Factions mobilise ahead of referendum

Thursday 24 January 2013

Factions mobilise ahead of referendum

A new organisation has been established and will campaign against the re-formation of a Douglas Shire Council in the lead up to the referendum.

The 'Douglas Residents and Ratepayers Association' (DRAA) was formalised earlier this week, and a press release from the group outlined its primary aims which include:

  • Working for the benefit of residents and ratepayers to ensure that rates are at the lowest level commensurate with an acceptable level of service.
  • Working to ensure good governance by the local government authority.
  • Working to protect the Douglas lifestyle based on sustainability and a good balance between the natural and built environment.

"The initial purpose of the association is to ensure residents and ratepayers of Douglas receive accurate and useful information which will enable them to make an informed decision at the referendum on 9 March..." Association founder Ken Dobbs said.

Douglas Residents and Ratepayers Association (DRRA) oppose de-amalgamation on the basis of figures provided by the Queensland Treasury Corporation and the recommendation of the Boundaries Commissioner.

"The report of the Commissioner recommended that Douglas should not be de-amalgamated," Mr Dobbs said. "The report stated that the proposed DSC is unsustainable and a de-amalgamation would result in an unwarranted financial burden on ratepayers."

Another group of ratepayers dubbed 'People of Douglas' has also formed and will work with the DRAA to campaign to retain ties with Cairns Regional Council.

Mr Dobbs said that regardless of the result, the DRAA will continue work beyond the referendum "in the interests of residents and ratepayers."

"If the de-amalgamation occurs the association will hold the new Council accountable for the promises made in achieving this result and ensure the ratepayers get the best deal possible.

"If Douglas remains part of Cairns Regional Council the association will work to ensure the best outcomes for the residents of Douglas for CRC," he said.