Douglas Shire Council
The Daintree is part of the local government area Douglas Shire
While normally around Australia councils work for their community's
prosperity and wellbeing as the Queensland Local Government Act
requires them to do, this council spends an amazing amount of time
and resources on environmental initiatives and policies. Nothing
wrong with being green, but when funding for road maintenance falls
short but copious amounts of dollars are spent on for example assigning
GPS coordinates to every coconut tree in the shire then things are
out of balance.
They might do a half decent job looking after the residents in South
Douglas but north of the Daintree river it's a different story.
Instead of being focussed on the wellbeing of the Daintree community
you can read in the planning instruments that the environment comes
first (paramount is the word used) and the Daintree community is
seen as a problem that threatens the environment, which should not
be encouraged to grow so services and infrastructure must be denied
as much as possible, and this is evident in the way they have resisted
a change to the inadequate ferry, fail to provide garbage collection
and are not seen to be doing anything meaningful for the power issue
or a proper medical clinic.
And while council is not being seen to do anything towards a normal
electricity supply for the northern half of the shire, and has done
nothing really meaningful to make the Daintree river ferry an efficient
service, both major economic impediments to North Douglas, it is
interesting to note that mayor Julia Leu and councillor David Carey
are members of Douglas Shire Sustainability Group that actively
campaigns against improvements that will benefit the Daintree community.
This group of ultra greens (which includes ex-mayor Mike Berwick)
lobbies ministers and government departments trying to block anything
that can make life a bit less hard for the Daintree community, they
fight against a cleaner, greener electricity supply in the Daintree
and they fight against solutions to the inadequate Daintree ferry
where queues are frequently out of control.
When the ultragreens lost their control over the Daintree after
amalgamation with Cairns, it was this DSSG group that registered
the Friend Of Douglas Shire group and managed to have the shire
de-amalgamate again with false promises.
So basically DSSG runs the shire, they installed this council and
have their members in the council.
To state that the local council is against the Daintree community
is a big claim to make, so we're not going to say that, but just
look at a bit of history over the years and see what you think...
The 1994 Planning Scheme
Click image to read some interesting sections of this document
In the DSC
1994 Planning Scheme you can read about discouraging housing
and population growth, limiting access from the north with a low-standard
4WD track and access from the south with a ferry never to be upgraded,
limiting tourist accommodation, preferring day tripper tourism who
preferably should bring their own lunch, all to avoid employment
being created for local population.
Copied from the Proposed Daintree
Powerline Environmental Impact Study
This sign is at the Daintree river ferry crossing to warn sailors
about the power line across the river for thirteen houses on Forest
Countless international organisations such as the
World Bank, UNESCO, etc. recognize affordable reliable electricity
as the basis of economic activity and wellbeing of population, so
the Conspiracy made sure the Daintree community would never get
this, they managed to stop it in the 1990s and are still fighting
against it in 2018!
There are power lines across the Daintree river for
13 properties, and ironically Mike Berwick lived in one of those
grid connected properties while he was Mayor of the shire and at
the same time he did what ever he could to stop this basic essential
service reaching the rest of his community around him. He is still
against it in 2018, and actively tries to sabotage progress to a
grid power supply which would be far cleaner than the hundreds of
In cooperation with State Government he managed to
stop the extension of grid power, in 2000 the Electricity Act was
amended to declare an exclusion zone on from the Daintree river
to the Bloomfield river, an economic boycot to make life hard for
residents and undermine the viability of businesses, and the community
was doomed to burn three million llitres of fuel per year, sending
7000 tonnes of CO2 in to the World Heritage Listed rain forest each
year, while residents and businesses struggle and often go broke.
Pollution by legislation!
Over the years DSC has changed their position fore and against power
supply a few times, and at the moment (2019) council is not supporting
At the April 2017 Daintree Energy Summit with Josh Frydenberg council
support was announced by only two councillors who attended, but
a letter from the Daintree Power Committee asking for more details
on this support in May 2017 was never answered.
