One Mission accomplished!cries the banner on the Mission Beach Community Association website (MBCA) – population now 30,000 under the NEW Cassowary Coast Regional Council, as the coastal villages are officially united.
MBCA was formed by residents and ratepayers (including non-residents) from Garners Beach in the north to Carmoo in the south in February 2005 with the aim of representing the separate villages of their region with ‘one voice’ as they work together for the best outcomes in the face of ‘inevitable development’.
In February 2006 PWF asked ‘Can there be one voice for Mission Beach?’ The community was divided and frustrated by a ‘senseless’ shire boundary which meant the administration of six villages – South Mission Beach, Carmoo and Wongaling Beach in the south and Mission Beach, Bingil Bay and Garners Beach in the north, was split between Cardwell Shire Council in Tully and Johnstone Shire Council in Innisfail.
The Cassowary Coast is all carved up reports the Innisfail Advocate (18 August 2007). Prior to the 2008 Queensland Local Government elections, the Johnstone and Cardwell Shire Councils have shown they can work together. Given just 10 days to submit details of their preferred boundaries they took the opportunity ‘to workshop the division’ in Mission Beach and after a full day workshop at Cardwell Council on 16 August they came up with a map with six divisions, each with around 3000 voters as required.
This means, according to Johnstone Shire administrator, Graham Webb:
- Innisfail, the new Shire’s largest centre had to be divided into three divisions to meet this regulation – which may not be popular with some;
- there will be people critical that the public had little input.
Why is it that bureaucrats/politicians can take so-o-o long to get a project off the ground and then feel quite comfortable about cutting the democratic process out of what is a representative democracy?
PWF is really pleased Mission Beach can now forget the fight to be united and put ALL their efforts into their their closeknit community approach to a sustainable future up there in that beautiful ‘holiday land’!