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Quality news, views and analysis of issues that affect and inform us in the Douglas Shire.

NEWS IN 5 / Monday November 15 2021

IN BRIEF / News, views, insights and inspiration from around the Shire and beyond our borders.

Ponder This / Words from Our Senior Australian of the Year

MIRIAM Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, 2021 Senior Australian of the Year, is a renowned Aboriginal artist and educator who is dedicated to creating bright and fulfilling futures for Aboriginal children and youth.

She was the first fully qualified Aboriginal teacher in the Northern Territory and is the founder of the Miriam Rose Foundation.


Miriam Rose speaks five local languages along with English and is responsible for establishing the highly successful Merrepen Arts centre in Nauiyu.



“My people are not threatened by silence. They are completely at home in it. They have lived for thousands of years with Nature’s quietness.
My people today, recognise and experience in this quietness, the great Life-Giving Spirit, the Father of us all.
It is easy for me to experience God’s presence.
When I am out hunting, when I am in the bush, among the trees, on a hill or by a billabong; these are the times when I can simply be in God’s presence.
My people have been so aware of Nature. It is natural that we will feel close to the Creator.
Our Aboriginal culture has taught us to be still and to wait.
We do not try to hurry things up.
We let them follow their natural course – like the seasons.
We watch the moon in each of its phases.
We wait for the rain to fill our rivers and water the thirsty earth…
When twilight comes, we prepare for the night.
At dawn we rise with the sun.
We watch the bush foods and wait for them to ripen before we gather them.
We wait for our young people as they grow, stage by stage, through their initiation ceremonies.
When a relation dies, we wait a long time with the sorrow. We own our grief and allow it to heal slowly.
We wait for the right time for our ceremonies and our meetings. The right people must be present. Everything must be done in the proper way. Careful preparations must be made. We don’t mind waiting, because we want things to be done with care.
We don’t like to hurry. There is nothing more important than what we are attending to. There is nothing more urgent that we must hurry away for.
We wait on God, too. His time is the right time. We wait for him to make his Word clear to us.
We don’t worry. We know that in time and in the spirit of dadirri (that deep listening and quiet stillness) his way will be clear.
We are River people.
We cannot hurry the river.
We have to move with its current and understand its ways.
We hope that the people of Australia will wait.
Not so much waiting for us – to catch up – but waiting with us, as we find our pace in this world. ……
If you stay closely united, you are like a tree, standing in the middle of a bushfire sweeping through the timber.
The leaves are scorched and the tough bark is scarred and burnt; but inside the tree the sap is still flowing, and under the ground the roots are still strong.
Like that tree, you have endured the flames, and you still have the power to be reborn.
Our culture is different.
We are asking our fellow Australians to take time to know us; to be still and to listen to us…”

Pangaea Ocean Explorer Revolutionising Ocean Research

MINING magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, of  Fortescue Metals, recently spent $42 million to secure the leasehold of Lizard Island, comprising a combined 2000 hectares of land across three parcels. The purchase comes hot on the heels after his acquisition of Olivia Newton John’s Gaia wellness retreat in the Byron hinterland for $30 million.

Twiggy Forrest has been busy re-inventing himself as a philanthropist, also venturing into ambitious and revolutionary ocean research with his extraordinarily well-equipped vessel Pangeresa Ocean Explorer. The aspiration is to measure the diversity and scale of the world’s ocean life population. Researchers will collect water samples and use cutting edge technology to study eDNA (environmental DNA) harvested from the samples to measure the range of species present, and ultimately to provide a more accurate understanding of the health of our ocean life on a global scale. Sea water is incredibly effective at preserving DNA, marine ecologist Steve Burnell reporting that one millilitre can contain thousands of DNA fragments and hundreds of cells. The research is supported by a laboratory established in Exmouth, fast becoming a hub for marine research.

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Native Seaweed to Feed Livestock Reduces Carbon Emissions and Enhances Agricultural Sustainability

IN Port Victoria (SA), a new aquaculture operation is harvesting algae grown on ropes and processed in Adelaide to feed livestock. the newly emerging global industry gre from the observations of a Canadian farmer who noticed that cattle grazing on seaweed appeared to be more productive. Environmental scientist Dr Rob Kinlet explored the concept and found that the cattle were indeed healthier, but also excreted about 20 percent less methane. In furthering his research, Dr Kinley worked with JCU testing native Australian algae, and one particular species Asparagopsis revealed surprising and extraordinary results.

This particular species of algae reduced cattle methane emissions by nothing less than 100%. In practise, cattle don’t enjoy eating Asparagopsis at high concentration, so the reduction is more like 80% for a palatable concentration of the algae in the cattle diet. Adding around 5g of Asparagopsis seaweed per kg of dry feed matter lowers methane emissions by over 80%.

CSIRO scientists have collaborated with Meat & Livestock Australia and James Cook University to develop a cost-effective seaweed feed ingredient called FutureFeed, which uses a type of seaweed, native to Australia that significantly reduces their methane emissions and has potential to increase livestock productivity.

The Asparagopsis species of seaweed produces a bioactive compound called bromoform, which prevents the formation of methane by inhibiting a specific enzyme in the gut during the digestion of feed.

This new technolgy in livestock feed fits well under the banner of the Feeral government’s annoucmeent of $500 million towards now low-emmsiiions technologies.n Wednesday

Livestock unfortunately bring with them a gassy problem. Methane, primarily from burps is a greenhouse gas 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Around 15 per cent of the world’s entire total of greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock production, and in Australia the contribution of methane emissions from ruminant livestock is approaching 10 per cent of total greenhouse emissions.

Future Feed / CSIRO
The inclusion of Asparagopsis in cattle diet livestock methane emissions significantly. Credit/ CSIRO Future Feed


Christmas is on its Way!

HAVE you noticed the Christmas tree lighting up Mossman? The festive spirit is alive around the Shire. DOUGLAS Shire Council, Douglas Chamber of Commerce, various community groups and businesses are busy preparing a calendar of festivities to celebrate the Christmas season.

We’ll publish details on each of the events later, but for now, pencil in these dates:

Thursday 25 November – Mayor’s Christmas Appeal Lunch at Salsa

Sunday 5 December – Church Carols at Mossman

Wednesday 8 December – Twilight Markets under the Raintrees, Mossman

Friday 10 December – Santa at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina

Friday 17 December  – Douglas Street Christmas Party – Mossman

Saturday 18 December – Carols by Candlelight in Rex Smeal Park

Sunday 19 December – Port Douglas Markets Cotter’s Christmas Spectacular

Friday 31 December -New Year’s Eve celebrations

Remembering A Legend Today / Steve Irwin Day


CELEBRATED each year on 15 November, Steve Irwin Day is an annual international event honouring the life and legacy of the one and only Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin!

The day represents the many things Steve was passionate about: FAMILY, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION and FUN.

Steve Irwin Day is also a day where people around the world join together to raise money for Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors to help continue Steve’s conservation work and the preservation of wildlife and wild places.

Steve Irwin died on 4 September 2006, after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming at Batt Reef for the documentary series Ocean’s Deadliest.

Take a moment today to remember a legendary Aussie wildlife warrior.

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