When asked council referred to a 2014
Mayoral Minute where council stated they would not oppose power,
and have an obligation to advocate on residents behalf, but they
have done nothing pro-active to advance the issue since then, and
in 2018 the Douglas Shire Sustainability Group of which Mayor Julia
Leu and councillor David Carey are members started actively working
against any progress in changing the Daintree from generators to
a grid, see this Newsport
article. They established the Daintree Campaign and at the time
of writing this in September 2019 are still lobbying against the
The power committee, Daintree Renewable Energy Inc. had a deputation
with council in April 2019 asking for a letter of support for the
Daintree to get a renewable energy micro grid and no response was
ever received from council, and the Mayor spoke out against this
proposal in local newspaper and on FAB FM, citing population increase
and over development, even though the Mayoral Minute acknowledged
that after buyback and award winning strict town plan this threat
had been removed.
In the Planning Scheme council appears to accept the status quo
and lists generators as acceptable outcomes, and in every other
green study or statement they publish the pollution in the Daintree
is conveniently forgotten, as if the shire ends at the Daintree
When State Government refuses their animal shelter council organises
protest marches, flights to Brisbane, petitions, dinner with the
Premier, vegetation surveys, but what to they do for the Daintree
Nothing. But they have managed to send a letter to Brisbane asking
for windfarms to be banned near World Heritage, which was done,
removing another option before it was even considered. And they
are talking of a solar farm, not in North Douglas but in South Douglas
In 2004 just after the elections the council dropped a virtual
bomb on the Daintree, suddenly from one day to the next no more
building permits would be issued! Protests were organised in Mossman
and Port Douglas by land owners who suddenly found themselves with
useless land they could not build their dream home on and of course
could not sell to anyone either.
The drawn out saga meant that for several years property
owners were left in limbo with disagreeing councillors trying to
overturn the ban on and off resulting in an emotional rollercoaster
ride for affected residents not knowing what was to happen to their
properties, it crashed property values while rates went up, it put
North Douglas on the blacklist with many banks (up till today) and
it is blamed for several suicides.
Two years later the Building Moratorium was replaced with a restrictive
new town plan.
DSC makes claims about thire award winning townplan, "the envy
of all councils in Australia".
While it may have contained a lot of technical and scientific data
which led Brisbane burocrats to hand out an award for this document,
it was an excessively green draconian legislation that ruined many
people's dreams, finances and lives without adequate compensation.
While concrete buildings were mushrooming in Port Douglas (well
known international environmentalist David Suzuki called in to inspect
his apartment and said "the town was ruined"), the Daintree
was kept as a primitive green playground for Port Douglas based
day trippers, with little to no financial compensation for its suffering
residents who have to make a living up there.
If it was so important to save the Daintree and keep it undeveloped
then they should have offered residents a realistic compensation
package so they could vacate the area. If I would have been offered
sufficient money to move and buy a comparable property elsewhere
in Australia I would have taken it, now I had a choice of staying
in an economically deprived area or leaving with a pathetic payout
of UCV+10% = $58k for 5 acres with a five bedroom dwelling and operating
This is a letter I received in 2004 offering me a generous $58,000.-
if I would leave my business and home behind.
It is not a typing error, fifty eight thousand dollars, where else
on the Qld coast would I buy five acres with a house for that?
But instead of relocating residents with a realistic
compensation package a starvation campaign was decided on, an economic
boycot denying electricity and other infrastructure, access restrictions
and other measures designed to make life hard for the Daintree community.
While council often publicly states to support electricity
supply in the Daintree, their actions make you wonder.
Their Economic Development Strategy, their 23 point
submission on climate change to state government, their planning
scheme, the issue does not seem to feature in their thinking most
the time. On top of that they wrote to state government in 2015
to ban windfarms near World Heritage areas, another option gone
for the Daintree...
In the latest Draft Planning Scheme the crisis is
not addressed other than in a few fluffy words.
And this is nothing new, just look at this letter
objecting to a town plan back in 1994...
Click image to read more
Amalgamation and de-amalgamation
In 2008 the Queensland Government decided to do something about
the problem of small and inefficient Shires in the state and amalgamated
them in to larger Shires that were more financially viable and a
better economic scale.
The Douglas Shire at the time had not shown major financial troubles
but due to the Mayor being more focussed on pushing an extreme green
agenda and ramming Australia's most controversial town plan through
the conflicts within council ran rampant, and this had resulted
in a divided council that was regularly being investigated and labelled
dysfunctional by State Government.
