 30 years, hundreds if not thousands of people have died in car smashes, drownings, snake bites, falling over, bar fights, drugs, suicides, shark bites, irukanji, golden staph etc etc. Surely this makes the Douglas Shire a pretty dangerous place for tourists!
Thank goodness this is not the Gold Coast.
Don't cross the road if you see a truck coming.
35. Julian Jones 03.03.2017 08:50 Cooya Beach Article: http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/february/penalty-rate-cuts-a-slap-in-the-face-for-port-douglas-workers/

Zac seems to blame staff for all the other costs a small business has to deal with in order to trade. I would say not having reliable trustworthy staff would impact a business too.
If trade is down and foot traffic almost non existant, it's not the fault of the staff. Unless of course the owner has hired incompetent staff, then the fault is with the owner's choices.
Telling your staff that they're going to have a pay cut, is akin to saying they ( your staff ) are useless. Just watch how ineffectual your staff can become after receiving their pay cut.

I read that people say public holidays and Sundays don't mean what they used to. For quite a few they definitely do have a special status. Many people through out Australia do their level best to join the public holidays on to their precious weekends in order to have that longed for long week end, It's not a new concept, it's been going on for decades. And those same people want to spend their precious long weekends going out on the town, enjoying great food and company at their fav. restaurants; taking their special friend on a night or two at their fav. hotel, etc.etc. And they want great service, good food, and be able to shop when and where they feel like it. And all this is to be catered for by staff that will supposedly do a great job for less than they should.
Ain't life grand !?

Mick Hart says ...
"This is a regressive policy and widening the gap between haves and have nots is a recipe for social disharmony. At this time of year it's the locals that keep the wheels turnings, this move would cause a net loss to the local economy..."

I agree. Struggling businesses that want and need loyal staff will find it hard work indeed.

The powers that be, including the FWC must feel the numbers of those looking for employment will pick up the slack, so to speak, and that perhaps it will all work out eventually ... It's my belief that the fast food, retail and hospitality and pharmacy sectors are the first wave only of pay cuts. There'll be more to come I think.
36. julian jones 24.02.2017 19:39 cooya beach Seriously people ! In this heavy wet weather drive with your lights on AT ALL TIMES.
The number of cars on the road tonight without lights on was thoroughly scary !
37. Kevin Eldridge 23.02.2017 18:10 Port Douglas RE: ‘Welcome to paradise’ mural proving tough assignment


Douglas Street Art will enter it’s second stage of beautifying the green fence between Sheraton and Qt Resorts on the 1st of March this year.

The first stage of the Welcome to Paradise mural with reef imagery is complete and the second stage will have a rainforest design.

Volunteer artists underestimated the sheer amount of paint and time this project takes and had a break over Christmas/New Year and have also been delayed by work commitments and the weather.

They are now rearing to go again.

Douglas Street Art aknowledges and thanks our sponsors - The Reef Marina, Blue Dive, Reef Resort by Rydges, Taubmans Australia, Mossman Hardware and the Port Douglas Neighbourhood Centre.

Without sponsorship DS ART wouldn’t be able to afford the public liability insurance which forms part of their agreement with the landholders and owners of the fence.

DS Art now has another signed agreement which allows 3 months from March 1 for completion of the project.

DS Art treasurer, Senior Sargent Damian Meadows of Port Douglas QPS said he was pleased with the projects outcomes so far:

“Local youth took advantage of the free wall area to create some graffiti art which was what was intended - and the mural area looks great too”

DS Art will also on the 1st of March buff the free wall to create a clean canvas for local amateurs to begin again with fresh pieces.

Their has been lots of interest in the general community from people wanting to get involved and the free wall area will be a fresh canvas again soon where anyone is welcome to go create something nice.

The QPS have also promoted the work of DS Art in looking to secure projects beautifying Douglas Shire utility boxes belonging to Ergon and Telstra.

