Mayor vilified but stands firm on state's health directive


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Former Councillor Rod Davis has publicly criticised the Mayor saying he's let down Douglas residents after today's decision. Image Paul Makin, FAB FM
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Former Douglas Shire councillor Rod Davis, who led a deputation today to Council Chambers regarding the state government’s Covid mandates, said Mayor Michael Kerr has turned his back on the people of the shire.

Addressing the councillors at the Open Session in Council Chambers and supported by more than 170 peaceful protesters, Davis promised this was not the end of the matter.

Davis’ comments were made before the councillors voted 4-1 in favour of a Mayoral Minute which supported the state government’s Covid mandated legislation.

“Michael Kerr was pathetic today, like a bucket of warm water. He has aligned himself with the Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and ‘Pala-Kerr’ is a good way to describe him.

“In continuing our fight to assist our people and businesses, there will be rallies in Port Douglas and Mossman. We are disappointed no one is listening to the people,” said Davis.

But, Douglas Shire Council will request that the State Government acknowledges the concerns received from the local business community about the vaccine mandate and provide clarity to businesses regarding the health directive.

Councillors today also re-affirmed their commitment and obligation to follow any health direction made by the Queensland Government under advice from the Chief Health Officer.

The health, safety and well being of this community is Council’s highest priority, and Council will continue to work with the appropriate agencies to assist our community in navigating a way forward.

Meet the victims, says Davis

In his address to councillors, Davis said: “To those councillors, who dismiss those losing their jobs on December 17, as if they are some diseased underclass, well, it's time to meet the victims face to face. Let's see Roy (Zammataro) and Michael go face to face, with those whose lives they are OK to see wrecked.”

Davis said a vote to support the state-driven attempt to put a yellow star on the unvaccinated means many families suffer, face division within their own family, and worse, you support a community bitterly divided.

“Mayor Kerr was voted in by mainly Liberal voters, so it’s rather strange to see Michael propose a motion to hide behind the apron strings of his new political leader, The PalletChook, of the ALP. Interesting fence sitting politics ahead for Kerr, some might joke it's maybe wise to avoid fences of sharpened star pickets.

“Tell me, Mayor Kerr, what is the message to Damian Meadows and his police teams; so how does he handle the Christmas, domestic violence dramas, at the same time as policing hundreds of shops/bars/cafes and boats?”

Davis said if Mayor Kerr chooses to abandon his community at a time like this, I would not expect this issue to fade away. You are being asked to make the most important political decision of your DSC career.

“Get it wrong, and the community will know where you allegiance lies for years to come,” said Davis.

Kerr responds

Responding to this blistering attack, Mayor Kerr said the majority of Council supported the motion and Davis can continue to shame Council.

“I am not aligning myself with the Queensland premier. It’s not her directive, it’s from the Chief Health Officer.

“I am also disappointed that Davis is trying to divide the community with outrageous and appalling comments of historical events that hold weight in a number of communities,” said Mayor Kerr.

Kerr said if the protesters and others feel they are the majority, they are being foolishly led by Davis.

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