LETTER | Benefits of carbon-offsetting unclear to Douglas


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Dear Editor,

As a concerned resident of the Douglas Shire – I am requesting anonymity – I was not surprised that Michael Kerr was the lone councillor to oppose Council’s decision to participate in a carbon off-setting partnership with Qantas Future Planet, GreenCollar and Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD).

He is the only Councillor who seems to regularly challenge the status quo, to the other councillors’ dismay.

In terms of whether Council and the shire will gain from the decision, I have to ask whether tourists will make their destination decision after seeing the QANTAS website highlighting Carbon Neutral Douglas Shire?

Maybe Council adding another logo to their website will make them feel good about their ‘appearance' of being carbon neutral?

This initiative may encourage more ratepayers to be aware of reducing their personal pollution?

Are there really benefits? Yes, maybe a Douglas Shire local will get employment planting trees in another Shire.

I’m not sure how the Council’s being carbon neutral will attract the huge number of tourists being touted.
Maybe it will help with the SEO positioning for some hotels once TPDD come on board?

However, if reducing our carbon footprint is the ultimate goal, the funds would be best used when the DSC grows forests in our Shire, saving our money, commissions and in turn creating jobs.

And this is a slight on ratepayers who were not consulted.

Cr. David Carey in his presentation yesterday (in Council) used the recent Community Workshops to falsely gauge Community preferences.

The subject of 'Environmental Care’, which he cited, was voted fourth across the board; roads were by far the highest; followed by parks and gardens, and then the economy.

The Community were conned, as no mention of carbon footprints were ever raised at the workshops. Good luck getting the ratepayers to fill in another survey.

In terms of cost, this year’s DSC operational budget is $44,000,000. The Mayor has quoted less than 0.5 % of this budget as the GreenCollar investment.

This would be $220,000. So, 0.4% is $180,000, To be safe, we could surmise the DSC are spending $200,000 per year! 

These are uncertain economic times, with the NAB predicting a recession next year; funds should be kept aside to assist anyone in the community requiring assistance.

Also, the Mossman Mill and all those associated with it are more interested in what the Council can do for their financial security rather than spending ratepayers’ money in another shire. All ratepayers should have been engaged and honestly consulted.

I also believe that Cr Kerr was treated with contempt in the Council meeting, which I attended?

You could cut the atmosphere with a knife! The Mayor was smirking at him while he gave his presentation; and the other three Councillors appeared to be ignoring him.

Concerned Resident, Douglas Shire

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