Sargent Cary Cooligan of the QPS Far North Media Unit said “We have had positive responses form both entities, and look forward to assisting DS Art with those projects in the future”
38. Maria O'Brien 17.02.2017 12:47 Port Douglas Today Council contractors/employees are finalising the work on the Port Douglas Service Road Upgrade between Atoll Close and Barrier Street.

In Council’s report of 19 July 2016 when this project was first proposed the “benefits” included “an improvement to the aesthetics of the road…”. The majority of the vegetation was removed in late 2016, including numerous mature trees which Council noted were “not to be considered of significance or high value”. As a result, the properties have been exposed, have reduced privacy and a bare appearance.

There is a nice, new expensive road to service eight properties. And some shiny white bollards.

BUT, why is the verge area now being planted with grass? Surely replanting with shrubs and groundcovers would be less costly for Council to maintain and create a more visually attractive solution.

Once again, Council has removed mature trees and vegetation and created more sanitised grassed areas which will require continual maintenance/mowing. The result is another area of diminished aesthetic for all who pass when travelling into Port Douglas.

Very disappointed!
39. Newsport article: Tragedy only a drain away 12.02.2017 11:07 Douglas Shire http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/january/tragedy-only-a-drain-away/

Ann Ireland 11.02.2017 15:31 Port Douglas.

Locals in Douglas Shire get very blase around cyclones, crocs and snakes. We need to be realistic and treat the wildlife and weather with arm's length respect. Teach our children to do the same, without doing a Chicken Licken impersonation.

Dawn Wilmes 10.02.2017 17:12 4 mile Port Douglas

On the subject of drains the Douglas Shire Council certainly need to look at a solution to failing drains from approximately outside The Shack Barrier St., down Reef St & Pecten Ave. Although I keep the drains clear (grid) outside Sailz Apartments & opposite it makes little difference as all grids cover with debris & water can't flow down.last Sunday I was outside raking the grids of the above drains as we were getting flooded. My neighbor June helped me & a gentleman from the units this side of the shack. Water soon gushed away very quickly as debris was cleared but very quickly the the debris still washing down the gutters blocked the grids so it was either keep going or flood.There needs to be an opening at the back of the drains so when grids cover in debris the water will still run away.
Thank you.
40. julian jones 11.02.2017 22:00 cooya beach The news states that this weekend is one of Australia's hottest weekends, and QLD is right up with the best as far as the heat goes. And guess what ? Sth QLD beaches were closed today due to extreme surf conditions. Tell me, how do you think the visitors to Sth QLD are dealing with that ... Is it going to kill their tourism industry ? I doubt it. It's just one of those things that nature throws at us ...
41. Newport Article 11.02.2017 19:19 Douglas Shire Article: http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/january/new-fishing-platform-at-old-bridge-inching-closer/

Bev Rossignoli. 11.02.2017 18:08 Miallo

I applaud the fact that council has moved so quickly on the rebuild. I would have liked to see some of the old timbers that were not rotten incorporated into the bridge. I just can't get excited about plastic. I guess it's practical but sooooo ugly.

Wade Bowen 08.02.2017 05:21 Oak Beach

Bravo DSC! Not only would this facility be great for local families (get the kids off their play stations!) to fish from but it would be an asset for the region for tourists to view crocs in winter - taking away the risk of a major car accident as tourists still often venture onto the bridge to take photos. If it's a plastic design, (great Eco initiative - solar lighting would be a great addition as well). It shouldn't be too difficult to incorporate rod holders and areas to tie off crab pots. It must be high enough to be above flood levels but low enough to see crocs at low tide on the western side of the current bridge. Again, well done Douglas Shire Council!
42. Newsport Article - New hope in fight for rainforest power 10.02.2017 11:14 Douglas Shire Article: http://www.newsport.com.au/2017/january/new-hope-in-fight-for-rainforest-power/

