LETTER | Work on pollution in our own backyard first

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

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Dear Editor,

I refer to your recent articles referenced below:

www.newsport.com.au/2019/june/douglas-shire-council-first-to-enter-carbon-offset-deal/

www.newsport.com.au/2019/june/council-votes-to-go-ahead-with-carbon-offsetting-plan/

www.newsport.com.au/2019/june/councillor-speaks-out-against-carbon-offset-proposal/


A few thoughts on just how ridiculous the DSC Carbon Offset Strategy is, as a way to achieve their objective to be the World’s First Eco-Certified Region: see below:
www.douglas.qld.gov.au/global-eco-standing-for-douglas-shire/


While I fully endorse the objective, it flies in the face of common sense that you would attempt to achieve this as an “amateur masquerade” given the current Environmental Pollution Status of Douglas Shire, impacting the Daintree Rainforest, GBR, and the community in Mossman. See below:

www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-16/australian-pollution-mapped-by-postcodes/10478620#postcodes

· Postcode 4877 – Port Douglas = 0kg Emissions
· Postcode 4873 – Mossman/Daintree = 769,705kg High Level of Emissions Pollution (770 tonnes)

The source of Postcode 4873 Emissions is two-fold:

· Mossman Sugar Mill Processing:
o $50 million p.a. revenue funding 71 Cane Farmers in Douglas Shire
o 19th century technology and business model
o www.newsport.com.au/2019/june/mossman-mill-funding-deadline-extended-at-eleventh-hour/

· Daintree Rainforest Generators driven by 4.0 million+ litres of Diesel Fuel p.a.
· Approx. $10 million p.a. Diesel crosses the Daintree Ferry

The lack of character and understanding by our Mayor and the three Councillors in question, is starkly exposed when you consider that they think they can actually get away with this masquerade. It’s great that Australia enters the Eurovision each year now, but none of us believe Australia really is in Europe. This simple analogy is really the pub test for what’s going on here.

Like thieves in the night, this “Gang of Four” are going to buy at a Ratepayer cost of $220,000 p.a. (total $660,000 over 3 years), the carbon emissions green performance of the community of Rawbelle in remote Country Queensland postcode 4630 which has “No Polluting Facilities” and Zero Emissions annually to offset against:

· Postcode 4873 – Mossman/Daintree = 769,705kg High Level of Emissions Pollution (770 tonnes)
· Postcode 4630 – Rawbelle = 0kg Emissions

Whereas the character of Councillor Kerr is exemplary in sensing the furore that was about to unfold, and taking the action and stance that he has. This is the calibre of common sense we deserve as a Shire in terms of our elected Public Office Officials. You have to earn respect and Councillor Kerr realises that respect for his office is driven by:

· Transparency and consultation with Ratepayers on major issues affecting the well-being of the community
· This includes the $220,000 p.a. that this Carbon Offset purchase that Ratepayers will need to fund, whether they like it or not
· This is 35% of the annual funding DSC already provides to TPDD (Tourism Authority), funded by Ratepayers, for next three years
· In essence, TPDD will be enabled to market the region as carbon neutral, when the pollution source for Postcode 4873 continues unabated
· This leaves the door open for “exposure revelations” that could threaten the “Desirable Destination Status” of the Port Douglas Daintree Region – the pub test would deem the Tourism Strategy as a dishonest masquerade at best, which pays major disrespect to both International and Domestic Tourists

Not to mention the equally shocking performance of how DSC manages the Douglas Shire Economy, which fuelled by zero Tourism Growth, has been in serious decline for 10 years now @ -28.5% – see below from DSC website (also main image attached).

The entire landscape of Douglas Shire Environmental and Economic Sustainability is a disgrace for all the above reasons.

Gerry Ireland, Tourism Advocate

 

Editor's note: The figures used in this letter -- $220,000 p.a. (total $660,000 over 3 years) -- are based on Council advising that the cost of this initiative would be less than half a percent of its annual budget, which is $44 million.


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