Progress on palm protection

Friday 13 April 2012

Progress on palm protection

Cairns Regional Council has agreed to review the former Douglas Shire Council's Coconut Management Plan and start the process of incorporating its principles into a CRC policy.

The decision was made at an ordinary meeting on Wednesday, and Council officers will prepare a further report detailing the revegetation of the site where 49 coconut palms were removed from Four Mile Beach last month.

Division 10 councillor Julia Leu said after she had put a stop to the felling of six remaining palms earmarked for clearing all work on the site ceased, however mulching will now be undertaken to minimise the risk of weed growth.


In the minutes of the meeting Council acknowledged the importance of the coconut palms to the community.

"Recent strategic planning activities within the Port Douglas area have identified a community connection with coconut palms and the tropical ambience that they create.

"It is estimated that there are over 4000 coconut palms generally in the Port Douglas footprint. It is therefore appropriate that Council officers now review this (Douglas Shire Council Coconut) Management Plan with the intention of developing a plan to manage all coconut palms in the region."

It appears that the Management Plan, which outlines policies on coconut palms on private and public land and an operational guide on their removal, fell through the cracks during the amalgamation process.

"(The) document appears to have had very little visibility in the former Douglas Shire Council. As a result, when the policy review was undertaken post amalgamation, this Management Plan was not tabled.

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"A search of Douglas Shire Council records has failed to reveal whether consideration was ever given to including this Plan as a part of the planning scheme for Douglas."

Many in the community were outraged by what they saw as a lack of consultation from Council when the decision was made to remove the palms.

With Local Government Elections just over two weeks away, many Mayoral and Divisional Councillor candidates have vowed to improve communications with the Douglas region's residents should they win office.