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Open Letter / To the CEO, Douglas Shire Council regarding the decision on Lot 83

"After Monday’s Special Council Meeting, Douglas Shire Council released a statement regarding the Council decision to sell Lot 83, Cape Tribulation Road. The statement contains misleading information."

MICHAEL J GABOUR


❝ G’day Mark,

After Monday’s Special Council Meeting, Douglas Shire Council released a statement regarding the Council decision to sell Lot 83, Cape Tribulation Road. The statement contains misleading information.

The statement claims,

“Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the sale is a win-win and came about following an approach from the two organisations in July when they shared their vision for the property.”

Any reasonable person reading that statement might conclude that the Mayor was first presented with a proposal by these two organisations in July. In fact, the two organisations approached Council in November 2019, with an offer to buy Lot 83 and use the land to bolster Douglas’ environmental credentials.

Council did not respond at that time nor once the new Council was installed.

Council responded to the two organisations’ offer only after DouglasNews.Network made the letter(s) of offer public in an article describing the opportunity. The article published by DouglasNews.Network included the Mayor’s threat to take action against the DouglasNews.Network if the letter(s) were made public.

Please prepare another release that accurately reflects the events leading up to yesterday’s resolution.

And finally, can you please advise the status of the Council’s decision to buy the Mossman Golf Club. In a release about that motion, Council claimed the Mossman Bowls Club would lease and manage the Golf Club once Council bought it from the Douglas Community and Sports Club. Since the Council statement on the purchase was released, the Bowls Club has declined to take up the lease on the Golf Club.

Where to now?

Why was there no public consultation before the Mayor introduced his Mayoral Minute?

Why were the other Councillors not given advance notice?

Why was there no public tender if the Council purchase was contingent on a third party lease of the Club?

Regards,

Michael J Gabour ❞

Michael Gabour has received a reply from the CEO, and updates his open letter with that reply:

Wednesday 12 August, 2020

❝Hello Michael,

I’ve just re-read the media release and I disagree with your assessment.  The reality is that the two organisations did approach the Mayor to have a discussion and in accordance with the Council resolution of 30 June 2020, a formal discussion progressed into an offer which was then taken to Council on 10 August at the Special meeting.  Clearly there is background to the story all of which has been in the public domain and much of which was detailed in the Council Report.  You are free to report on that.

I will not be re-releasing the media release. 

I will write to you more formally on the other matters you raise.

Kind regards

Mark ❞


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