The Minister for Local Government Andrew Fraser was on the brink
of appointing an administrator for the Douglas Shire, but he never
got to do this when suddenly the state wide amalgamation solved
this ongoing crisis once and for all and the Douglas Shire was absorbed
in to Cairns Regional Council.
But the Mayor and green associates who had lost their influence
over the Douglas Shire, and most importantly North Douglas / the
Daintree,, were not happy. They were worried Daintree residents
might be treated as normal citizens by Cairns Council and given
equal rights and normal infrastructure, and indeed soon after amalgamation
Cairns Council wrote a letter to State Government lobbying for a
normal electricity supply in the Daintree and built several bridges.
From FODS de-amalgamation proposal
From DSSG annual report, showing that FODS and DSSG are basically
the same entity, the Sustainability group
was so worried about losing control over the Daintree they set up
FODS to brainwash people in to voting YES to
de-amalgamation, mostly based on lower rates and chlorine free water...
While people in North Douglas breathed a sigh of relief having
been liberated from Douglas Shire Council the people in South Douglas
were not happy, fired up by some ex-councillors and local radio
they held protest marches and petitions and managed to convince
the State Government to organise a poll on de-amalgamation.
In the Daintree where people had finally enjoyed some peaceful years
with nobody being kicked off their land or other draconian measures
to ruin their lives there was an overwhelming majority of more than
76% who voted to stay with Cairns Council.
You can see how the percentage changes as you get closer to Port
Douglas, where the population had been brainwashed by Port Douglas
While in other de-amalgamating shires the vote was a big majority
the Douglas Shire vote was the tightest at 57% wanting a Douglas
Shire and 43% wanting to stay with Cairns.
The Daintree went back under Douglas Shire rule again on 1 January
FODS promised lower rates than Cairns
CRC 1.5% + 1.5% +1.5% + 1.75% + 1.7%
DSC 5.2% + 3.9% + 3.9% + 3.9% + 3.9%
FODS promised rates no higher than CPI
Rate rises 5.2% + 3.9% + 3.9% + 3.9%
CPI 2.5% + 1.5% + 1.3% + 1.9%
FODS promised chlorine free water supply
Douglas now has chloriated water supply
Outrage over CRC imposing
water restrictions in 2008
In 2018 we have had water restrictions
for a few years in a row
FODS claims CRC fails to consult
with the Douglas community
DSC closes Daintree ferry for five days
DSC builds Mowbray bridge and chops down trees despite Mowbray
DSC wants to send ratepayers money south to obtain meaningless
green accreditation without consultation
FODS accuses CRC of cutting down iconic
DSC chops down iconic rain trees
Outrage over CRC water restrictions in 2008 and DSC water restrictions
The forgotten half of the Douglas Shire
North Douglas tends to be forgotten in many of DSC's
publications, numerous documents have been produced that are only
written for South Douglas, and North Douglas does not even feature.
At the first forum in the Daintree where a newly established council
came to talk to residents a glossy Corporate Plan was handed out,
which contained a map where Cape Tribulation was missing!
In the Plan it said that it was established through workshops and
meetings with the community, but we were given this book all printed
and done at our first meeting with council...
Point Submission on Climate Change - Read this link from page
7, there's some real beauties in there.
"Consider launching a State wide communication program highlighting
the importance of recycling " and "Make recycling a legal
requirement for all households and businesses, with enforceable
Sounds like wise words but coming from a council that took many
years to establish a rubbish transfer station at Cape Tribulation
which then did not even offer recycling it sounds somewhat laughable.
A couple of years before that they sent out a survey how Daintree
residents would feel about a weekly bin collection, also not including
The submission also day dreams on about electric cars, LED lights,
reflective paint and " Cheaper electricity (e.g. through renewables)"
even though we are still many years away from renewable energy matching
the price of conventional ways of generating energy.
Local Port Douglas website Newsport
reported that: "Mayor Leu can expect a positive reception and
praise from the Queensland Government for the role she is playing."
