The current Council and Mayor is standing on their record of financial management. Good fiscal policy should be a given expectation of our elected local representatives.
There have been some positive achievements for the natural environment. It is wonderful to see the Council and community united with the post Yasi foreshore revegetation work being carried out and a lot of good work has been achieved over the past four years by Terrain NRM with the development of the Mission Beach Habitat Network Action Plan.
We live in one of the most beautiful regions in the world with our land and sea environments recognised as being globally important and yet our local government representatives do not give them the consideration necessary to ensure they will be there for our future generations. The continuing appalling fiasco and destruction of the natural environment at Cowley Beach is a prime example.
A new local Planning Scheme is currently being developed with the current Council adopting shire wide policies. It is hard to understand how shire wide policies can be applied and give appropriate protection to the world heritage values when the region is so diverse and Mission Beach has been recognised by the state and federal governments as a high biodiversity area in need of special considerations.
It has been disappointing to note some of the current Mayor's leadership on important environmental and lifestyle considerations i. e. his eagerness to sign a petition against non regulation of dogs on rural land, lack of recognition of prime cassowary habitat (Bingil Bay), support for removal of rate relief for covenants over natural areas on private land. support for horses in National Parks, support for Sunday trading for Woolworths despite it spelling the demise of local small business. He is on record as saying "I think we have the mix about right" when asked about the oversupply of residential subdivision approvals at Mission Beach (approx 1500 vacant lots)
Each of the mayoral and Division 3 Candidates were asked the following question;
Could you tell me what is your vision for the shire that will unite the communities and give them confidence that the 'inevitable growth' of our area will be fully considerate of the outstanding natural values?
Vote 1 Nathan Mood for Mayor - Cassowary Coast Regional Council. You ask what is my vision to unite the community, This is simply and out of all of the mayoral candidates I am the only one that can achieve this with what I have been saying in nearly in all of the forums I have attended.
LG And how is that Nathan? And what about consideration of the outstanding natural values? (That is terrestrial too)
Vote 1 Nathan Mood for Mayor - Cassowary Coast Regional Council. Rate reform, it the biggest issue that is on everybodys lips.The southen part of this shire wants De-amalgamation and rightly so. The last four years this current council have done very little for anybody that lives south of Innisfail. Let me ashore you Liz, if I am not elected as your mayor and the new mayor continues the same path this present mayor and council are going down, there will be a steering committee formed with 1000's of southern shire residents working with our local state member for de-amalgamation. As mayor I will show the new councillors why the southen part of the shire wants de-amalgamation, I will breakdown your rates for the last 4 years,so that I can show the councillors where the rate payers money has been spent. Then I will work with the councillors to change how the rates are distributed back to the rate payers of this shire. Part of your rates will go to pay for administration of the council and the rest of your rates will go back into the areas of the people that paid them. This is the only fair way that the whole shire can unite as one. Bill Shannon will tell you we have to prioritize areas and because of the old Johnstone Shire Council was sacked for a range of problems, one of them being very little maintaiance done at all of any of there infrastructure, the southen part of the CCRC shire has been forgotten. Bill Shannon said at the Innisfail Chamber of Commerces meeting last week that the main bridge in Innisfail that gos to Flying Fish Point needs replacing. The southen part of the shire will be paying for 10 to 20 years for what the sacked Johnstone Shires Councils mismanagement has done. I would like to remind you, Wayne Kimberely was the Deperty Mayor at that time and was sacked, by the state government. I have be telling people in the north do you really thing the southen shire people will put up with this any longer. Amalgamation was suppose to be a win win situation for both the south and the north, but has been crippling for the majority of the south. I do want de-amalgamation and i beleive that I am the person with my RATE REFORM that will stop the southen part of the Shire wanting to go down this avenue of de-amalgamation. Bill Shannon aqnd Cooper Smith said that we have to fix what needs to be fixed first, but if rates are not apportion back to the area they came from, you just wait and see what happens. I no that you have to prioritize what needs to be fixed first,just use the rate money from the area that need to be fixed. It may take longer to fix it, but you cant expected the southen shire rate payer to continue be so mistreated and not do anything about it. This is the only fair system that will stop de-amalgamation or people selling up- and leaving . Thank you
Vote 1 Nathan Mood for Mayor - Cassowary Coast Regional Council. Yes Liz, I haven't answer the other part of your question yet about the natural vales, just on the phone and I will get to it soon.
Jason Benn Hi Liz Gallie, good question one that can cause quite a bit of debate.
Jason Benn My policy posted out last week and here on the facebook should address this, however I can tell you anything you want to hear so instead I would like my personal track record to be taken as clear demonstration of my commitment to the environment.
I am to date the only canefarmer in the local area who actively practices conservation tillage with zero tillage ratoon cane and strategic zonal tillage for planting cane. I have some 90+ ha of preserved forest on my property with extensive riparian boundaries on almost all of my water ways. I am actively working with Terrain NRM controlling feral pigs, and re-establish cyclone damage riparian zones. I do not use soil contact pre-emergent herbicides, instead I opt for higher technology precision placed leaf contact non selective herbicides, I manage my nutrients to the highest modern standard so as to avoid any potential runoff.
I am committed to the environment, its health and sustainability into the future.
I also protect and encourage Cassowary breeding on my property, actively ensuring they have food trees and nest sites. I also regularly consult with Graham Lauridsen about bird health and protection from feral dogs.
Jason Benn My vision for division 3 is one of harmony, development will come as you have identified. I hope to be in a position where I can make a difference and ensure our most valuable and marketable resource is sustained and improved by any development. How to do this is a more difficult question, I guess the only thing I can promise is to do my best.
Bill Shannon Hello Liz
Thank you for your questions and the chance to get the answers out to other readers.
