Water­front on move

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

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

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