Stand­off on fund­ing for Port water­front

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

A MEX­I­CAN stand­off is de­vel­op­ing over the fu­ture of the Port Dou­glas water­front.

While both state and fed­eral politi­cians have said they would like to back the project, nei­ther state MP Ja­son O’Brien nor fed­eral MP War­ren Entsch is will­ing to put their stamp on the project with­out more in­for­ma­tion.

How­ever the first de­tailed study on the water­front re­ju­ve­na­tion, which many busi­nesses are hop­ing will re­vive the town, will not be ready un­til the Queens­land and Aus­tralian bud­gets for 2011-12 are well-de­vel­oped.

The best the ail­ing tourist town can hope for in the short term is a com­mit­ment from the state govern­ment to hand back all pro­ceeds from the sale of ma­rina leases to Meri­dien.

How­ever, there has been no in­di­ca­tion by Meri­dien that the ma­rina com­pany is able or will­ing to pay the $30-40m which the leases are es­ti­mated to be worth.

The other pos­si­ble life­line is the fed­eral govern­ment’s $10bn re­gional devel­op­ment fund, which was an­nounced shortly af­ter the fed­eral elec­tion.

How­ever, the fund has not yet dis­bursed a cent and it is again un­clear when Can­berra will be ready to start sign­ing cheques.

“The state govern­ment bud­get is put to­gether in De­cem­ber and Jan­uary,” Mr Cook said.

“To get some­thing out of that, I re­ally need some­thing now.

Co­or­di­na­tor Jenny White re­vealed on Mon­day that Santa Clause will be mak­ing a visit to the event to help lo­cals cel­e­brate the fes­tive ac­tiv­i­ties planned for the day.

Last year’s Christ­mas party was a great turnout which saw 1800 peo­ple with a long list of busi­nesses in­volved to help or­gan­ise the event.

“We are hop­ing that the lo­cals and busi­nesses get in­volved to as­sist us host­ing a com­mu­nity event for the lo­cals,” she said.

The Christ­mas Party is of­fered free to the com­mu­nity with the as­sis­tance of the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil.

“We are look­ing for groups to of­fer child-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties as part of these cel­e­bra­tions. The ac­tiv­ity will need to be free to par­tic­i­pate in and pro­vide some

“How­ever, I un­der­stand there is a process, which can be painful at times, and coun­cil is try­ing to get this right.

“The la­goon pool has a touch of sex­i­ness about it, but we need a stag­ing plan for the en­tire rede­vel­op­ment.

“The water­front mas­ter plan tells us where we are go­ing. The ques­tion is, how do we stage it and how long does the jour­ney take?”

Di­vi­sion 10 councillor Ju­lia Leu said the Cairns Cul­tural Precinct had only re­ceived state sup­port af­ter a de­tailed anal­y­sis.

“The ini­tial sup­port from Bris­bane was de­pen­dent on the fi­nal de­sign,” she said.

“The land con­tri­bu­tion was fab­u­lous, and a sim­i­lar com­mit­ment needs to be given for the Port Dou­glas water­front. We’re mov­ing as fast as we can, de­vel­op­ing a lot of facets in par­al­lel to move the project along as fast as pos­si­ble.”

Cr Leu said she hoped the con­di­tions of the re­gional devel­op­ment fund would soon be­come clear. “We might find out more as soon as this week. “There is a con­fer­ence of the North Queens­land Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion in Port Dou­glas at the moment.

“I know a lot of the coun­cils would be hop­ing to put in a bid, and we will all be wait­ing ea­gerly to find out what the pa­ram­e­ters of the fund are.”

“Your or­gan­i­sa­tion is wel­come to ad­ver­tise their ser­vices and place a col­lec­tion box out for the ac­tiv­ity you are of­fer­ing but we are ask­ing you to se­lect and ac­tiv­ity in which par­tic­i­pants do not have to pay to be in­volved.”

The Moss­man Cham­ber of Com­merce is of­fer­ing $100.00 to­wards set­ting up the costs re­quired for these ac­tiv­i­ties pro­vided the ac­tiv­ity meets the ap­proval of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee.

The event will dis­play live en­ter­tain­ment from a va­ri­ety of bands and also a show an ar­ray of vin­tage cars for lo­cal car lovers.

How long: the la­goon pool as en­vi­sioned in the Port Dou­glas Water­front Mas­ter Plan

Or­gan­i­sa­tion: Moss­man Cham­ber of Com­merce In­ter­ests: com­mu­nity Christ­mas party Con­tact: Jenny White CHRIST­MAS is just around the corner and the lo­cals are get­ting ready to cel­e­brate the Moss­man Com­mu­nity Christ­mas Party on Satur­day 4th De­cem­ber.

en­ter­tain­ment, be safe and ap­pro­pri­ate for chil­dren,” she said.

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