Praise? Not from the Daintree. Nowhere in this entire
document was it noted that half of the Shire runs on diesel generators,
annually sprewing 10 000 tonnes of CO2 plus all the other pollutants
in to the Daintree rain forest and the Great Barrier Reef, the two
World Heritage areas that are under threat from the climate change
that this document is all about.
If you are serious about cutting climate change emissions would
you not replace all the generators with a grid in North Douglas,
before you start to look at changing light globes in South Douglas?
Coincidentally the Mayor was doing a speech at the JCU facility
in Cape Tribulation not long after, again talking about emissions
and climate change, saying we should all do what ever we can...
Well, why is our council not working harder on the cause of replacing
the Daintree generators with a grid?
The Daintree forgotten and over looked once again....
Development Strategy -
In 2016 the Douglas Shire Council spent rate payers money on an
Economic Development Strategy by Possible People.
it online here.
Of course I expected this strategy to promote economic development
only for South Douglas and was skeptic of the likelyhood that there
would be anything in it for North Douglas (the Daintree) so I phoned
Stuart at Possible People and wrote an email to point out that without
affordable reliable electricity there is no point talking about
It has been recognised by the World Bank, United Nations, and countless
other organisations as crucial to economic activity and wellbeing
Some time later the Draft Economic Development Strategy was published
and we were given less than four days for public comment, on something
that is supposed to guide us for years to come.
Some Daintree residents managed to get their comments in within
the ridiculous time frame, of course many didn't bother as they
know it is a waste of time. Those Daintree residents that did get
their comments in of course had the two main impediments to the
Daintree economy, the traffic limiting ferry and the lack of electricity
supply as their main points.
When some time later the document was published Daintree residents
were not happy because the two major impediments to their local
economy; the ferry and the lack of electricity supply, were sadly
lacking in the document.
The word ferry was not even mentioned once in the entire document.
Electricity was mentioned but as usual, just like in the DSC Planning
Scheme only in some fluffy wording day dreaming about "sustainability"
and "self sufficiency".
Some exerpts from the Strategy;
It kicks off with a Mayoral Message that includes; This strategy
is a bold pro-active vision for the future of the Shire.
What is the vision for North Douglas? Should diesel generators still
be running there in ten years to come? Where is the vision?
The study did identify challenges that are currently having an impact
upon the Shire’s prosperity, one of them being quality, affordable
and reliable essential services, including appropriate electricity
supply to north of the Daintree River.
The vision and mission for this Economic Development Strategy was
developed to reflect the above values and to
establish the direction and intent of the strategy. The vision is
“The world’s leading sustainable tropical shire”
There were approximately 24 different Economic Priorities identified
for the Douglas Shire in 2016 by
the different organisations, with significantly more priorities
identified from the stakeholder interviews and
community surveys. These priorities have been distilled down to
five key priority focus areas:
In the focus area Make Douglas Shire Australia’s Leader in
Sustainable Development it actually mentions "No power supply
provided to the communities north of the Daintree River;"
and then under Key Opportunities it says; "Develop a clear
vision and roadmap with the communities north of the Daintree River
to authentically become a world leader in eco-cultural tourism and
sustainable development, which includes a:
- power solution that meets customer needs whilst also being environmentally,
culturally and politically appropriate;
- philanthropic funding model that supports and enables the local
community to actively preserve and
regenerate the rainforest, reef and cultural assets."
On page 24 it mentions: Benefits - Provision of quality, appropriate,
affordable and reliable power solutions to communities
north of the Daintree River.
Sustainability Strategy - It kicks off to tell us that:
The Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics bioregion are under significant
pressure from a number of factors, including climate change. This
is largely the result of increasing anthropogenic (human induced)
greenhouse gas emissions which have increased since the pre-industrial
era, driven largely by economic and population growth, and are now
higher than ever. This has led to atmospheric concentrations of
carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that are unprecedented
in at least the last 800,000 years.
At the 21st United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
staged in Paris in December 2015, more than 200 nations, including
Australia, accepted unanimously that urgent action is required to
reduce global carbon emissions.
So they fully recognise that we should all reduce
carbon emissions to mitigate climate change that affect our special
World Heritage areas.
