Waterfront on move
THE latest timeline for the Port Douglas waterfront rejuvenation has brought forward several major elements of the plan by several years.
Among other projects, the swimming lagoon has been pushed to the front of the queue.
The report, to Cairns Regional Council’s infrastructure services committee this week, also pushed forward other projects, including revamping the market area and Four Mile Beach esplanade.
“There have been some refinements,” council’s acting regional manager in Douglas Liz Collyer said.
“In the original plan, there may have been a gap between the feasibility studies and implementation.
“Now, when the feasibility study for the lagoon comes back, we won’t be sitting on our hands before we seek funding.”
Ms Collyer said it was essential to carry out preliminary studies before carrying out any major works.
“This is a logical sequence,” she said.
“If you’re going to be making major changes to parkland which involves removing parking spaces, for instance, you need to know how that will affect traffic flow and take account of that.
“We need a stormwater management plan, and the landscape design guidelines.
“Once the community has signed off on those, we could do that redevelopment in chunks as the funds become available.
“But council has a responsibility to respect the community’s sense of engagement and ownership of this plan.
“All the members of the advisory committee have strong links to the community.
“They’re all very passionate and committed to this process.”
Division 10 councillor Julia Leu agrees the community deserves to be involved in the process.
“The current plan we have for the Port Douglas waterfront is the culmination of extensive engagement with community members coupled with a thorough planning process,” Cr Leu said.
“This has resulted in a strong feeling of local community ownership in giving them a say in the plan.”
Ms Collyer said the swimming lagoon feasibility study, due in March, was not an optional extra.
“The feasibility studies will inform council as to what funds are required and which funding streams we can tap into,” she said.
“We have been keeping both the state and federal representatives up to speed, but we have to go to them with something solid.
“They’ll ask the questions which the feasibility study will answer.
“We need to take account of ongoing costs to the community as well as what it will cost to build.”
Cr Leu agrees the feasibility study, which will examine several different possible locations for the lagoon pool, is a pre-requisite to getting anything built.
“It is of the utmost importance that the lagoon pool, one of the major projects in the Port Douglas waterfront plan, is situated where it creates maximum benefit,” Cr Leu said.
“A feasibility study including a cost analysis for establishment and maintenance of the pool is being prepared to ensure that the needs of the community are ultimately served,” Cr Leu said.
Ms Collyer said members of the public were welcome to contact her by phone on 4099 9410 to discuss the plan.
“If anyone’s got any idea or queries, let us