Friday 20 March 2009

Douglas: Who loves us the most

The lobby group Friends of Douglas Shire has had a busy year.

For the last 12 months, they've endued a forced same-sex marriage they they didn't want, and want out. They continue their fight to reverse the decision after being amalgamated Cairns City Council, with no stronger advocate than their inaugural Councillor Julia Leu.

Premier Bligh visited Mossman in October last year, to listen and express her concern to the locals. However, Robert Hanan of FODS said that in the end, she did nothing and nothing has changed.

"The LNP has promised, in a jointly signed letter to the residents of Douglas, to immediately begin a democratic process towards de-amalgamation," Hanan says.

"The Greens have also stated that they support de-amalgamation. In Cook, The Greens are not allocating preferences so that choice would be yours," Robert Hanan said.

There are of course, many other issues in the Cook electorate which encompasses the former Douglas Shire, but FODS is primarily concerned with de-amalgamation.

"Whatever the election outcome there will continue to be significant hurdles ahead," Hannan says. "FODS will continue to strive for the return of what has been lost while maintaining vigilance on all fronts where we as a community are being marginalised."

In mid November last year, many who withheld all or part of their Council rates in protest at the increased charges, received a letter of demand. However, the letters were received from Wednesday 12th or Thursday 13th, and the issue date on the notice was the 7th of November. The notice stated that payment had to be made within 7 days from that date of the letter.

"Apart from the fact that it should not take 4 to 5 working days for a letter to come from Cairns to Port Douglas or Mossman, many, if not all, have still not received a suitable explanation as to why our rates were increased by such an extortionate amount," Robert Hanan

"Friends of Douglas Shire believe the November posting was deliberately delayed to put pressure on and frighten those who have received it," Hanan said.

Friends of Douglas Shire recommended ratepayers or anti-ratepayers, to lodge a formal complaint against the Revenue and Collections Department.

"Once a formal complaint is lodged they must investigate it," Hanan said. "We have not received a reasonable explanation as to why our rates have increased by such an extortionate amount."

You can email Friends of Douglas Shire or telephone 4098 8280 or 4099 3667

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