Tuesday 3 November 2009

Douglas residents slam Minister for Health and Desley Boyle

The Queensland Minister for Health has refused a request to meet with the Minister, along with Professor Bursill and Cairns Regional Councillor, Julia Leu.

The Friends of Douglas shire want to put their case for a return to chemical-free water in the Daintree, Mossman and Port Douglas, and surrounding communities.

"While I appreciate the preference for a chemical free water supply, I am advised the distribution system does not currently allow this to occur," Minister Paul Lucas writes. Queensland Health is not opposed to a chemical free water supply system for Division 10, however Council needs to be able to demonstrate that it can provide water that poses no public health risk."

Lucas raises that testing showed there was a number of occasions where Ecoli levels breached the Public Health regulation. "[This] indicated that there was a potential health risk to the commity."

"From his 'nothing' reply, he not only didn't read the Bursill report but his advisers make no reference to the issues raised by Professor Bursill," Robert Hanan of the Friends of Douglas Shire says.

Hanan says ignoring the will of the people has become the hallmark of Queensland Government.

"We are considering our options but we are certainly not going away."

"For a good laugh read what the Minister for Local Government thinks have been the benefits of amalgamation for Douglas," Robert Hanan told CairnsBlog. "A letter was written
in reply to a request from for the Minister to explain one single benefit for Douglas under amalgamation."

"The Minister, Desley Boyle, lists a number of projects but because this sort of rubbish is written by people who have no knowledge of the Shire and never check their facts so they just end up being exposed as completely out of touch, as well as incompetent," Hanan says.

"Their list of 'benefits' are in fact all projects that were underway or in the pipeline, and funded under Douglas Shire Council. The Minister writes about the replacement of Bunn's Bridge that 'will commence shortly.' Desley, Bunn's Bridge was replaced months ago," Robert Hanan says.

Desley also wrote to another resident to suggest if they were having problems they should contact the CEO of Cairns Regional Council, Noel Briggs, two months after Mr Briggs had departed.

"She's the Minister for Local Government and her electorate is in Cairns. Her staff don't know about one of the biggest issues in Cairns Council this year?" Hanan asks.

  • Office of the Minister for Local Government and
    Aboriginal and Torres Strait lslander Partnerships
    Level 8 Mineral House
    41 George Street Brisbane 4ooo
    PO Box 15031, City East
    Queensland 4oo1 Australia
    Telephone +61 7 3227 8819
    Email lgatsip@ministerial.qld.gov.au

    20 October 2009

    Thank you for your letter of 2 September 2009 regarding Cairns Regional Council and the 'Douglas Community Consultation issues of Concern 2009’ report.

    I note your comments and, as indicated in my previous correspondence to you dated 20 August 2009, Council has allocated considerable additional expenditure to upgrade infrastructure in the former Douglas Shire. These cover works and services, water and waste, capital works, revegetation and other support programs.

    Examples include:
    - Road resealing and widening works in Mossman, Miallo, Mowbray River Road,
    Forest Creek Road, Buchanan Creek Road
    - The provision of new SES sheds, vehicle and trailer
    - Sewerage pump station and rising main upgrades and installation of tertiary filters on Port Douglas Sewerage treatment plant
    - Landscaping and beautification projects along with parking upgrades in Mossman
    - Replacement of Melellee and Bunn's bridges will soon commence
    - More than 8000 trees planted at various sites in the Mossman and Port Douglas
    - $25 000 allocated to the community pig trapping program.

    Council has also commenced work on the Port Douglas Waterfront Master Planning project, a large planning process encompassing studies in the fields of Cultural Heritage Significance, Transport and Traffic, and Economics. The project involved extensive community consultation which will form the basis of a draft master plan to complement the lifestyle of the Port Douglas community.

    lnput has been received from the Douglas area to help develop an overarching vision for cultural life in Council's region over the next 20 years, and specific strategies have been developed to guide Council funding for the next three to five years.

    One of Council's most practical and necessary projects has been to undertake an
    extensive program to install rural address signposting for properties across the district. Resource shortages in previous years resulted in significant delays to the program, with the last recorded installation in the Douglas area occurring in May 2006. There are still an estimated 1800 properties in need of property addressing with 660 being identified for the first stage of the Project.

    ln relation to the 'Douglas Community Consultation; issues of Concern 2009'report, details of the items identified and Council's actions to date were submitted to Council's Ordinary Meeting on 29 July 2009. This report can be found in the agenda for the meeting on Council's website.

    Should you require any further information in relation to this matter, please contact
    Mr Lew Rojahn, Principal Advisor of the Department of lnfrastructure and Planning on
    telephone number 4039 8305.

    Yours sincerely,

    Desley Boyle MP
    Minister for Local Government and
    Aboriginal and Torres Strait lslander Partnerships
    Member for Cairns
    cc: Jason O'Brien, Member for Cook
"Now they are considering abolishing Divisions which has the potential to remove any representative from Douglas being on Council," Robert Hanan says.

The membership of Friends of Douglas Shire is increasing, Hanan says. "However daily some other knife is thrust in our backs. So get up, stand up, stand up for your rights. Get your aggrieved neighbours to join."

You can email the organisation or contact Robert Hanan on 4098 8280 or Michael Gabour on 4099 3667.

Here's the Queensland Minister of Health, Paul Lucus' letter:

1 comment:

Douglas Doug said...

Note that abolishing divisions also has the potential of giving Douglas-shire residents complete control over Cairns.