Russell O'doherty 10.02.2017 09:45 Cow Bay Diwan
To Anon,
Why make a comment and and not have guts to put your name to it there was a comprehensive survey done by the Daintree power committee of all Businesses and as many Property owners as possible in August 2013 we had 2 Business not wanting power out of 60
4 Property Owners out of 220 that said no either by phone,email or public meetings so if you have moved into the area since then or didn't contact us I am sorry but we will not be doing anymore survey's I think by now everyone is surveyed out.
As we have said on numerous times there is NO compulsion to connect if don't want too you don't have to but don't try and stop the Owners and Businesses from wanting or needing a better, more reliable,cost effective and environmentally friendly form of power,
We have been very strong in advocating for under grounding of the power.
Tess Leach 10.02.2017 08:51 Cape Tribulation
There actually has been a comprehensive survey done by COMPASS of residents and ratepayers on the Daintree Coast which found that over 90% would like connection to mini or main grid. Thats pretty clear that the vast majority want a better solution for energy needs north of the river than the current environmental disaster.

Rob Lapaer 09.02.2017 19:31 Cape Tribulation
I don't know how this article managed to see a coal fired power station near Rockhampton to be a solution for the Daintree. Most of the power that is used now in Townsville, Cairns, Cooktown etc. is generated way down the coast around Gladstone anyway so what's the difference.
The article makes it sound like a coal plant near Rockhampton will have a cable to the Daintree, that sounds a bit wrong, that plant would be supplying the state wide grid and if the Daintree was hooked up to that grid then it would receive a mix of coal, solar, wind and hydro power because all these sources are contributing to the state grid.
This would be the best solution because even if the Daintree got its renewable green grid then with the prevailing weather conditions back up generators would still have to run so wouldn't it be best to have all the fossil fuel use happening well away from our previous rain forest?
And a few more facts:
1. There have been plenty of surveys over the years in the Daintree and every time the vast majority wanted grid power.
2. When I moved to Cape Trib in 1993 the whole Daintree was within Ergon's distribution area and power supply options were being studied and promised, then in 2000 we were cut out of Ergon's distribution area and never received compensation for the drop in property values. Nobody has the right to tell me now "you chose to live there".
3. Because of the stubborn denial of grid hundreds of diesel generators roar away converting three million litres of diesel in to 7000 tonnes of CO2 every year blowing in to the precious rain forest, a third world situation that the Queensland government should be ashamed of and act on.

Matthew 09.02.2017 13:50 Cape Tribulation
I am not going to get into "choosing to be here" as we have been promised power connection for over 30 years - But NO - there are 3 sub sets here in this community - 1) people who dont want any grid power 2) people that want to be connected to a grid powered by renewable energy and 3) people that want a grid connected to anything.

Every business here and resident must use diesel generators as solar and other are not available due to high rain fall and canopy of rainforest - something has to change - the issue is what changes? Its a really good question you ask - I am for example in the option 2 camp.

You have to understand the history here to get an idea of the issues - its not so easy as one would expect...

Anon 09.02.2017 13:45 Cow bay
Don't worry there are plenty of us in the Daintree with no desire to be hooked up to the grid. Don't think there has ever been a survey to gauge interest.
43. David s 04.02.2017 13:34 Port Douglas Re: Lagoon Pool

Richard. I do accept your comments as valid and real. My post did not mention this as it is a given that these things don't come for free.

The construction of the lagoon comes mainly as a benifit to the tourist focus of the area. There is some benifit to the locals and the surrounding occupied areas but this is probably not what the main focus is. To expand on my comment a bit I would expect the council to consider all the pluses and minuses and make a decision accordingly. If it resulted in a marked increase on the rates, then it would affect the temperament on those affected that don't draw a perceived benefit...and that would not be in the councils best interest. Everyone in the region benefit a when the tourist numbers are up. Both in employment, facility upgrade by privates and general improvement in the businesses in the region. That will generally filter down to all, whether it be in the form of improved asset values, or employment for their children who often have to leave the region due to poor future career options. The council is not unaware of this, and the primary benefactors would all be aware that they will likely be the ones carrying the bulk of the economic burden as they will be the ones that initially benefit from it. The councils role in these matters are(or at least should be) to calculate this and see what the economic impact will be on the individuals who have managed properties, businesses, and various tour operators. And if it appears the benifit outweigh the costs, then they can implement the most appropriate position and design which will blend in and hopefully enhance the beauty of the region. It can be done, where it's a win win for most if not all. We just have to sometime go with it with an open mind and trust that the elected people(who I believe) will come up with a plan that will enhance this beautiful place, which will then solidify the region as a more solid permanent location for all in it rather than a precarious sentiment driven location that goes up and down according to how the media see us.