BUT THERE IS NO MENTION THAT IN NORTH DOUGLAS THE DIESEL GENERATORS
PUMP OUT CO2 AND OTHER POLLUTANTS 24 HOURS A DAY THAT CONTRIBUTE
TO THIS CLIMATE CHANGE
How can someone spend all this time writing up a document like the
one above and ignore or overlook that half the Shire runs on a third
world style polluting energy supply? And where is the vision or
the plan to do something about it?
Cities Power Partnership
Thanks to all this greenwash Douglas Shire Council
managed to con their way in to the Australian Climate Council's
What is this? Well, this info below is copied from their website;
The Cities Power Partnership is a free national program that exists
to celebrate and accelerate the emission reduction and clean energy
successes of Australian towns and cities. It’s a coalition
of the willing – made up of mayors, councillors and communities
who are committed to a sustainable, non-polluting energy future.
Half the Douglas Shire runs on polluting diesel generators
and given the lack of action by DSC on this issue it is pretty well
accepted, so how they managed to con their way in to this program
is beyond me, they have not shown any commitment to act on the pollution
in North Douglas.
As one of the initiatives of this partnership our
Mayor signed a statement to call on federal government to mitigate
climate change, and as you see above phase out fossil fuel.
She signed this a couple of days after attending a meeting at the
Heritage Lodge where Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor presented
the concept of the Daintree Renewable Energy Micro Grid to the media.
But instead of engaging with the minister and working together on
this proposal that ticks all the boxes above, swapping fossil fuel
for renewable energy, she did nothing.
The brochure with all the FODS promises
One of the many claims made by Friends of Douglas
that caused gullible people to vote yes to de-amalgamation was that
we would be paying less rates than with Cairns Regional Council.
In the first budget after de-amalgamation Cairns rates only went
up 1.5%, the Douglas Shire rates rose at more than triple that,
5.2 per cent in the 2014-2015 Budget, 3.9 per cent in the 2015-2016
Budget, 3.9 per cent in the 2016-2017 Budget.
That's 3 years in a row 1.5% in Cairns and 5.2+3.9+3.9 in the Douglas
The 2017 - 2018 council budgets rate rises were 1.75% in Cairns
and 3.9% in the Douglas Shire, again more than double!
The 2018 - 2019 council budget rate rises were 1.7% in Cairns and
3.9% in the Douglas Shire, again more than double!
CRC 1.5% + 1.5% +1.5% + 1.75% + 1.7% versus DSC 5.2% + 3.9% + 3.9%
+ 3.9% + 3.9% !
Click image to read article
Douglas Shire Sister City / Region
In 2016 the Douglas Shire Council announced they would
start looking for a Sister City or Sister Region.
In 2017 there was no further news on this yet but
the 2017 - 2018 Operational Plan does show that the CEO Unit is
going to spend six months of their time (and how much rate payers
money) developing a Sister City Program. One does wonder if this
money would not be better spent on road maintenance or other high
While DSC is still looking, we have already found
the most similar place on earth, Korea!
It has a striking resemblance to the Douglas Shire, both geographical
being similarly shaped and also having an ocean to the east, and
in the stark contrasts of north and south, and in the striking differences
in economy, lifestyle and infrastructure. Click
here to read more about the Douglas Shire Sister Region.
The 2017 new Planning Scheme
Sections of the proposed DSC planning scheme relating
to the Daintree.
Page 26: The Daintree River and its vehicular ferry represents a
significant break between movement north and south of the river
and also represents a significant threshold on development and population
capacity on the northern side of the river. The Far North Queensland
Regional Plan does not envisage any alternative to the ferry, and
as such, areas north of the Daintree River will remain sparsely
populated and maintained as a conservation area and a remote recreation
Page 29: building up tourism opportunities taking advantage of the
Cairns airport as an international gateway, and in particular marketing
PORT DOUGLAS as a premier tourism destination;
Page 46:Tourist and entertainment areas are planned and developed
in appropriate parts of the Shire with a particular focus in PORT
Page 49:Economic growth that supports clean, green businesses and
resilient communities is encouraged throughout the Shire. In particular
a range of economic initiatives is facilitated in appropriate locations,
including further development of PORT DOUGLAS as a premium tourist
Page 51: The development of specialised economic innovation precincts
and service industries occurs in Mossman, Craiglie and other appropriate
locations in PORT DOUGLAS.
