DOUGLAS SHIRE RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION INC.

Log in

News

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   Next >  Last >> 
  • 3 May 2021 10:14 AM | Sylvia (Administrator)

    It is no secret that the Douglas Shire is in dire need of major infrastructure development in the area of water and waste management, not just to keep up with current demands, but future requirements.   This will place a huge cost burden on current ratepayers if not appropriately managed by Council.  At the Ordinary Council meeting held on the 30th March,  Councillors unanimously voted in favour of a Debt General Policy which stated  “At this stage, Council’s 10-year financial forecast does not include any planned borrowings…”.  How then is this Council going to ensure that there is an equitable distribution of the cost burden for infrastructure development? Today’s ratepayers should not bare the full burden of cost for assets that future ratepayers will benefit from.   Queensland Treasury Corporation offers a rolling debt fund for this very purpose and to ensure Councils keep infrastructure up to date without unrealistic pressure on ratepayers. 

    In the lead up to the Council election, the previous Council proudly reported the very low  debt rate in Council.  The cost of this has been persistent and disproportionate increases in rates and charges in this Shire.   The current Council seems to be taking the same approach.  

    Will ratepayers be facing more unnecessary rates and charges increases in the Shire?  We will watch with interest.

  • 3 May 2021 10:11 AM | Sylvia (Administrator)

    Many believe that the beautiful Rosewood trees on Warner Street died because the tree roots were destroyed when Council conducted their “targeted operational work”, not the result of poisoning.   We look forward to seeing the detailed report from the independent arborist.  Council have now decided to reconsider the removal of the trees as signs of life have now been shown.

  • 20 Apr 2021 3:36 PM | Sylvia (Administrator)

    At the last Douglas Shire Council meeting Councillors voted to rescind part of a previous unanimous decision by Councillors to give the owner of Lot 2 (adjacent to the esplanade in Port Douglas), approval to apply to the State government for a permanent closure of the road reserve (esplanade) for development purposes.   Click here to see the development application https://douglas.qld.gov.au/development-applications/ which was on the Council website in December but seemed to have been overlooked by some Councillors.

    During the meeting The Deputy Mayor Lisa Scomazzon expressed her concern about a lack of information being provided at the previous Council meeting.   Councillors Noli, Zammataro and Deputy Mayor Lisa Scomazzon voted to reverse the previous decision. 

    To here the live stream of the Council meeting click here: https://douglas.qld.gov.au/council-meetings/council-meeting-live-stream/     

    Lisa Scomazzon and Michael Kerr discuss their points of view on the matter in a POD cast with FabFM’s Paul Makin.  Click here https://fabfm.podbean.com/e/a-paul-makin-editorial-tryingto-get-thebottom-ofclaims-that-dsc-councillors-are-not-gettingall-the-informationbefore-votingdepmayorlisascomazzonmayor/

  • 10 Apr 2021 4:08 PM | Sylvia (Administrator)

    Is Council considering removing coconut palms from our beach foreshore or reducing access points to our beaches?  The Douglas Shire Council is developing Foreshore Management Plans for Wonga Beach, Newell Beach, Cooya Beach, Four Mile Beach and Oak Beach which will determine how our beaches are managed.  The Council is currently running a survey as part of a community consultation process.  Some questions in the survey may give us clues about the direction being considered i.e. coconut palms are listed with lantana and singapore daisy as  “invasive” species  that should be removed.  Another survey question asks  “do you support minimising the number of access paths to the beach…?” and “should informal private access paths be removed?”  Make sure you have your say and carefully consider how you respond.  Go to the following link to complete the survey  Douglas Foreshore Community Survey (surveymonkey.com).  Remember you need to complete a survey for each beach.

  • 11 Jan 2021 11:46 AM | Sylvia (Administrator)

    At the December Douglas Shire Council meeting, the Mayor stated that “the majority of the community has spoken” in favour of the two ferry option.   For clarity, there were 3,409 responses to the Douglas Shire Council (DSC) survey.   Nearly 20% of those respondents were not from the Shire (neither a ratepayer or resident).    Only 22% of Douglas Shire residents and ratepayers responded to the survey.    In effect only 8% of the Shire’s residents and ratepayers voted for a two ferry option.  While the survey participation was significantly greater than the survey conducted by the previous Council, it can hardly be called the majority of the Shire.

    The consultants engaged at considerable expense by Council, recommended a bridge as the best option.  The DSRA poll showed 64% of respondents (all ratepayers), voted in favour of the bridge. Quite a different result from the DSC survey. 

    We all know you can spin statistics in favour of any argument.  However, given that the DSC survey (not referendum) was simplistic and with very little (if any) discussion about it’s statistical validity, it is concerning that it seems to be the primary tool determining the Councils decision on this.

