A COMMUNITY meeting has been organised by Cairns Councillors to give ratepayers the chance to comment on the proposed local law amendment that would see fishing banned on certain sections of the Esplanade.
Majority of Cairns locals have made it known that they disagree with the proposed change, taking to the local noticeboard to voice their various concerns and possible alternatives.
Now they will have their chance tomorrow at the Civic Reception Rooms from 6-7pm to comment, in person, about the proposed amendment.
CAIRNS locals have defended their right to fish along the Cairns Esplanade as Cairns Regional Council seeks to ban the practice on the grounds of community safety.
Council has proposed an amendment on Subordinate Local Laws No.11 to prohibit fishing on the Cairns Esplanade reserve and Lagoon, citing community safety as their primary concern.
The amendment is still currently open for consultation and is not yet a confirmed change.
Planning, Growth & Sustainability director Ed Johnson said council frequently receives complaints from the public about fishing on the Esplanade.
“Feedback from internal and community stakeholders also expressed concerns about potential conflicts and safety hazards between individuals fishing and those using the Esplanade for walking, jogging, cycling, and other recreational activities,” he said.
However, Cairns locals have expressed their dissatisfaction with the proposed change via a post by Connect FNQ on the Cairns Notice Board Facebook group.
The post asked locals what they thought of the amendment and if there were any alternatives council should consider.
Almost all the comments (91 at time of print) were against the change as many believe fishing along the Esplanade is an integral part of the city’s identity.
“I think fishing is a great pastime for people and builds community,” Candi Lee said.
“I don’t fish but I do like to chat to the people fishing and hear their stories.”
Jo Dean was of the same notion, saying it is part of Cairns’ culture to see people fishing and netting.
Brian Cooper said during his time living near the Esplanade he has never had a problem with locals who regularly fish along the waterfront.
“If you want to destroy the ambiance of our local cairns culture and destroy the relaxed feel of Cairns just keep introducing more rules and regulations,” he said.
Doug Pollard posed the alternative of upgrading facilities along the Esplanade to allow for safer fishing and safer use of the Esplanade overall.
“It’s a pretty boring and sterile area as it is – why not ask people who fish what they need?”
Mr Johnson said Cairns residents still have plenty of time to comment on the proposed local law amendment.
“Council values the input of the community and their feedback is invaluable in shaping decisions that affect the region,” he said.
“At the conclusion of the consultation period, council will review all feedback received and make informed decisions regarding the finalisation of these amendments.”
The community can review the changes on the Have Your Say section of council’s website or in person at a Spence Street Customer Service Centre or a Cairns Libraries branch.
Feedback can be provided by emailing email@example.com or by post to Local Laws Review, PO Box 359, Cairns, QLD, 4870. Consultation ends at 4pm on Wednesday 13 September.