DOUGLAS Shire Council will address ratepayer confusion about carbon offsetting and ask the public to decide on the best way to manage Council’s carbon footprint during comprehensive consultation later this year.

Council today endorsed a suite of environmental initiatives in 2020/21 Operational Plan, spear headed by community consultation to help craft a future direction for Lot 83, Cape Tribulation Rd.

Council also rescinded a previously approved concept plan for the 374-hectare parcel of land to give the community a better opportunity to be involved from the outset.

Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the time for a frank and open discussion about Council’s role in mitigating the impacts of climate change was now.

“Council is elected to be the voice for local ratepayers and must establish a climate emissions policy based on the needs, concerns and opinions of all,” he said.

“I believe everyone who lives in Douglas Shire is environmentally-conscious, so we must take on a sensible, community-led policy to appropriately navigate this very complex issue.

“We need to bring clarity and transparency by taking ratepayers on the journey with council as we develop policy that accurately reflects community attitudes to climate change.”

Once consultation is completed, Council will then consider options for the land such as potential revenue-generating activities, or a possible sale to a suitable buyer.

The land, located about 1km north of the northern banks of the Daintree Ferry crossing, was purchased for $725,000 in October last year.

The cleared sections are currently being used for beef cattle grazing.