Council considering community meeting to discuss healthy reef partnership

CARBON OFFSETS PURCHASE

Howard Salkow

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Russell O’Doherty, president of Daintree Renewable Energy Inc., and initiator of the petition which has attracted more than 400 signatories. Image: Supplied
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Douglas Shire Council is considering organising a community meeting to discuss its recently approved Healthy Reef Partnership with Qantas Future Planet, GreenCollar and Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD).

This comes in the wake of a petition – titled “Stop the Douglas Shire Council from purchasing unwanted Carbon Credits” which has attracted more than 400 signatories – and a letter to Mayor Julia Leu from a “concerned ratepayer” calling for community meetings in Port Douglas and Mossman.

In a letter to Mayor Leu, councillor candidate in next year’s Local Government election, Kym Rowley, writes:

“Good Morning Julia: Due to the ongoing concerns of ratepayers with Douglas Shire Council entering into an agreement to become carbon neutral, I invite you and your councillors to hold Community Meetings both in Port Douglas and Mossman.

“This will allow Council to fully inform ratepayers of what this is all about and also gives them the opportunity to ask questions.

“As this agreement is near the final stages, your urgent attention to this matter would be appreciated. Regards, Kym Rowley, Concerned Ratepayer.” Rowley is also General Manager of The Tin Shed.

A spokesperson for Council said the letter had been received and Council is considering organising a community meeting.

And Rowley has already received a response from Mayor Leu. It says: “Morning Kym,
Happy to do so and will get back to you in the near future. Best regards, Julia.”

Russell O’Doherty, president of Daintree Renewable Energy Inc., and the petitioner, said he was not surprised by the excellent response given the controversy surrounding the decision.

“If Council do have community meetings to hear ratepayers’ concerns, my hope is that they take on board what people want,” said O’Doherty, who will attend any organised meetings.

Many Newsport readers, who are opposed to the partnership which enables Council to become carbon neutral by purchasing premium carbon offsets located in Rawbelle, Queensland, have raised a number of questions they believe deserve explanation.

One such reader writes:

“What we don’t still know, and the Mayor needs to explain is:

  • What is Douglas Shire Council doing to reduce Mossman Mill emissions in the future - $45 million in State and Federal Funding is designed to sustain the Mill, so what are the safeguards for the Community in terms of how this will reduce our carbon footprint in the future?
  • Why will Council not support the Micro-Grid Project in the Daintree, which will immediately reduce the diesel-driven generators pumping out pollution on a daily basis?


I think most Ratepayers would consider a sustainable Carbon Offset Plan if DSC were behaving in a proper way on the two biggest pollution issues in our Shire.”


The petition can be viewed here. 


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