Queensland’s former Douglas Shire is no more. Under amalgamation, the new Cairns Regional Shire extends where Douglas once existed, but not so far that its constituents remain entitled to elect representatives for the genuine care for development. Rather, for the first time in Queensland’s modern history, this entitlement has been usurped by Parliament, so that its Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, currently the Hon. Paul Lucas MP, can decide who to appoint for such a care.
Former member for Toowoomba (1966-1972), Mr. Peter Woods, has been appointed. So too, former head of the Planning Institute of Australlia, Mr. Leo Jensen. Mr. Ken Dobbs, of the Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce and Port Douglas-based architect Mr. Gary Hunt have also been endorsed. Cairns Regional Councillor for Division 10, Ms Julia Leu, completes the appointment.
So, that portion of the new Cairns Regional Shire, declared as ‘Iconic’ by Minister Lucas, can forget about developmental self-determination. And rather than defending the jurisdictions of their respective divisions from the possibility of being similarly stripped of democratic integrity, the other nine councillors remain deafening in their silent opposition of the relinquishment. Then again, so too are the other elected officers around Queensland that have current custodianship of representative authority.