I hope this clarifies a bit the way I think, and confirms with the readers that I am aware of the general (but real) fears.

44. Richard Lavender 04.02.2017 13:33 Oak Beach Re Lagoon Pool

Thank you David s for your comments. Odd that you point to my remarks when so many share the same concerns. I note that you ignored the fact that the cost of the ‘happy lagoon’ is outside the budget of most households to offset the costs. This ‘happy’, ‘fun’ place will put pensioners one step further away from putting food on their table or purchasing that important medicine. As Natalie Johnson so aptly referenced many families, young and old, will be challenged to afford such rate increases.

David, I can assure you that council does not need my permission to explore the ‘happy lagoon’. Nor would it be welcomed. I doubt the matter will come to a ‘vote’ – that is an unnecessary exercise that also comes with substantial costs. Council should carefully explore the options. We elect a council to make decisions.

Finally, regarding ‘fear of the unknown’ . . . one thing I do know with certainty is that costs for maintenance, goods, services, insurance etc.. increase yearly. The rate payer will be subject to the burden to offset those costs.

Thank you for your consideration.

45. julian jones 21.01.2017 11:23 cooya beach Re: Lagoon proposition ...

@ Jeff Gale. You say ...
" Port has an opportunies to move forward here. Don't forget its whole economy is based on tourism and if you are against something to help underwrite its economy you simply picked the wrong place to live. " ...

Thing is, tourism happens on the very broad back of this beautiful, wondrous region. Whether you visit the far north or go inland behind the Sunshine Coast, QLD's natural beauty is not surpassed anywhere else in the word.

Theme parks / waterslides / lagoons are for bigger metropolises that chronically need to find a way to chillout their residents.
I had no idea Darwin had a lagoon. I have swum in their public pool a few decades ago.

Seriously, you people that want this gaudy piece of frippery so much, sit down and do the math. I mean really do it. And when you've done the math then double and triple it some more for next quarter's costs. Surely I'm not the only one to shudder at the bills presented to me for my minimal energy needs. What are you going to do when you need staff to work all the public holidays ? Oh I know, someone will decide that the staff aren't that necessary, and then someone gets hurt or somesuch ... who is going to pay the insurance / court costs for that ? Yeah sure worst case scenarios they might be, but given that a lot of folk here just want stuff regardless, worst case scenarios need to be aired.

If you want more tourists here, then start bowing and scraping to those who come here now. Give them the courtesy of being thankful for the money they spend to keep all us locals here and paying our rates. Feed them well, treat them well, keep the amenities clean
and be there to serve them a drink or drive them around to the locals' hidy-holes.
46. Batty Daniels 19.12.2016 20:36 Cairns Why have you not done a article about the Telstra blackout commencing last Saturday Traders had no eftpos or mobile and tourists were not happy.
47. julian jones 15.12.2016 19:12 cooya beach I read in today's Gazette that some is giving 33 million dollars toward the health and well being of the Great Barrier Reef. This is not a bad thing of course, but I'm just thinking that once Adani has gotten the last lot of okays and the rail link is up and running, then 33 million is not going to be nearly enough to cope with the horrors.
48. Leeanne Enoch 14.12.2016 10:23 Brisbane Advance Queensland supporting local innovation

Advance Queensland supporting local innovation Governments from across the globe have recognised that the world is changing in a way we haven’t seen since the Industrial Revolution.

The Palaszczuk Government understands that if we don’t act now to apply innovation across the economy, ensuring Queenslanders are improving traditional industries and creating new industries, there is a huge risk of being left behind the rest of the world.

