Could Douglas Shire crack booming coconut harvesting market?
MAYOR Julia Leu believes the Douglas Shire has an opportunity to crack a lucrative global coconut harvesting market.
A trial is being investigated involving the harvesting of mature coconuts on Council controlled land under their Coconut Action Plan.
It comes as Council revealed the demand for coconut products has increased by more than 500 per cent over the last 10 years, with coconut water now a $300 million-plus global industry. Prices have more than doubled in the past three years.
The Douglas Shire is home to more than 11,000 coconut palms, more than 8,500 of which are on Council-controlled land.
Mayor Julia Leu said it presented a fantastic economic development opportunity and a reliable revenue stream for Douglas Shire ratepayers.
“Council wants to find out if this is a real option, which would be a proactive and beneficial way to improve safety and reduce the impact of coconut debris,” she said.
“Council needs to make sure we find a suitable site that will not interfere with residents and visitors.”
Mayor Leu said the exercise would include locating a suitable site, best practice extraction methods, occupational health and safety requirements, public liability requirements and inspection and verification methods.
“Council will also be de-nutting, removing high-risk coconut palms for public safety and start the Oak Beach Foreshore Restoration Project under the new action plan,” Council said in a statement today.
“This will also involve strong consultation with landowners and residents about identified coconut palms.”
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