“Not Happy Julia” stickers add fuel to dissatisfaction with mayor

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Howard Salkow

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Stickers reading "Not Happy Julia" are circulating the Douglas Shire. Image: supplied.
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A campaign expressing dissatisfaction with Douglas Shire mayor Julia Leu has begun with the circulating of a sticker that reads: "Not Happy Julia".

The stickers have already started to appear on car windows and can be bought at Newell Beach Takeaway; the Cape Tribulation Friendly Grocers Store; Temptations Café, Mossman; Raintree Service Station, Mossman, among other locations in Mossman and Port Douglas. They are selling for $1.

The “Not Happy Julia” slogan is a play on the "Not happy, Jan!" line, which was delivered by comedian Deborah Kennedy in an Australian television advertisement from 2000. Following its popularity in Australia, the line entered the cultural vernacular as a catch phrase used to express a feeling of discontent.

Daintree resident Chris Beckwith is a member of a concerned group behind the creation of the stickers, who are unhappy with the lack of Council’s community consultation and transparency – the core principles of Local Government.  
 

There are more than 500 stickers in circulation and there is the likelihood more will be printed, depending on demand.

Lisa Scomazzon, owner of Newell Beach Takeaway, posted the sticker on the Daintree Conspiracy Facebook page and said she has already seen stickers on cars in Mossman. She is selling the stickers at her store.

Responding to the sticker campaign, Mayor Leu said the ad is an Australian classic and “one of my personal favourites.

“Expressing political opinion is embraced in Douglas Shire and I respect differing views. We have a huge diversity of opinion on a number of issues and the community is never going to agree on everything.

“Using political bumper stickers certainly isn’t unprecedented, however, what is unusual is the level of campaigning we are seeing by a few more than six months out from an election,” she said.

But Ms Scomazzon said the campaign is a sure sign that momentum is shifting and change is wanted in the Douglas Shire.

“People are tired of the closed and secret meetings; too many hidden agendas and mixed messages,” she said.

“There is no transparency and as a long-term former state government employee who understands the system, I am also questioning whether they have overstepped the mark in some areas.

“A recent example is the Code of Conduct at Council meetings and how one councillor was treated when he opposed the carbon offsets purchase,” Ms Scomazzon.

In June, Council embarked on a Healthy Reef Partnership with Qantas Future Planet, GreenCollar and Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, which has subsequently fallen through, despite 18 months of discussions with Qantas.

To offset the setback, Council has purchased a 376ha block of land north of the Daintree River for $725,000 for carbon offset projects.

Ms Scomazzon does not understand the rationale behind this purchase. “If the land was bought to plant trees, it will be well known that more than 80 per cent of the block is already full of trees.”  


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