Our $405 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland innovation agenda is the right policy for this time of great change in our state – something even former LNP Premier Campbell Newman has acknowledged.

Contrary to claims by the LNP - Advance Queensland is not about backpackers “sitting on a beach”- it’s about supporting Queenslanders to remain globally competitive.

Through thirty different programs, Advance Queensland is backing innovators across a range of sectors including in agriculture, business, medical research and environmental science.

For instance, farmers are natural innovators and Advance Queensland programs are supporting projects that will address key issues facing the industry and help improve its competitiveness.

Projects currently underway include reducing the carbon footprint of the beef industry; improving livestock productivity through a new generation of antibiotic-free feed, and helping the industry breed for tick resistance.

While the LNP are busy misrepresenting our investment in important Queensland industries, they are yet to release their own innovation policy.

The LNP has an obligation to Queenslanders to demonstrate how they plan to diversify the state’s economy in the face of great change, however their silence on this agenda is deafening.

Leeanne Enoch MP
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy
Minister for Small Business
49. Michael Kerr 12.12.2016 14:09 Port Douglas RE: Mayor Leu takes takes up Paws and Claws fight in Brisbane

In response to: S. Symthe 12.12.2016 14:04 Port Douglas

The previous building used by Paws and Claws was owned by a private entity and offered cheap rent in return for not having to maintain the building. As it was not the organisations building spending money that had been donated to the animals was not an option. It was due to the property being ran down that we as a committee reduced boarding for the safety of pets and staff and that made the operation less financial. The need and want is still there more than ever.

Paws and Claws is not council funded nor has it ever been. The money that has been given to Paws and Claws in the past few years has been funds that were being held in trust for the facility.. Not rate payer funds. The noise as you call it and clearly you haven't as it is called barking was minimal and with in the regulations of an industrial zone. Sorry don't complain when you choose to build next to a property that is already in operation! As for councils support they are fully aware of the potential environmental damage that will happen when animals are dumped and then need to be retrieved and euthanised at rate payer cost! Our Mayor.. Julia Leu not Julian was in Brisbane for other reasons including spending her birthday with family and organised this meeting as she knew that she would already be in Brisbane. Your rates did not fund a Paws and Claws rescue mission. Perhaps her example of generousity with her time for the benefit of this shire should be an example to others in this Shire when they choose to write ridiculous unfounded letters to media.

As for cracked sidewalks, road repairs, crocodiles and dogs roaming, I suggest you call the council on 07 4099 9444 so a formal request can be registered and I'm sure they will be happy to assist!
50. S. Symthe 12.12.2016 14:04 Port Douglas RE: Mayor Leu takes takes up Paws and Claws fight in Brisbane

Cracked sidewalks that are not repaired. Roadways that are in real need of repair. Gravel on the roadways, rather than tar sealing - making it dangerous for pedestrians when the gravel is thrown into the air as cars drive over the road, crocodiles that are inhabiting the beaches causing the beaches to be closed, and dogs that are breaking into the habitat and injuring humans, and this is of her "greatest concern" - Paws and Claws?

It is time for Julia Lieu to act as the public servant we elected and drop her pet project. When Paws and Claws was operating the conditions of the building was unsustainable. The neighbours were subjected to an assault of noise, and the management was taking food donations to feed the animals they housed, and contributions (our tax payers money) from the Douglas Shire Council. All because they were running out of money. What if we all were so lucky to have a organization that would be so well supported!

Shouldn't the priority of the council be on those items that benefit the community as a whole. For Julia Lieu to travel to Brisbane (did we also pay for this out of our tax dollars?) to complain shows that she has to consider if she would be successful in her re-election. It is time to concentrate on the issues that make Port Douglas a town that gets' down to business. Play time is up.
51. John Carney 25.11.2016 14:30 Port Douglas Can anybody advise if there are time restrictions on helicopters flying over or landing in Port Douglas. This morning an example as we were woken at 4.45am by a helicopter landing. Same situation twice in past month.
Emergency situation I can understand.
Thanks for any advice.

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