Edi­tor’s com­ment:

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK -

FI­NALLY there is some good news for both the lo­cal tourism and con­struc­tion in­dus­tries with the an­nounce­ment that work will be­gin next week on the $13.6 mil­lion Moss­man Gorge Gate­way project.

The In­dige­nous Land Coun­cil’s ap­proval for the project at a re­cent board meet­ing means one of the most im­por­tant tourism de­vel­op­ments which has been al­most 20 years in the mak­ing is fi­nally about to get off the ground.

Pre­lim­i­nary works will start at the site next week af­ter con­trac­tor FK Gardner and Sons were an­nounced as the win­ning bid­ders.

The Gate­way project will in­clude a new mod­ern vis­i­tor’s cen­tre, a cafe, art gallery and gift shop and cul­tural dis­plays.

There will also be park­ing for 200 ve­hi­cles and the cen­tre will low lowe­mis­sion shut­tle buses to get vis­i­tors to the World Her­itage-listed rain­for­est area.

The project will pro­vide much-needed work for the lo­cal con­struc­tion in­dus­try once the build­ing works ramp up next year and also pro­vide an av­enue for lo­cal in­dige­nous em­ploy­ment in both the build­ing phase and once the devel­op­ment is com­pleted.

There is gen­uine ex­cite­ment among the re­gion’s in­dige­nous com­mu­nity which will be­come the fo­cus of the new precinct and will ben­e­fit with em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties once the cen­tre opens.

In more som­bring news, the lat­est fig­ures from the Aus­tralian Bureau of Statis­tics out­line the stark re­al­ity of the tourism down­turn in the Dou­glas re­gion.

Ac­com­mo­da­tion rev­enue has dropped by 20 per cent since 2004 with vis­i­tor nights and the av­er­age room rates drop­ping sig­nif­i­cantly.

Next week’s joint fo­rum to be hosted by Tourism Port Dou­glas Dain­tree and the Port Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce is a great op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal busi­nesses to get a good un­der­stand­ing of the “big pic­ture” and plan for the fu­ture.

There are some ex­cit­ing projects in the pipe­line such as the water­front devel­op­ment but the com­ple­tion of this is still a few years away and there will be more pain in the mean­time for many op­er­a­tors. But at least there are pos­i­tive signs and if busi­nesses have sur­vived the past few years then hope­fully they can hang on un­til pros­per­ity re­turns.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.