Friends of FODS turn out in force

Monday 11 February 2013

Friends of FODS turn out in force

Residents converged on the Mossman Shire Hall on Thursday night to attend a public meeting organised by pro-de-amalgamation lobby group Friends Of Douglas Shire.

While the meeting was open to people on both sides of the debate, the vast majority of the roughly 300 attendees were clearly in favour of cutting ties with Cairns Regional Council.

Key speakers included David Carey, Mike Berwick, and Julia Leu who repeated their key messages from the recent event at Ramada Resort in Port Douglas to the largely supportive crowd.

Listen to Mike Berwick's and Julia Leu's speeches (below)

Read FODS' economic consultant's report here

Mr Berwick, a former Mayor of the Douglas Shire Council, said both he and Mr Carey had staked their reputations on their claims a re-formed DSC would be sustainable, despite the scenario being labelled as "highly unlikely" by the Boundaries Commissioner.

"There's no way that I'd be standing up here saying Council was viable when I really thought it wasn't because I live here and I value my reputation and it would very quickly be proved wrong, and I'm sure David Carey is in exactly the same position," Mr Berwick said.

Mr Carey reiterated his position that rates would not increase by any more than CPI under a Douglas Shire Council.

A poignant statement from a member of the audience implored people to vote instinctively amid the flurry of financial figures being presented by both pro and anti-de-amalgamation camps.

"Who do you trust? In which model do you believe? All models are estimates, all are based on assumptions...all of these figures are just confusing to me to be honest.

"It ultimately comes down to trust. I trust my own instincts and what is best for me. I trust my gut feelings that are based on my own past experiences."

Should the 9 March referendum go in favour of de-amalgamation, the final decision as to whether it proceeds falls to the Minister for Local Government, David Crisafulli.