    At the recent DSC meeting, Councillor Scomazzon was the only Councillor who acknowledged and showed concern that it is the ratepayers and tourist operators who will shoulder the cost of the two ferry option (estimated at a 2.75% increase in rates) and that more consideration should be given on the matter.

    Do we really have a long term sustainable vision for Cape Tribulation?  It has been estimated that in 5yrs time (possibly less with the projected increase in domestic travel), waiting periods with two ferries will be at the same levels they are now with one ferry.   Will we then be voting for four ferries?  Is Council just kicking the can down the road on this?

    To view the full DSC Dec meeting click on the link https://douglas.qld.gov.au/council-meetings/council-meeting-live-stream/

  • 11 Jan 2021 11:42 AM | Sylvia (Administrator)

    In response to DSRA’s   request for an update, the Douglas Shire Council CEO Mark Stoermer advised that Councillors have met to discuss the review of the General Rate Category system which the DSRA have been pushing for since before the last Council election.    This grossly inequitable system places an unfair burden on owners of property on Community Title Schemes, (Category 8) and is in desperate need of a review.     We look forward to being proactively engaged  and consulted by Council on this matter.  The DSC has also lobbied for some time to have a Land Valuation review in the Shire. It has been over 4 years since the last Valuation.   The CEO advised that a request has  been submitted and they are waiting for a response from the State Government.

  • 11 Jan 2021 11:37 AM | Sylvia (Administrator)

    The Queensland Local Government Association (QLGRA) reported that the Queensland Labour Government rushed through a Bill allowing the “next in line” to serve out the term of a departed Mayor if a vacancy occurs within 12 months of the election,  effectively becoming a “mayor in waiting”.   The QLGRA  opposed this Bill saying that a By-election should occur, but the QLGRA recommendations were ignored.   However,  when the Rockhampton Mayor resigned, the State Government didn’t appear to like the “next in line” so did a back flip and introduced retrospect laws to prevent this from happening.   To read more click here https://www.qlgra.org.au/qlgra-insights-december

  • 11 Nov 2020 2:18 PM | Sylvia (Administrator)

    Douglas Shire Council CEO (Mark Stoermer) attended the October DSRA Committee meeting.   At the meeting Mark provided an update on the status of the review of the General Rate Category system.    Mark  advised that a consultant had been appointed to assist with the task and the Council’s objective was to have the review complete by the end of the financial year.  The Committee sought assurance that the DSRA (who have been the driver of this project), will be consulted and engaged with during the review process.  The Committee also sought assurance that a well over due Land Valuation review (not done for 4 years) will also be conducted. The DSRA had submitted a request for amendments to the Concealed Leak Policy and asked for an update on the status of this policy which is substandard compared to other Council policies of this kind.  Mark reported that the introduction of “Smart Metres” is expected to have a significant impact in this area by providing ratepayers with early notification to households when significant increases in water usage are detected.   While this is welcome news, the DSRA still has an expectation that the amendments put forward should be considered. 

    The status of the Shire’s economy was discussed,  Mark put forward that the economic sustainability of the Shire is dependent on population growth.  Mark reported that using the Ansoff Matrix model, Council has identified retirees and pre-retirees as a market the Shire should be aiming for.   However, Mark was quick to point out that growth is dependent on infrastructure, most importantly water and waste management infrastructure.  Council’s focus is to build this infrastructure as a matter of urgency.     The Committee requested an up-date on the status of the DSC  Economic Development Group.   The Committee reiterated it’s view that an Economic Development Group should be convened as a matter of urgency and include all key stakeholder groups in the Shire.

    An update on the status of  the “RV Friendly” Shire  was requested, Mark  advised that this was being taken forward  by the Economic Development Officers.   It was acknowledged that potential revenue to the Mossman area in particular, will be significant as a result of this initiative. 

     The Committee expressed their appreciation to Mark for his time and the information provided. 

  • 10 Nov 2020 12:42 PM | Sylvia (Administrator)

    A good turnout with robust and respectful debate made the DSRA hosted “Meet the Candidates" event a success.   Thanks to all who helped make the day a success. 

  • 10 Nov 2020 12:06 PM | Sylvia (Administrator)
    The results of the DSRA survey  indicates that there is a clear preference for a Bridge option (51% of respondents), with 27% selected the One Ferry Option (no change) and finally 22% for the Two Ferry Option.     A sample size of  5% - 10% is considered statically relevant and we received a 20% response rate so we are pleased that the result is considered statistically relevant.  It should be noted that there were 3 conditions applied regardless of option selected.
    • All options must have a toll system which will as a minimum cover costs
    • Funding of a bridge build is contingent on State and/or Federal  funding.
    • Traffic flow into the Daintree can be managed if needed i.e. a boom gate system
    The DSRA have provided the Douglas Shire Council with details of the results. 
<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   Next >  Last >> 


Email - info@douglasratepayers.org.au

Address - PO Box 6, Port Douglas  QLD 4877

ABN 46 257 394 374

Disclaimer

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software