Page 183: The ‘rural residential style’ allotments north
of the Daintree River posed a risk of significant detrimental impacts
on the ecology and landscape character of the area, particularly
if fully developed. Such development would also result in a greater
resident population leading to pressure for an increased level of
service and extension of infrastructure, which in turn would lead
to more development pressure.The protection of the regional ecosystem
and rare and threatened species is paramount in the limitation of
development opportunities within the region. (paramount'par?ma?nt/adjective
more important than anything else; supreme.)
Page 186:Development does not result in a demand which exceeds the
(a) the Daintree River ferry crossing;
(b) Alexandra Range Road;
(c) the local road network.
Development provides a suitable standard of selfsufficient service
for electricity supply.
AO6.2 The noise of generators is controlled by design, or the generator
is enclosed within a sound insulated building with a residential
approved muffler. The noise level generated is less than 65 dBA
when measured from a distance of 7 metres.
In other words; All progress, development and prosperity will be
in Port Douglas, the ferry will remain as a traffic limiter to avoid
economic development in the Daintree and keep it as a sparsely populated
economically struggling Centrelink City recreational area for PORT
DOUGLAS based tourism, services and infrastructure will be denied
to sabotage the Daintree economy and discourage settlement, and
dirty expensive diesel generators are now officially an acceptable
outcome to our council.
There is no mention anywhere in the new planning scheme of a crisis
of pollution and energy poverty that needs to be addressed, it is
considered acceptable to maintain the status quo of high carbon
emissions and inefficient use of energy with a generator for every
This paragraph from the previous planning scheme did not survive
to be included in the proposed planning scheme, however it has now
made it in to the 2018 planning scheme, after Daintree residents
commented on it:
4.2.2 Settlement Areas North of the Daintree
River Locality Code page 3: provide adequate services and facilities
for settlement areas and an appropriate level of economic opportunity
for local residents.
But despite being in the planning scheme, what is being done about
it? The ferry, clinic and garbage collection for example can not
be considered adequate services, and economic opportunity for local
residents is undermined with the basics of economic activity, reliable
affordable electricity, being absent, and council does nothing to
lobby for it, and two councillors are part of a group protesting
The new DSC plan refers to the state FNQ regional plan. Most of
us would not have been aware this plan even exists but supposedly
we all had a chance to have our say in this.
The whole state is covered by regional plans, which usually identify
areas of economic opportunity and allocate funding to kickstart
development in these areas.
For the Daintree there is the opposite, we are condemned to financially
struggle for the rest of eternity with economic sanctions to punish
us for moving in to this area.
Council Satisfaction Survey
In August 2017 DSC invited residents to fill out a
satisfaction survey on how well you thought they were doing...
The above might appear a little negative but take
a good look at the Daintree / North Douglas;
Road Construction; the road on which I live is too
narrow in many places, it is not possible to pass other cars without
pulling off the road, and Noah Creek bridge is nearly falling to
pieces at the moment.
Road Maintenance; plenty of places have pot holes and rough sections,
and the re-sealing was a disaster with stone lifting from the road
and my car needing daily cleans for a week to remove tar and stone,
a damages claim with DSC got knocked back.
Footpaths, Kerbing and Guttering, I don't see any on the unsealed
road where I live.
Street Lighting; WHAT street lighting? Don't see any in my town.
Traffic Management; Mismanagement more like it, the queues at the
ferry to get to my home are one to two hours long during the season,
a problem that has persisted for at least fifteen years with no
meaningful action taken to solve this problem.
Parking Facilities; WHAT parking facilities? Only car parks in my
town I know of are on private property or National Park.
Public Transport: WHAT public transport? We don't have any.
Water Supply; WHAT water supply? I have to get my own water from
Sewerage: WHAT sewerage? Everyone around here is on septic tanks
or other expensive systems.
Drainage and Flood MItigation; two years ago council got a lot of
money from state government and decided to fill in the storm drain
on my road. Every resident on the street could see that all the
many truckloads of roadbase would just wash away down the hill next
time we got some good rain, and this is exactly what happened. Half
a year later the drain was back to its original depth, about a $100
000.- of work washed away, and gravel roads in to the world's oldest
rainforest. Where the storm water was diverted on to private property
down the street there were hundreds of metres of gravel roads all
the way down the hill.