Regarding rural dogs – they are regulated, despite the impracticality of policing this due to the size and/or isolation of many properties.
Cassowary habitat at Bingil Bay and other places is extremely important . However, in my view, one extra lot at Bingil Bay in itself is not critical. There can be no “slow creep” as you might see it - the law does not allow it in the 2031 Plan.
Horse riding in National Parks in Australia is often permitted. My support was for horse riding on gazetted roads adjacent to/through National Parks.
I do support Sunday trading for Woolworths – in my view it would improve amenity, business opportunity i.e. for people to buy and overall employment.
There is no one vision for a Region as diverse as the Cassowary Coast . The over-arching theme must be that development be sustainable and not prejudice our natural values.
Thanks for your email.
Also my apologies. I found your earlier email. My overzealous spam filter.....
I’ll draft a reply tomorrow. Best wishes
My vision is:
Unite the communities:
Treat the communities with respect by listening to feedback, questions, and requests for attention by council.
Visit all communities regularly.
Use various methods of staying in contact including through community groups.
Provide support, encouragement and assistance to community ideas designed to improve community and the region, where those ideas are not in conflict with the core principles of our region.
The outstanding natural values of our area must be respected and this respect must be part of core principles in our planning documents.
While I don’t want to be too prescriptive because this stops us looking at each case on its merits, the starting point needs to be respect and protection for our environment. We will need some rules however, and encourage early consultation. Our planning needs to be clearer so developers don’t waste their/our time and money on proposals that won’t be approved.
My preference is to better utilise those areas already populated, where our environmental footprint is already there.
The challenging thing is that if mistakes are made, it is often difficult (and expensive) to go back and undo damage. A thoughtful and planned approach to future development is therefore critical.
I also strongly believe in simplifying processes to make compliance easier and more likely for those projects that accord with our values.
On your second email,
· My stance on the dogs would be based on what the regulation was. I believe dogs can play an important role in a rural business. Feral dogs, or poorly managed domestic dogs, can also be very bad news for the environment.
· On the face of it, recognising Cassowary Habitat that is already self evident seems obvious but given Bill’s reluctance, I wonder does ‘recognition’ bring legal constraints and implications, and if so, what are they. I need to understand this.
· I don’t have a view about horses in National Parks, except wild ones (which we’re better off without).
· I don’t support removal of rate relief for conservation covenants. I do understand Bill’s view (I have heard it), but I disagree.
· I definitely don’t support Sunday trading for Woolworths and Coles. I believe as a community we are paying a high price for the effective duopoly we have now. Opponents would argue that competition makes us all better off due to lower prices. Sometimes this may be the case, but monopolies and duopolies encourage rent seeking behaviour (taking advantage of the lack of competition to get premium returns), and also give substantial power to buyers who negotiate with small businesses (such as farmers). It also appears that the reduced competition on Sundays has played a major part in the survival of larger independents’ (such as IGA). If we don’t act to protect these businesses, it’s no use crying when they are gone.
Wayne said he is is reluctant to put anything in writing in case he is misrepresented.
Wayne supports buyback for important lots and Council Covenants as incentives for private land owners to protect habitat on their land.
Wayne wanted to discuss individual cases of how developers were hindered by conservation concerns at Mission Beach and supports growth for our area that will supply jobs for the next generation.
Several messages were left for Alister on his facebook which have been removed or left unanswered. In a phone call this morning to make arrangements to discuss some of the conservation concerns at Mission Beach, Alister would not commit to a time this week. He also said he wouldn't talk about any concerns at this stage and that he will only talk to official community group representatives.
It would be unfair to expect our representatives to know everything. Many individuals are active in the community in different roles and have information that could help them make informed decisions and be a fair representative of their constituents.
If Alister is selective in who he communicates with before the election it is of concern how accessible he will be if he becomes CCRC Councilor for division 3.
It is also concerning the lack of community understanding of the current boating infrastructure process that is currently taking place which has the potential to change forever one of our most spetacular and unique natural headlands. You can follow the discussion on Alisters facebook link to the left.
Alister emailed this message to pass on to the Mission Beach Cassowaries group this afternoon (Tues 24 April);
Good afternoon Liz,
I have not refused to discuss issues with you, [and it is a bit misleading of you to suggest that]. I indicated that I will try to catch you later in the week .I did indicate to you that, in my opinion, it is much better from a community perspective for me to deal with a unified group, rather than a host of splinter/ rival organizations that support similar viewpoints. I only want to serve the interests of the community as best I may, and I think that you would realize from your own dealings, this is right and proper procedure. At the end of the day the questions need to be asked, “Which group best represents environmental interests in the Cassowary Coast if they are philosophically on different pages?”. Is it possible that your group could meet with C4 to discuss unification?
I will meet with C4 to discuss also. Can you please pass this communique onto your members?
Kind regards Alister
Jukescontracting NQ 9:11 PM 24 April
It's a pity that I have not met you, nor spoken on the telephone to you. I have found time to answer you question, and thank you for asking it. I think the area is extremely diverse, with all of the communities being really diferent. With out doubt they all want to prosper & grow. But with growth in our region we must look after our natural attractions. Habitate! Through out the whole of the region we must ensure the we look after everythingfrom creeks, rivers, rainforest, the ocean, to our wonderful Cassowaries. after all the region is named for them. Being from a farming back ground I am of coarse a conservationist, and it goes to follow that I would look after where we live. By recognising Cassowary habitate and ensureing that all dogs are registered be thay be rural or urban. In answer to the question on horses in national parks, I don't know enough about the problem in our region to comment, when I have time to do some reserch, Iwill comment. I dont support sunday tradeing in our area, nor do I support the removal of rate relief for properties with covenants