Review request from Douglas Shire councillor Michael Kerr 5/12/19

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Mr Kerr asked the ICEO for a review of allegedly false statements about him made by Mr Didge McDonald as President of the Douglas Shire Sustainability Group in a letter that was published in the Port Douglas Mossman Gazette on December 5, 2019.

On December 9, Mr McDonald was invited to supply the ICEO with facts, links and any other information to support his claims and responded on December 11. That response was provided to Mr Kerr on December 17 for his further comment which he supplied on the same day.

Having considered all the information supplied by Mr Kerr and Mr McDonald on behalf of the DSSG, the ICEO has concluded Mr Kerr’s request is not one that falls within its charter, in that when considered in the context of the long-term contact between Mr Kerr and the community groups supported by him, nothing in the letter could be found to be false or misleading.

The ICEO is determined not to interfere in robust debate and commentary between groups or individuals with an interest in the up-coming election and, in the opinion of the ICEO, the subject of this review request falls into this category. It was clear Mr Kerr and the DSSG have different views about the future of development in the Douglas Shire which is to be expected in a functioning democracy. Mr Kerr was notified of this outcome on December 18.

John Robertson

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