Dr Doug Quarry / Is the destruction of the Courthouse Hotel mango trees a justified health hazard?

DR DOUG QUARRY , MBBS, MSc (Community Health)

❝Like many other Douglas residents, I was horrified to witness the destruction of the magnificent mango trees in and around the Court House Hotel early on Monday 18 May.

I was told by representatives of the hotel (Robert De Carlo and Charles Warren) that the works were undertaken as a Development Application (DA) had been approved by Council. Note that the DA was approved after the election of the new Council.

I was also told several times part of the reason was for the tree removal was a perceived public health risk.

A review of the literature shows no such risk.

Flying foxes (bats) can transmit Lysa virus if you are scratched or bitten. Most scratches and bites occur when someone tries to help a sick or injured animal. Have there been any such events at the CourtHouse Hotel or anywhere in Macrossan Street.

Transmission of other diseases by flying foxes and/or bird droppings (including metallic starlings) to the general public is dismissed on Queensland Government Websites: conditions.health.qld.gov.au and worksafe.qld.gov.au.

The report of “Biosphere Environmental Consultants”, engaged by the CourtHouse Hotel, describes various health risks.

I reject all conclusions in the report in regards to the health risks from infectious diseases.

The report also describes the (now destroyed) mango trees as “tall, impressive trees which provide shade, and food resources and roosts for wildlife”. How sad.

I ask Mayor Kerr, the “Candidate for the People”, how a barely-existent health threat could be part of the reason for the approval of the DA?

I ask why there was no public notification or consultation prior to the destruction of the trees?

I ask why the DA was not posted on the Council website prior to the destruction of the trees?

As this tree removal significantly affects the Macrossan St streetscape, I ask whether the Mayor and or the CEO, Mr Mark Stoermer, were aware of the approval of this critical DA, and if not, why not? The approval happened on their watch.

Mayor Mike – I look forward to your call.❞


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Lisa McLeod
3 years ago

Thank you Dr Doug for voicing the community’s feeling.
As a Port Douglas resident ,off and on, since 1964 , I was sickened by the destruction of such an iconic Port Douglas monument.
What character does the Courthouse have now,that sets it apart ?
Unfortunately, monumental trees like this take centuries to grow; idiots,however, are born every minute.