daintree conspiracy
Daintree Conspiracy

Daintree Conspiracy of Facebook

An online archive of historical facts and figures, documents, media articles, letters and stories
documenting the conspiracy against the Daintree Community, and events in the Douglas Shire..
Prepare to be amazed! Read about discrimination, hypocrisy, pollution, misfeasance and conspiracy!

Daintree Conspiracy on Youtube


The ARENA Powering Daintree Report - The AUSTROP response - The response to the AUSTROP response


Douglas Shire Council

The Daintree is part of the local government area Douglas Shire Council.
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.

no employment
Copied from the Proposed Daintree Powerline Environmental Impact Study

Electricity denial

electricity lines across the Daintree river
This sign is at the Daintree river ferry crossing to warn sailors about the power line across the river for thirteen houses on Forest Creek road.

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 generators.

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!

electricity acct

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 it again....
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 micro grid.
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 river.
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 power issue?
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 at Killaloe!

Building Moratorium

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.

suicides in douglas shire land theft

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 business.

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...

1994 town plan
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 radio.
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 2014.

de-amalgamation poll results


Before de-amalgamation

After de-amalgamation

FODS promised lower rates than Cairns

Since de-amalgamation:
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 despite protests
DSC builds Mowbray bridge and chops down trees despite Mowbray residents protests
DSC wants to send ratepayers money south to obtain meaningless green accreditation without consultation

FODS accuses CRC of cutting down iconic trees

DSC chops down iconic rain trees

Outrage over CRC water restrictions in 2008 and DSC water restrictions in 2018




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...

23 point submission

23 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 fines"
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 recycling...

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....

economic development strategy

Economic Development Strategy -

In 2016 the Douglas Shire Council spent rate payers money on an Economic Development Strategy by Possible People.
Read 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 economic development.
It has been recognised by the World Bank, United Nations, and countless other organisations as crucial to economic activity and wellbeing of population.

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 to be:
“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, technically, community,
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.

corporate sustainability strategy

Corporate 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.
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

climate council

Thanks to all this greenwash Douglas Shire Council managed to con their way in to the Australian Climate Council's Cities Power Partnership.
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.

Council rates

FODS promise
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.

DSC rate rise

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 Shire!
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!

2017 2018 budget

Since de-amalgamation:
CRC 1.5% + 1.5% +1.5% + 1.75% + 1.7% versus DSC 5.2% + 3.9% + 3.9% + 3.9% + 3.9% !

cairns lowest rates
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 priorities....

sister city program


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.

sister region to the douglas shire

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 experience.

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 DOUGLAS.

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 destination

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 capacity of:
(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 property.

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 against it.

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...

satisfaction survey

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 the creek.
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.

Ferry Fiasco

ferry fiasco

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 there....
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 Ferry Fiasco

The Queen's Baton Relay

Queen's Baton in North Douglas
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 involved.
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 baton.
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 Destinations

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 Tourism Council.
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 site.
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?

Carbon offsets

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 the ultragreens.
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" this council.
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.

Disaster Relief

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 announcement here.
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....