The Viewpoint - Helter Shelter
Thursday 19 January 2012
Not much comes easily in Port does it? This seems especially true if you happen to be a politician.
In 2011 the lagoon pool divided the population - where to build it, how big should it be, do we even need one? This debate will continue into 2012 and with renewed vigour now that funding has been denied/delayed.
It has turned into a bit of a PR nightmare for the Council who initially would have thought pushing through an infrastructure investment worth millions into Port Douglas would have won a few hearts, and kept a few deamalgamation wolves from their door.
When our elected State Government representative, Jason O'Brien, announced midway through last year that Port Douglas had been selected as one of just ten locations in Queensland where a long-awaited and much needed multi-million dollar cyclone shelter would be built, he must've have been licking his lips - especially with the knowledge he was heading into an election year.
But nothing comes easily in Port.
While emotions across the community have not run quite as high on this issue to date, the potential for the cyclone shelter to become a thorn in Mr O'Brien's side (perhaps even a thorn in each side - one names Russell and the other Steve) is real, and his counterpart, the LNP's David Kempton, will not be rushing to his aid anytime soon.
In fact Mr Kempton will be keen to be seen to be acting on behalf of the community. What the community actually wants though is not yet clear.
As with any election, it's the opposition who are able to go on the attack. 'Don't like your Council? We can help', 'Don't like your shelter? Neither do we!'
We haven't hear a lot to date from those chasing the Mayor's job, but no doubt we will in the coming days and weeks. They'll have a lot of work to do to convince a good number of the Douglas population that we should remain amalgamated with our big brother (or sister) down South. Perhaps these candidates are fans of deamalgamation too.
So let the games begin. Whatever the outcome of these local and State elections may be, you can guarantee those in power will know they'll have a few headaches coming courtesy of Port Douglas.
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