Waste Management: WHAT management? There is no garbage collection
here, we need to make a 70 km. return trip to Cow Bay to get rid
of our rubbish.
Community Health: There is one little clinic in Cow Bay that does
not meet the Queensland Health Standards, with a doctor only once
a week at the most.
On 18 December 2017 council was told by its ferry
contractor that they wanted to pull the ferry out of the water on
the southern bank for inspection and maintenance.
Instead of organising a replacement vehicle ferry or engaging with
the North Douglas community on how best to handle this they kept
the closure a secret for six weeks, until they let the North Douglas
community know via a Facebook post on 1 February, many people thought
it was a mis-timed 1 April joke at first.
Then of course all hell broke loose, North Douglas businesses wanted
to know how their customers were supposed to reach them, with the
ridiculous arrangements council had made to "minimise disruption",
a small passenger boat and a shuttle bus only to Cow Bay. Protests
erupted and some improvements were made to the original plan which
were still woefully inadequate. Chaos reigned that week in the Daintree,
tourists were delayed and stranded and frustrated, and the local
businesses lost several hundred thousand dollars. Council declared
in the media that the whole operation had been a great success and
also treated North Douglas business owners with the utmost contempt
in letters and in a meeting. The fact that the North Douglas businesses
lost hundreds of thousands of dollars and the Daintree brand was
damaged was deemed not important by council. Soon after the CEO
announced her resignation, claiming it was not related to the ferry
fiasco, but many residents had their own opinion on what happened
This situation shows how the North Douglas community is viewed and
treated by their council, where else would a council cut off access
to half their shire for five days without even considering or attempting
to put measures in place to keep traffic flowing?
Read more about the Daintree
The Queen's Baton Relay
North Douglas school kids had an exciting day
The Queen's Baton made its way around Australia and
through Queensland in March 2018, it is is a world wide event where
runners carry the Queen's Baton around the world, and everywhere
it goes streets get closed, crowds come out to watch and celebrate
with all sorts of activities around this event.
Councils publish this event on their websites and make announcements
to residents on where the action is, lots of exccitement for the
kids as schools get involved...
In the Douglas Shire it went a bit different for some
reason, the Queen's Baton went all the way to the top of Australia,
Minister Kate Jones flew in to Horn Island to join in the festivities,
the baton worked its way down the cape through indigenous communities,
then Cooktown, then Ravenshoe, Tolga, Mareeba, and everywhere the
councils had organised events and festivities and got the schools
I had nominated a friend as a runner in March 2017 and I was wondering
what was going to happen in the Douglas Shire as I did not see any
announcements when it was getting close to the batons arrival. Someone
rang the council and after a long wait the answer was; we don't
know anything about this event....
Well, we knew about it, it was going to come across the Daintree
river in to North Douglas so we went to the Discovery Centre and
some kids were very excited to have their photos taken with the
Then the baton went on to Cairns for three days of festivities,
at least there they know how to throw a party....
Residents scratched their head over why this normally public event
was kept a secret in the Douglas Shire, looks like we would have
had the baton carried across the shire by runners had we not de-amalgamated
from Cairns Regional Council...
Douglas Shire in the world's Top 100 Most Sustainable
In June 2018 it was announced council wanted to get
the entire region eco-certified, and in September 2018 it was announced
that they had managed to con their way in to the world's Top 100
Most Sustainable Destinations, awarded by the Global Sustainable
How the hell can this be possible if half the shire runs on generators,
pumping 10 000 tonnes of CO2 per year in to the world's oldest rainforest
and contributing to climate change that affects our reef? This ongoing
pollution makes the shire one of the most unsustainable destinations!
They have done what they do with all their environmental policies
and initiatives; pretend the northern border of the shire is at
the Daintree river.
When you read
the criteria to get in to the Top 100 Most Sustainable Destinations
it makes you wonder how they conned their way through, the judges
definitely did not come over to do site inspections but just relied
on boxes ticked on forms.
South Douglas Solar Farm
In June 2018 it was also announced that council will
investigate the feasibility of a solar farm at the Killaloe Landfill
Mayor Julia Leu said this was one of many initiatives designed to
boost the region’s environmental performance.
