Sunday 3 February 2008

9 Questions to Byrne's Unity Party

Douglas Shire Councillor and Division 10 candidate for the Cairns Regional Council election Rod Davis poses some question to Kevin Byrne's Unity Party following the launch of their election website.

My first question is about Unity's policy on removal of Douglas' concession ferry fares across the Daintree being axed, and Unity's candidate Bill Phillips-Turner has kindly replied already! He said that the published Unity Team policy was a mistake. That is good. Thanks Bill! I'm glad it was a mistake.

Other questions ask if Unity will keep up our tourism levy, and with it, our $400K PA support for our tourism promoting PDDT.

I 'm also asking about our water's chlorination and fluoridation, about the waterfront development, and about meeting transparency, and other issues.

Its all part of a useful debate, and whether I win or loose, I regard polite debate as useful for all us locals, as we are forced to choose new leadership on March 15.

Hopefully some friendly local debate can benefit those we aim to serve in Division 10, through online discussion and not just point scoring grabs.

If you're interested, I've provided some links to my alternate view. Please feel free to add your own questions via this blog, for myself or Bill Phillips-Turner or Mayor Kevin Byrne.

Why not let the 9 out of 10 Douglas locals who do not live or work north of the Daintree river, and who for years have been given close to free concessional prices to cross the Daintree River, to be allowed to keep their concession price?

From the UNITY web site:

"All Douglas Shire residents on the electoral roll who live north of the
Daintree, and landholders and workers who have to commute via the Daintree
Barge, will have their existing concessions retained for the life of the next

When most full fare paying users of the ferry are interstate or overseas tourists anyway, (who don't seem to mind the near $20 fare for the experience, and who make up the bulk of users and who already pay the vast majority of the ferry running costs), why change? Why not consider offering concessional fares for Cairns residents who apply?
(Here's my view.)

Tourism Levy and the Port Douglas Daintree Tourism

Will Unity maintain Douglas's tourism levy, and the rates levy from the commercial and overnight accom sector, that provides the PDDT with around $400K income each year? Will Unity support PDDT's continued autonomy from TTQ?

Instead of dumping the Douglas levy, will Unity consider introducing a tourism levy in Cairns?
(Another view)

From Cairns Unity Web Site:

"Provide substantial rate rebates for those property owners who engage in
heritage enhancement activities on listed properties;"

Will this rates rebate also apply, as in does in Douglas, to properties undertaking voluntary conservation guardianship on their properties?

From Unity:

"Commence and complete a waterfront development of Port Douglas".

Is it OK to ask for a little more detail on Port Douglas single biggest local project please?
(another view)

From Unity:

"Continue the roll out of CCTV monitoring cameras throughout the

Does this mean CCTV in Macrossan or Front Street eventually?

From Bill's quote on the Unity web site:

"our future water supply needs must be sourced, secured and developed."

What do you mean here in terms of how you will go about getting more water? Will Unity guarantee to stick with micro filtration, and therefore add no chlorine to Douglas water? Do you support fluoridation of Douglas's water?
(Another view)

From Unity:

"We need to address the housing needs of those who work within our
community; be it long term or short term."

Do you have a policy on how housing needs will be expanded, and how to address the staff accom issues?

From Unity:

"Implement a recycled water strategy to provide for potable substitution and
fit-for-purpose alternate supplies.

Does Unity support using recycled sewerage or stormwater as drinking water?

From Unity's web site:

"Public Council Meeting Agendas, Reports and Meeting Minutes will continue
to be available via the website, with hard copies being available at cost price
through Council's Customer Service section. Hard copies will also be provided
for residents to read, at all Council public offices and libraries."

Will Cairns Unity support maintaining all unedited minutes online for say the last 2 terms? Will Unity support the press and publics' free take home access to agenda's papers, on a similar basis to Douglas, for those few who attend Council meetings?
Would Cairns Unity support audio recording of council meetings, with podcast or live streaming of Council meeting's audio being made available to the public?
(another view)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Could someone PLEASE inform Kev and that the Port Douglas Waterfront redevelopment project has in fact COMMENCED! It was about 5 years ago! Oh, and up here we like to call the Daintree ferry just that...not a barge. What an ignoramus!
Unity's Div. 10 candidate, run-o-the-mill Bill should know better.