If there is anywhere that needs a boost to its environmental performance
then it is North Douglas, that's where a solar farm is needed, what
is the point of putting a solar farm in South Douglas that already
has an efficient power supply?
In June 2019 the shit hit the fan with Councillor
Michael Kerr alerting the public what the ultragreens were trying
to push through; in the never ending pursuit of green awards they
wanted council to be certified as carbon neutral, and the way to
achieve this was to use hard earned rate payers money that could
have been used for much needed community infrastructure sent south
to another shire where they said they were going to plant trees...
Michael Kerr must be congratulated for his call for
some common sense in this latest hypocritical bizarre stunt from
In the rest of Australia local councils work for the prosperity
of their residents, while of course keeping in mind the environment.
In the Douglas Shire we are run by a group of ultragreens who have
environment as first priority, while keeping in mind the residents,
when they feel like it.
Quite a few people have started to get the feeling now that we are
being run by DSSG, not DSC, or they talk about DSSC as the two organisations
seem to overlap, and it's not such a bizarre thought, most of the
councillors are closely aligned and affiliated with DSSG and it
leaders, and let's not forget recent history and see how this council
came in to existence, because DSSG actually "installed"
When the state government got tired of never ending dysfunctionality
in Douglas Shire Council they effectively sacked them by amalgamation
with Cairns, but then the ultragreens freaked out they as lost their
control over the shire and most importantly the Daintree and were
worried Cairns might not continue the same economic sabotage to
keep the Daintree community small and struggling so they incorporated
Friends Of Douglas Shire and conned South Douglas residents in to
voting YES with promises of lower rates, chlorine free water etc.
that did not eventuate and so the ultragreens regained their control.
While people were now up in arms about hard earned rate payers money
being sent south for a meaningless green accreditation that could
have been used to fix up neglected infrastructure in our own shire,
it would be interesting to calculate how much money has been spent
over the last six years on never ending green policies and initiatives,
such as giving every coconut tree its own GPS coordinate and conning
their way in to being awarded Top 100 Most Sustainable Destinations
in this world.
Instead of green awards like this we could easily gain fame in the
Guiness Book Of Records as the World's Most Hypocritical Shire.
Port Douglas; concrete, aircons, economy totally dependent on polluting
plane travel to deliver customers.
Mossman; a polluting sugarmill that exceeds pollution standards
(local doctors and residents can testify this) and requires the
entire district in monoculture with use of fertilisers.
The Daintree where hundreds of diesel generators burn through four
million litres of fuel per year pumping ten thousand tonnes of CO2
in to the precious rainforest every year making huge contributions
to climate change, an ongoing third world environmental disaster
created by our ex-mayor and continued to this day by ex and current
mayor opposing cooperation with the federal govenment's renewable
energy micro grid proposal.
This shire has a ridiculous carbon foot print but it is all going
to be saved now by sending precious ratepayers money away to another
shire, adding to the business of Greencollar who makes their money
in this trading business.
How can it get any hypocriticaller....
In a 10 September council meeting the carbon offset
deal was offically cancelled as research had found that no trees
were being planted but only existing trees to be left standing with
no guarantee for how long, the water run off did not even go to
the reef but to a dam, Qantas was not going to promote the shire,
and there were questionable connections between the carbon credit
sales person Mike Berwick and councillors.
It's a long story, click
here to read all about the carbon credit scandal.
Early 2019 far north Queensland saw some extreme weather
with wide spread flooding. DSC announced there was financial assistance
available for people affected by all this severe weather, see
I phoned the number and they could not help me, two days later I
get a call back to tell me that the area from the Daintree river
to Cape Tribulation does not qualify for financial assistance, Lower
Daintree is the area around Miallo, Upper Daintree is up to the
Daintree river . Daintree means Daintree Village, then north of
the Daintree river to Cape Tribulation is excluded and Degarra at
the edge of the Douglas Shire also qualifies for financial assistance.
A couple of months later council made visits to Daintree Village
and to Degarra to chat with residents how they coped with the heavy
weather and asked them if they needed any other help, but North
Douglas was ignored....